The New York Times has been diversifying how it presents content to its users. Between interactives, videos, and podcasts, there’s plenty of ways to read, listen and stream content.
According to the HULU website, “The Weekly brings the unparalleled journalism of the New York Times to the screen for the first time.”
There are only 18 episodes released so far, and to my knowledge, HULU does not post viewing statistics, so I can’t determine how popular the episodes may be. Each of the episodes have 100 or more comments on the New York Times website, however, and one, Episode 8: ‘Hard Left’ has 810 comments, with the exception of Episode 12: ‘Apple’s Gold’ which has only 87 comments at the time of this writing.
The episode Hard Left and Episode 15: ‘Rudy! Rudy?’ are both very political in nature, and have the most comments on the New York Times website, and 594 for Episode 16: ‘Segregated City’, which seems to suggest that political episodes garner the most traffic on the New York Times website.
Surprisingly, given how much comment traffic the other two political episodes got, Episode 17: ‘Mr. McGahn’ got comparatively fewer, coming in at only 217. Whether this is because the other episodes have been posted for longer or that ‘Mr. McGahn’ did not indicate in the title that it was political, is unclear.
The half an hour long episodes, which are available streaming Sunday night on FX, and Monday on HULU, are promoted on the New York Times website with a preview and a few paragraphs about what the episode will be about, and who is involved. Some of the blurbs also highlight the featured reporters, highlights from behind the scenes, and key takeaways of the episode.
The episodes seem to take a different approach to reporting than a typical New York Times story, where the reporters are participating in the documentary-style episodes, instead of merely reporting. The reporters are part of the episodes, including footage of them at work, how long they’ve been working on these stories, and, sometimes, their reasons for their interest. “But here’s something I’ve always wondered about…” said one reporter during the Episode 10: ‘The Memo’.
Also included is how they may be responding to the story, even the most difficult parts of reporting. For example, in the first episode, Episode 1: The Education of T.M. Landry, the reporters are filmed talking with their editor about the possible ramifications to the students involved in the story, and one of the reporters is particularly emotional. Not only are the reporters narrating, we get to witness reporters as real people, not just bylines.
I think this style of storytelling is really powerful: we don’t just get to witness the report, we witness real people doing their jobs, and informing the public.