Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Some pretty big news in the English language Japanese print world, if there is still much of that left. The New York Times is going to be published with the Japan Times. This is pretty awesome news for the bunker, which still subscribes to the print Japan Times, only now we'll get some stuff written for an international audience, edited in Paris and London and Kita Kashiwa or somewhere, er, oh… it's the old International Herald Tribune.

So it will be as dull as AP, but more long-winded.

But wait, as a Japan Times print subscriber, I'll get free access to the New York Times paywalled content (you do anyway - that's what Twitter links are for - ed.) so I can read all those features on John Updike's geniusness and Jonathan Franzen's inability to set a video timer, and travel features for drones and, er, lifestyle pieces about Japanese using fax machines and stuff, er, that Hiroko Tabuchi already tweets on Twitter anyway. Hmmm.

Well, no matter, it will ensure the survival of two great papers, while maintaining the independence of both. Like when the IHT tied up with the Asahi Evening News. That worked out well for both, er now defunct papers, eh readers?

Anyway, the two will be delivered in two sections Monday to Saturday and my spies tell me the Sunday edition will be Japan Times only and a tabloid to boot (It's the JT wot won the war, eh readers?)

Well, since I like the JT and the NYT (and Hiroko Tabuchi) I'm pleased as punch. I can't help wondering though if the JT will get the shittier end of the stick. How will Debito fare being in such close proximity to decent writers? The Japan Times is already down to one edition a day, joining forces with the Grey Lady and going tabloid are probably the last rolls of the dice before it's digital only, and then, well… let's not go there.

Did Our Man ever tell you his NYT story?


kamo said...

Digital only sooner rather than later you reckon? Well, as a dead-tree subscriber you may be unaware that they recently gave their website a bit of a makeover, so it no longer looks like something thrown together on geocities circa 1997. Still no progress on updating the politics or content though. Baby steps...

Our Man in Abiko said...

Oh, I'm fairly aware of the website. I was one of its beta testers, don't you know. Not that they listened to a single criticism I made of it.

But it's all good. Or bad, rather. I just don't believe the print model is tenable as it is. All that outlay for dwindling returns. Scrap the lot and go digital will happen eventually just because the economics for print don't work anymore.

Still, I'll enjoy reading the paper while I can and the Japan Times proprietors still get a kick out of "coming together" with the NYT.

Just remember to always wash your hands after. Ahem.

franchiseplaya said...

If it ends up being the NYT articles replacing the Washington Post articles, it's basically a zero-sum game, so I'm not too excited

Jan Moren said...

We used to have Asahi at home. Recently we cancelled it and took their digital subscription instead. For almost as much money as the printed paper. And it's ...good, actually. Really good. In fact, both I and my wife prefer it over the paper edition we used to get.

It's much easier to read and to share between us, and it has a lot more content than the printed paper. And now that I can compare directly, it's also a lot better than the straight news items you find for free on the net.

I read the paper a lot more now than I used to do just a few months ago. I'm also a lot more optimistic about the future of newspapers than I used to be. If they can keep this kind of content at this price then I think it really is long-term sustainable.

Troy said...

wow, someone to replace Karuna Shinsho in my personal media shrine

not creepy I swear