Trump good for the media

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As soon as he entered the political scene, Donald Trump was able to attract all the spotlight in his direction. It is first of all because of this intense media attention that the leaders of the Republican Party tolerated his presence during the first debates of the 2016 primaries.

If Donald Trump was able to take advantage of the obsession with the media and become the essential candidate among Republicans, these same media took advantage of his presence and his extraordinary attitude.

This morning, the Axios website revealed that two of the outgoing president’s favorite targets, the Washington post and the New York Times, had significantly increased their readership. Each of the publications has tripled the number of its digital subscriptions since the beginning of the “Trump phenomenon”.

Both Post that the Times have taken advantage of the windfall of the past four years to develop growth strategies that should allow them to adapt to Donald Trump’s departure on January 20.

Without going into all the details of the planning of the two major newspapers, I note at least one common trait. We invest more and more in public opinion. While not abandoning investigative journalism or daily news coverage by journalists, the emphasis is on the participation of columnists.

This is a big trend in the United States and elsewhere, it is opinion that seems to be the key to profitability. Whether in writing or in formula podcast, readers show a preference for those who speak out on the issues.

The phenomenon would be more pronounced in Times that to Post, which explains the increased presence of columnists closer to the “woke” movement which has divided the editorial team during the past year.

Analysts and historians will have a lot of material when the time comes to take stock of the fallout from this second-to-none presidency, but we should not forget to set aside a chapter for media coverage.

If the media were already very polarized and more oriented than in Quebec before the arrival of Trump, the situation has, in my opinion, deteriorated. Not only does traditional media have to deal with unfair competition from social media and disinformation, but their business model is changing.

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