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The NY Times clutters “City Room” with things of little value to online readers 6/19/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Hyperlocal news, NYTimes.
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If the purpose of the NY Times’ new “City Room” was to put all of the shallow cliches about the Internet, bloggers, and the future of news into one convenient location, it must be considered an enormous success. According to the Times, it is a “blog,” an “online community,” it will “respond quickly” to breaking news, will include “in-depth” reports from all “five boroughs of the city,” “encourage reader comments and discussion,” feature frequent “web videos,” include “news profiles on neighborhoods,” and contain “links to primary sources.”

After reviewing the City Room site, I have only one question — why would anyone actually visit it? Rather than having the feel, charm, and point-of-view that characterizes personal blogs, it offers a collection of unrelated stories that just happen to be entered in reverse chronological order. And, it does not offer the type of hyperlocal news that directly affects readers’ lives because the chances of a story actually being about a reader’s hyperlocal area are slim in a city as large and diverse as New York. So, by offering a collection of unrelated stories about someone else’s part of town, why would the Times expect readers to feel like they are part of a “community,” much less be inspired to submit online comments? I don’t get it, and I suspect Morgan Stanley and other shareholders seeking to unseat the controlling Sulzberger family might not either.

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1. Technology News | Venture Capital, Startups, Silicon Valley, Web 2.0 Tech - 6/19/07

[…] Source:The Future of News If the purpose of the NY Times’ new “City Room” was to put all of the shallow cliches about the Internet, bloggers, and the future of news into one convenient location, it must be considered an enormous success. According to the Times, it is a “blog,” an “online community,” it will “respond quickly” to […] Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

2. Jennifer Egan - 7/3/07

new york is not so big as you think. i like the new city blog i wish they put more of this local stuff in the paper, but i’ll take it online.

3. Steve Boriss - 7/3/07

Jennifer, Now imagine they could provide coverage of your hyperlocal community — your local schools, road construction, school lunches, crimes, neighborhoods, etc. I believe that type of news is a very different experience, and that that’s where news is headed. The news people like most is the type that affects them directly.


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