OLD Media Moves

NYTimes small biz editor not a fan of list stories

July 29, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Andy Crestodina of Copyblogger.com interviewed New York Times small business editor Loren Feldman about his story style preferences.

Here is an excerpt:

Loren, you prefer not to write list articles. Why is that?

I think list articles tend to be overdone and to have limited credibility. I’m not sure it’s convincing to just say, “here are the five things you need to do to improve your SEO.” I think it’s much more valuable to take more of a case study approach — which allows you to see more of the person’s thinking, what works and what doesn’t. I’ve found that things rarely go perfectly on the first shot — but maybe that’s just me.

Are those the only two kinds of articles? Stories and lists?

No, there are other options — including conversations and Q&As. But I think it’s more the principle. Regardless of the format, I like to approach it a little bit as if it were a case study: here’s the problem, here’s what we tried, here’s what worked and what didn’t.

Why do you think list headlines are so popular?

We’re all looking for answers. It’s very tempting to click. I do it myself. (But I’m not always glad I did.)

I understand that journalists are under pressure to drive traffic to their content. Is this affecting the quality of reporting?

There have always been commercial pressures in journalism, and I suspect there always will be. It’s not always a bad thing to pay attention to what consumers of journalism actually want. But it’s nice to know there are still a few places that will put resources into important stories without worrying too much about the traffic.

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.