Memo Pad: Politics Are Fine, But Show Us The Dresses… All In The Name Of Art…

The New York Times online broke the Eliot Spitzer scandal, invested untold energy and money on election coverage and went deep on Heath Ledger, but...

POLITICS ARE FINE, BUT SHOW US THE DRESSES: The New York Times online broke the Eliot Spitzer scandal, invested untold energy and money on election coverage and went deep on Heath Ledger, but those weren't the days that set total page view records. That honor goes to...the day after the Academy Awards, with its red-carpet slide shows, which presented the single biggest traffic day at 37.6 million page views. (In Style and Us Weekly, watch out.) Of course, those figures were followed closely by the two days of Super Tuesday coverage, the Spitzer affair and Ledger's death, said Jim Roberts, editor of digital news at The Times, at the Mediabistro Circus on Wednesday.

Page views notwithstanding — Roberts' colleague, editor for interactive news Aron Pilhofer, specifically said that they didn't guide news coverage or necessarily affect investment — the team has been steadily experimenting with tools and applications that satisfy the public's hunger for political information, such as maps and databases. All these can be more arduous than a casual click-through suggests; for example, when Hillary Clinton's schedule as first lady was finally released in the form of 17,000 nonsearchable image files, the Times team spent hours processing it to searchable and readable form. Pilhofer contrasted that with The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, which he said simply invited their readers to download all 17,000 files. The takeaway: a newspaper reader gets a journalist's distillation of the material; a Web site user can dynamically access the material themselves — with The Times' help, of course.

— Irin Carmon

The premiere issue of tar mag — the new biannual arts title from BlackBook magazine founder Evanly Schindler — will feature Benicio del Toro on the cover, shot by Julian Schnabel. Other contributors include Juergen Teller, Terry Richardson, Matthew Barney and Ryan McGinley, who shot a 30-page portfolio of unclothed models (obviously in the name of art) for the first issue, out in October. Susan Cappa - formerly of Vogue - is publisher of tar mag, Maurizio Marchiori is the co-publisher of tar mag, Zoe Wolff from Domino is executive editor, Neville Wakefield is the creative director and Bill Powers has been tapped as artistic director.
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