Tag Archive for 'media'

Fringe Politics Meet Art History

Steven Heller on another Glenn beck gem:

In a recent broad­cast, the res­i­dent pro­pa­gan­dist at Fox News takes Rock­e­feller Center’s vin­tage pub­lic art and archi­tec­ture to task for pro­mot­ing Com­mu­nism and Fas­cism through murals, friezes, and engrav­ings bear­ing sym­bols that sub­lim­i­nally project vile values.

Pol­i­tics aside, just watch­ing the video, what is Beck’s point? That oil money funds com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion? That he is as good a pro­pa­gan­dist as the communists?

The mind reels at his delusions.

Mediaite Launch

Rex Sor­gatz on the design of Medi­aite, Dan Abrams’s new media website:

…‘hor­i­zon­tal sites’ build a new kind of impor­tance hier­ar­chy. Design­ers don’t real­ize it, but unaligned ver­ti­cal stacks are a rem­nant of the way that news­pa­pers were designed—in columns, up and down. These new lay­outs are more like movie screens and wide mon­i­tors, with action mov­ing left and right.

A very sim­ple, but poten­tially evo­lu­tion­ary step in our under­stand­ing of how read­ers can best scan and make sense of content.

The Times Wins 5 Pulitzer Prizes

NY Times newsroom, Pulitzer announcement

Photo by Soraya.

The New York Times, my employer, won 5 Pulitzer Prizes today, “for work on sub­jects as var­ied as America’s wars in Asia, the sud­den down­fall of a polit­i­cal titan, art from ancient to mod­ern, and a history-making pres­i­den­tial campaign.”

The inter­est­ing one, from my point of view, is the award for break­ing the Gov. Eliot Spitzer pros­ti­tu­tion scan­dal. No, not because it’s sala­cious or bawdy, but because the exclu­sive wasn’t held for the next morning’s paper – it was put up online, on NYTimes.com, in the mid­dle of the day. I think that this will be an impor­tant mile­stone in the evo­lu­tion of qual­ity journalism.

The Nie­man Lab points to a funny anec­dote that ran in the NY Observer last year:

Back in the day — you know, five years ago — when a big news story had been writ­ten, edited, fact-checked, vet­ted, proof­read, and anguished over one last time, an adrenaline-pumped edi­tor would cry out, “Run it!” As in, the presses.

When The New York Times was ready to report that Eliot Spitzer, then gov­er­nor of New York, had been impli­cated in a pros­ti­tu­tion ring, man­ag­ing edi­tor Jill Abram­son yelled 20 feet across the news­room, “O.K., hit it!” As in, the but­ton to pub­lish the story on NYTimes.com.

I love that. Con­grats to my col­leagues in the news room, and let’s keep it up!

The Crash of Flight 3407

Flight 3407 – Reuters

CREDIT: Gary Wiepert, Reuters [via]

Last night, Con­ti­nen­tal Flight 3407 crashed in route from Newark to Buf­falo Nia­gara Inter­na­tional Air­port, just a few miles from its sched­uled des­ti­na­tion. The crash site is just five or six miles from where I grew up, in a sub­urb of Buf­falo, NY.

The Buf­falo News has a liv­ing topic page ded­i­cated to cov­er­age of the event, which they are updat­ing with arti­cles, pho­tos, video and other resources, as they are put up. They also started live blog­ging the story, and link­ing to out­side resources pro­vided by cit­i­zen journalists.

CNN is car­ry­ing live video from the local NBC affli­ate.

My heart goes out to the vic­tims, their fam­i­lies and the nearby com­mu­ni­ties. It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that these things rarely hap­pen, but when they do, espe­cially so close to home, it’s impos­si­ble not to feel sad.

NY Magazine on Innovation at the Times

Renegades

Aron Pil­hofer, Andrew DeVi­gal, Steve Duenes, Matthew Eric­son, and Gabriel Dance.
Photo cour­tesy NY Mag / Mike McGregor
Elec­tion Day Word Train »
Faces of the Dead »
Pogue-o-matic »

Sure there’s been a lot of recent bad news about the New York Times Com­pany, and news­pa­pers coast-to-coast are pulling back cov­er­age, fil­ing for bank­ruptcy and clos­ing. But there is also another story to tell.

New York Mag­a­zine has a piece in this week’s issue on the Times Mul­ti­me­dia, Graph­ics, Inter­ac­tive Tech and R&D groups, titled The New Jour­nal­ism: Goos­ing the Gray Lady. It details some of the orga­ni­za­tional steps taken by the Times, in order to posi­tion itself for the day when the online prod­uct eclipses the print edi­tion in reach, rev­enue and relevance.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘NY Mag­a­zine on Inno­va­tion at the Times’

Icon-maker Shepard Fairey — Person of the Year 2008 — TIME

TIME Person of The Year 2008 Cover

Shep­ard Fairey’s cover for TIME.

Time.com has a nice video inter­view with Shep­ard Fairey, designer of the HOPE and PROGRESS posters of Barack Obama that were nearly ubiq­ui­tous dur­ing the ’08 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Time Mag­a­zine named the President-Elect Per­son of the Year 2008, so it seemed only nat­ural to hire Fairey to do the cover.

In the video, he shows the process used to cre­ate the piece – tech­niques learned from his days as a screen printer.

Via Sean

Newsweek’s “Hackers and Spending Sprees”

Newsweek.com has some inter­est­ing tid­bits about the recently com­pleted pres­i­den­tial elec­tion between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin:

  • Palin’s “rogue” shop­ping spree was greater than the ear­lier reported $150,000.
  • Obama didn’t choose Hillary Clin­ton for the VP slot mostly because of her husband.
  • Palin appeared with noth­ing on save for a towel, when McCain aides and strate­gists came to her hotel room to brief her at the Repub­li­can Convention.
  • Obama thinks some debate ques­tions are stupid.

More will be released on Newsweek.com in the com­ing days.

Time.com Redesign

New Time.com

New design for the home­page of time.com, the web­site of Time Magazine.

Time Mag­a­zine started rolling out a redesign of time.com yes­ter­day – it was designed by my friend and for­mer col­league Sean Vil­lafranca, who left our group at the Times ear­lier this year to become the Design Direc­tor for time.com.

It strikes me as a wel­come depar­ture from its pre­vi­ous CNN–esque iter­a­tion, and a lit­tle more faith­ful to the print design. I like the use of Arial Black, and the dar­ing use of the TIME word­mark on the white back­ground. (Dar­ing because it would’ve been far more pre­dictable to use the word­mark reversed on a red background.)

They seem to have only rolled-out the home page and the arti­cle pages at this point – sec­tion fronts still show the legacy design. But on the whole, it’s a very good improve­ment to a very good news resource – just in time for the gen­eral elec­tion season.

ALSO – A few birdies tell me to expect some major design changes to wsj.com today or tues­day, com­ing hot-off-the-heels of their mag­a­zine launch this month. Yes, we’ve heard this before, but there are some pre­view screen­shots out there. Stay Tuned!

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1

Lisa’s tat­too con­firms that Buf­falo is indeed #1.

New York mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing fea­ture on New York­ers mov­ing to Buf­falo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and sub­se­quently couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some peo­ple will read this as a story of defeat. They will look at Her­beck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good rid­dance. That’s also a famil­iar New York nar­ra­tive, one that’s espe­cially com­fort­ing to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bed­rooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bar­gain on an apart­ment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a story of defeat, but rather an opportunity:

But New York, for all its mythol­ogy, is no longer a fron­tier. Buf­falo is a fron­tier. And when you think of the actual fron­tier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had really good local theater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more for­mer 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a pro­vok­ing premise for a city famous for lit­tle more than snow and four con­sec­u­tive failed Super­bowl bids.

The Macktivist

macktivist

Illus­tra­tion by Shira Gold­ing

My friend of some 15+ years, R. Alvarez, just launched a sex col­umn for The Indypen­dent, New York City’s lead­ing social jus­tice news­pa­per. It’s called The Mack­tivist, and she intends to make the col­umn a “sex-positive, edu­ca­tional, kink-, vanilla-, homo-, hetero-, bi-, trans-friendly, smart go-to for the dis­cern­ing reader.”

Not only is Ms. Alvarez a dear friend, but she also hap­pens to be an enter­tain­ing and gifted writer. Go read her col­umn now, leave her a com­ment, and send in your questions!

Feral Child in Florida

If you’ve got a few min­utes, read this heart­break­ing story of a feral child in Florida:

Three years ago the Plant City police found a girl lying in her roach-infested room, naked except for an over­flow­ing dia­per. The child, pale and skele­tal, com­mu­ni­cated only through grunts. She was almost 7 years old.”

There is also a com­pan­ion mul­ti­me­dia piece, with a video slideshow about Danielle’s progress, includ­ing speech ther­apy sessions.

If you’re curi­ous about life in this small Florida farm­ing town, the New Yorker has an unre­lated piece on Plant City this week.

Business Week profile of Deborah Kenny

In the cur­rent Busi­ness Week, there is an inter­est­ing pro­file of Deb­o­rah Kenny, the founder Harlem Vil­lage Acad­e­mies:

Kenny has applied a busi­ness man­age­ment style to run­ning her schools, focus­ing on attract­ing smart teach­ers, nur­tur­ing tal­ent, using reams of data to improve per­for­mance, and putting a huge empha­sis on reward­ing results.

Kenny also hap­pens to be Lisa’s boss.

The Big Picture

NYTimes.com isn’t the only NYT prop­erty that’s doing inter­est­ing things with blogs these days – Boston.com launched a dif­fer­ent kind of photo blog ear­lier this month, The Big Pic­ture. With its over­sized pho­tos, min­i­mal ads, and hardly a promo to other site con­tent, the pre­sen­ta­tion is clear and strik­ing – and praise is pour­ing in.

California Fires

Fire­fight­ers work to con­tain the Hum­boldt fire which started Wednes­day, had grown to 19,000 acres and threat­ened more than 5,000 struc­tures. (AP Photo/Jason Hal­ley – Chico Enterprise-Record)

Another inter­est­ing facet about the blog is that it not writ­ten by a Globe pho­tog­ra­pher or photo edi­tor, but by one of their web­site devel­op­ers. Andy Baio posted a great inter­view with the blog’s cre­ator and author, Alan Tay­lor, where he dis­cusses his inspi­ra­tion, method­ol­ogy, and what it’s like being a web devel­oper work­ing in a journalist’s world. When asked why more news­pa­per sites haven’t done this before, he replied:

Even some of my favorite photo sites are often lim­ited to ‘Photo of the Day’ or ‘24 Hours in Pic­tures’ fea­tures. That’s inter­est­ing, and you can find some mind-blowing images there, but I always felt like it lacked con­text, depth, story.”

Iowa Floods

Bran­don Smith car­ries his two cats, Fry and Ben­der, to dry land from their flooded and evac­u­ated home on June 12, 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

As we move to an age where motion graph­ics and video reg­u­larly enhance our tra­di­tional news pre­sen­ta­tion, it’s inter­est­ing to take a step back and con­sider the power still pho­tog­ra­phy has to tell a story. And work­ing online with­out the space con­straint of print, news orga­ni­za­tions have an oppor­tu­nity to bring more depth and con­text to read­ers, through excel­lent photojournalism.

Infographics

I com­pleted a three-day inten­sive news­room ori­en­ta­tion last week, in which the new faces at the Times are trained on poli­cies, prac­tices, and quirks of the paper. It’s an onboard­ing pro­ce­dure the likes of which I’ve never gone through in my career, and I think it’s a credit to the orga­ni­za­tion that they care so much about its tra­di­tions and cul­ture to invest so much time and energy wel­com­ing new people.

In addi­tion to the sem­i­nars on sourc­ing, ethics and back­ground, it was espe­cially inter­est­ing to meet all of the Desk Edi­tors and learn how they run their teams both online and in print. One-by-one, they filed in from National, Style, Travel, For­eign, the Mag­a­zines… it was a whirl­wind 3 days.

infographic

Deadly Ram­page at Vir­ginia Tech, updated April 23, 2007

One of the most inter­est­ing half-hours was pre­sented by Archie Tse, a Graph­ics edi­tor. Archie explained how the Times Graph­ics Desk is really unique among news orga­ni­za­tions, in that they go out and do report­ing before sit­ting down at their computer.

When you con­sider that news­pa­pers are cut­ting back on cov­er­age of every­thing these days, this is remarkable.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Infographics’

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

The Times broke a huge story today, con­cern­ing New York Gov­er­nor Elliot Spitzer’s involve­ment with a pros­ti­tu­tion ring:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a fed­eral wire­tap arrang­ing to meet with a high-priced pros­ti­tute at a Wash­ing­ton hotel last month, accord­ing to a law enforce­ment offi­cial and a per­son briefed on the investigation.

There are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions at the moment, but that pretty much says it all.

Slate points out the irony that Spitzer’s was brought down by the same inves­ti­ga­tion tac­tics he pio­neered as a pros­e­cu­tor. And, the Smok­ing Gun pulls an inter­est­ing tid­bit out of the complaint:

…the affi­davit notes that after her appoint­ment with Client-9 ended, “Kris­ten” spoke with a Emper­ors Club booker, who said that she had been told that Client-9 “would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe…” “Kris­ten” responded by say­ing, essen­tially, that she could han­dle guys like that.

Wow, let’s hope those details never come out.

Subway Love

Lisa’s photo on Gothamist!Another Valentine’s Day related post – Lisa’s snap­shot of this note in the Car­roll MTA sta­tion made it to a post on Gothamist!

The orig­i­nal is avail­able in her Flickr pho­to­stream.

She is kind of a big deal, ’round these parts.

Lunch with The Destroyer

In the paper

This morn­ing, Lisa and I had lunch with her Grandma and Grandpa, who vis­it­ing this week­end from Buf­falo. Grandpa Dick is a retired pro­fes­sional wrestler, who used to be quite big in Japan. In addi­tion to win­ning numer­ous wrestling titles, the masked “Destroyer” was a star on the most watched com­edy show in Japan’s tele­vi­sion his­tory, along with Wada Akiko. But he also was famous in the West – Deb­bie Harry of Blondie sported some camel-toe in a t-shirt from Dick’s bad guy alter-ego, Dr. X… Hott.

So, we ate a ton of Japan­ese food while Dick enter­tained the chefs and wait­staff with his antics and Japan­ese lin­guis­tic skills. The shot above is of a Japan­ese newspaper.

More pho­tos, and a video of The Destroyer wrestling a bear, after the fold.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Lunch with The Destroyer’

New Hampshire

It’s New Hamp­shire Pri­mary Day, (already?!), but I’m not going to make any pre­dic­tions. Hillary? Obama? McCain? Huck­abee? The polls have swung dra­mat­i­cally in the past week or so, in both par­ties. And, it seems that the coun­try is com­ing to one of those cul­tural tip­ping points that only occur once or twice per generation.

Some have com­pared this cycle to the elec­tion years of 1992, 1980, 1960… But, per­haps it’s more like the first months of 1968, before the assas­si­na­tions of Bobby Kennedy and Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. derailed all hope, as well as the cam­paign of Eugene McCarthy. We find our­selves in an unpop­u­lar war that nobody knows how to get out of, sad­dled with an lame duck Pres­i­dent with low approval rat­ings, and no sit­ting Vice Pres­i­dent in the race, and we’re fac­ing some eco­nomic uncer­tainty ahead. Still, there is hope on both sides of the aisle.

Is it a gen­er­a­tional tip­ping point? Are we as a nation head­ing toward a year much like that annus hor­ri­bilis of 1968? Nobody knows at this point, but maybe it’s best not to look back for com­par­isons – every­one across the polit­i­cal spec­trum is eager to move forward.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘New Hampshire’

Village Academies/Esquire Event

We attended a fundraiser for Lisa’s work last night, hon­or­ing Bill Cosby and oth­ers. It was held in Esquire’s swank Esquire North pent­house on Cen­tral Park North, and the mag­a­zine is also fea­tur­ing Vil­lage Acad­e­mies founder Deb­o­rah Kenny in this month’s issue:

In six years, Kenny’s vision has grown into a trio of char­ter schools under the rubric of Vil­lage Acad­e­mies, located in New York precincts where a mus­cu­lar poverty has thrived for gen­er­a­tions. The num­bers alone tell a com­pelling story. Locally, pass­ing rates for seventh-grade math hover around 30 per­cent. At HVA, the rate is a stun­ning 96 percent.

Cast mem­bers from Gos­sip Girl showed up, and Tyler Hilton played a few songs, (who played Elvis in Walk the Line Johnny Cash movie).

midtown office + loved ones

At least the ladies look good – Matt and I have taken bet­ter pictures.

More pho­tos below the fold.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Vil­lage Academies/Esquire Event’

A New boston.com

new Boston.com

The new Boston.com

I just noticed that boston.com launched a redesigned site, and it looks very nice. You can read the editor’s redesign note here.

The new look is much wider, open, and eas­ier to read. The Globe page espe­cially shines, though they could bet­ter dis­trib­ute some of the paper’s con­tent across the columns. (And, I wish that they’d ditch the awful curvy logo for some­thing less whimsical.)

Some sec­tions on the site remain unchanged for now – which, accord­ing to the redesign FAQ, was intentional:

Dif­fer­ent fea­tures and sec­tions of the site are sched­uled to debut on dif­fer­ent days. While we real­ize that this might be con­fus­ing in the short-term, we’ve stud­ied our options care­fully and believe that the grad­ual switch we have planned will ulti­mately result in a bet­ter user experience.

Err, or that was a lot to roll out at once. Still, great improvement.

Business Week Redesign

Business Week redesignI saw that over at Brand New today, that Busi­ness Week mag­a­zine has done an inter­est­ing rebrand­ing and redesign.

Noth­ing major on the logo­type – gone are the ser­ifs. But, between the cov­ers is the real treat:

It’s inside that the mag­a­zine feels more rel­e­vant with a clean design and con­sis­tent typo­graphic treat­ments that sway you from begin­ning to end. Sim­ple size shifts from front of the book to fea­ture sto­ries to back of the book are enough indi­ca­tors that you are chang­ing sec­tions with­out resort­ing to extra fancy open­ing spreads for the fea­ture stories.

It has a very crisp and mod­ern look, remind­ing me a bit of CNN International’s on-screen design. I wish other Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tions and media would take this approach. The worst offend­ers are sport broad­cast­ers, who use tick­ers, graph­ics, and picture-in-picture inter­views to do every­thing but show you the game.

UPDATE: David Sleight takes a look at the typog­ra­phy behind the redesign.

Indie Rock and Pot

Sorry for not post­ing in a while, but Pres­ley posted some­thing too funny:

Weed Makes You Lis­ten to Indie Rock

Accord­ing to the Office of National Drug Con­trol Pol­icy and the Part­ner­ship for a Drug-Free Amer­ica, smok­ing the wacky tabacky turns you into a poseur. Even worse: an indie rock poseur.

Lis­ten to this PSA. Just lis­ten to it. And then just try to tell me it doesn’t make you want to put down the bong and start lis­ten­ing to rap music.

[mp3]

ICA Boston

IMG_2306

Photo, orig­i­nally uploaded by droush16.

It looks like the new ICA on the South Boston water­front has to delay it’s Sep­tem­ber open­ing:

In inter­views yes­ter­day, ICA offi­cials, archi­tect Ricardo Scofidio, and con­struc­tion com­pany man­ager John Macomber said that the remain­ing work was not major. Among the pend­ing tasks—termed “minu­tiae” by one ICA trustee—was the need to test the building’s ticket counter and cli­mate con­trol system.

[via]

Weekly Dig Redesign

Weekly Dig LogoI look for­ward to pick­ing up the new Dig every Wednes­day morn­ing while I’m in line for cof­fee at Herrell’s. It’s the only read­able “alt” weekly I’ve ever come across – any­where.

And finally, the Dig has a new web­site to match their print offer­ing. There is a daily blog, my favorite col­umn Media Farm, a round-up of local events in the right col­umn. Also, you may sub­scribe via a vari­ety of RSS feeds.

The New NYTimes.com

The New York Times launched a mod­est redesign over the week­end, and it does a great job of pre­sent­ing large amounts of infor­ma­tion in a coher­ent, orga­nized way.

new NYTimes.com

The new home­page of NYTimes.com.

Khoi has the details on his weblog:

I think it’s a ster­ling piece of work, a great exam­ple of how to evolve a user expe­ri­ence rather than rein­vent it: the best reac­tion it could receive from read­ers (those not among that van­ish­ingly small sub­set of the gen­eral pop­u­lace who can be called “design savvy”) would be some­thing along the lines of “The new design looks just like the old design.” That would suit me fine, because it would sig­nal a con­ti­nu­ity that I think is com­pletely appro­pri­ate for such a closely watched site like The New York Times’, and besides, I know for a fact that it’s more ele­gant and more use­ful than it was before.

And though Khoi says that he is not respon­si­ble for the design, it’s clear to me that who­ever is was heav­ily influ­enced by his work – espe­cially the recent re-launch of The Onion. Bravo!