‘One-sentence stories’: An oxymoron from the New York Times for the Apple Watch

033115blog one sentence story
New York Times

I figured this had to be an early April Fool’s Day joke … or the New York Times doesn’t understand that “one-sentence story” is an oxymoron.

And a spokesperson for the newspaper tells me via email that it’s no joke. A press release reads:

The New York Times has developed a new form of storytelling to help readers catch up in seconds on Apple Watch. One-sentence stories, crafted specially for small screens, will provide the news at a glance across many Times sections, including Business, Politics, Science, Tech and The Arts.

One-sentence stories are accompanied by The Times’s award-winning photography and short, bulleted summaries. Readers can use Handoff to continue reading any story on iPhone or iPad, or tap “Save for Later” to build a personal reading list.

Here are some examples:

033115blog one sentence story2 New York Times

So you may be thinking: Aren’t these just headlines? Poynter asked that question and that same Times spokesperson responded:

“This isn’t a downstream experience – we specifically did not want to pull headlines or shrink stories down for a smaller screen, but rather create one-sentence stories written exclusively for the Watch.”

I’ve been a journalist for going on 40 years now. I know the difference between a headline and a story. Those “one-sentence stories” in the picture? They’re headlines.

Unless they’re an early April Fool’s Day joke.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT