Students will be able to sign up for the spring semester class The Future of The New York Times, taught by CAS professor of journalism Jay Rosen. This course will look into the struggle of The New York Times to find a secure and sustainable future in a radically changing world.
At first sight, the scope of the class may seem narrow. The main focus of the weekly, four-hour long class is only one publication.
“I don’t see it as narrow at all,” Rosen said. “Because in order to understand the future of The New York Times, you have to understand everything that is happening to the news business and the craft of journalism today, especially the digital transformation of the press and the struggle for a new business model. Those are big subjects. But we’ll be looking at them through the lens of a single institution.”
A unique aspect about this class is that it will allow students who do not enroll in the course to follow along through various, student-created features.
“One thing that might be a little different is that I want the class to have a public facing component, which the students will also work on,” Rosen said. “That could be as simple as webcasting parts of it so people around the web who are interested in The New York Times can follow along.”
The Times has adapted to keep up with the ever-changing modern world of how readers consume their news. It is using Twitter, Facebook and other platforms that are more easily accessible than print. Similarly, Rosen wants to incorporate Twitter into the course.
Enrollment for this class is also somewhat unconventional. Instead of enrolling through the online portal, NYU students will only be admitted into this class by personally emailing Rosen and describing who they are as a student and what exactly their relationship is to the Times.
CAS senior Lauren Klingensmith said the appeal to the course ranges further than just to students interested in journalism.
“I feel like this is a cool class to just take,” Klingensmith said. “I don’t think you necessarily have to be a journalism major to get the benefits of taking a unique course like this one.”
Conversation has already started to flow about the topic.
“I should make something clear: the class is not science fiction or dreaming about possible futures,” Rosen said. “It’s about what The New York Times is doing right now to secure its future, and invent a workable path for itself in the years ahead.”
Disclaimer: Jay Rosen is a member of the Washington Square News board.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 10 print edition. Email Emily Harris at [email protected]