HOME
          
LATEST STORY
What happened when a college newspaper abandoned its website for Medium and Twitter
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 25, 2009, 1:02 p.m.

Newspapers find a new way to monetize their journalists

School’s in session at The New York Times this fall, and the professors include some big bylines on campus: Nicholas Kristof, Gail Collins, and Eric Asimov. They’re offering weeklong, largely online courses for Times readers who pay between $125 and $185.

It’s the first time that Times columnists have participated in the newspaper’s three-year-old Knowledge Network, an adult-education program operated in partnership with local universities. Stacy Green, a spokeswoman for the Times, told me that 100 courses are being offered this year, up from 50 in 2008, though only a handful include Times writers.

The participation of Kristof, Collins, and Asimov could be a precursor to the membership model the Times is considering in its search for new revenue streams on the web. A reader survey last month floated the possibility that paid members of the Times could enjoy special access along those lines:

TimesInsider: Ever wanted to talk cooking with Mark Bittman or to discuss books with Janet Maslin? How about a tour of the Times headquarters, including the newsroom? NYT Gold gives you insider’s access to the people who bring you the Times everyday.

The courses taught by Kristof and Collins, both op-ed columnists, include a “live, interactive Webcast,” three written lessons, and a message board where students can interact with their big-name instructors. For that, the Times is asking $185. Kristof’s course is on the exploitation of women in developing nations; Collins’s deals with the history of American women’s rights since 1960. Wine columnist Eric Asimov’s course, for $125, is a single session that students can attend in person or online. (Booze not included.)

Meanwhile, The Guardian is moving ahead with its plans for a membership program that could include exclusive events and access to journalists. A job posting for general manager of the Guardian Club explains:

Increasingly we believe our future resides at the centre of a community of engaged readers and users, whose relationship with us will be much closer and more involved. The Guardian Club will be our transformational next step in bringing these customers to the centre of our business, rewarding loyalty while growing our reach and revenues. We want members of the Club to feel that they are genuinely part of our organisation, and as close as it is possible to get to the editorial heart of our company.

The membership model clearly has momentum, and we should be hearing more about what both newspapers are planning in the coming months.

POSTED     Aug. 25, 2009, 1:02 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
What happened when a college newspaper abandoned its website for Medium and Twitter
At Mt. San Antonio College, they’ve traded in print for distributed publishing, focusing on realtime reporting and distribution: “We’re speaking the language of our generation.”
Prairie news companion: Why The Tulsa Frontier thinks it can succeed with a hard paywall and no ads
Launched by the former publisher of The Tulsa World, The Frontier is betting on a high-subscription-cost model — $30 per month! — to reach a core group of civically engaged locals.
Open-mic journalism: How The Arizona Republic found success with storytelling events
The four-year-old program has helped boost the newspaper’s events business and helped strengthen relationships with the community through nights of storytelling.
What to read next
973
tweets
The State of the News Media 2015: Newspapers ↓, smartphones ↑
The annual omnibus report from Pew outlines a story of continued trends more than radical change.
576The Upshot uses geolocation to push readers deeper into data
The New York Times story changes its text depending on where you’re reading it: “It’s a fine line between a smarter default and being creepy.”
424Knight Foundation invests $1 million in creator-driven podcast collective Radiotopia
The money will help PRX’s collective of public media-minded shows develop sustainable business models and expand with new shows and producers.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Sacramento Press
The Christian Science Monitor
Foursquare
The Awl
MediaBugs
Animal Político
Patch
PBS
CNN
The Daily Show