Q. I have been using the Times Reader for a while now and like it as a great, alternate way to read something that feels more like the paper. Are there any plans to incorporate multimedia (audio or video) into the product?
-- Keith Jenkins
A. Yes, we do plan to offer video and multimedia. Because the files are so large, video will only be available to be played when the reader knows you are online. (It allows you to download articles and photos for reading offline). We hope to have this integrated by January.
Many, many more great questions about multimedia at The New York Times. Open and insightful answers which help us get a handle on at least one media organization's attempts to swim in the online waters.
"Here's why this is important for those of us who don't want to stop reading (or, in my case, writing) in-depth, analytical news pieces: A significant number of the stories you read on the Web are created by the staff members at the dead-tree versions of newspapers.
....If the (New York) Times' Web site -- or any newspaper Web site -- were forced to hire a staff and fill its pages with only the revenue it made, it would look a lot like the Web site your daughter made for a class project. Except not as impressive." - Frank Ahrens, TWP
So, I am about 10 minutes into my beta-testing of the new New York Times Reader. It downloads the Times to your computer, giving you full access, in a print-metaphor interface, to the full paper - pictures, ads and all. Its search-able, save-able, markup-able, email-able, and depending on the size of your Windows machine, very, very portable.
Once downloaded, you no longer need an internet connection to read it; when you connect again, it updates. So far, I love the screens; navigation is very intuitive and resolution is great. If you are a competing dead-tree media company, be afraid, be very afraid. More info to come....
As our society, thanks to the dominance of TV and the increasing ubiquity of the Web, becomes more visual, how we present information is more and more important.
While TV has gone for the shotgun; information dancing through every corner of the screen, and the web is still trying translate the 3-D world into HTML, print has centuries of practice and refinement under its belt.
The result, on the best of days, is presentation that both stops you in your tracks and helps you move through words and pictures in a way that both informs and entertains.
Gordon Parks, a photographer, filmmaker and poet whose pioneering chronicles of the black experience in America made him a revered elder and a cultural icon, died yesterday at his home in New York. He was 93.
His nephew, Charles Parks of Lawrence, Kan., said Parks had cancer and had been in failing health since 1993.
Parks, the son of a dirt farmer, rose from meager beginnings and above recurrent discrimination to walk through doors previously closed to African Americans. He was the first black person to work at Life magazine and Vogue, and the first to write, direct and score a Hollywood film, "The Learning Tree" (1969), which was based on a 1963 novel he wrote about his life as a farm boy in Kansas. He also was the director of the 1971 hit movie "Shaft," which opened the way for a host of other black-oriented films.
Elegant and aristocratic with a trademark mustache, his work traversed a vast landscape from poverty and crime to luxury and high fashion. He was a high school dropout turned award-winning photographer who traveled the world, using his camera with deftness and defiance.
"I didn't set out to do all that I did," Parks told an interviewer. "I think there was always fear -- fear of not being educated. All the things I did were done because of the fear of failure." - Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb, TWP; Photograph by Suzanne Plunkett, A.P.
"As newspapers fight declining circulation and face rising newsprint costs -- and their corporate owners demand wider profit margins -- editors, publishers, reporters and technologists have worked over the past few years to devise new, paperless ways to deliver the news." - Frank Ahrens, TWP
I have had a busy last few weeks, no time for blogging, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to point out these stories from the past weeks New York Times. Each, in its own way, highlights our changing print-media business and the challenges we face. My company (The Washington Post) like many others, is trying to figure out how to survive without changing; personally I don't think that's possible.
We are truly at an historical crossroads; today's technology, like the printing press before it, is evolving information delivery and consumption before our eyes. These are not changes which will take 5 or 10 years to have an impact, they are impacting right now. Where this is headed I don't have a clue. What I do know, however, is that we will not exist in our present form for much longer.
These articles, thanks to the rapid archiving of the Times site, may not be online for long; read 'em and weep.
"The weather worsened over Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and adjacent damaged areas to the west, grounding helicopters and slowing efforts to deliver relief supplies and evacuate the injured. Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao, meanwhile, raised the estimated death toll in Pakistan to at least 33,000; another 2,000 are reported to have died in the part of Kashmir controlled by India, just across the cease-fire line that divides Pakistani and Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan region." - John Lancaster, The Washington Post; Photograph by Andrea Bruce, The Washington Post
Covering this in person is not the same as blogging it from a distance.
God bless our journalists Andrea Bruce and John Lancaster, bringing the world to Washington Post readers.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 - "Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.
In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban." - Robert Pear