The New York Timesis introducing a new print section called “At Home” to its Sunday edition this weekend. The section, which will replace the print “Travel” section, is set to run at least through the duration of the pandemic. The Sunday “Sports” section will also be moved to the paper’s first section.
Times’ staff began work on the section in mid-April, with contributions coming from all sides of the newsroom, section editor Amy Virshup told Publisher’s Daily.
Virship created the section with Sam Sifton, Tom Jolly, Shannon Robertson and Tom Bodkin.
“The creation of [At Home] is a testament to how quickly people have had to work and adapt right now. With content coming from people from all over the newsroom — from writers to editors to designers — everyone has been thrown into new roles,” Virshup said.
One impetus for the section’s creation was the desire for an “At Home” portal on the paper’s website as editorial coverage became more service-oriented, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a lot of service content to help our readers adjust to life at home, but the daily pages of The Times weren’t a great home for them,” said Virshup.
The new section features action-oriented headlines to inspire readers to do what they’ve read about, rather than focusing on trends and news items. The section is designed to meet the needs of The Times’ wide-ranging readership. Topics include technology, culture and parenting, with fun activities for both families and singles.
A staff memo sent by Times executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joe Kahn, Sifton described “At Home:” “The section will bring you games and virtual voyages, tips for beauty and fitness, easy recipes to cook. It will look at what’s happening in the night skies, and at paintings in virtual museums. It has things to say about child care and self-care, and about what to watch and listen to. It will help you organize your space. It will encourage you to read poetry and fiction, to draw and to make. We hope it will be of service as we navigate together how best to live full lives in a difficult time.”
While the “Travel” section of the print edition is going on hiatus, coverage is slated to appear both in the “At Home” section and in other sections of the newspaper, such as business and news.
Virshup, who is also The Times’ travel editor, gave the example of a virtual “52 Places to Go” piece that appeared online. The editors transformed its popular annual list to meet the needs of readers who can’t travel right now, a focus that will continue in travel coverage for “At Home.”