Archives For New York Times

 

The NYT Innovation Report in 2014 was so raw and smart and poignant I literally took my clients brand names and swapped them with “NYT” and walked clients through the analysis as if it was their own digital/content strategy assessment.

Today, the NYT released its latest version of that report, and although it’s less dire and impactful than the 2014 report, it remains an important read for us students of storytelling, media and how humans get their news.

Key quotes from the Poynter summary:

  • The New York Times will dedicate $5 million to coverage of the Trump administration’s effect on the world.
  • A dozen new visual-first journalists are coming aboard. By the middle of the year, each major news desk will be paired with a deputy editor that has a “full range of creative skills” to promote non-traditional storytelling.
  • Major stories will be tackled by thematic teams — departments be damned.
  • Create (another) innovation team: “We can’t pursue every idea; but we must pursue some of them. Every corner of the newsroom has ideas for what those should be, but they don’t have enough places to pitch them. We will form a new team to solicit those big ideas, and bring the best of them to life. We believe this team can help foster a culture of innovation and experimentation across the newsroom, and can encourage journalists to think beyond their current beat.”

Read the 2017 report here.

NYT: The Virtual Reality Content Race

Most popular NYT story in 2013 wasn’t an article, it was that dialect quiz

Danny Brown Complex

Love this execution from a long-form content perspective. Very similar to the NYT Snowfall/Tomato Can Blues, but with some even more creative treatments ala Pitchfork’s Daft Punk piece

Danny Brown Interview: Sky High (2013 Cover Story)

This raises the bar! This interactive long-form concept will either explode and become highly competitive or fizzle out as a fad.

I’m guessing it has legs for quite a while.

David Carr has a new piece about native advertising and the pros/cons of sponsored content. The headline says it all.

My take: instead of sounding the death knell each time something from the past changes, wouldn’t we be better off evaluating what’s exciting about the future and working toward it? Journalism must continue to adapt.

I got through the first episode of Newsroom last night but won’t go back. Beyond the pacing, dialog and overacting, the opening credits romanticize an era that’s completely dead. And that’s fine. But let’s please bury it and move on.

PS: I also love this oven metaphor:

In a sense, Forbes has come up with an oven that makes its own food — something of a grail for publishers — with abundant content for readers and all manner of marketing opportunities for advertisers.

via Storytelling Ads May Be Journalism’s New Peril – NYTimes.com.

Popularity used to be simple. We had the chart-topping song, the top-rated TV show, the No. 1 best seller, the highest-grossing movie of the year. You could define yourself, taste-wise, as either in league with the popular or against it, and while you didn’t have to like what was popular, you certainly were aware of what it was…

Now the concept of cultural popularity has been flayed, hung by its heels and drained of all meaning.

Popularity may not guarantee artistic quality, but it does confer viability. No matter how it’s quantified, popularity ultimately serves as a form of validation, and we all benefit when it’s dispersed more generously…

In fact, the rise of micropopularity implies the opposite: Things that are good are more likely to be recognized and, on some scale, to thrive….

Popularity is not just about making cultural products financially viable; micropopularity encourages creativity in more ephemeral ways as well. Maybe your band is not at the top of any Billboard chart, but if you have 1,000 fans on Facebook, that puts some wind in your artistic sails.

You might not be writing jokes for Jimmy Fallon, but 500 retweets of your best one-liner will keep you dreaming up punch lines. And 50,000 retweets might just get you a job writing jokes for Jimmy Fallon.

As it turns out, cultural popularity functions best when it’s liberally interpreted and freely distributed.

via What Was, Is and Will Be Popular – NYTimes.com.

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

The Busy Trap – NYTimes.com

Also:
Six months later I’m still referring to this NYT op-ed about the self-importance of busyness

Happy 1 year anniversary to my favorite NYT Op-Ed ever

“If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do.
Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.”

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day…”

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done…”

NYT: The ‘Busy’ Trap

Not that I agree with the content, but this is a phenomenal example of grassroots in action.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPECIAL TIMES EDITION BLANKETS U.S. CITIES, PROCLAIMS END TO WAR

Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out
that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had
come to an end.

If, that is, they happened to read a “special edition” of today’s New
York Times.

In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million
papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged
pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass
them out on the street.

Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the
establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate
lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the
war.

The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes
International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as
editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a
recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a
timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of
progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama’s “Yes
we REALLY can” speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)

“It’s all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever,”
said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper’s writers. “We’ve got to make
sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do.
After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start
imagining heaven.”

Not all readers reacted favorably. “The thing I disagree with is how
they did it,” said Stuart Carlyle, who received a paper in Grand
Central Station while commuting to his Wall Street brokerage. “I’m all
for freedom of speech, but they should have started their own paper.”