I came to the US some 49 years ago, a young refugee, lucky to have fled an Eastern European communist country. I felt that I must earn my American citizenship by working hard and perfecting my English. My girl friend, a genuine girl from Brooklyn, N.Y. Said to me: “You wanna speak good English? You gotta read the New York Times. Every day. O.K.”
William Pavlov, now a long-time NY Times reader who is an attorney in Miami Beach, left that comment on the new Times Insider, a new behind-the-scenes Times Premier feature.
Times Insider came along with Times Premier, one of a set of new subscription plans and offerings launched last month that offers readers who are willing to pay $45 a month services like Times Insider (a behind-the-scenes look at how big stories are reported), TBooks (single-subject compilations of past articles), family access and more.
Pro Tip: The idea behind Insider is to create a more informed readership. While all that sounds appealing, if you’re not a big-time fan like William and not trying to pay for Premier, you can always read excellent news about how the news was made over at CJR and especially IJNet, while also diversifying your news diet.
This will be the part that makes people mad and that makes me decidedly “unfuture” of media: I really try not to get my news from Twitter, which has a reputation as a place where people go and find lots of great news. I find it a place you go to find, I guess, your barbecued potato chips.
A lot of stuff that is kind of interesting, mostly not that good. And it’s absolutely chewed over into cud by the time you get there. So I’ve been making a concerted effort to create structure on my computer using different kinds of software and so forth, that forces me to get less of my news from social media, and more of it by reading my RSS feed, which are blogs, or going to other news sites.
Ezra Klein, as quoted by Conor Friedersdorf in Ezra Klein’s Case Against Getting Your News from Twitter, The Atlantic.
FJP: Very related and very helpful is Paul Bradshaw’s A Network Infrastructure for Journalists Online, which is an introduction to RSS readers, social networks and social bookmarking.
If you watch people shop in a grocery store, 95% of the time they are scanning the shelves for the packaging, making the choices on that before they turn the bottle around and look at the nutrition information. People choose their media that way too. So you can have a piece of media with the exact same nutritional value in it with different packaging and the consumer is going to choose the one that appeals to them most.
Upworthy’s Editorial Director Sara Critchfield, as quoted in this Nieman Lab article on Upworthy’s social success.
FJP: Today’s must read. It’s a thought-provoking piece on social curation and media packaging that not only breaks down a successful curation methodology, but also sheds light on the fact that the way we consume media is not unlike the way we consume food (see: Clay Johnson’s The Information Diet).