New Roads: Forbes, New York Times,Chicago Tribune

Forbes’ new plan to mix editorial and paid blogs further dims the line between editorial and advertising but if it catches on, it could mean opportunity for out-of-work journalists. As reported in Advertising Age by Michael Learmonth, “this isn’t the ‘sponsored post’ of yore; rather, it is giving advocacy groups or corporations such as Ford or Pfizer the same voice and same distribution tools as Forbes staffers, not to mention the Forbes brand.” Learmonth goes on to quote Forbes’ Lewis Dvorkin, “There’s fewer ways to get your message out, because there are fewer reporters, and that’s a fact.” Instead of the publishers hiring more writers, corporations and advocacy groups would employ professionals to provide a flow of contextual content not only to Forbes’ web site but the magazine and “everywhere Forbes content is published. This is where publishing is headed.”

Not necessarily direct opportunity for writers but possibly indicative of a trend, Bloomberg Markets Magazine is relaunching in November with a redesign and more editorial space. . . . If the following quote New York Times Buildingfrom the U.K.’s Media Digest is correct, there certainly must be a new road ahead for The New York Times: “Speaking at the Wan-Ifra International Newsroom Summit, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. admitted ‘we will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future’.” The Digest added: “The NYT is fighting to stay relevant to a new generation of readers by adding social networking features, supplemented with plans to introduce a paywall to the website early next year.”

Worse news comes from a NY Times article by David Carr about the new approach at The Chicago Tribune, now in the midst of bankruptcy. He quotes a Tribune announcement: “The TV revolution is upon us — and the new Tribune Company is leading the resistance.”  And judging from the job posting for “anti-establishment producer/editors,” the company has some very strong ideas about who those revolutionaries should be: “Don’t sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don’t care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We’ll pass.”

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