Is The New York Times “Failing” as President Trump Says?

The New York Times has been one of the most well known newspapers in the United States for years, however, President Trump has made them slightly more popular with his criticisms. The president loves nicknames for his critics. Throughout the election season, Donald Trump nicknamed his opponents. Some of his favorites were “Lyin’ Ted Cruz,” “Low Energy Jeb Bush,” and “Crooked Hillary.”

With The New York Times going after the current administration, President Trump has nicknamed them “The Failing New York Times.” So, how much of the president’s claim is true? Is The New York Times actually failing?

Foremost, President Trump has been known for his exaggerations. One of Trump’s favorite rhetorical devices is the hyperbole, and he has perfected it for persuasion. Without considering this, and by taking the president’s comments literally, it would seem as though “The Failing New York Times” is a misrepresentation. The news outlet has been around for over 150 years, and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

Nevertheless, The New York Times has seen better times than the present. In terms of “failing,” it’s ambiguous as to whether Trump meant they were failing financially, or failing reporting-wise. Yet, neither look promising.

Overall, newspaper businesses have had their troubles in the past decade. Pew Research Center shows a significant drop in newspapers’ annual ad revenue from both digital and print services. There is roughly a $30 billion loss of revenue from 2004 to 2014. The New York Times is not immune to the digitization nor the troubles of ordinary newspaper companies.

The New York Times specifically has stated that “print advertising revenue in 2016 fell 16 percent, driving a 9 percent drop in total advertising revenue. For the quarter, print advertising revenue declined 20 percent.” Although “digital advertising revenue rose 6 percent last year,” making up for their loss of print advertising has been a difficulty. The first quarter of the year was even worse, reporting a $14 million net loss.

Near the end of 2016, the company had to close down 8 floors of offices due to the cost. A released memo told employees, “we will vacate at least eight floors, allowing us to generate significant rental income.” In addition, it was made clear that “these changes will impact every employee at 620 Eighth Ave.”

As for reporting, The New York Times has also had its hands full with criticisms.

After the election of President Trump, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr wrote to his readers reminding them that they would “rededicate [themselves] to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.” As if they weren’t dedicated to such during the election.

Sulzberger even admits that they may have misunderstood President Trump’s movement due to constantly bombarding him with attacks. One of the questions he asked him and his readers was “did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

However, the Times has continued to publish questionable articles. After the president’s speech at CPAC, an article on their website stated that “his speech also included a promise to throw undocumented immigrants ‘the hell out of the country’… Yet, Trump specifically stated that his administration was “finding the gang members, the drug dealers and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country.”

In unpopular fashion, some published authors of the newspaper believe that pedophilia is “a disorder, not a crime.” Fortunately, it was published as an opinion piece.

The list could go on, however, the worst mistake may have been giving Hillary Clinton a 85% chance to win the presidency right before the election.

To make matters worse, the media outlet may have been buying clicks and views from China to fuel their site.

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Apple removed their apps from its store in China, and that the government blocked access to their website. Even with mass censorship taking place in China, the website has had an awful lot of traffic from the country lately.

Web analytics site, Alexa Internet, Inc. has shown that from December to January, Chinese traffic jumped from 5.1% to 23%. February, a month later, traffic from China boosted all the way up to 49.2% and surpassed the United States. After news broke, The New York Times quickly stopped what they were doing and traffic from China went back to normal. Once this happened, the website’s Alexa ranking plummeted down with 40 other sites surpassing them.

The New York Times, though a large and wealthy company, has had its struggles over the past year. Also, with President Trump taking shots at mainstream media, the newspaper doesn’t look to be in the clear. Trump’s nickname for the company works perfectly due to confirmation bias. Every time the company reports fake news, or loses money, Trump will be credited, and proven right.


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