Two Paragraphs Explain Why No One At The NYT Thinks They Are In The Business Of Selling Newspapers

Can't figure out why people like RT? The clickbaity Russian propaganda outfit got a lot of folks to click during the election with stories designed to sink Clinton and help Trump.

Maybe it's because RT doesn't hate it's readers. People want what they want. Why is "clickbaity" a term of derision in a for-profit industry that sells clicks?.

As for the legacy media, there is a historical reason why they are confused: TV killed regional newspaper competition in the post-war era, and another name for what the NYT does is "post-war journalism."

Justin Fox explains how journalists ended up with a job description that doesn't include, you know, doing their job of selling newspapers:

The business model that the owners of the metro dailies gravitated toward in the decades after World War II was this: 1) establish monopoly, 2) milk that monopoly. The monopoly was on the delivery of printed advertising messages into homes in a given city or (better) metropolitan area: department store ads, supermarket ads, car dealer ads, and, most of all, classifieds.

Notice that I didn’t mention news. That’s because, once a monopoly was established, the editorial content of a newspaper had no detectable impact on its financial success. News gave a paper legitimacy, and some protection from antitrust laws (in the form of the joint operating agreements that the Justice Department allowed newspapers to set up to maintain editorial competition while consolidating business operations). Big news, especially sports news, even sold some extra papers from time to time. But even that didn’t really matter, since circulation wasn’t a profit center. The business of the metro monopoly papers simply wasn’t about news.