A groundbreaking study of ten difficult years in the life of America's most important newspaper.
From false stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to growing competition from online and twenty-four-hour cable news, the first decade of the twenty-first century was not particularly kind to the New York Times. In this groundbreaking study of the recent life and times of America's most important newspaper, Daniel R. Schwarz describes the transformation of the Times as it has confronted not only its various scandals and embarrassments but also the rapid rise of the internet and blogosphere, the ensuing decline in circulation and print advertising, and the change in what contemporary readers want and how they want to get it.
Drawing on more than forty one-on-one interviews with past and present editors (including every living executive editor), senior figures on the business and financial side, and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Schwarz discusses virtually every aspect of the contemporary Times, from columnists to cultural coverage. He explains how, in response to continuous online updating and twenty-four-hour all-news radio and television, the Times has become much more like a daily magazine than a traditional newspaper, with increased analysis (as opposed to reporting) of the news as well as value-added features on health, travel, investing, and food.
After carefully tracing the rise of the Times's website, Schwarz asks whether the Times can survive as a print newspaper, whether it can find a business model to support its vast print and online newsgathering operation, and whether the Sulzberger family can survive as controlling owners. He also asks whether the Times, in its desperate effort to survive, has abandoned its quality standards by publishing what he calls "Timeslite" and "Timestrash."
Writing as a skeptical outsider and devoted lifelong reader, Schwarz concludes that the Times is the worst newspaper in the worldexcept for all the others. Endtimes? is a must-read for Times readers as well as anyone interested in the radical change in print and broadcast media in the rapidly evolving Internet Age.
About the Author
Daniel R. Schwarz is Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University. His previous books include In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century and Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments
1. Crisis and Turmoil at the New York Times, 1999-2009
2. The Way We Were: A Brief History of the Times with a Focus on Major Events
3. Looking Backward: The (Failed) Raines Reformation
4. Digital Revolution: www.nytimes.com
5. Media Economics 101: The Business Crises of the New York Times6. Counter Reformation of The Way We Are (I): New Bearings and Continuity in the Contemporary Times Under Keller, 2003-2009
7. The Way We Are (II): The 2003-2009 Times Under Keller
8. Dramatic Changes in Sunday’s Magazines: Competing for Attention Among Myriad Reading and Leisure Choices
9. The Challenge to the First Amendment: The Judith Miller Saga and the Story of Domestic Spying
10. Struggling with its Ethnic Heritage: Has the Times Waged War Against the Jews?
11. Conclusion: Where is the Times Going?
Also by Daniel R. Schwarz
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Daniel Schwarz's -Endtimes?- is an important book that will be of interest to people concerned about the future of newspapers. In his book, Schwarz reviews the history of the -NYTimes-, looks at what the paper has become today, and speculates about its future. He considers the impact on the paper--and, by implication, on all print newspapers--of changes in American culture and ongoing availability of news on the internet and on cable TV. He describes a newspaper that over the years has offered its readers more in depth analysis, more investigative reporting, more added value material on how to live better, and--at the same time--more fluff (Schwarz explains why this is so) in response to these changes. He also notes that the -Times- has the largest and most far flung staff of any newspaper in the world, that it supplies material--often without charge--for many other news outlets. Will the -Times- be able to keep this up--or will declining print revenues makes this impossible? Will we then have a reliable source of national and world news? In addition to offering us his own observations and reflections, Schwarz interviewed many of the editors--including editors in chief--of the -Times- and he quotes liberally from his interviews. Their voices along with Schwarz's own provide us with a richly provocative book.