The New York Times is launching a series of short, web-only documentaries with Retro Report, a nonprofit news organization that aims to investigate “the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media.”
The videos will air each Monday at the NYT’s baby boomer blog, “Booming,” and on Retro Report’s website. Each will be 10 to 15 minutes long and accompanied by a story by NYT reporter Michael Winerip. The first one, “The Voyage of the Mobro 4000,” looks at the garbage barge of 1987.
This one has a small Alabama hook. And is moderately interesting. (I vaguely remember this story, being an elementary school student at the time. The more recent aspects, buried at the end of the package, are more intriguing to me. Waiting 10 minutes to get there is a lot to ask of online audience that might have only a mild interest.
Though, I must say, the emerging work of the historist — a made up term I made up in a diner in Atlanta years ago that would combine journalism and history through historicism — would be a really cool job.