The New York Times Document Viewer, which allows primary source documents to be viewed on the NYT webpages as mentioned in articles, will be re-released in the coming weeks as a new open-source version BayNewser reports.
This is the first time the company will share a front-end news tool with any organization who wishes to use it, said Aron Pilhofer, the Times' editor for interactive newsroom technologies.
Part of a larger initiative to use, develop, and share more open-source software, the move embodies "a recognition that news organizations are slowly but gradually becoming more and more like technology companies," Pilhofer said. The shift is intended to strengthen journalism and transparency as it enables the Times to benefit from software developers and technologically skilled journalists outside of the company who improve the software.
The new version will allow readers to annotate any part of a document, as well as whole pages, and can coalesce all comments and annotations into a single easy-to-view stream.
The Times will release the program code in its entirety, allowing any website or organization to use and modify it. It is hoped that the favor of freely providing such a tool will be returned with public improvements made by companies that use the code.