NYTimes is in the process of defining the Magazine format for the Web. Yes, Newsweek and others [please add your favorites in the comments below] have done some superb full-page, Magazine-like stories but the NYTimes is taking it to a new media level of excellence:
As China in our century become as aggressive as Japan in the 1900-1945 time span, there is a story.
The above story is appearing in today’s NYTimes. It is ad free, fills the screen, is responsive so it fits fairly well on mobiles like smartphones and tablets, is one very long page – and scrolling down the page unlocks its superb video, audio and written story telling. One really comes away with an appreciation of what is happening now in the Mid Pacific ocean as mighty China seeks to upend the tiny Phillipines over the possible oil, gas and mineral treasures locked beneath the Sprately and other coral island groups mid-Ocean.
The story shows just how uneven the geo-political contest is in rich media terms that are nothing less than compelling. If I were a NYTimes writer I would be vying for the opportunity to do a NYTimes Magazine story like this. As a reader, this is just magnificent reading/experience. In sum, this new Web Magazine format has created a tipping point in favor of the NYTimes. Until now I have been dodging the NYTimes subscription bullet by using my ten reads on my own and then adding 10 more on public library browsers plus fishing the Stumble-on and Digg waters for interesting stories that link to the NYTimes [again free for now].
But now if the Times produces another story like this and The Story of Inner Russia, this fence center will move to the NYTimes subscription camp.