Is Donald Trump about to do the impossible? No, I don’t mean become President of the United States. That’s in the bag. I’m asking if he is going to Make Journalism Great Again? He has, as we all know, humiliated the media. The media which created him, then tried and failed to destroy him. Thousands upon thousands of journalists are now feeling ashamed of themselves — even if they can’t yet admit it — for having got the story so wrong. But is their industry suffering? Is it heck! Trump’s decision to carry on attacking the New York Times on Twitter even after winning the election might upset the paper’s editors, but the money men at the Grey Lady must be rejoicing. Since November 8, new print and digital NYT subscriptions have risen at four times their normal rate. The New York Times’s website saw record traffic from November 8th to November 10th. The New Yorker has seen a big subscriptions spike in the days following Trump’s victory, so has Mother Jones and the Atlantic — three intelligent magazines on the left-liberal end of the American opinion spectrum. We saw something similar, after Brexit, when the Financial Times was rewarded for having lost its fight against Vote Leave with a big subscription bump. So did the Spectator, whose view on the matter was more aligned with the British people.
When the times are a’changing, and they are, people become more willing to pay for good journalism that supports their worldview. The battle for ideas is hotting up. Apathy is on the wane. It may or may not be a frightening time for democracy, but you’ll want to read all about it. After long decades of misery for journo industry, the age of Trump is good news at last.