I guess the new NYTimes makes sense after all

Posted: October 7th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , | No Comments »

Awhile back, I mocked the NY Times’ plan to cut costs by combining sections of the paper to streamline printing. Today, the new NY Times debuted at my doorstep and I found it a bit sad and thin to hold.

But one story from last week’s OLD paper has me thinking this scheme is a good idea after all–this item on a terrorism trial that is now in its appeal stage appeared in the Metro section, instead of with other war on terror headlines in the national and international front section. Why? Because the trial itself was in Brooklyn and the reporter who found the scoop was probably on the metro beat.

In the NEW paper, that story would appear in the front section, because there is no Metro section, but it would appear buried in the back of that section, under the heading for New York regional news. I want the Times to go further, by merging all National, International and Regional coverage and organizing the front section with the biggest stories from all three beats in front. In other words, put the Brooklyn terror story on page 1 instead of page 20.

Why? In today’s globalized world, no story is ever completely bubbled off in one geographic zone: the best national stories have local color; the best local stories have international import.

Turning the front of the NYTimes into a single Headline News section is an important acknowledgment of that.

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