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'Trump Bump' Aimed To Be Used By Newspapers To Reach Readers, Advertisers

'Trump Bump' Aimed To Be Used By Newspapers To Reach Readers, Advertisers
For newspapers struggling to attract more digital readers and advertisers, turning out to be the best hope in 2017 is "fake news" and the Trump administration's combative view of traditional news media as the "opposition party".
By marketing unbiased reporting as a sales strategy, building on the online readership they gained during the 2016 presidential elections are traditional media outlets like Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Gannett Co.
Some of the newspapers have been criticized for having political leanings and the risk is whether those new readers will attract advertising dollars to the newspapers. Trust in the media is at an all-time low at just 35 percent, shows an Edelman survey of more than 33,000 people in 28 countries.
The New York Times sees digital ad revenue up 10 to 15 percent in the current quarter and added a record 276,000 digital news subscribers in the last quarter for a newspaper which President Donald Trump has referred to as "failing" in his Twitter messages. It expects to add 200,000 digital subscriptions to its news products in the first quarter, the company said.
Noting an almost 12 per cent jump, 113,000 digital subscriptions in its latest quarter were added by the Wall Street Journal. The company said that January's numbers were even higher.
While digital subscriptions at Gannett's USA Today Network, made up of 110 newspapers across the country, grew 26 percent to 182,000 in the fourth quarter, Financial Times digital subscriptions jumped 6 percent in the fourth quarter to 646,000.
A major challenge for traditional media is hostility from Trump who has on occasion described their reporting as "fake news" in addition to the proliferation of "fake news" websites that publish false stories for propaganda purposes.
"The media's the opposition party" and not the Democratic Party, Republican Trump's close adviser, Stephen Bannon, told The New York Times in an interview in January.
The Wall Street Journal ran ads online and in print during the election to win over advertisers and readers' trust. One featured a pin ball machine with the tagline, "No Tilt. Campaign coverage that's on the level."
"Truth" campaign consisting of online ads urging readers to sign up because, "Truth. It needs your support" was launched by The New York Times, which is focused on increasing its subscriber revenue, in January.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said on the company's last earnings call that the newspaper plans to launch another marketing campaign in coming weeks, and sees an opportunity in making sure readers understand that it is fair and accurate.
Andy Yost, chief marketing officer at Gannett, said that the election was used to highlight it has journalists at local newspapers across the United States, by Gannett, which rebranded its publications under the "USA Today Network".
 Natalie Prout, a strategist at Phenomenon, a Los Angeles-based branding agency, said that divisiveness stirred by the election campaign has made brands avoid publications that appear to be politically aligned.
Brands are exercising more caution when using programmatic advertising, where they automatically buy digital ad spots through a third party as they are also worried about their ads showing up in what is perceived as "fake news."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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