Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
@nytimes is now on TikTok
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 27, 2022, 11:54 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   January 27, 2022

New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix (Highbrow, Lowbrow, Despicable, Brilliant) has been the magazine’s key signature since 2004 — “the embodiment of the spirit of the entire magazine, to the point that our anniversary book in 2018 was titled Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York Magazine,” editor Carl Swanson told Town and Country in 2020.

“There have been attempts at Matrix television shows and putting the Matrix online. And we have a small Matrix Instagram account, but really what works best is the approval Matrix as a back page that people just keep coming back for. Which I think is such a wonderful thing in a time where print media is so precarious,” then-editor Madison Malone Kircher said in the same interview.

If it works so well, why not … rip it off completely? That appears to be what Prospect, the British weekly magazine, decided to do this month with the first-ever Prospect Grid.

The tweets are deeeelightful. It’s a real tiny gift to the U.S. from the U.K., a chance to focus on something other than that country’s richness in rapid tests.

“In the long history of journalism it’s difficult to think of a brilliant idea or format that hasn’t been imitated, adapted, borrowed or parodied,” Prospect editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger told me in an email. “Whenever it’s happened to me (quite a lot) I’ve been both irritated and flattered. Along with others on Twitter I’ve seen several attempts to emulate the Approval Matrix, but the original is still the best.”

This post was updated with a comment from Prospect editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.

Show tags
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
@nytimes is now on TikTok
“nytimes on the tok?! 🤩”
The first newspaper strike of the digital age stretches into a new year
When staff at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette walked off the job 100 days ago, they became the first newspaper to strike in decades. They’ve already been followed by more.
Twitter will soon let news outlets lay visual claim to their staffers’ accounts. Should they?
Your employer’s logo might soon be attached to every tweet you make — for better or for worse.