Print readers of The New York Times have been getting a strange front portion with their papers this week, a four-page "wrap" around the main section proclaiming a vague promise that the Sunday magazine will offer some new content on Sunday.
With a large ear on the front and back, the "wrap" says only "Listen to the World" coming in four days, or three days, or however the countdown is that particular morning.
Wraps are not unusual, although the Times rarely uses them and Spokeswoman Linda Zebian told me this was the longest use of the same "wrap,' which began on Monday. She declined to say how much it is costing the paper to add the section each day. although it includes a small General Electric ad in the front corner.
The paper finally revealed some details of what the campaign is all about in a statement on Thursday that indicated the magazine this week will have almost no text and a "soundtrack." It also claims the first-ever "audio crossword puzzle."
You can find the audio portions on Sunday morning on the Times website HERE.
"We've never done anything like this before," Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein said in the statement. "It's definitely an experiment in magazine-making, but that's what we love to do."
And also an experiment in wrap-around promotion.
But will avid readers of the magazine, which is still one of the top revenue magazines in the country, want to switch back and forth from print to web? We'll see.
At best, granting anonymity allows us to reveal the atrocities of terror groups, government abuses or other situations where sources may risk their lives, freedom or careers by talking to us. In sensitive areas like national security reporting, it can be unavoidable. But in other cases, readers question whether anonymity allows unnamed people to skew a story in favor of their own agenda. In rare cases, we have published information from anonymous sources without enough questions or skepticism — and it has turned out to be wrong.
The use of anonymous
sources presents the greatest risk in our most consequential, exclusive
stories. But the appearance of anonymous sources in routine government
and political stories, as well as many other enterprise and feature
stories, also tests our credibility with readers. They routinely cite
anonymous sources as one of their greatest concerns about The Times’s