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Will The New York Times Reclaim its Throne through its ‘Digital-First’ Strategy?

 <Order of Series>
 1. New York Times ‘Digital-First’Strategy
 2. Pro Publica shows Strength of Investigative  Reporting

  The Dongguk Media Center has organized student press corps from Dongdaeshinmun, The Dongguk Post, and   DUBS. They covered major press and universities in New York in last July. Through the overseas news coverage, the student press corps learned about fast-collapsing traditional newspapers, the future of digital media, and journalism education system in universities. Furthermore, the corps had a time to think about some ways for university press to adapt to the changing media environment.


 ‘Snow Fall,’ which was released in 2012 was a huge sensation. It was the first ever interactive news that brought a whole new experience to the readers. The article , written by the NYT’s John Branch won a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. It includes various forms of media, such as photos, videos and moving infographic that explains the accident clearly.
  This new form of article influenced newspapers all around the world, such as the Washington Post, Guardian, and Asahi press. The new challenge successfully carried out by the NYT is a major significance in the journalism. This could mean the end of print newspaper is just around the corner. In fact, Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the NYT, announced that the traditional newspaper publications will end within next few years. Likewise, as the NYT ‘Innovative Report’ announces, all the articles will be published based on digital platform.

NYT’s interactive team, the leader of digital platform

  It was the NYT’s interactive team that published ‘Snow Fall’. The team, which was created by Aaron Pilhofer was first formed in 2005. Now led by Chase Davis, the  team consists of 20 programmers and three editors. The team takes place on the second floor of the NYT building. Just like other newsroom, it was full of busy reporters who were occupied with their works. The team freely exchanges ideas on hallways or wherever the members meet. Its web engineer, Tiff Fehr, said, “Much cooperation is needed in order for an interactive news to be created. Every member of our team exchanges ideas with each other whenever there is a chance.”
  The team consists of reporters with various skills. Some are experts in coding and some excel in developing a suitable program for each article. and IT technologies based on the traditional principal and judgment of journalism.
The contents that they handle regularly are elections, Olympics, Fashion Week, and Academy Awards.
Alastair Coote, a web developer of the team, said, “Data from sports events are more suitable and rich in sources to create an interactive news.” Besides from them, the team takes subjects that can be demonstrated as an interactive news such as the Boston Marathon bombings and Hurricane Sandy.”
  Last year, the NYT released a total of 57 interactive articles. That is equavalent to releasing an interactive article every week. Davis, the deputy editor of the team said that the key is in the self-motivated members. “I do not have to look after each of them. They know how to push themselves and enjoy what they do." He added that "The only thing I control is their workload, so every member has an equal amount of work due.” The Interactive Team plans on upscaling its body by recruiting more people when other newsrooms are downsizing.

  An interactive team of New York Times

Graphic team reaches out to the readers with fine quality

  Alongside the Interactive Team, the Graphic Team is also the NYT's new wingman for its digital first strategy. Led by Steve Duenes, the team consists of 40 people which include graphic editors, programmers, photographers, and 3D experts. There are also reporters with a journalism background like a graphics editor, Park Hae-yeon.
The team does a lot of collaboration work with other newsroom. However, the reporters of the Graphics Team also come up with their on article.
  Matthew Bloch, a graphic editor teamed up with Park last June for an article that took them around four months until publication. The article, which dealt with bankruptcy of Detroit, expressed a housing loan that 43,634 houses failed to pay into a mosaic infographic. It was not easy for them to analyze that much data and information. Bloch expressed how difficult it was to deliver the bankruptcy of over 40,000 households. “We came up with various design samples to convey the debt situation well.
  When the article was published into paper, they could not help but to change the form. The same amount of information was impossible to be held in two pages. After many considerations, they chose to make an infographic that illuminates only some of the houses. Park talked about the change in priority of article and said, “We always think of an article digital first and then think of the paper form.” The NYT is already moving towards the digital era ahead of other newspapers.

The principle of journalism should not be undermined

  In the Innovative Report was leaked few months ago, stirred up an introspective voice that it failed to deal with fast-changing digital generation. They have criticized themselves for their negligence of the digital era, which resulted in losing their readers. In the report, they mentioned that “We are falling behind from conveying the contents by using technology to the readers than other competitors.”
  The report did not stop from self-reflection; it has suggested the path to move forward. The path suggested the NYT to take an aggressive movement for digital strategy. The Graphic Team is already implementing this. The newspaper also stresses that all of the reporters in the newsroom to think digitally. Matthew Mitchell, the technology developer at the interactive news team, explained, “Reporters here are already getting used to the digital platform and there is no turning back to the print era.”
  Although the NYT is a major press which creates the best quality of contents, still it is not an easy step to begin as a leading digital press. It is also a new challenge for them. There has been new emergence of media such as Huffington Post and Buzz Feed, which deals with entertaining topics and engages viewers by SNS. However, the NYT criticize them since those media put more weights on the traffic record of viewers rather than the true journalism. Regarding this issue, Mitchell said, “There is certainly a difference between eating meal with great efforts on making and instant food such as hamburger from McDonald.”
  She said “A true journalism is like a fully prepared meal.” Also, she stressed the distinguishable value that the NYT pursue by saying, “The long lasting effect occurs because of true journalism.” Even with technologically developed era, there is one value that we should fulfill—the principle of journalism.

Special Reportage Team  suny93511@dongguk.edu

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  • Cristy 2015-12-01 20:12:54

    Some breakdowns may not equal their talots due to rounding . Fair enough, but ironic given that this round format itself removes any chance of us using our huge visual cortex to help digest the information, I'd say it suffers from undue visual rounding.Its colors are garish, and even worse, it lacks contrast between light words and light backgrounds in many segments. Its clip art is amateurish and distracting. It takes up a huge amount of screen real estate, but gives little information per pixel. For instance, a better graph would show how this has changed over time. Hell, a better design could have showed changes over a decade, and still had room for clip art. I wish the chart creator would spend some of their average $118 reading money on a data visualisation book   삭제

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