Wednesday, 9 April 2008

NYT News Alerts and Integration

I had signed up to the NYT news alerts.

Here's how they describe their breaking news alert, which is the one I picked: editors will send you Breaking News Alerts when, in their judgment, significant and important news breaks anywhere around the globe.

Here is a recent example cluttering my inbox of a "significant and important news break from anywhere around the globe" that editors judged significant.

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 -- 10:49 PM ET-----
Tennessee Defeats Stanford, 64-48, in the N.C.A.A. Women's Championship Tennessee dominated Stanford, giving its coach, Pat Summitt,her eighth national championship.

I'm pretty up to speed on global news but I don't know who Pat Summitt is, couldn't tell you what NCAA stands for without guessing, and couldn't care less. Who would, except Americans and perhaps international alumni of American colleges?

The day before? News that the congestion charging south of 60th street in Manhattan had been voted down. Now if that isn't the perfect metaphor for NYT Manhattan centric-ism then I don't know what is.

That is just plain parochial.

Not an uninteresting story, but a breaking news alert of significant importance from anywhere round the world? Get real.

It's worth remembering that it is NYT editors who are shaping the future and editorial content of the IHT.

Two names to watch: Marty Gottlieb and Tom Redburn.

The buzz word in Paris right now: INTEGRATION.

Sounds ominous doesn't it? If that means intergrating the NYT's view of the world into the IHT's then what we will get is the NYT's which, as illustrated by the above, isn't quite the same.

Already seeing much more US content after an intelligent pullback over recent years, and I'm not just refering to the primary coverage (which I happen to think the IHT editors have got way out of whack in terms of column inches devoted thereto. Yesterday's paper, I think it was, was particularly US-centric.)

Watch this space for some analysis about what that word INTEGRATION MEANS when deployed by NYT editors in Paris.