Adapted from the forthcoming book Merchants of Truth, by Jill Abramson. Copyright © 2019 by Jill Abramson. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. When I took the reins of the New York Times in 2011, it was during a period of convulsive change and financial struggle, when the pace of the great digital disruption had intensified after the introduction of the iPhone and Facebook’s News Feed. The decade that followed, which culminated in Donald Trump’s election, transformed everything about how the news was reported and delivered. On their smartphones, people expected news to be instantaneous, even if the stories were erroneous. The old business model — advertising and circulation — was shattered by the new mantra that news had to be free. News was global, and could be manipulated by foreign powers, as the world learned in the 2016 election. As executive editor of the Times, I had the best ringside seat to the digital transformation of what I still consider to be the one indispensable news organization in the world. People desperately need reliable information for democracy to survive, but there seemed to be no reliable business model to sustain it. Legacy newspapers like the Times and… Read full this story
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