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Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the New York Times put on a strong defense of quality mainstream journalism at a jam-packed session of the World Economic Forum called “Today’s News—Too Much of a Good Thing.” But the very serious discussion about the future of the news business took a surreal turn when Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie, who were in the audience during the hour-long discussion, walked up at the end to shake the hands of the panelists, including the stunned Sulzberger. Jim Kelley, managing editor of Time magazine, who was sitting next to Sulzberger on the panel also got the hand shakes from the cinematic duo. As they and the participants left the room, they found the entire Congress Hall jam-packed with cameras and hundreds of people waiting to catch a glimpse of Pitt and Jolie. Kelley and Sulzberger pushed their way through the crowd and Kelley turned to Sulzberger and said that “they just came up and said ‘good job.’” Sulzberger said “I know. It was surreal.”
Before the surreal moment, however, Sulzberger told the audience that “our bet is that quality pays.” He noted that New York Times online is the number one news site in terms of time spent by viewers, with Google News No. 2 and the Washington Post third. He took a jab at Google and Yahoo’ by noting that “Google and Yahoo made judgements in China that would be different judgements that the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune would make.” He said that the only journalist working for the Times who was in jail was in Beijing. “He was in jail for a year before he was allowed to see a lawyer.”
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.