Today the Grey Lady launched a politics-themed email newsletter and micro-site underneath the Times‘ main site called First Draft.
First Draft is a piggyback on Washington-centric blog The Caucus, which hasn’t seen much consistent action. As the Times‘ Carl Hulse told the Huffington Post, the new site will house an ongoing political dialogue, written in a similar voice as the paper’s NYT Now app’s morning and evening briefings. Additionally, First Draft will feature both original scoops (that may be developed into full stories for the newspaper later on) as well as aggregated content.
So far, the blog features pull quotes from political figures, videos and even a curated Instagram photo of Cory Booker. Content runs the gamut, as events dictate coverage, though it is definitely an informal take on a sometimes dry topic. As HuffPo’s Michael Calderone wrote: “The Times plans to update First Draft frequently, with hopes that political news junkies will return throughout the day.”
It’s clear that the heyday for niche websites is going on now — publications know that one-dimensional products bore consumers. There must be a place for each reader to go, and really, it’s surprising that the Times hadn’t experimented with something more like First Draft sooner. The more coverage you have to offer (in bite-sized pieces), the better off you are.
What do you think of NYT’s first iteration of First Draft? What should be added? Was it a strong launch? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @10000Words.