NYT hones global model with Australian launch

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The New York Times - historically the "gray lady" - is finding new colour in Australia as it rejoices in an experiment it hopes it can translate into a new form of global expansion.

Forget (for the moment) the New York Times' international edition, which morphed from the International New York Times and before it, the International Herald Tribune as the US publisher cast around for greater global success. This is a new start, with new objectives and a young and optimistic new team, led by Damien Cave and Aussie investigative reporter Jacqui Williams.

A memo penned by international editor Michael Slackman, his deputy Jodi Rudoren and Asia editor Phil Pan, calls it the "next frontier" for the NYT's global expansion.

Cave moves his wife and two children to what he's already learned to call "the lucky country" and the charm offensive is supported by Williams, described by three-time Pulitzer prizewinner Walt Bogdanich as "without question the most delightful, responsible young reporter I've ever worked with.

"She develops sources easily and isn't afraid to think big," says Bogdanich, who brought her to the NYT after seeing her in his Columbia University class and is "heartbroken" she's leaving. Masters in journalism (Columbia) and globalisation studies (Dartmouth) followed time as a reporter with Fairfax Media in Australia. Born in Canberra, she is already on site with husband Luc Maasdorp.

Australian correspondent for the past three years Michelle Innis also joins the writing desk. She was previously a sub-editor at Fairfax's Australian Financial Review, where she worked for eight years.

Reconciled to being the latest new kids on the clock, Cave says a priority is to do "investigative stories that no one else can do". In a Niemanlab post with Shan Wang, he says the aim will be to involve not just Australia but the world: "We want to get Australia into the bloodstream of how the Times covers the world."

Drawing on initiatives from New York - but unlike its grey print-based forebears - the Sydney-based operation will also be more creative in terms of presentation, and is looking for a graphics and multimedia editor. Other vacant positions in a recent post include a reporter "in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia", an audience growth editor, an editorial assistant, and "project collaborators" based throughout Australia.

Pictured: Damien Cave (left) and Jacqui Williams

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