The New York Times, the American news organisation at the forefront of storytelling innovation, is exploring the opportunities that will come with the onset of 5G, the cellular technology that is set to be transformational for a host of content technologies.

This is according to The New York Times Company’s CEO, Mark Thompson, who was speaking at CES in Las Vegas about the news organisation’s aim to be at the forefront of innovation. (Read WARC’s full report here: The New York Times explores 5G-powered journalism). “Today, we try and use every new digital advance, every new display, new device [and] new piece of functionality to bring our stories to life,” Thompson said.

Of those, the development of 5G, a transformative mode of cellular connection that promises massively accelerated information-sharing, and far lower latency, than web-enabled devices generally achieve at present, is tipped to be the most significant. Though still restricted to a handful of test geographies around the US, the Times is moving ahead in its preparations.

Key to the strategy, Thompson revealed, is a tie-up with Verizon on a 5G journalism “lab” that will launch in January 2019, and explore the potential of fifth-generation connectivity from a news perspective.

“This lab is going to be based in our main newsroom, and it will work very closely with Times’ journalists in New York City, across America, and around the world,” he said. “It will partner with Verizon’s open-innovation group and get early access to 5G technology and equipment. And we’ll use those resources to experiment not just in lab conditions, but in the field with real reporters and live news.”

Thompson expects the technology to change four key elements of the trade:
  • Newsgathering
  • Distribution
  • Collaboration
  • Optimisation
“We believe we're at the start of something really big: The next chapter in the story of quality digital news,” said Thompson.

“Previous revolutions in mobile networks and devices have led to many unexpected – sometimes counter-intuitive – breakthroughs, and 5G will be no exception. That's why the Times and Verizon have opted for the [5G] lab and the path of experimentation.

“So, in a way, the full fruits of this collaboration are going to have to wait for next year's CES.”

Sourced from WARC