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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.

“The net is designed to be an interruption system, a machine geared to dividing attention,” Nicholas Carr explains in his book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” “We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive.”

Source: Addicted to Distraction – The New York Times

The future is an accident. It’s an accident because you explore. You have to go through with a machete and just hack away and find it. You can’t see it — you just have to go somewhere you haven’t been before. It’s not even about being so far into the future; it’s “How do you say what people want to hear next?” I’m always listening to what the younger kids are doing. The most inspiring stuff is what you find young kids doing online. It’s so raw. It’s, like, the singularity, the way children are interfacing with different technologies so seamlessly. I was in South Africa and went to this township, and the kids there had really cheap smartphones, and they could still build a window into another world, then adapt that to their culture. Some kids had D.J. gear in a little shack, and they were making this hack between house and African, like African house. Kids! Like, 8 years old. That’s where I’m getting ideas. — Skrillex

Source: Economists, Biologists and Skrillex on How to Predict the Future – The New York Times

Skrillex on How to Predict the Future

“It’s not an effort to drive traffic to the site. That’s very hard to do on Instagram,” said Alexandra MacCallum, assistant managing editor for audience development at the Times. “It’s much more about building awareness and, hopefully, loyalty for The New York Times broadly, but particularly for the Times’ incredible visual storytelling.”

via Inside The New York Times Instagram strategy – Digiday.

Poynter: Most of The New York Times’ most popular items last year weren’t news stories

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.