U.S. President Donald Trump rushes to attack the country’s mainstream media all the time. Such attacks have been a core part of his platform since the 2016 campaign season — but that doesn’t mean the media has actually been stifled.
The New York Times shared this week that they’ve been taking on new digital-only subscribers at a brisk rate. In the second quarter of 2018, revenue from such subscribers jumped to $99 million, which is an increase of some 20 percent over last year’s numbers. Some 109,000 new digital subscribers in the second quarter of 2018 pushed the media company to that mark.
Chief executive for The Times Mark Thompson explained:
‘Subscription revenues accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s revenues, a trend we expect to continue. We continue to believe that there is significant runway to expand that base substantially.’
The increase kept the long running paper from suffering too terribly under the weight of a dip in marketing revenues. Overall, advertising revenue fell by about 10 percent. Specifically print advertising fell by 11.5 percent to $68 million, while digital advertising fell by 7.5 percent to some $51 million.
Thompson maintained optimism in the face of that slump, commenting:
‘This is a subdued quarter for digital advertising, as we predicted, but we remain confident that we will return to strong year-over-year growth in the third quarter.’
Along those lines, The Times shared that they expect a 10 percent digital advertising revenue increase in 2018’s third quarter.
Overall, the company managed a total revenue increase in the second quarter of 2018 of 2 percent, finishing with $415 million. Some $24 million of that was profit.
What’s clear is that the paper is most certainly not “failing,” no matter how many times the president claims as much.
On July 7, just over a month ago, he wrote on Twitter:
‘Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who constantly quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, don’t exist – They will both be out of business in 7 years!’
There’s certainly no indication from the numbers shared by The Times this week that they’re “failing” and set to be out of business in 7 years. The paper continues on with their journalism work and continues to add hundreds of thousands of subscribers. They’ve now got a total of 3.8 million subscriptions, 2.9 million of which are digital only.
There remains no significant basis for the president’s continued allegations that The Times and other similar outlets peddle “fake news.” Sources don’t turn made up just because it’s the president’s opinion that they are.
It wasn’t that long ago that in the face of similar allegations of making up a source, journalists revealed the identity of the individual who’d spoken to them in the White House, proving the president’s claims as without merit. (The source was National Security Council official Matthew Pottinger, who conducted a “background briefing.”)
In the end, Trump just can’t hide behind his attacks on the media. His administration continues to flail, struggling through the implementation of questionable policy decisions like tariffs, while major media companies like The Times remain strong.
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