Tag Archive for 'nytimes'

Packer & Bilton, on Twitter

It’s been fun fol­low­ing the debate between the Times Bits blog­ger Nick Bil­ton, and New Yorker staff writer George Packer, on whether Twit­ter is a god­send, or a har­bin­ger of doom.

Packer opened with a dec­la­ra­tion that he’s old school:

I don’t have a Black­Berry, or an iPhone, or a Google phone, and I don’t intend to get an iPad. I’ve been care­ful not to men­tion this to sources in Wash­ing­ton, where con­ver­sa­tion con­sists of two peo­ple occa­sion­ally glanc­ing up from their Black­Ber­ries and say­ing, ‘I’m listening.’

After point­ing out recent news sto­ries that Twit­ter had a hand in breaking—Iran, Haiti, Obama’s Elec­tion—Bil­ton fires back:

…when trains were a new tech­nol­ogy 150 years ago, some jour­nal­ists and intel­lec­tu­als wor­ried about the destruc­tion that the rail­roads would bring to society…

I won­der if, 150 years ago, Mr. Packer would be rid­ing the train at all, or if he would have stayed home, afraid to engage in an evolv­ing soci­ety and demand­ing that the trains be stopped.

Ouch. One gets the sense that there is some kind of gen­er­a­tional clash going on here. Packer tries again:

If a Lud­dite is some­one who fears and hates all tech­no­log­i­cal change, a Bil­tonite is some­one who cel­e­brates all tech­no­log­i­cal change: because we can, we must.

George is ask­ing the right ques­tions, but it’s hard to dis­agree with Bilton’s point—by refus­ing to par­tic­i­pate in social media, he’s miss­ing part of the story… you can’t bury your head in the sand and expect to keep up.

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!

David Letterman Got Married

Wow: David Let­ter­man got married!

The Times on Brooklyn Food, Frank Bruni on Buttermilk Channel

Today’s Times Din­ing sec­tion has some great cov­er­age of Brook­lyn food. First, there is a great arti­cle on food pro­duc­ers through­out the borough:

These Brook­lynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pick­les, cheeses and choco­lates the way oth­ers form bands and artists’ col­lec­tives. They have a sense of com­mu­nity and an appre­ci­a­tion for tra­di­tional meth­ods and fla­vors. They also share an aes­thetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st cen­tury, with a taste for bold graph­ics, sal­vaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.

Make sure to check out the inter­ac­tive map, too.

Also, Frank Bruni reviews one of my favorite new restau­rants near our home in Brook­lyn, But­ter­milk Chan­nel, along with an audio slideshow:

But­ter­milk Chan­nel [is] a restau­rant of real stan­dards, note­wor­thy ambi­tion and uncom­mon slav­ish­ness to trends. It’s laud­able and pre­dictable in equal mea­sures. And it was packed every time I went…

The look of the restau­rant, whose cor­ner loca­tion affords it pretty win­dows on two sides, is on the pol­ished side of homey. There’s nicely buffed wood, a spi­dery brass light­ing fix­ture and a hon­eyed glow from it and hand­some sconces along the walls.

There’s also ample space between tables: the owner, Doug Crow­ell, isn’t try­ing just to jam in as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. But he does ask you to trade some com­fort and con­ve­nience for the refresh­ingly low prices.

These few blocks on Court Street are start­ing to fill with inter­est­ing and tasty culi­nary oper­a­tions: But­ter­milk Chan­nel, Frankie’s Spuntino, and the newly opened and not-yet-visited soon to open Prime Meats.

UPDATE: The Times posted a Q & A between read­ers and sub­jects of the Brook­lynite food pro­duc­ers piece.

Michael Bierut on the Move from the “Drawing Board to the Desktop”

From Michael Bierut’s piece in the Times this week­end, Draw­ing Board to the Desk­top: A Designer’s Path:

All of us assumed that these machines [com­put­ers] were just fancy hybrids of type­writ­ers and cal­cu­la­tors. We did all the art­work with rub­ber cement, col­ored paper and paint. We had no idea, but we were look­ing at the begin­ning of the end, and the end came quickly.

Michael is a part­ner at Pen­ta­gram, and blogs reg­u­larly at Design Observer.

The Weekender

This is a pretty good par­ody of the New York Times Week­ender com­mer­cials, that play on basic cable sta­tions through­out the Tri-State area and New Eng­land. Appear­ances by Paul Rudd, Eugene Mir­man, and The State/Stella alumni Michael Ian Black, Michael Showal­ter and David Wain. It makes me want to go see some com­edy at 92YTribeca.

Also, I must find some­thing besides the Times to blog about.

[via NYMag]

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.

Design Loves a Depression

Vermelha Chair

This past week­end, The New York Times Week in Review argues in a story head­lined Design Loves a Depres­sion that the recent eco­nomic slow­down will force design­ers to eschew nov­elty and the imprac­ti­cal, and focus more on the “intel­li­gent rework­ing of cur­rent conditions”:

Design tends to thrive in hard times. In the scarcity of the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames pro­duced fur­ni­ture and other prod­ucts of endur­ing appeal from cheap mate­ri­als like plas­tic, resin and ply­wood, and Ital­ian design flow­ered in the after­math of World War II.

Will today’s design­ers rise to the occa­sion? “What design­ers do really well is work within con­straints, work with what they have,” said Paola Antonelli, senior cura­tor of archi­tec­ture and design at the Museum of Mod­ern Art. “This might be the time when design­ers can really do their job, and do it in a human­is­tic spirit.”

Related: Design­ing Through the Reces­sion, by designer Michael Bierut

UPDATE: Mur­ray Moss takes the WIR to task in a piece today on Design Observer:

Design loves a depres­sion? I can assure you that design, along with paint­ing, sculp­ture, pho­tog­ra­phy, music, dance, fash­ion, the culi­nary arts, archi­tec­ture, and the­atre, loves a depres­sion no more than it loves a war, a flood, or a plague. Michael Cannell’s arti­cle is regres­sive and mean-spirited, and it demands a response.

…quite a pro­vok­ing discussion.

Image cour­tesy of The Museum of Mod­ern Art, New York.

Saving Buffalo’s Untold Beauty

Downtown Buffalo

Photo Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York TimesA photo of down­town Buffalo.

The Times had a great piece yes­ter­day on Buffalo’s archi­tec­tural legacy, and recent attempts to save his­toric buildings:

Buf­falo is home to some of the great­est Amer­i­can archi­tec­ture of the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies, with major archi­tects like Henry Hob­son Richard­son, Fred­er­ick Law Olm­sted, Louis Sul­li­van and Frank Lloyd Wright build­ing mar­vels here. Together they shaped one of the grand­est early visions of the demo­c­ra­tic Amer­i­can city.

Yet Buf­falo is more com­monly iden­ti­fied with the crum­bling infra­struc­ture, aban­doned homes and dwin­dling jobs that have defined the Rust Belt for the past 50 years. And for decades its archi­tec­ture has seemed strangely frozen in time.

There is also an accom­pa­ny­ing slide show, from which the photo above was taken.

Full dis­clo­sure: I’m orig­i­nally from Buffalo.

Grant Park — Alex Wright

My col­league at NYTimes.com, Alex Wright, hap­pened to be in Chicago last night, so he made his way to the Grant Park cel­e­bra­tion. I’m sure that will be a moment to remem­ber for some time.

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.

New York Times Anthrax Scare

Who?

Equip­ment and offi­cials from some gov­ern­ment agency that I’ve never heard of, in the lobby of the New York Times Build­ing in midtown.

The lobby of The New York Times Build­ing, where I work, was closed this past Wednes­day, after an employee on the 13th floor opened an enve­lope that con­tained a pow­dery sub­stance. (The 13th floor is where the edi­to­r­ial board and some colum­nists have offices.)

It turned out to be a hoax, but for sev­eral hours the build­ing was in near lock-down mode. Unfor­tu­nately, I decided to dis­re­gard warn­ings and went out to meet Lisa for lunch. When I returned, I was locked out for almost an hour, as the police had roped off the building’s entrances. Peer­ing through the win­dows on the 8th Avenue side of the build­ing, I saw a huge cur­tain stretched across one of the ele­va­tor banks. Some fire­men went in with a stretcher, and the broad­cast news media started con­verg­ing on the street. (Apolo­gies to the very friendly NY1 cam­er­a­woman, for refus­ing to talk to her on camera.)

All I could do was to take some pho­tos, and wait to be let in. After about an hour, I received word from a col­league inside that they were let­ting employ­ees back in through the freight ele­va­tors in the load­ing dock down 40th st. That was about all the fun I could han­dle for one day… back to work.

More Pho­tos below the jump.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘New York Times Anthrax Scare’

How Hackers Show it’s Not All Bad News at the New York Times

Apolo­gies that this blog looks a lit­tle New York Times-y lately, but I had to share this – O’Reilly’s Andrew Savikas wrote a very inter­est­ing post on some of the inter­est­ing stuff we’re doing:

…there‘s some­thing going on at the Times that prob­a­bly won‘t make it to Sil­i­con Alley Insider, much less the main­stream busi­ness press, and it‘s some­thing that‘s start­ing to make me think the Times just might suc­ceed in adapt­ing to the chang­ing rules of the media and pub­lish­ing game…

So what’s the Times doing that’s so impor­tant? They’re hack­ing.

Savikas goes on to list a lot of exam­ples, but the best one that I can pro­vide is the com­ing release of our APIs, which will enable peo­ple on the out­side to play, tin­ker, and mashup NY Times con­tent. There are only a few APIs cur­rently pub­lic, but there will be a flood of releases in the com­ing months.

[via Jeremy]

UPDATE: Oh man, a bit after I pub­lished this today, we launched our Visu­al­iza­tion Lab – a part­ner­ship that uses IBM’s Many Eyes tech­nol­ogy. More Info Here »

This Election’s Poster Child

Design critic Steven Heller looks at poster design this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle, and the unprece­dented out­pour­ing of sup­port for Sen­a­tor Barack Obama:

So, do these posters have any impact on vot­ers? Not the spe­cific images or mes­sages but cumu­la­tively they are a grass­roots effort that excite through the show of col­lec­tive sup­port. What’s more, posters often appeal to per­sonal needs and emo­tions, not all rouse in the same way for every­one. Hav­ing many options allows par­ti­sans to engage as they choose. This show of sup­port goes in the plus col­umn for Barack Obama.

Take a walk down Smith Street in Brook­lyn, and you’ll see Shep­ard Fairey’s poster in many shop win­dows – it’s almost comic… not just street art any more.

Christoph Niemann’s Abstract City

One of my favorite blogs on NYTimes.com is writ­ten by the Ger­man illus­tra­tor Christoph Nie­mann, called Abstract City. He only posts once a month or so, but each one is as unique and inter­est­ing as the last.

And, it is amus­ing that his blog – of all NYTimes.com blogs – doesn’t have an illus­trated icon in the header. It’s not inten­tional on our part, he just hasn’t got­ten to it yet.

See More of Christoph Niemann’s work »

Ready for David Pogue

Shadows

Me, stand­ing in, as light­ing is set for a David Pogue shoot.

Today, myself and a few col­leagues helped Zach Wise set up and shoot some green screen video of New York Times Tech­nol­ogy Colum­nist and near-Broadway per­former David Pogue. The video will be inte­grated into a mul­ti­me­dia piece that Zach and I are work­ing on, which should be done before Thanksgiving.

This is the first real video shoot that I’ve worked on, (hav­ing in the past done a lot of voice-over work with sound engi­neers). What’s scary is that we did this largely by our­selves – Zach found a stu­dio at the nearby CUNY Grad­u­ate School of Jour­nal­ism, we hung the green fab­ric, and we set up the light­ing with a lit­tle help from their engineer.

David Pogue came in a short while later, I grabbed a boom mic, and we were off to the races. It was a lot of fun, and Pogue nailed the takes – I have no idea how he did it with­out a teleprompter, but he had us all laugh­ing sev­eral times. And he was very patient and friendly through­out the shoot, even when we had to embar­rass­ingly scram­ble back to the office for more P2 cards.

So, that was the hard part – now we have to design and build this thing.

The Measure of a President

The Times has an inter­est­ing (if not com­pletely point­less) info­graphic on pres­i­den­tial height and weight, in recent his­tory. I like that the sil­hou­ettes are all mostly rec­og­niz­able – Jimmy Carter’s smile, Harry Truman’s spec­ta­cles and William Howard Taft’s belly… funny.

It was done by Scott Stowell’s design stu­dio, Open N.Y., the peo­ple who design GOOD Mag­a­zine.

MSM Ahead of Curve on V.P. Debate

Did you know that NYTimes.com streamed live video of last night’s debate, right on the top of its home page? There was a full-screen option, too. Pretty cool stuff – even Gawker was impressed.

Also, check out our V.P. Debati­na­tor – a mashup of video, tran­script, and time­line from the debate.

Economix & Green Inc. Blog Headers

The Times is in the process of beef­ing up its busi­ness cov­er­age online, adding new ver­ti­cals on the econ­omy and green energy. As part of that roll out, we launched two blogs last week, and I was tasked with the header designs and illus­tra­tion assignments.

I really enjoy the lit­tle bits of art direc­tion that I get to do at the Times. It’s fun to search for the illus­tra­tors, work with them on con­cepts and sketches, and in the end they do all of the work.

Economix

Economix Blog header

Illus­tra­tion by Head­case Design

Economix is writ­ten by David Leon­hardt and Cather­ine Ram­pell, and will focus on both the global econ­omy and the per­sonal deci­sions read­ers make everyday.

The illus­tra­tion was done by Paul Kepple’s team at Head­case Design, with art direc­tion and design by myself.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Economix & Green Inc. Blog Headers’

nytimes.com Outage

Graham

Reac­tion from Twit­ter user Gra­ham Mudd, on the nytimes.com out­age this afternoon.

Nytimes.com has been down for about an hour, and thank­fully it wasn’t my turn to watch it. I haven’t heard of any expla­na­tion yet, but it could be any­thing from prob­lems with DNS or our CDN. Who knows? I’m just a designer here.

It seems like just yes­ter­day, when every­one was com­plain­ing about recent down­time trou­bles at Twit­ter and Ama­zon, includ­ing us.

Adrienne

Despite Adri­enne Shaffer’s tweet, we’re house­bro­ken, I swear!

Hope­fully this is just a tem­po­rary blip. But, I had a good time read­ing people’s tweets.

6:27 pm UPDATE: The site is mostly up, but some func­tion­al­ity is not work­ing, such as Search.

The Fold”

Chris Fahey on “the fold”:

In fact, we should start think­ing of “the fold” as some­thing other than a hard line with an “above” and “below” por­tion, and we should stop think­ing of the ver­ti­cal posi­tion­ing on a page as equiv­a­lent to pri­or­ity. Scrolling up and down through a web page is a fun­da­men­tal aspect of the web user expe­ri­ence, and there is much more to it than sim­ply see­ing what’s on top and then grad­u­ally see­ing every­thing else (empha­sis added).

I have no doubt that this is increas­ingly true, but won­der why ads are con­sis­tently placed “above the fold”. Is this just a rem­nant of this older think­ing, or do they per­form sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter there?

A 3rd Climber

Peel

Work­men remove a flyer left behind by David Mal­one, who climbed the New York Times Build­ing sev­eral hours before.

For the third time in five weeks, some­one has scaled the out­side of The New York Times Head­quar­ters. This time, how­ever, it was over and done before most of us got out of bed:

Unlike the two pre­vi­ous climbers, this one — iden­ti­fied later as David Mal­one, a 29-year-old activist from West Hart­ford, Conn., who stud­ies Al Qaeda — did not attempt to make his way to the roof. Instead, he unfurled a ban­ner around the fifth floor of the 52-story build­ing, before climb­ing a few more stories.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘A 3rd Climber’

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’

Alain Robert, climbing the New York Times Building

Never a dull moment here at the Times… Today, we wit­nessed Alain Robert climb the New York Times Build­ing on 8th Avenue fac­ing 41st street. I took this with my iPhone on the 21st floor:

Alain Robert

He scaled up the ceramic rods that are affixed to the out­side of the build­ing, attract­ing hun­dreds of onlook­ers inside the build­ing, as well as down the street.

City Room has more about Alain and this stunt, includ­ing the news that he was arrested by NYPD after reach­ing the roof – 52 floors up from the street.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Alain Robert, climb­ing the New York Times Building’