Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Hot Pod: We now have new, free rankings to show how podcasts stack up against each other
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 18, 2014, 11:30 a.m.
LINK: www.niemanlab.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   February 18, 2014

Over at the Riptide blog, Martin Nisenholtz has a post lauding and pointing to Jonathan Glick’s piece for Recode promoting the idea of a “platisher.”

(Still can’t get past that name.)

A platisher, Glick says, is “something in between a publisher and a platform — something that weaves together the strengths of both.” (Examples include Gawker, BuzzFeed, and Medium, all of which combine an open publishing platform for anyone to use with staff-produced or staff-edited material.) Martin:

Interesting, in Glick’s analysis, not a single legacy media company is mentioned. No one. Is this an oversight? After all, companies like The New York Times Company now have hundreds of developers. Lots of interesting tech projects are in the works. Can publishers like The Times become platishers? Should they?

Glick replies in the comments:

You asked if the NYT is a platisher or could or should become one.

Now, to back up, my definition of a platisher is either

a) a publisher who broadly opens up their publishing system to outsiders (celebrities, intellectuals, politicians, other publishers, or brands) to directly create first-order content objects. (By first-order, I mean not just subordinate content objects, like message board comments, but full content, on the same level as the publisher’s own.)

or

b) an open platform who employs or otherwise funds editors, curators, writers and other creators to make content for their platform.

I say ‘either’ because I consider both of these to be essentially the same thing, and facing the same challenges. And it is to address those challenges that I came up with this silly word in the first place…

Now, on the question of The New York Times:

By the definition above, The NYT is certainly *not* a platisher today despite its investment in a world-class engineering and design organization.

A recent and salient proof for this can be found in the controversy over whether the Times should have published Dylan Farrow’s and then Woody Allen’s (I don’t know what to call them) letters (columns? posts?).

A platisher, like Sulia or Gawker-Kinja or Buzzfeed or Medium, would have been thrilled to have either of them posting on our platforms. For The New York Times, on the other hand, the idea of publishing content that the NYT’s careful editorial process has not thoroughly examined is terrifying.

And that, I suppose, is my answer to the question about whether the NYT could or should be a platisher. Which is: Boy, it would be extremely hard.

The Dylan/Woody affair proves that high-profile people — and I didn’t even mention Mr. Putin — would be delighted to post within the pages of the NYT. So it certainly has the opportunity to pivot this way if that’s what Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Thompson decide. But it seems to me the soul of the Times lies in very different virtues.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Hot Pod: We now have new, free rankings to show how podcasts stack up against each other
Plus: Parsing the RadioPublic announcement; premium podcast subscriptions; Bill Simmons oversimplifies things.
BuzzFeed is building a New York-based team to experiment with news video
It is the “center of a Venn diagram” between BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and BuzzFeed News.
With NYTEducation, The New York Times is taking its expertise and access to the classroom
“People come to learn with us because they want something that feels Times-ean in the experience.”
What to read next
0
tweets
The Verge launches Circuit Breaker, a gadget blog-as-Facebook page
The Verge is launching a new gadget blog that is built for Facebook. (Articles will also run on The Verge’s website.)
0Millennial-focused local startup Charlotte Agenda is expanding its model to a second city, Raleigh
The North Carolina startup says it’s profitable and is looking to expand its reach — but it’s not seeking outside funding.
0With a scripted daily comedy news show, Mic looks to add a little late night TV to the social video mold
“We don’t just present a bunch of headlines and say what we think. Our videos are chock-full of facts and research.”
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 ➚
Gotham Gazette
Foursquare
Forbes
ABC News
EveryBlock
Connecticut Mirror
Creative Commons
National Review
Plaza Pública
Center for Public Integrity
News Corp
Tumblr