Nieman Foundation at Harvard
With its $250 election-night event, The New York Times is offering some of its readers a new kind of fix
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 31, 2015, 10:32 a.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   March 31, 2015

Indiana’s passed a bill that many say allows state-sanctioned discrimination by businesses against gays and lesbians, and it’s led to a huge backlash. The state’s dominant paper, The Indianapolis Star wanted to take a strong stand on the matter, so it pulled out perhaps the biggest weapon a newspaper has — a front-page editorial:

The move worked, getting the Star’s position a huge amount of attention — many times more than a standard editorial would have. (I must have seen that image of today’s front page at least 30 times in my Twitter stream last night; the editorial has been shared on Facebook more than 18,000 times.)

If you’re going to do a blowout presentation in print, you’d want to do the same online, right? After all, a huge part of the discussion around the subject is happening far outside the Star’s print circulation area. Not really:

The blow-out print presentation got slotted into a standard Gannett-made template. That included a hard-to-read headline on mobile, with Gannett-standard cluttered presentation and location-seeking modal:

As the @MayorEmanuel-creating Dan Sinker put it:

The followup discussion to that tweet includes some back and forth about some flexibility in the Gannett CMS that the Star apparently didn’t take advantage of.

Still, it’s remarkable that, in 2015, a story that got so much thought and attention for print apparently didn’t get much for online.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
With its $250 election-night event, The New York Times is offering some of its readers a new kind of fix
“Spend an exciting evening in the company of our top political minds at The Times Center as they deliver expert analysis and global perspectives on the outcome of this year’s presidential race — while returns are coming in.”
The Texas Tribune updates its premium political coverage for an email newsletter world
Goodbye, Texas Weekly. Hello, The Blast.
The Information’s Jessica Lessin on how she’s scaling an already-expensive subscription product
Going both upmarket to investors ($10,000 a year) and downmarket to students ($234 a year).