Journalism as defined by New York Times




Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, sat down in front of the World Congress Monday to answer questions about the editorial experience “Snow Fall,” hiring, and competition in the media.

She discussed the importance of “show-not-tell” journalism for the audience of The New York Times.

She suggested media go behind the news, take the readers by the hand and explain with facts why something happened with vivid detail and narrative drive.

“The news and what happened [are] only a small part of any story,” Abramson said.

As a testament to The New York Times’ ability to create visual journalism, Abramson showed a video describing the making of “Snow Fall,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning multi-media piece created by the company in 2012.

The piece is an in-depth report on a group of skiers who died in an avalanche and includes videos that are queued upon scrolling to a certain point of the Web page, photos that pop up when scrolling over certain details, maps and graphics.

It has gained an incredible amount of attention as what some call the future of journalism.

Abramson disagrees.

“Snow Fall,” which has become a verb in media, isn’t the only form of the future, she said: “I don’t think I’m yet ready to declare: this is the future.”

The average age of a reporter at the Times is 40 to 50, and that the company is able to recruit the absolute best in every field, Abramson said.

When asked who The New York Times’ major competitors are, Abramson responded not only other news sources, but also subscribers.

“Your readers are competitors in some ways because they’re out tweeting and collecting facts and, you know, a lot of times they’re onto a nugget that’s really useful,” she said.

With competition from professionals and amateurs, The New York Times stays at the top because of the need for good journalism. Good quality is still in demand, Abramson said, and it includes the most innovative cutting edge journalism available.

“You’ve got to have journalism that’s worth paying for.”

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