What is The Editor’s Prerogative? It’s when you take a piece of journalism and make it huge in scale and elaborate in delivery so that it is more in line with how important an editor thinks the story is than how new audiences actually want to consume it.
The media aren’t very good at two of their most important jobs
Job one: Answering the question “What’s happening now?”
Getting the answer to this, unless you’re a news junkie who’s been following along obsessively, can be surprisingly difficult. Sure, many outlets (like Quartz) don’t try to cover events minute-by-minute but instead choose specific angles. But even on the big news sites this week, it could be hard to figure out what was going on.
This is a problem of design. Most sites deliver breaking news either in the form of an article, periodically rewritten—which gives you some background, but becomes useless when news is moving fast—or a live blog, which is easy to keep current, but a lousy way of informing someone who hasn’t been keeping close tabs. And good live-blogs were few. (A handful of places, notably Circa, are experimenting with solutions to this design problem.)
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