HOME
          
LATEST STORY
In Canada, newspapers’ attempts to experiment with ebooks haven’t seen much success
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 20, 2011, 10 a.m.

The NYT promises to intermingle news and opinion

If you’re a Sunday New York Times subscriber — say, if you’ve taken the Frank Rich Discount — you may have seen a letter from Times editors in yesterday’s paper detailing changes in the Week in Review section, which is being renamed Sunday Review. One section jumped out at me:

Why, you ask, change something that is part of our history? We, too, are attached to the Week in Review. But we were frustrated by the simple geographic division between the news analysis pieces in the front and the opinion pieces in the back. We thought readers would find it more useful to have the stories, photographs and charts offered in an integrated way.

The new section will feature the best of what both the Times newsroom and the opinion pages have to offer, along with provocative and, we hope, entertaining voices from outside the paper. At times, these analysis articles and opinion articles may be presented with each other in themed packages, but they will always be clearly labeled so you can distinguish them.

In other words, the Times feels that the ancient division between opinion and news — and the even dicier division between opinion and “analysis” — doesn’t always serve its readers best. Sometimes, a provocative opinion piece can make more sense packaged with a provocative reported piece.

That mirrors, in a way, how the Internet has changed news navigation. When Google News groups stories into clusters, opinion and straight news can sit side by side. When you click a link on Twitter or Facebook, there are often no immediate cues for which journalistic bucket the story you’re about to read fits into. And, in general, online news readers don’t flow straight from section to demarcated section, the way a print reader might when running through the paper, where it’s visually clear where the news is supposed to stop and the opinions are supposed to begin.

We’ll have to see next Sunday’s paper to see how big an overlap the new Sunday Reader section will bring. But once we do see it, the next question becomes: If readers would benefit from the tactical intermingling of news and opinion, why would that only be true on Sundays?

POSTED     June 20, 2011, 10 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
In Canada, newspapers’ attempts to experiment with ebooks haven’t seen much success
A number of papers across the country started ebook programs in the early part of this decade, repurposing their archives or producing new work. They haven’t been the moneymakers some had hoped.
How a virus demanding a bitcoin ransom almost destroyed a public radio station’s archives
But for a fluke in its system, Missouri’s KBIA could’ve lost all its files dating back to 2006.
What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out
“Nobody has to read you. You have to earn that. You have to respect people’s attention.”
What to read next
718
tweets
Ken Doctor: The New York Times’ financials show the transition to digital accelerating
The numbers may look flat, but they contain a continuing set of ups and downs. Up next: executing on a year’s worth of launches.
540Here’s some remarkable new data on the power of chat apps like WhatsApp for sharing news stories
At least in certain contexts, WhatsApp is a truly major traffic driver — bigger even than Facebook. Should there be a WhatsApp button on your news site?
502Controlled chaos: As journalism and documentary film converge in digital, what lessons can they share?
Old and new media types from journalism, documentary, and technology backgrounds gathered at MIT to share practices and discuss mutual concerns.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
California Watch
The Times of London
New York
Connecticut Mirror
Kaiser Health News
Mother Jones
The Tyee
Foursquare
DocumentCloud
The Batavian
The Washington Post
Reddit