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March 2, 2017, 11:41 a.m.
Reporting & Production

The New York Times redesigns pages A2 and A3 as “a quick and engaging roundup”

It borrows from the design language of magazines — but also of the web.

The New York Times has seen a lot of success with roundups in digital form: Its Morning and Evening Briefings are “among the most successful products that The Times has launched in recent years,” according to the Times’ recent 2020 Report, while its daily news podcast, The Daily, is No. 3 in iTunes.

Now it’s trying a version of that strategy inside the print paper with the redesign of pages A2 and A3:

The redesigned pages are meant to be a fun read on their own — a little value-add for the print paper — and they highlight some of the things that the Times is doing online. Thursday’s edition, for instance, includes a list of “six of the most read, shared and discussed posts from across NYTimes.com,” and mentions of the Times podcast Still Processing and Times documentary “Long Live Benjamin.” The Mini Crossword, which had previously only run online, now appears on page A3.

“The changes to A2 and A3 represent a sharp departure from what the pages have been used for in the past,” the Times noted in a press release. “Previously, A2 had been home to corrections and summaries of articles found throughout the newspaper, and news articles could be found on A3. The corrections and news articles will now appear elsewhere in the paper.” (They were on A25 today.)

If it feels a bit like a magazine’s front-of-the-book material — little bits and bites of content, a series of amuse-bouches for the main entrée to follow — that’s intentional, as you can see from a job posting from last month:

Another magazine element: The redesign was led by Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine, and associate masthead editor Tom Jolly.

The Times hired Amber Williams, who had been an editor at Scientific American, to edit pages A2 and A3 alongside Raillan Brooks and Alexandria Symonds, who’d been the online features editor at T, with Andrew Sondern working on art and design.

Some things never change, though: Today’s A3 still featured an ad from Tiffany & Co. in the upper right corner, where it has run since 1896.

Laura Hazard Owen is the editor of Nieman Lab. You can reach her via email (laura_owen@harvard.edu) or Twitter DM (@laurahazardowen).
POSTED     March 2, 2017, 11:41 a.m.
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