Skip to primary content


An Open Letter To David Carr, Look to the Future

To David Carr, Media Critic of the New York Times:

After I read your defense of newspapers in The New York Times, I turned to the Wall Street Journal story saying that Yahoo “signed nine new columnists to write for its Yahoo Finance site and plans to hire as many as 30.”

Now compare that to last week, during which there were so many layoffs at major newspapers that Steve Lovelady of the Columbia Journalism Review would write:

it’s starting to feel as if the bow of the ship is slipping beneath the water.

You would write:

Newspapers are a civic good, especially right now, but they cannot function as a nonprofit. Make all the jokes you want about dead trees, a printed artifact that people pay to read and advertise in is an absolute necessity.

Maybe, but then why does your own company The New York Times pay $410 million for, and later announce pending layoffs of some 45 folks in its flagship’s newsroom.

You see David, you might hope for the preeminence of the newspaper, and so might I, but your bosses are putting their money elsewhere. Maybe it is time for you and critics like you to start looking to the future. Here, take a look at the mission and vision statements of New York Times Digital. They read:

Mission and Vision

The mission of New York Times Digital is to enhance society by creating the premier quality network for everyone seeking the best news, information and interaction through digital media

Our vision is to:

• Bring together and build long-lasting relationships with a large audience of discriminating users who appreciate and value the high-quality standards represented by brands such as The New York Times, and to

• Create an online experience for our uniquely knowledgeable community of users through a networked environment that provides answers, analysis, points-of-view and a network of like-minded associates

Last week I asked if the Times is abandoning its tradition to invest in quality when times are bad. I don’t think they have abandoned that philosophy; it’s just the money is not going to its flagship The New York Times.

Remember David that your publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. said last January:

“Within our lifetimes, the distribution of news and information is going to shift to broadband…We must enter the broadband world having mastered the three key skill sets — print, Internet, and video — because that’s what’s going to ensure the future of this news organization in the years ahead.”

David you have some power, now stop looking backward, look forward, join us, while we all try to become part of a “knowledgeable community of users through a networked environment that provides answers, analysis, points-of-view…”

Comments are closed.