The articles you read on the Texas Tribune website will soon be found in the pages of America's most influential newspaper, the New York Times. (The Trib is a reporting partner with KUT and our own Ben Philpott spends close to half his time there.)
It seems like it was only last month that we were reading the Times' coverage of an ambitious web news startup with its eyes on Texas. And while cursory details had already been circulating about the new partnership, Trib editor-in-chief Evan Smith offered a full explanation this morning.
Starting Oct. 29, we'll be the third local partner in the Times' stable, joining our nonprofit pals at The Bay Citizen and the Chicago News Cooperative in providing homegrown reporting and analysis to augment that of the very capable journalists in the paper's regional bureaus. Specifically, we'll be publishing a total of eight stories a week that will run on Fridays and Sundays in print editions of the Times distributed in Texas. The stories will appear in two-page sections labeled "Texas," and they'll be billed as a collaboration between the Trib and the Times. There will be also a new, Texas-branded area of the Times' website — accessible, obviously, no matter where you live — that will showcase even more of the Trib's work.
Journalistic partnerships are an growing trend as the internet distorts the old business model for newspapers. But some in the industry scoff at the "outsourcing" of news, like Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson.
"It is inappropriate for a serious newspaper to subcontract its content," Thomson told Daily Finance back in April. "The risk to reputation is too great."
Given that the Trib won two national Edward R. Murrow awards this year, the NYT is probably confident that this new partnership will not imperil its reputation.