Tag Archive for 'newspapers'

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.

U.S. Airways Jet Crashes Into Hudson River

US Airways Plane Crash & Rescue

My photo from the 21st floor of the New York Times Building, in midtown.

From City Room:

A USAirways plane that took off at 3:26 p.m. from La Guardia Airport landed in the Hudson River five minutes later, where it remains mostly submerged. Ferries and other boats converged to help with a rescue effort, as the plane drifted south. There was no immediate information about the 151 people on board.

According to Channel 4 television news, the plane, USAirways flight 1549, took off from LaGuardia Airport at 3:26 p.m. was bound for Charlotte, N.C. and had 146 passengers and 5 crew members. The plane, according to the news report, may have hit a flock of birds. The pilot tried to return to the airport when the plane fell into the Hudson.

US Airways Plane Crash & Rescue
Photo of the rescue, posted by Janis Krums on Twitter/Twitpic.

I watched from the 21st floor of the Times Building, as the plan drifted south with the tide. I believe that the rescue operation completed before it came into view, and it has since drifted out of view.

The plane did not break up on impact; divers, commuter ferries and a lot of emergency personnel are assisting with rescue operations. Everyone is reported to have survived the crash and rescue, as of this moment, but there are injuries. CNN is currently interviewing passengers, live on-air.

UPDATE: I don’t know how the Graphics team put this together so quickly and so elegantly, but NYTimes.com has an interactive piece today, that tracks the plane’s path.

Also, CNN has been running a Google Earth animation of the flight, which is less pretty, but kind of cool.

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’

Who Said Print is Dead?

OBAMA
Today’s edition of the New York Times.

I count myself lucky today, for scoring a copy of the paper before they ran out. Apparently, the situation is the same throughout the city, (though I’ve heard rumors of another 50,000 copy run).

In fact, there are a hundred or so people standing on line outside the Times headquarters, waiting for a fresh delivery of news, printed on dead trees.

Print Isn’t Dead

A hundred or so people, waiting on line for today’s paper, in front of the Times headquarters in midtown.

From Gawker:

Everybody wants a souvenir of Obama’s victory, and you know what makes a great souvenir? That’s right, a newspaper. This is a photo of a line outside the NYT building on 40th Street of people waiting—for a newspaper!

I hope that people still come to the Times for more than just a souvenir.

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’

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.

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!