Tag Archives: U.S. Media

New York Times tries to stay ahead of the game

With the increased importance of social media, Leonard Apcar, economics editor in Washington for New York Times, has to find ways to survive in the so-called “sunset industry” in printed media.

By Karen Chan

The presidential election in the U.S. is not only a huge event for U.S. residents, but it is also a battle for the news media too. As a traditional newspaper with long history and high reputation, New York Times has tried to adopt a new way to cover the election.

Leonard Apcar, economics editor in Washington at the New York Times, says coverage of the presidential election has changed.

“We have created a new app for the election. Readers can get an easy access to our stories. We have a Twitter account, and reporters ‘tweet’ their stories there; there is always an election graphic map to show the electoral votes that both the candidates have,” he said.  He added there is many new blogs, with one called Five thirty eight that looks at election statistics.

Beyond multimedia elements, Apcar says the New York Times is trying to improve the quality of their stories.

“For the election, we have prepared a lot about the candidates, especially Mitt Romney. If he wins, what will be the effect on Wall Street or the economy in the future? It will be a totally different story if Romney wins. No matter how, we have to prepare a lot before the result comes out,” Apcar said.

For the New York Times, there are around 12 reporters covering this year’s presidential election.


A morning with ‘The Washington Post’: From print to digital

By Jennifer Tang

As journalism students in Hong Kong, we haven’t had the chance to see inside a foreign newsroom.  That changed on Thursday morning, when we were very lucky to get a glimpse inside The Washington Post, and see how this Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper operates.

First, we observed that the working hours of a U.S. newsroom is quite different from those in Hong Kong. Staff at The Washington Post start very early in the morning (many of them at 9 am), and typically get off work at around 6:30 pm on a usual day. This is not atypical of media in the U.S.  Journalists in Hong Kong usually start in the afternoon and stay until midnight, which is when stories are completed and the newspaper is ready to go to print.

Although the media in the U.S. and Hong Kong are both moving towards digitalization, they are doing so very differently. Hong Kong newspapers are moving online and incorporating more multimedia elements such as video to their reporting, but most of the newspapers don’t have their own studio and produce their own programs. In contrast, The Washington Post has their own studio for recording short videos and programs. They even have a team that specializes and focuses on social media. Impressive stuff.

“We manage Twitter accounts, the Facebook page, GooglePlus, and produce all the Google hangouts,” said Hayley Crum, engagement producer at The Washington Post. “At first when social media became kind of big, people just pushed out content. (They were essentially saying) this is what we have, here’s the link to it, and we hope you’ll click on it. But it’s not enough anymore, you really have to engage your audience and create a sense of community, and it’s like they have to be invested in your journalism, so now we interact with them a lot and we try to retweet people or give them a shout out.”

“We also use it as a news gathering tool, so a lot of our reporters will tell readers, ‘If you are at a certain place, tell us what you were thinking, send us photos and videos.’ Now we have all these readers who help us (provide content), and we are going to utilize this (material) and be the first people to publish it,” Crum said.

The visit to The Washington Post was an eye-opening experience. I came away thinking that the media in the U.S. is overall more sophisticated, and they are serious about moving from the paper/traditional media to digital.