The origin story of the New York Times’ blogs

Inevitably, questions and even tensions arose when the ingrained Times culture rubbed against emerging digital sensibilities. For years, getting a story published on page A1 of The New York Times — the holy grail for most reporters — was a protracted ritual that involved two meetings with a large cast involving increasingly senior editors. The process by which the stories were pitched and debated took hours over numerous meetings across all the different departments.

In comparison, the process of getting a story onto the home page of The New York Times Web site often involved lobbying a 20-something gatekeeper, generally via instant message. The editors of blogs, who had no guarantee their content would even appear in the paper, were strategic about what we would lobby for — and when to do it. The right home page “refer” could send page views soaring.

‘Page One’ Excerpt: How The New York Times learned to stop worrying and love the blog

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