Today makes eight days on the Express desk.
For the second part of my fellowship, I have finally made it to New York — not last weekend, but the one before that. And I’ve been been unrelentingly busy since then!
First I got set up at Webster Apartments. It’s an interesting place in midtown — a bona fide historical women’s boarding house — which the Times wrote about here, in 2009: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/fashion/05webster.html
And on Monday last week, I went to the Times HQ to get myself set up and trained on the basics. On Tuesday, the reporting work began.
The Express Desk is part of NYT’s efforts to reinvent itself in changing times. My editor there is Patrick LaForge. You can read about him and the Express Desk here, from the former public editor Margaret Sullivan: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/public-editor/new-york-times-express-team-margaret-sullivan-public-editor.html
“Mr. LaForge, who is both steeped in Times practices and digitally savvy (he is often credited with coining the Twitter truism, ‘Retweets do not equal endorsements’) directs the newsroom’s Express Team. The group of eight writers and editors quickly develops articles when a topic begins gathering steam on social media.
The team also jumps on breaking news, often r
ewriting other news sources (with credit where due) and adding original interviews and other research even as The Times’s traditional news desks — national, business, metro or international — may still be evaluating whether an event merits dispatching a reporter.”
In order to stay ahead of the game at this desk, you need not only to be an excellent reporter; you should also have social media savvy, and a talent for writing accurate stories quickly. I have always tended to write a little slowly, and as I’ve said here before, social media was never my strong suit. So there’s a learning curve for me, but the experience has so far been great. I’m grateful to everyone who has been — and still is! — helping me get up to speed.
But with eight out of fourteen days down, I’m already more than halfway through my Express Desk tenure. After that I’ll move over to Metro, where I hope to do more enterprise stories and focus on social justice issues that are the theme of this fellowship.
For now, here are a few links to stories I’ve written so far!
Flight Attendants Fight Human Trafficking With Eyes in the Sky – Feb. 7, 2017
Plain Old Vaping Gives Way to ‘Dripping,’ Study Says – Feb. 7, 2017
Boston Bombing Survivor to Marry the Firefighter Who Rescued Her – Feb. 2, 2017
Trump’s Black History Talk: From Douglass to Media Bias and Crime – Feb. 1, 2017
Thanks for reading!