The New York Times today released a 35-page internal report, “Journalism that stands apart,” as a follow up to its widely read 2014 Innovation Report. The Innovation Report was a blistering take on the Times’ digital shortcomings. The new report is the result of a year-long project by seven journalists led by David Leonhardt called the 2020 Group, which grew out of the Times’ stated goal of doubling digital revenue by 2020. The overarching take: Progress has been made, but much more has to be done.
Whereas the 2014 Innovation Report was concerned with using social media to spread stories and getting the editorial and business sides to acknowledge each other, the 2017 report largely focuses on ways to improve the daily Times journalism and drive subscription growth. “The way we work must change,” it reads.
Another key difference: the Innovation Report was leaked, whereas this one was made for public consumption. Its release was coordinated with a memo from top editorial leaders Dean Baquet and Joe Kahn, that addressed many of the elements in the report, including spending $5 million to cover Trump; changes (including cuts) to editing jobs; the addition of more visual journalism and launch of an innovation team. Here’s our take on what the report said and what it means: