Monday, January 10, 2011

NYT's Monday morning coverage exceptionally good

I admit that I am biased: the NYT, I believe, continues to do outstanding work on its website on major news stories. Today's coverage of the Tucson shootings is another example.

In particular, this photo page of the six victims is well done. Clicking on the individual photos brings up a pop-up feature of the person killed on Saturday.
Adam Nagourney's summary story is brilliant. In three web pages, Nagourney perfectly describes the scene, the actions of those who attended Rep. Gifford's “Congress on Your Corner” event, and the emotions of those who witnessed the crime.

The web team also created a timeline page that supports the main news story. They have done better work, but there are admittedly few real interactive elements available to use for this story. Nonetheless, the timeline adds to the overall package.

* * *

OK, the NYT is doing good work online, but what's the point?

Well, it's not that everyone should emulate the Times, few papers have their resources (actually, no one has their resources). But I would ask myself this: 'is our website design flexible enough the be able to create any of the features seen in the NYT online news package?'

Web design flexibility is often thrown overboard in favor of ease of posting, and an over concern with CMS and web posting policies. The ability to create new web pages on the fly is what separates good news sites from the rest.