Home > Uncategorized > Battle of the Blogs – HuffPo vs. The NY Times

Battle of the Blogs – HuffPo vs. The NY Times

In a stroke of sheer satirical brilliance, Arianna Huffington recently posted this blog post informing New York Times employees that they would now be subject to a Huffington Post paywall. Her post also offered free access to the first 6 letters of all Huffington Post articles to Times employees, as well as free access to all stories involving animals born with extra limbs to visitors who come to the site through Facebook.

This post is really just the latest in the ongoing war-of-words between Arianna Huffington and The Times Bill Keller. However, this online squabble is a true example of the differing attitudes between new and old media organizations. The Huffington Post has found a way to monetize a site built on a combination of paid journalism and unpaid advertising. The NY Times has resorted to putting up a paywall in a desperate bid to generate further income. The Huffington Post has 60 full-time employees on staff, and makes a profit. The New York Times has 350 staff-writers and is struggling to remain relevent.

The problem with any old media organization, is that they can no longer count on their size to compete. A paper as powerful as The Times could once buy out any little competitor that came along, gobble up their resources, and continue on with business as usual. With internet distribution, the largest portions of The New York Times business model, their role as a publisher, is all but obsolete. If the Times were to eliminate all of their support staff and focus their resources on journalism, they might stand a chance. While print editions of newspapers may still be read in wide enough circulation to keep them around for another 10 years or so, they certainly should not be something to base your business practices upon.

As The NY Times begins to compete with sites like The Huffington Post in the internet age, they need to rely upon their credibility, their news-gathering abilities and quality writing in order to remain relevant. Taking shots at The Huffington Post isn’t going to get them anywhere, and Arianna Huffington certainly knows how to strike back. And a pay-wall may not make for a good fortification in an online newspaper war.

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