Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
James Pindell is trying to bring The Boston Globe’s election coverage to everyone by being everywhere
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.
James Pindell is trying to bring The Boston Globe’s election coverage to everyone by being everywhere
“Whether it’s their inbox, whether it’s for Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Instagram — the idea is to reach audiences where they’re at.”
The New York Times collaborates with This American Life on a special investigative report
The New York Times is running its story Friday, while This American Life’s complementary report will air this weekend and be available for download as a podcast Sunday.
With an interface that looks like a chat platform, Quartz wants to text you the news in its new app
“The content type is always messages, and that’s always true whether you’re getting the message inside the app or as a notification.”
What to read next
0
tweets
From Nieman Reports: Startups are revitalizing journalism in Brazil’s challenging environment
Despite a fraught political and economic environment for journalists, new outlets in Brazil are now experimenting with fact-checking, longform narrative writing, and citizen media.
0The Conversation expands across the U.S., freshly funded by universities and foundations
The news site that uses academics as reporters and journalists as editors now boasts 19 paying member universities and is opening up posts in Atlanta (and maybe in the Bay Area).
0A Howard project is debunking myths about African-Americans and teaching students fact-checking
“There are more black men in prison than college.” “A dollar spent in the black community stays there for only six hours.” A project at Howard University aims to dispel oft-repeated myths.
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 ➚
AOL
Center for Investigative Reporting
Suck.com
The Orange County Register
The Boston Globe
Press+
Davis Wiki
National Journal
Twitter
Politico
Slate
Kaiser Health News