June 12, 2015

Starting Monday, The New York Times will temporarily bar employees inside its Manhattan headquarters from accessing the desktop homepage in an effort to emphasize the importance of mobile devices.

According to a staff memo sent to Times employees Friday, employees attempting to access the homepage from desktops will receive a message that advises them to pull out their phones or tablets. The experiment is scheduled to last for a week.

The New York Times — and several other news organizations — now receive a majority of their traffic from mobile devices. Recently, several of these outlets, including CNN and BuzzFeed, have taken steps to emphasize the importance of these devices within their own organizations.

Here’s the memo:

Dear Colleagues:

We’ve made significant strides on mobile in the last year, but we believe passionately that we have much farther to go.

That’s why on Monday, we’re planning an experiment to drive home mobile’s importance: we’re temporarily blocking access inside our headquarters to the desktop homepage of The New York Times.

If you try to enter www.nytimes.com on your desktop in the building all week long, you’ll receive a message that tells you to look at The Times on your phone or tablet.

More than half of our traffic to The Times is on mobile. We’re hopeful that this temporary change will help spur us to make mobile an even more central part of everything that we do.

Arthur, Andy, Mark and Dean


Q. When will this occur?
A. Monday through Friday (6/15-19).

Q. Will the public get access to the desktop Times home page?
A. Definitely. You’ll be blocked only if you’re in The Times’s offices at 620 Eighth Avenue.

Q. What if I need to use the desktop Times home page for my job?
A. You’ll be asked to enter your email address and then automatically given access for the day.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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