Thursday, October 29, 2009

Coincidence? 1) NYT Wins National Design Award. 2) Bill Keller Shows Up. 3) NYT Does Story On National Design Awards.

The prestigious National Design Awards were handed out last Thursday night at a gala dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street -- an event the NYT has chosen to cover a week later with a breezy account in the Home section by Joyce Wadler.


Weren't the awards announced last April, making the dinner itself just a pro forma distribution of the prizes? And isn't a week an absurd amount of time to wait to cover an awards ceremony in a daily newspaper?

Well, the explanation appears to lie in what wasn't reported -- that for the first time, the NYT itself won one of the highly-coveted prizes. And that to introduce the winner at the dinner was none other than executive editor Bill Keller, Wadler's boss.

In the previous nine years the awards have been handed out, the NYT has either skipped coverage of the event entirely, or mentioned the awards only in passing. But bear in mind -- in the previous nine years, the NYT wasn't a winner.

"We are, in fact, the Technicolor Lady," Keller reportedly cracked from the podium, when introducing the winners from the NYT's graphics department.

That clever quote, of course, did not appear in Wadler's story. Nor did the fact of the NYT's win. Nor did Keller earn inclusion in Wadler's list of "heavy hitters" at the event, which included Charlie Rose, Chuck Close, and Eileen Fisher.

Nor were Keller and the NYT winners included anywhere in the slide show from the event posted on the NYT website this morning -- which, by the way, includes a lovely, newsy photo of the white-tuxedoed waiters at the event.


"Our journalism has never been more glorious."
--Jill Abramson, managing editor, The New York Times, January 7, 2009

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