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Born in an age when typeset tastes in newspapers ran the gamut from dark gray to light gray, The Times pioneered — along with USA Today, another mold-breaking daily newspaper with national ambitions that debuted five months after The Times hit the newsstands — the use of color and eye-catching graphics to enliven coverage and enhance the reader’s understanding. The website launched on May 17, 1996.

The Times’ oft-honored photo section has produced indelible images on tight deadlines of national tragedies, entertainment legends and sports heroes, as well as iconic, prize-winning photos of figures as diverse as Alan Greenspan, John Riggins, Marion Barry and a Catholic altar boy in Mount Olive, N.C.
The paper enters its fourth decade facing challenges and opportunities. The struggles facing all print journalism products continue, while media outlets struggle to find the most effective and profitable way to exploit — or survive — the digital revolution.

The Times cut its paper edition back from seven days a week to five two years ago, while beefing up its Internet coverage to offer continuous, up-to-the-minute news coverage. The recent death of Rev. Moon marks both a milestone and a challenge for the paper’s long-term direction, although the company’s new top executives insist that The Times and its various media products will continue to be given support to maintain and extend their coverage reach.

“Today, The Times is much more than a daily newspaper for the metro area,” Mr. Kelley said. “The vast majority of digital consumers of Times content are far outside of Washington. That means opportunities to reach national and global audiences who want news and analysis from the nation’s capital from a news organization dedicated to meeting their needs.”