COLOGNE: The newspaper President Trump frequently derides as “the failing New York Times” is actually doing rather well at a time when, according to CEO Mark Thompson, “the importance of high-quality journalism couldn't be greater” and brands are tapping into this.

Speaking at last week’s dmexco conference, Thompson reported that digital revenue was growing at 25 to 30 per cent year-on-year and that the title had more digital subscribers than any other news organisation; digital is expected to contribute over half of revenue within three years.

“This is an incredible moment to be in journalism,” he said. (For more, including how the news brand approaches staff recruitment, read WARC’s report: Quality pays for the New York Times.)

“We stand for news that is true, that really matters; we create news without fear or favour, we will stand up to everyone, no matter how powerful, anywhere in the world – including the President of the United States.”

And that, he said, is “a powerful calling card” in a news industry beset by issues around fake news and “hate speech dressed up as news”.

“I hope this is a moment when people realise that quality content costs money; it means investment, it means choices, and it means values,” Thompson added.

Quality content also addresses the issues brands have around safety in digital advertising. Speaking on the same stage, OMD CEO Mainardo de Nardis reported that “quality has never been more appreciated by our clients, who are willing to pay for it” as they see the opportunity to create engaging, emotional connections between brands and very specific, personalised audiences.

Thompson’s final take on his high-profile adversary was simple. “If you want to know how we are doing, you should read all of the [president’s] tweets – I think maybe 50 tweets now from the President of the United States about our business – and you should then put a ‘not’ in front of everything.”

Data sourced from WARC