The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady

What You Should Have Read, Jan. 12, 2009

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The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady New York Magazine sits down with the digital team reinventing The New York Times online. Even as the financial pages write the paper's obit, deep within that fancy Renzo Piano palace across from the Port Authority, something hopeful is going on: a kind of evolution. Each day, peculiar wings and gills poke up on the Times' web site -- video, audio, "drillable" graphics. Beneath Nicholas Kristof's op-ed column, there's a link to his blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and YouTube videos. Coverage of Gaza features a time line linking to earlier reporting, video coverage, and an encyclopedic entry on Hamas. Throughout the election, glittering interactive maps let readers plumb voting results. There were 360-degree panoramas of the Democratic convention; audio "back story" with reporters like Adam Nagourney; searchable video of the debates. It was a radical reinvention of the Times voice, shattering the omniscient God-tones in which the paper had always grounded its coverage; the new features tugged the reader closer through comments and interactivity, rendering the relationship between reporter and audience more intimate, immediate, exposed. But will they be able to move fast enough to move the print product to an online model?
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