Sean Penn by Paolo Pellegrin for Magnum/New York Times

Sean Penn by Paolo Pellegrin for Magnum/New York Times

I am an unashamed New York Times fan, despite its very public failings it remains a truly great newspaper. Or, more accurately, a media brand as this photo collection shows, the NYT is doing things that are beautiful in their simplicity, engaging and go way beyond what a ‘newspaper’ is known for. Having embraced the web/digital media and invested heavily in it, the NYT, along with The Guardian, is really producing some great work.

This photo portfolio by Paolo Pellegrin with audio commentary by Lynn Hirschberg is a perfect balance of the visual and optional audio, perhaps lacking a little by leaving the timing of images to audio to the user.

My only criticism of this gallery/media feature is the monetisation. Sure, there’s an ad at the start but the editorial/programming has won over the potential revenue opportunities as after that pre-roll, there’s nothing other revenue drivers which while aesthetically appealing (and would be among the drafts I would create for this product) makes for a bad business model. Sponsorship, audio ads, interstitials all could have been used without affecting the overall experience and probably would go someway to making this piece balance the books.

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