One small step for newspapers, one giant leap in the prospect of me having a job in the future

In the ongoing soap opera that is the newspaper industry, it seems there is  a recent ray of hope.

Last time on “As The World Prints,” we saw that the newspaper industry was scrambling to find a way to stay relevant in a digital age. Our main character, The New York Times, was struggling to stay afloat amid the attacks of its nemesis, The Evil Blog. In this episode, a respite of sorts is on the horizon for the paper.

As outlined in this article from Poynter Online, the New York Times has decided to make its entire archives available for Web developers to play around with.

Here’s a short summary from Poynter writer Steve Myers:

“Last week, the Times moved to make its journalism just as prevalent, and relevant, by giving outside Web developers a way to conduct customized searches on 2.8 million articles published since 1981, display the results on their own sites and combine them with any information they like.

More than a technical change that makes geeks’ hearts go pitter-patter, the Times announcement represents a change in how a news organization handles its most important asset: the journalism it has created over the years. By untethering its archives from its Web site, the Times can spread its journalism — and its influence — all over the Web.”

According to the story, the Times will eventually have all issues dating back to its inception in 1851.

While it may not sound like the most groundbreaking thing in the world, this move by the Times will allow them to license the search technology for their archives. This, along with an even further reach for their material, will bring in much needed revenue.

While were being told that becoming more locally focused is the way for newspapers to make money, as outlined in this other article from Poynter Online, the Times has gone in the complete opposite direction. They have decided to embrace the global construct and cash in on the technology instead of following along in its wake.

Nice move, New York Times. Nice move, indeed.

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Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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