Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Newspaper Sites

September 11th, 2006 · No Comments

Adrian Holovaty writes:

First, the question of “How is this journalism?” is academic. Journalists should have less of a concern of what is and isn’t “journalism,” and more of a concern for important, focused information that is useful to people’s lives and helps them understand the world. A newspaper ought to be that: a fair look at current, important information for a readership.

Second, it’s important to note I’m not making an all-or-nothing proposition; I’m not saying newspapers should turn completely to vast collections of data, completely abandoning the format of a news article. News articles are great for telling stories, analyzing complex issues and all sorts of other things. An article — a “big blob of text” — is often the best way to explain concepts. The nuances of the English language do not map neatly to machine-manipulatable data sources. (This very entry, which you’re reading right now, is a prime example of something that could not be replaced with a database.) When I say “newspapers need to stop the story-centric worldview,” I don’t mean “newspapers need to abolish stories.” The two forms of information dissemination can coexist and complement each other.

Tags: Software

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