Japan Times sells out!

You might have read the news that the Japan Times has entered into an agreement with the New York Times to publish an international edition of the NYT (the International Herald-Tribune rebranded) as, if one takes the article at face value, a stand-alone supplement for the current JT contents.

It sounds as if the price is going up, and I wonder if there will be redundancies amongst the full-time staff? I’ve certainly noticed in the last year in particular many of the writers straying from intellectual leftie-ism (Guardian-esque) to tabloid-style reporting where the writers’ opinions get in the way of the news, which even before this deal appeared I put down to end-of-term excitement due to some impending shrinking of the business. Another interesting point is that the NYT is famous for its paywall – will the JT also disappear behind one? What will happen to the Historical Record™? I’ve noticed that since the move to WordPress as a CMS, all old stories have "been removed from the main website and buried within a new link", as someone once said.

Japan Today already has the market covered in internet-based Japan wire service collation plus a few commissioned articles from semi-coherent writers, so what does the future hold for the Japan Times writers?

Leave a comment ?


  1. I used to get the Asahi/IHT when they were in partnership and I thought it was the best of what was available at the time. Not sure if this venture will repeat that model.

    Interesting that NYT would think now is the time to invest in what must surely be a smaller market than when IHT broke up with Asahi. Or maybe JT is doing all the investing?

  2. The Yomiuri is being revamped next month as well, isn’t it? I guess they are both rebranding to try and keep whatever is left of the market here. JT is still good for arts coverage, but my main problem is that we get it day late in the north, and who wants yesterday’s papers?

  3. @Pessoa: Without yesterday’s news, what would we wrap our fish in?

  4. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    I wonder if this is an avenue for some of the JT columnists (no one particular in mind) to get published in a serious newspaper.

  5. I think ultimately it may be “buy the International NYT, get JT free…”

  6. @The Chrysanthemum Sniffer:

    Doubtful, but it’s almost a certainty that a writer or two in the JT who have a history of fudging or outright making up their credentials (nobody particular in mind) will spin a JT column somehow into a “New York Times (ahem-international-ahem) column” on the C.V. or autobiography at the very least.

  7. I was hoping they’d deepen their relationship with the Washington Post myself. I like the NYT, but I’m been a Post reader since HS.

    Anyway, it appears that the NYT’s overseas strategy of rebranding as the Int. Herald Tribune and deemphasizing U.S. content for the European audience (like “Quarter Plunder w/Cheese” to “Royale with Cheese”) wasn’t getting traction.

    I wonder if iNYT will be more like CNN International (a lot of original content — superior IMO — to the original U.S. CNN) or CNNj (a hybrid mix of CNN Int & CNN U.S. — dubbed & subbed) regarding its content.

  8. Wait, Japan Today has semi-coherent writers? When did that happen?

  9. That the NYT has stooped so low to offer their content to the JT speaks volumes of how dire the condition is of traditional print media in the U.S. I pretty much gave up on the NYT as it caters to a group far removed from me- upper middle class whites with high school to college age children- notice the preponderance of articles about college life and angst- ridden “letting go of your child” pieces??

  10. Did any of you guys read the announcements in the JT and the NYT? Or did you rely on Christopher Johnson’s conspiracy theory tweet for your information?

    This is only a joint printing/distribution deal. The laid-out International Herald Tribune will be downloaded to JT’s printer and appended to the back of the JT, and the JT will add “/International New York Times” to the title.

    The only change at the JT will be no reprints of IHT articles, as they sometimes do, since they would be redundant. There is no editorial or management tie-up involved.

    Asahi pulled out of the previous such deal in 2010 or 2011 because they couldn’t make their English side profitable.

    The whole thing is not even related to the New York Times, other than the fact that it’s the owner of the IHT. The IHT will change its name in October to the International New York Times. That’s just a branding move. The paper was sold overseas as the “New York Herald Tribune” (circa 1960: see Jean Seborg’s T-shirt in Godard’s Breathless) and later as the International Herald Tribune. Since the Post acquired the New York Herald Tribune the IHT name has been an orphan, no longer relating to the parent. Only that will revert.

  11. stop making sense

  12. Some info on the upcoming Daily Yomiuri revamp is here:


    One nice thing about the JT/NYT deal is that print subscribers to JT will get access to the full NYT archive online.


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