I was catching up on Charlie Rose segments and came across a recent interview with Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times.
The interview offered yet another proof point on the importance of storytelling in cracking the mainstream media.
Check out this exchange.
Charlie: How does Jill Abramson see the mission of The New York Times?
Jill: I see the mission to definitely cover the world. That’s why it’s so important that we’ve increased our staff of foreign correspondents. But I have a feeling that my definition of “fit to print” is different than when the saying first came out.
Charlie: What is your definition of “fit to print”?
Jill: Fit to print is, is it legitimately newsworthy and also is it interesting? Sometimes I‘ll pick a front-page story just because I think people will find it interesting … not because it’s of world-shaking importance or serious.
Charlie: And you’ll put it on the front page?
Jill: I will put it on the front page.
She couldn’t just come out and say, “We need to break up the monotony of healthcare reform and Iraq with stories that will entertain our readership.” That would be too jarring; hence, the use of the drab adjective “interesting.”
The interview in its entirety can be viewed in the video embedded below (Abramson is the second guest).
If you want to skip to the good part, Jill starts talking about “interesting stories” around minute 42.