National Press Club

Author to provide inside look at The New York Times Wednesday, June 25

June 5, 2014 | By Allyson Cannon | acannon@press.org

Nikki Usher

Nikki Usher

Join the National Press Club at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, in the Murrow Room for an inside look at what it takes to become the nation’s premier newspaper in the digital age. A discussion of Nikki Usher’s new book, "Making News at The New York Times." will be moderated by Club President Myron Belkind. Usher will explain the changing demands on journalists worldwide to keep up with engaging their readers.

Admission is free with registration. Register here.

By presenting a lively chronicle of months spent in the newsroom observing daily conversations, meetings, and journalists at work, Usher lets us see Page One meetings, articles developed for online and print from start to finish, the creation of ambitious multimedia projects, and the ethical dilemmas posed by social media in the newsroom. Here, the reality of creating news in a 24/7 instant information environment clashes with the storied history of print journalism, and the tensions present a dramatic portrait of news in the online world.

"Making News at The New York Times" argues that emergent news values are reordering the fundamental processes of news production. Immediacy, interactivity, and participation now play a role unlike any time before, creating clashes between old and new. These values emerge from the social practices, pressures, and norms at play inside the newsroom as journalists attempt to negotiate the new demands of their work.

Immediacy forces journalists to work in a constant deadline environment, an "As Soon as Possible" world, but one where the vaunted traditions of yesterday's news still appear in the next day's print paper. Interactivity, inspired by the new user-computer directed capacities online and the immersive Web environment, brings new kinds of specialists into the newsroom, but exacts new demands upon the already taxed workflow of traditional journalists. And at time where social media presents the opportunity for new kinds of engagement between the audience and media, business executives hope for branding opportunities while journalists fail to truly interact with their readers.

Nikki Usher is Assistant Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University.