Editor of The Daily Beast, Newsweek on covering bin Laden’s death

It is no secret that The Daily Beast is my daily read. If you see me staring at my iPhone for long periods of time, I’m probably scrolling through their Cheat Sheet or flipping through one of their galleries. I also consider Tina Brown, the editor of both The Daily Beast and Newsweek, my journalism hero. So, it was certainly a thrill to hear her speak at SMU’s Tate Lecture on Wednesday night, especially so close to the journalism uproar that was the death of Osama bin Laden.

Brown was originally scheduled for May 3, but had to reschedule to deal with the coverage of the unexpected announcement. Brown juggles two publications: The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Sidney Harman, who aquired the failing magazine because he felt it was worth saving, asked Brown to lift it back up to greatness as she had with such magazines as Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, but she was unwilling to leave The Daily Beast. Harman then suggested they merge. So, as if Brown didn’t have enough on her plate, she became editor-in-chief of both news sources.

Because she has such a diverse amount of news tools at her disposal, it was really interesting to hear her list the ways they went about making their coverage of bin Laden’s death unique and timely. Because they had Newsweek Pakistan, they were able to get people at the site of the shooting almost immediately, rocketing their views up quickly as they had original content poring onto The Daily Beast almost immediately. This online presence also allowed them to put up galleries, attract varied editorial content from experts all over the globe, and even throw up a few fun pieces like “Navy SEAL’s hardcore workout.”

The print product, which Brown said they pushed up to a Friday release date instead of a Monday release date (forcing them to finish an entire magazine in one and a half days) in order to commemorate the event, allowed them to consider the deeper aspects of his death and explain the implications in detail. Articles like, “A Decade on the Lam” are a perfect example of the though provoking content that print products can produce, and internet articles simply can’t. Print allows things to be lengthier, more explanatory and less of a shot gun blast of information thrown at you at lightening speed.

I think The Daily Beast and Newsweek have a perfect thing going here, and I hope they continue to partner as seamlessly in the future as they did on this major event. In any case, Tina Brown, you shook my hand and told me I should come for a tour of The Daily Beast’s office. I hope you don’t forget! I’m coming as soon as I can get my hands on a plane ticket for New York City.

Posted by on May 13, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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