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July 12, 2014

Beyond Print: Larger Meaning of the NYT Sports Page LeBron Cover

Surely you’ve seen this brilliant commentary on the NYT Sports page communicating the magnitude of LaBron James’s decision to return to Cleveland. If the twist has to do with how seismic the story is, one transcending the capacity of a headline, a news page or an entire news section to capture the impact, “fittingly” it’s also a commentary on those elements and how anachronistic the newspaper has become.

Paradoxically, the exercise also demonstrates the Buzzfeed-ization of our information culture. What we’re seeing here,  in the abdication of format and the surrender to graphic design (while attracting “win the internet” attention online) is not just an extremely clever editorial punctuation but the latest news space cleverness and savvy in the attraction of eyeballs.

The conversion of the page — and even more so, the sacrifice of that relic, the transaction box — is as much a take off on the old Times slogan: how much is all (or any of) the news in print still a fit?  That’s why, on first pass and before I saw this close up, I thought the Times was doing a twist on an obituary, a tombstone. And not just for Miami, I mean.


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