Both the Financial Times and the New York Times have either already crossed or are close to crossing an important threshold: namely, the point at which revenue from reader subscriptions exceeds the revenue they get from advertising. For an industry that has been as dependent on ad revenue as the newspaper business, that is a significant milestone — but it also raises a host of questions about the impact that shift could have on both the business of newspapers and the journalism they produce.

As my paidContent colleague Robert Andrews reported recently, the Financial Times has seen digital subscriptions soar in the past several years — the number of paying subscribers has tripled since 2009, and recently crossed the 300,000 mark after growing by 31 percent last year. That means the number of digital subscribers is greater than the number who subscribe to the print product (a shift FT managing…

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