Time zones / New York Times

2011-03-18

in Daily updates, Writing

During the last few days, I have been corresponding regularly with my brother in Melbourne and my friend Antonia in Oxford. I have my iPhone clock set up to display the time zones in both places. Those linkages create an interesting sense of continuity within the day, with each area passing through times of wakefulness and probable sleep. All told, it is a bit comforting, despite the unending stream of new bad news from Japan.

It reminds me of a line from Wordsworth: “Rolled round the Earth’s diurnal course / With rocks, and stones, and trees.”

The last few days have also been a reminder of the reporting quality of The New York Times. A lot of what I am seeing in other news sources is basically transcribed (with attribution) from NYT coverage. Like The Economist which famously stated the intention of the paper at the outset, The New York Times apparently started with a rather bold mandate back in 1851:

We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.

This situation certainly shows the value of an elaborate news organization that can deploy reporters and photographers, access experts, and make use of connections within governments. Say what you will about blogs and Twitter, but what they provide is much more commentary than real journalism.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

oleh March 19, 2011 at 1:43 am

There is also a tremendous sense of pride surrounding the New York Times. I think that spawns quality coverage. I do not recall commercialism or size of circulation being the driving force. It certainly has less ads than most broadsheets. I do not believe it has the largest circulation in its home region. It is simply a quality paper that English speaking people around the world enjoy reading and learn from.

Tristan March 19, 2011 at 8:02 am

I’ve only recently started using twitter regularly, but I find it’s a great link with people on the ground in other parts of the world.

Milan March 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I find Twitter much too hyperactive. You try to write out two sentences, and already there are several updates from other people.

I am avoiding Facebook, partly for similar reasons.

Antonia March 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Ditto on Twitter. Unless you limit feeds very strictly you have far too much to trawl through arriving on your phone. If you target it more then you find yourself largely interacting with the same small subset of people via different media.

. March 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

NYT paywall sub is $100 more expensive than WSJ, Economist and Daily combined

Cory Doctorow at 6:07 AM Thursday, Mar 24, 2011

Here’s an interesting price-comparison between the forthcoming NYT paywall and other subscription services from the Economist to Dropbox. The NYT offering (in its most expensive guise) is extremely expensive relative to the competition, which leads some to conclude that this is primarily about making paid print subscriptions a good deal, rather than pursuing any kind of digital strategy from people who don’t read news on paper, or who live outside the areas where a print NYT is readily available

. April 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Over Half of 2011’s New York Times Issues Rely on WikiLeaks
By Caitlin Dickson Apr 25, 2011

Today’s New York Times prominently features “The Guantanamo Files,” a synthesis of “700 classified military documents” obtained by WikiLeaks, about the Cuba prison’s current and former inmates. It’s the latest blockbuster data cache to be trumpeted by the paper. And though the paper has had a complicated relationship with the secret-sharing site run by Julian Assange since the two partnered up for a post-Thanksgiving barrage of “State’s Secrets” last year, the paper has become increasingly reliant on its documents.

By our count, on 63 days so far this year the paper’s reporters have relied on WikiLeaks documents as sources for their stories. Since April 25th is the 115th day of the year, that’s over half of all their issues this year. And just to be clear, we didn’t count stories that merely mentioned WikiLeaks or Julian Assange or Bradley Manning, only the ones that used documents from the site as a reporting source.

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