The New York Times: Print vs. Digital

Online, I clicked a sidebar and “Education” popped up. For print, I tried to find something related to education. This is one of the biggest differences between the print and digital versions of the New York Times. The print edition didn’t have an education section; I found an article with an underlying theme of education.

(Source: mashable.com via Google Image Search)

Each version has its strengths and weaknesses. One strength of the print article is that it is written in the Inverted Pyramid of News style. I read the first two paragraphs of the article and I understood the main point. It was accompanied by a large picture, which peaked my curiosity. Unfortunately, one weakness of the print edition is that it is print. As a busy student, I don’t have time to sift through a big paper full of headlines. The article I used was on page A19; I spent about five minutes looking through the paper, and five minutes on the article itself.

One strength of the online article, and how it differed from the print article, is that it was written more like a story than a news piece. The very first line does not mention the subject, but held my attention; I read the entire story. This is one way the Times is experimenting with how it presents its content (Benton, 2014). The information that would have been in the first line using an inverted pyramid style of writing was not present until the middle. The Innovation Report also mentioned ways to enhance reader accessibility to topics, such as creating a follow button and tagging articles together (Benton, 2014). I don’t see any of these features with the article, but the top of the page has a bar with other headlines that were listed under the education topic.

The article page: education headlines line the top of the page, followed by an advertisement, then the article.

The article page: education headlines line the top of the page, followed by an advertisement, then the article.

Another point the Innovation Report mentioned was the declining value of the homepage. I didn’t spend any time on the homepage, instead going directly to the sidebar to find my topic. I spent the most time looking for an article under the Education section. I read my chosen article twice, spending about eight minutes on its page.

I give the digital New York Times a B+. There are clear strides being made in the right direction. However, there are many highlights from the Innovation Report that, from what I could tell, have not yet been implemented.

Sources:
Benton, J. (2014, May 15). The leaked  New York Times innocation report is one of the key documents of this media age. Retreived from http://www.nienmanlab.org

Medina, J. (2015, Sept. 14). Laurene Powell Jobs commits $50 million to create new high schools. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

Preston, J. (2015, Sept. 18). White House campaign urges legal immigrants to become (voting) citizens. The New York Times. 

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