“Trump bump” at the New York Times; readers embrace The Times in a post-truth era

Daily subscriptions to The New York Times have leapt up more than ten times since last month’s election of Donald Trump.

Some days as many as 10,000 new subscribers hit the buy button. This number was previously more like 600 a day.

Subscriptions have increase ten-fold since US election

Subscriptions to the New York Times have surged recently 

What’s that all about?

I have a few theories – listed in order of increasing importance:

    • The Times has sealed off a side door to get access to stories via Facebook. Non-paying readers can no longer exceed the 10-article-limit and have had to cough up for a subscription,
    • Around the time of the election the NYT lured new customers by offering three paywall-free days. This doubtless drew some converts,
    • People want to show their support for the news media in the face of Trump’s ongoing rants in which he has, among other things, call reporters at CNN liars and told a group of network executives they are “the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.” This, and worse, show that the basics of a free press are under attack – the public is rallying to keep it alive,
    • People are turning to The Gray Lady in the face of the fake news phenom. They feel confident she will get it right,
    • My favourite theory: The public has a growing yen for accurate, well-researched, balanced news. The spectre of a continuing deluge of Trump tweets needs to be countered with reliable, well-researched news. (Apparently reeling Americans have put pen to chequebook to support progressive non-profits as well.)

The Oxford Dictionary just told us “post-truth” is 2016’s word of the year. It refers to “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.

Citizens in quest of unmediated, old-fashioned truth are subscribing to The New York Times all over again. It’s good to know.




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