While some may still question the outcome of last month’s presidential election, one thing is beyond doubt: Newspapers and investigative magazines across the country have seen a big increase in subscriptions since the election – a phenomenon news outlets are calling the “Trump Bump.”
In the first three weeks following the election, The New York Times acquired 132,000 new subscribers for its print and digital editions. According to the Times, that rate was 10 times more robust than the rate for the same period in 2015. The Wall Street Journal saw a 300 percent increase in new subscribers the day after Election Day, The Washington Post also recorded a subscription boost, and publishing giant Tronc, which represents newspapers across the country, said subscriptions jumped by nearly a third following the election.
On the magazine side of things, The Atlantic reported that new post-election subscriptions were up 160 percent, and twice as many visitors to the magazine’s website were purchasing subscriptions. In the first month after the election, Mother Jones reported 10,000 new subscribers, and other news magazines, ranging from Jacobin to The Nation, have also seen sizable post-election jumps in their subscription numbers.
What the data indicates is clear: With Donald Trump’s stunning Electoral College victory and the ensuing controversy over “fake news” – online, usually one-sided articles that look truthful but have no basis in facts – people are starting to remember why real journalism is important, and they’re seeking out sources they feel they can trust. Whether the “Trump Bump” lasts remains to be seen, but for now, Hillary Clinton’s loss has proven to be news outlets’ gain.