Codebreaker

Never worry about tomorrow: newspapers get all time warpy

Marc Sanchez May 7, 2012


You would be hard pressed not to find the day’s date printed on a physical newspaper. What happened on May 6, will always be “yesterday” in today’s New York Times, and what happens tomorrow will always be May 8 in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Time references become a little slippery, however, when articles are published online, which has forced the Boston Globe to re-think a decades-old policy:

… articles are no longer written only for the newspaper. Breaking news is posted immediately on the Globe’s websites; stories are then fleshed out, posted again, then put into the process for the next day’s paper and the next day’s web entries. With all that traffic, a reliance on “yesterday, “today,” and “tomorrow” is an invitation for error.

The Nieman Journalism Lab notes that the Globe isn’t the only paper tinkering with its policy:

The Globe’s decision is part of an ongoing discussion inside and outside newsrooms about how to adjust phrasing in news to meet the needs of an evolved news cycle. Like the Globe, a number of papers have changed house style to only use the days of the week, while others use different terminology online and in print.

With this in mind, I would like to remind you that Mother’s Day is this weekend Sunday.

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