Media Magazine

Bullets (over the Text) at The New York Times

Posted on the 14 April 2015 by Themarioblog @garciainteract
Bullets (over the text) at The New York TimesBullets (over the text) at The New York Times

Call them bullets, or key points, or at a glance items.

They are those short sentences that highlight the key elements of the story for the reader in a hurry.

Those bulleted items first became household items in newsrooms across the world in the mid 1980s.  We were discovering---and Poynter EyeTrack research was backing it up---the notion that readers were in a hurry, that they were scanning as much as they were reading (or more so). Bullets would normally appear as part of info boxes to the side of a story.

With the digital revolution taking hold, bullets moved to home pages of websites: there would be a headline then three "bulleted" items fleshing out a story from beginning to middle to end.

Now, in the era of at a glance journalism, where scanners represent a majority of our audience, and where the platform themselves come in ever smaller screens (with the smart watches now becoming the smallest of all screens), bulleted items are a necessary part of the storytelling palette.

That is why I am not surprised to see the bullets used by The New York Times, the last of the holdouts in bulleted-item territory.  We have always associated The Times with in depth, lean back and, let's face it, the long read as only the Gray Old Lady can do it.

But take a look: the Times has started using bullets.  Like everything else the Times does, it is using those bullets well.  A necessary disclaimer: The Wall Street Journal was using the concept of "bullets" long before anyone else, except that for the WSJ, these were not packaged as bullets. Instead, the WSJ used the bulleted items as "decks" in a headline. Normally , the WSJ would have a headline summarizing the essence of the story, but then it would be followed by two decks amplifying on it.

We are likely to see more bullets as they become part of the template for at a glance journalism.  The same elements that are used to seduce on those small screens of the digital platforms, can easily transfer to print.

In that sense, bullets are not only helping readers, but they will also contribute to weaving a more consistent storytelling palette across the platforms.

TheMarioBlog post # 1730
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Classy and Elegant Wedding in Santorini | Hollie & David

    Classy Elegant Wedding Santorini Hollie David

    The wedding of today’s couple was simply gorgeous! Undoubtedly, Santorini is one of the most preferable and romantic destinations to create your wedding, so... Read more

    12 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
  • Weather Or Not


    Our weather has been all over the place. Yesterday was beautiful -- but chilly. A few days ago it was almost in the 80s. And the day before that, there was snow... Read more

    12 hours, 25 minutes ago by   Vickilane
  • Does GoDaddy Have Too Much Power?

    Does GoDaddy Have Much Power?

    It seems more and more domain owners are rebelling against the GoDaddy monopoly. Huge Domains also appears to be in the crosshairs of more angry domainers. Read more

    12 hours, 39 minutes ago by   Worldwide
  • Experience Burma Here…

    Experience Burma Here…

    Burma Burma is one of the newest outlet in the city catering to Burmese food lover. The outlet is located in Indiranagar just opposite to Glocal. Read more

    12 hours, 39 minutes ago by   Rohit Dassani
  • Our Kind of Cruelty – Araminta Hall

    Kind Cruelty Araminta Hall

    Psychological Thriller5*s Verity and Mike are an example of a classic love story. They met at university, fell in love and then seven years later,... Read more

    13 hours, 25 minutes ago by   Cleopatralovesbooks
  • Opera Review: A Piece of Fairy Cake

    Opera Review: Piece Fairy Cake

    Joyce DiDonato sings a radiant Cendrillon at the Met. by Paul J. Pelkonen The lighting department: Joyce DiDonata as Cinderella in Massenet's Cendrillon.Photo b... Read more

    13 hours, 55 minutes ago by   Superconductor
  • Lizi's Granola Scones

    Lizi's Granola Scones

    This coming Monday will be Saint George's Day. All of the beautiful countries in the United Kingdom have a Patron Saint and the Patron Saint of England (where... Read more

    15 hours, 25 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner