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Web/Print integration clunkiness


I read the New York Times in print and also subscribe to it on the web. I have professional reasons to do so and I’m not the typical subscriber on either basis.

So today, I get both versions, and the lead photo for the print version is a beautiful scarlet-saturated photo of bank notes destined for Libya. Here’s what it looks like: THIS HERE.

Because there’s no info in the print caption about why the photo is entirely red, I actually assumed that it might be a printing error. (Because why would Libyan currency and any associated lighting be red, categorically?)

HERE, in the web version, the paper explains that there are “red in-flight lights”—though there’s no explanation for why the in-flight lights are red, or if that detail has any significance. This is also not explained in the story. And in the print version, it’s not explained at all. You might rationally assume that the entire story takes place on an entirely different Mars-like planet with a very narrow—microscopic, even— color spectrum.

Aesthetics trump story in both situations but it’s most egregious in the print version. Not only does the story not explain, it blatantly misleads. Because it’s a prettier picture.

And really, I don’t care how prestigious the institution, it’s just bad journalism.

Red light maintains night vision

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Great Moments In Journalism #1

We were disappointed it wasn’t a sex move. 


Great Moments In Journalism #1

We were disappointed it wasn’t a sex move. 

(via bbook)

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Lulz The Daily


So wait, was I actually right about The Daily? Is it really not getting a homepage? The articles exist, but they’re not collected in any single place, it seems. (The robots.txt isn’t blocking searching engines yet though. You can see stories on Google.)

Since I never executed on this idea, I’ll give it to someone else: Go buy a similar domain, like TheDailyLinks.com or whatever, and then create a page that links to all of The Daily stories. Put ads around it, make money, piss people off, get David Carr to write about it.

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Newsweek Tumblr as Intelligent, Grudge-Holding, Sarcastic Arm of the Mag

The Awl’s got a good round-up of this developing, Tumblr-centric media spat pretty down.

Basically the Newsweek Tumblr has served as the vehicle of retaliation against a column in the WaPo penned by Howard Kurtz. Here’s a quote from the Media Matters post Choire links to:

Editors of the online column took Howard Kurtz’s Monday piece on Newsweek and its dire future, in his view, and edited with claims of inaccuracies and poor arguments.

Pretty baller. Reminds us of another creative use of copy editing to prove a point.

Also we’ve got a definition of a Tumblr by a semi-legit source as an “online column,” potentially with multiple editors. Sounds good to us.


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College Talents Put To Good Use

Apparently you can drink illegally in NYC! The New York Post sent its underage intern out to 30 bars and bodegas in Manhattan and he got the goods at 17. That’s like 57%.

If this is journalism then we’re really good at it and in fact did it last night.

Also: RIP Cosmic Cantina.

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Newsweek.com Redesign Turning Heads

As we luke-warmly predicted back in April, news sites continue to model simpler, blog/Tumblr-like layouts. For-sale Newsweek launched a redesign this week. (When our buddy @agolis tweets it, you know it’s a big deal.) The comparisons to a “blog” are far more prevalent than with the Rolling Stone redesign, and for good reason. In fact, in some ways the newlanding page is more blog-like than Newsweek’s Tumblr.

Of course this raises questions as to what exactly is a blog. A key first question is whether a website is deemed a blog due to its layout or its content or both. Seems like it’s the sequence of posts— i.e.e the layout— that makes a site a blog, and that’s what Newsweek has embraced in their redesign. 

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"He made Allen out to be some new kind of genius, rather than some old kind of striver, attributing to him the mystical ability to be everywhere at once — sort of like that other icon of the current cultural moment, the vampire — and quoting an inside-the-Beltway consultant thusly: “Everything about him [Allen] is literary.” Well, sure: Everything about him is literary in the same way that everything about Sammy Glick was literary. Everything about him is literary in that he’s a character who represents the destruction of literary values. But that’s not what the profile was getting at. What it seemed to be getting at, instead, was that Mike Allen is literary because important people in Washington, D.C., read him on their Blackberries. The New York Times has seen the online future, and the online future, in the form of Politico, is a powerfully effective conventional wisdom machine and quote-collector that gives “insiders” the chance to know what other insiders know and the obligation to say what other insiders say. The New York Times has seen the online future, and once again, the online future does not include The New York Times."

—Writing about the Mike Allen profile for Esquire’s Politics Blog, Tom Junod packs some serious heat.