The New York Times

The New York Times dabbles in virtual reality

The New York Times Co. | Wired

On Monday, The New York Times offered a view of a virtual reality experiment, according to a press release from The New York Times Co. The virtual reality film, “Walking New York,” focuses on the artist who created the art for the most recent cover of The New York Times Magazine.

The virtual reality film, titled “Walking New York,” takes viewers through the making of the Magazine’s cover, for which JR took a photo of a recent immigrant to New York and pasted a 150-foot-tall version of the portrait on the Flatiron Plaza in Manhattan. The final cover photograph is a shot of the portrait taken from a helicopter above the city. The film, narrated by JR, lets viewers experience every aspect of the process, from the initial photo shoot on the street, to the studio work, to the pasting, to the helicopter ride.

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Sports writers snubbed by the Pulitzer committee, again

Pulitzer_Medal_color300dpiDave Anderson never expected the call. In 1981, the New York Times sports columnist learned he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

“It really came as a surprise,” Anderson said. “I didn’t even know I was nominated.”

Anderson, now 85 and still churning out the occasional column for the Times, recalled his big honor Monday just minutes before the announcement of the 2015 Pulitzer Prizes. He had hoped the list of winners would include someone from his old press box gang, but he knew it was a long shot.

“They don’t pick many people from sports,” Anderson said.

Indeed, it was another year when sports were snubbed by the Pulitzers. The sportswriters went 0 for 14 in the Pulitzer’s journalism categories. There was only one sports-related story among the finalists: Walt Bogdanich and Mike McIntire of the New York Times in national reporting for stories exposing preferential police treatment for Florida State football players who are accused of sexual assault and other criminal offenses. Read more

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NYT editors are now selecting stories specifically for mobile devices

The New York Times

The New York Times Wednesday announced the rollout of a new version of its core iOS app, touting “a more urgent” news experience with stories chosen for mobile readers.

The latest update is in line with a series of product announcements from The New York Times. Earlier this month, the paper debuted the NYT Cooking iPhone app; shortly after that, the Times announced it was making its millennial-targeted news app, NYT Now, free for all users upon its May relaunch.

The Times noted in its announcement that the updated app marks the first time that editors are now designating stories to appear specifically on mobile devices. The app also now packages related articles and multimedia elements together and features weekday briefings to keep users abreast of daily news. Read more

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NYT takes 36 Hours from print to screen with Travel Channel

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The New York Times’ “36 Hours” column will become a Travel Channel show, the Times announced Tuesday. “Top Chef” winner Kristen Kish and U.S. soccer pro Kyle Martino will host six episodes “timed to coincide with new or updated New York Times 36 Hours newspaper columns,” according to the press release.

In each one-hour episode of “36 Hours,” co-hosts Kristen Kish and Kyle Martino arrive in a new city where they’ll have 36 hours to explore the most delicious foods and hot spots, meet fascinating local insiders and experience the best attractions unique to each destination. Their itineraries will be informed by New York Times editors and contributors who bring extensive research and expertise in each locale. Six episodes are green-lit for production.

Here’s a preview:

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Rumors about Pulitzer winners have been scarce

As newsrooms prepare for today’s 3 p.m. YouTube livestream of the Pulitzer Prize revelations – identifying 2015’s top U.S. journalism awards in 14 categories – rumors about winners and finalists have seemed scarce.

Unlike the Academy Awards and other major competitions, Pulitzer finalists officially are kept secret in advance. When winners are announced, two finalists in each division, typically, are listed at the same time. Back in February, panels of jurors selected three “nominated finalists”; the Pulitzer board made the final choices in meetings last Thursday and Friday.

Until five years ago, an elaborate rumor mill “outed” most finalists early – something that was interrupted only by a concerted effort by now-retired Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler, who managed to get jurors to hold their nominations close to the vest. Read more

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Media must pay for South Carolina police shooting video

scouthcarolinashootingThe New York Times reports that an Australian based “publicity and celebrity management company” representing Feidin Santana, is sending cease-and-desist letters to media outlets demanding they pay for the use of the video Santana captured. That video shows a North Charleston police officer shooting an unarmed man, Walter Scott in the back as Scott ran away from the officer.

The letter from Markson Sparks demands media outlets pay $10,000 to run the video that has gathered millions of page views on multiple YouTube web pages.

The Times’ story quotes Santana’s attorney, Todd Rutherford:

The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, said it was only fair for Mr. Santana to start getting paid for something that news outlets benefited from.

“The search for justice is served by turning the video over to law enforcement,” Mr.

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8 lesser known stories the Pulitzer committee should know about

Related: Roy J. Harris Jr. makes his Pulitzer predictions

National journalism awards have already sniffed out some exceptional journalism that no doubt will be top Pulitzer contenders: The Arizona Republic’s exceptional work investigating VA hospitals, The New York Times’ coverage of Ebola in Western Africa and The St Louis Post-Dispatch’s coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting and protests all have rightfully been cited as among 2014’s best journalism. But let me tell you about some other reporting in print and online that deserves your attention.

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.17.52 PMOne of my favorite investigations of 2014 was “Subsidized Squalor” by the Center for Investigative Reporting and a host of partners. I loved the project from the first sentence, “There are 4,055 public housing agencies across the U.S., and we’ve spent the past year writing about one of the worst.” People living in Richmond, California’s public housing lived with rodents and sewage CIR created a unit-by-unit interactive graphic so you could see what was wrong in each unit.
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How publishers are using Facebook interest targeting to reach niche audiences

To target your posts for readers with specific interests, go to your page on Facebook and click the target icon. Then, select "interests" and type in the selected topic. (Screenshot from Facebook)

To target your posts for readers with specific interests, go to your page on Facebook and click the target icon. Then, select “interests” and type in the selected topic. (Screenshot from Facebook)

In today’s unbundled media landscape, where news organizations slice and dice their audiences with newsletters, apps, social media accounts and verticals, Facebook has given publishers another tool to segment their followers: interest targeting.

In December, Facebook began allowing page owners to target different segments of their audiences with posts based on their readers’ interests. Interest-based targeting, which was previously made available to advertisers, is now being used for free by news publishers to find specific niche audiences among their respective readerships. The tool allows publishers to increase the likelihood that users who follow their page will see a post that’s aligned with their stated interests. Read more

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If it’s noteworthy, count on news outlets to spoil it for you

In the era of instant news that accompanies readers wherever they go, special attention has been given recently to preserving a blissful state of ignorance around watershed moments in pop culture.

The NCAA men’s basketball championship. The Grammy Awards. The plot twists that define wildly popular TV shows. In each of these cases, a news alert could spoil a pleasurable experience readers might want to experience firsthand. So how do news organizations balance the imperative to inform their audiences with the understanding that readers might want to occasionally remain unaware?

For some outlets, that answer to that question seems to hinge on how they define spoilers. In recent weeks, two major news organizations, The New York Times and The Associated Press, shared public case studies that shed light on their philosophies. Read more

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Graphic New York Times video seems justified

Screenshot from the New York TImes website.

Screenshot from the New York TImes website.

The lead image on the front of the New York Times website Tuesday was graphic raw video of a white North Charleston, S.C. police officer shooting an apparently unarmed black man who was running away after a traffic stop Saturday.

Tuesday, the officer was charged with murder in the case.

Why would the Times show such a graphic video of officer Michael T. Slager shooting Walter L. Scott eight times?  Is this just an example of gratuitous violence that will attract online clicks and sharing or are there solid journalistic reasons to let the public see this video?  Let me pose some questions that might lead us to a reasoned decision on how or whether to use this video:

What do we know, what do we need to know? Read more

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