Fearing a backlash from angry subscribers in the wake of the election, mainstream media outlets are imploring their paying customers to keep the faith. The moves, mostly in the form of pundits committing public head-scratching, come in the wake of their acknowledged failure to accurately assess the tenor of voters and an outcome that has sent Donald J. Trump to the White House.
This morning, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. and Dean Baquet, the publisher and editor, respectively, of The New York Times, took it one step further in a letter emailed to subscribers. “Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?” they asked. Some subscribers may read that as just more excuse-making and not the plea for forgivenness they might have expected. But the letter also reflected the Times’ fear of losing all-important subscribers to its print and digital editions at a time of plummeting advertising revenue and challenges from online news venues.
“We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” Sulzberger and Baquet added.
Here’s the complete letter: