Crying over spilt creme fraiche
: Unlike Matt Welch, I’m not crying over the fate of the International Herald Tribune now that the Times has forced the Washington Post to sell out its share of the paper.
In its time, the IHT was a fine and wonderful enterprise and a most welcome product for travelers and expats.
But times change. We have worldwide printing now. We have the Internet, ferchrissake. I can read great papers from all around the world; just yesterday, I was lucky enough to meet the editor of the Guardian and could tell him how much I like his paper because I get to read it every day, right here, on the Web. And we now have weblogs noting the noteworthy from many papers.
The IHT was an anachronism before its time.
Many years ago, I flirted with going to work at the IHT (young man, single, Paris, oui!). They were nice people, smart people. But what I discovered was that it was a paper of copy editors and copy editors must copy edit. So they edited stories that had already been edited just because they were there. They wasted their time (and their owners’ money) doing such silly things as inserting middle initials into all the names in the paper just because that was IHT style.
Times change and so it is time for a change.
If I were running a top newspaper in any nation in the world, I’d take advantage of the gravy international readership I can now get online — which is otherwise worthless to my local advertisers — by selling international online sponsorships (to travel, finance, and luxury branded advertisers). It’s easy to separate local readers from international readers and thus it’s easy to give them targeted advertising.
Or I’d start a weblog that points to the best of the best all these papers — from the UK, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden… — and right there, I’d deliver more than the IHT can afford to deliver on its few pages.
It’s called progress. Sometimes, progress hurts.
: The NY Observer on the Times strategy:
According to the source, plans for The Times