Alice Rawsthorn

The NY Times (hearts) Apple's iSlate

January 4, 2010: 7:38 AM ET

It's not just bloggers who are obsessed with Cupertino's tablet computer

Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

"I'm hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP, or the impending Apple slate, or whatever comes after that." -- New York Times managing editor Bill Keller

Keller's videotaped speech to his digital staff last October, excerpted below the fold, has been getting a lot of play lately on the off-chance that he had been briefed by Apple (AAPL) and let slip the presumptive name -- iSlate -- of Steve Jobs' next big thing. (See, for example, here.)

But the off-the-record, all-hands speech may have been something else. It may have been a not-so-subtle signal from the top of the newsroom that the paper of record's reporters and columnists were to start focusing for self-serving reasons on a particular product, not on the editorial page but in the paper's news hole.

We've certainly been reading a lot about Apple's tablet in the Times recently; a quick search turned up more than two dozen mentions in December alone, including a Bits item declaring 2010 the Year of the Tablet.

But two pieces Monday -- one in the Times and one in the Times Co.'s (NYT) International Herald Tribune -- stand out: David Carr's "A Savior in the Form of a Tablet" and Alice Rawsthorn's  "Impact of the 'iSlate' Could Rival iPhone."

"There hasn't been this much hype about a tablet," writes Carr, the Times' star new-media columnist, "since Moses came down from the mountain."

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