Over the past 160 years, The New York Times has evolved into the largest metropolitan printed newspaper, as well as the most popular online newspaper website in the United States.  Millions travel daily to the website in order to stay updated on news and current events.  However, in recent years, The Times has bulked up into a small amount of news, and a large amount of fillers and useless information.  The newspaper is a thick slab of wasted trees, while the online site has an endless sidebar of sections to choose from.  Because there is so much to choose from, I would not add any sections, and if I had the opportunity, I would examine all of the sections and pick and choose which ones are not necessary.  If sections are eliminated, the public will be able to get useful information without plodding through so many useless pages.

Near the top of the online sidebar of the New York Times, there was one section that I felt should not have been there: Weddings/Celebrations.  Sure, a wedding can be a feel-good story for some readers, as well as a way for elders to recall their past younger years; however, it is not a needed section in the paper.  If one clicks on the Weddings/Celebrations tab, there is a lengthy list of recent weddings throughout the country, accompanied with background stories of all of the newlyweds.  I particularly did not like the fact that the weddings were above the Obituaries section.  Remembering lost loved ones and telling their life story is much more important than a wedding event that has a 50% chance of failing in the long-run.  Compared to the Obituaries section, there were far more weddings and celebrations listed because they are more likely to bring a smile to the public.  “The press often covers some types of events while excluding others for reasons that turn on evaluative judgements of relative social importance”(Iggers,100).  The only drawback of eliminating the Weddings/Celebrations section, would be that popular wedding locations would get less recognition.  If a wedding is advertised, then the location is advertised as well.  It is a way of drawing in soon-to-be-weds.  The Weddings/Celebrations section is a nice upbringing section, but it is something that can appear somewhere else; such as a magazine or online websites.

Courtesy of The New York Times

Another major section that does not need recognition in the paper is Home and Garden.  The Home and Garden section informs the public of popular trends involving the decoration of houses and landscaping. This truly belongs in a magazine, as there is no need for lessons on how to decorate your home in a newspaper. One article talks about how billionaire Mayor Bloomberg embellishes his luxurious home.  The public does not need to know how he lavishes himself with home goods, even if they could afford the products he owns.  If it was removed, several home and garden companies may be affected, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc., because they are commonly mentioned in the numerous articles.  They rely heavily on these articles because, “economics shape the newspaper in a variety of ways.  As newspapers become more market-driven, market research plays an increasingly important role in determining content”(Iggers,101).  If the newspaper was not so market driven as it is today, the public would easily be able to get the important daily news that it needs to stay informed, without going through page after page of useless information.

Screenshot from Home and Garden section of the New York Times