The New York Times’ public editor Liz Spayd thinks the Times needs to chill with its Facebook Live content. The reason? Most of the Times’ Live videos are terrible.
“After watching countless hours of live video in the past few weeks, I have hit upon many that are either plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring, by I imagine most anyone’s standards,” wrote Spayd. “…It’s as if we passed over beta and went straight to bulk.”
While Spayd has a point, so too does Times executive editor Dean Baquet. He stood up for the Times’ Live videos by noting that the Times can’t be afraid to fail.
“Have we done some stuff that’s not so pretty? Yes. But the newsroom needs to get comfortable using their imaginative brains to tell stories in different ways,” said Baquet.
Spayd is right, a lot of Times Live videos are garbage. But Baquet is also correct — the Times needs to keep innovating.
Also, let’s not forget that Facebook paid the Times $3 million to make these videos. In other words, we’re all stuck with subpar Live content until the Times figures it out.