Is Donald Trump's dislike for the New York Times actually a good thing for the paper?

It’s blindingly obvious that there is little love lost between Donald Trump and much of the press. Now, the relationship between the president and the New York Times has suffered a new blow thanks to the newspaper’s latest advert, which you can see here.

The advert aired during the Oscars and, needless to say, Trump wasn’t best pleased about what could be seen as a thinly veiled swipe at him. He took aim at the paper before the ad even aired.

It’s a big moment for the NYT as their first television ad in seven years (even though Trump seems to imply it’s their first ad ever). Trump’s typically over-the-top response to it (via Twitter of course) raises an interesting question: Is the president’s opposition to the paper actually helping it?

The NYT seems to think so. The paper’s executive editor Dean Baquet said to CNN: “Trump is the best thing to happen to the Times’ subscription strategy. Every time he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly.” Fighting talk from the paper that the leader of the free world has publicly and repeatedly denounced as “failing.”

In fact, the NYT has indeed seen increase in online subscribers and revenue since Trump won the election: In the last quarter 276,000 new people subscribed to the paper online. It seems as though people are becoming increasingly politically engaged, and are turning to media outlets to make sense of the confusing political climate.

(Alex Brandon/AP)

For Baquet, this turbulence is a good thing for his industry: “What’s happened in the last couple of months I have to say has been tremendous for news organisations. Our mission is clearer than it’s ever been.”

In a statement, the NYT said the central message of their new campaign is “to show that producing quality, independent journalism requires resources, commitment and expertise and that it’s important that people support it.”

This is by no means the first time that Trump has taken aim at the NYT. The paper was among the news outlets barred from the White House on Friday – but that doesn’t seem to be slowing the paper down too much.


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