Branding for media companies has never been more vital.

It used to be that news production and content creation was reserved for the select few - those that could afford to buy the equipment, licences & bandwidth to own the news.

But now - everybody is a journalist. Anyone can report reality. And often, amateur journalists are just better than the people who are actually paid to do it.

In the midst of the chaos of our times, the New York Times, as a media brand, has done a lot to differentiate itself.

Part of their strategy has been to get some really good professional help - in the form of Droga5 - to help cleverly craft their unique brand messaging.

And damn it - it's working really well.

Subscriptions are up, money is being made and the quality of their product is increasing.

In their latest ad campaign, 'Life needs Truth' - the NYTimes is promoted as the poetic defender of the hard and soft versions of the truth.

It's not just about the political and economic headlines, it's also about how those changes are affecting you and I - everyday, in our own lives.

Times are tough for poor journalism and the media houses that are happy to sell sloppy work. Media as a service is changing, and for the strategically-minded, the time to be in media has never been better.

What is outdated is old-thinking in the space - and there is no doubt that especially in South Africa, where futures-thinking appears to be something that is in short supply - big names in media are guaranteed to still fall.