Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.
The biggest story in sports this week involved the out-of-season NBA: free agent DeAndre Jordan, after agreeing to leave the L.A. Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks, changing his mind and going back to Los Angeles to sign with the Clippers. The story was shrouded in secrecy, with even the best NBA reporters relying on off-the-record sources and anonymous information to provide the background of how it all happened.
And then there’s Lowe, who gets one of Jordan’s teammates to GO ON A PODCAST AND TALK ABOUT IT FOR 30 MINUTES. This interview is tremendous: Clippers guard J.J. Redick gives just about every detail one could want about how his team got Jordan to change his mind. Redick himself is a forthright interview, at times enthusiastic to give Lowe the play-by-play.
Again, this is why Lowe is such a prodigious reporter. Not only does he break down the game better than virtually anyone, he also makes the most of his connections. In this case, much like last week’s 1-on-1 with the newly minted coach of the NBA champs, Lowe lands an interview to delight any basketball fan.
Website, profiled (7/9/15, The Verge): I am not always a big fan of stories where one media outlet covers another.
But sometimes a media outlet is the story, and here is one example.
The web site, The Awl, has become a testament to the benefits of developing a small but loyal — and influential — following. As a source of content, it can afford to build its own brand of thoughtful, often acerbic posts while generally staying out of (if not lampooning) the mainstream. As a business, it can live with a far lower level of risk than media companies that grow much larger.
Such is the argument by Josh Dzieza of The Verge, and he lays it out in compelling, behind-the-scenes fashion. He also discusses how news providers must continually adapt to the changing environments of their audiences, and he acknowledges how The Awl has, for now, avoided that:
The Awl has found a way to make being small work in an industry that favors scale and mass appeal, and it’s become the sort of place where writers like Herrman and Buchanan can stand back and watch the content dynamo churn. But the company is subject to the same forces they’ve been warning about, and the people who built it are thinking about how to navigate the weird new internet taking shape.
New York City celebrates US Women’s World Cup win (7/10/15, Big Picture): I always marvel at how the Boston Globe’s Big Picture always seems to get right what other photo galleries don’t.
Consider this example, a collection of 23 photos from Friday’s ticker-tape parade for the US women’s soccer team, who last week won the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. Most web sites would divide their galleries into 23 separate pages — forcing their readers to click for each new photo — with the photos themselves embedded into the pages at a smaller size.
Not the Big Picture. Their editors compile masterful photography and put it all on one page, with the pictures spread across the screen for maximum effect. It creates a far more pleasing experience for the reader — which is why this reader keeps coming back and crowing about it.
Have a suggestion for “3 Great Stories of the Week”? E-mail me at email@example.com.