Archives for posts with tag: New York Times

I hadn’t paid much attention to the New York Times‘ Times Insider features until I checked out NYTimes.com this morning over coffee. I enjoyed it a lot, and I’ll be a regular. But the Times may not be getting maximum value out of its Story Behind the Story posts just yet.

The latest is on how Managing Editor Dean Baquet decided to play the death of Gabriel García Márquez, the master of magical realism who died this week at the age of 87. Baquet had to decide whether to run a straight obituary, which he had in hand already, or go with the culture editor’s recommendation to run an appraisal of the great Colombian novelist’s impact that was still being written at the time. Making decisions with incomplete information is part of the daily news editor’s routine.

One neat thing about the Times Insider articles is that they can draw attention to pieces readers may have overlooked earlier in the week. That said, why doesn’t the Times include links the articles discussed? Perhaps it was an oversight. Linking to them can give old stories fresh legs, encourage readers to join the conversation in the comments section, and perhaps give day-old stories fresh legs by encouraging online users to post links to them on Facebook and Twitter (or, to get a little meta, comment about them on our own blogs).

I’m glad Times Insider is providing this window into news decision making. Journalism teachers can use installments as tools to develop their students’ soft skills.

But about the price: I have to say that to me, the $10.25-per-week subscription price is a bit steep considering  you could buy four copies of the print edition for that. I’m not sure that I would get the same out of Insider as I do from four daily papers. I sure can’t see paying $500 a year for the premium edition. To me, that’s two car payments. But maybe that pricing isn’t designed for people like me. Who is the Times’ target market for this?

Still, If you’re a regular digital subscriber like me, the occasional Story Behind the Story post is available to you for nothing extra. That’s plenty for me.

It’s frustrating as all get-out that NBC isn’t providing live coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics. I’m sure I have that in common with millions. But three news outlets’ live blogs are giving us what the network refuses to provide.

These are my three favorites at this moment in case you just can’t wait to watch tonight:

  • The Guardian: The place to look for thoughtful and cheeky commentary and vibrant photography. Location: United Kingdom.
  • New York Times: Look no further for a rapidly updated streaming photo gallery coupled with meatier posts by a variety of NYT staffers. A classic American new media approach to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
  • Wall Street Journal: It’s terse. It’s rapid. It’s informative. Feels more like a microblog (which is what Twitter is for), but concentrated in one place. Seems more optimized for maximizing hits for WSJ.com than for fitting the audience’s needs, but hey, it’s a business! And WSJ is all about the Benjamins (well, more like the Salmon P. Chases), yes?
  • NPR: National Public Radio’s live blog from Sochi is wonderfully descriptive and quickly updates. The emphasis is more on writing that appeals to the senses than photography. It feels very much like radio voices translated to text, and it works. I’m constantly telling my reporting students the advice Charles Kuralt’s blind editor early in his career gave him: “Make me see it!” NPR’s writing embodies that advice.

Let the Games begin!

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