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"Rather than (always, only) writing stories, we should be trying to solve the problem of comprehensively informing the user on a particular topic."Yes!
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It's the second time that I go back to this insightful article by Jonathan Stray, dating back to 2011, but which was visionary and rightful then as it is still now. The first time I did, right after it came out, I didn't actually realize in full how relevant and important was the idea being communicated through it.
On the surface the article talks about an hypotethical Editorial Search Engine as a desirable news app. But if you look just beyond the surface, which is by itself fascinating, in essence, Mr. Stray indicates how useful and effective it would be if news publishers moved on from reporting and into 100% curated coverage of a certain topic, issue or story, opening a fascinating discovery gateway around each story and allowing in time for these streams to intersect and interconnect with each other.
By doing this, we can not only make the news much more interesting and relevant, but we can transform them into instruments for in-depth learning about anything we are interested in.
In this light the future of news could be very much about Comprehensively Informing an Audience on a Specific Topic. And if you stop enough time to re-read it and think about it, this is a pretty powerful and revolutionary concept by itself.
He specifically writes: "Rather than (always, only) writing stories, we should be trying to solve the problem of comprehensively informing the user on a particular topic."
"Choose a topic and start with traditional reporting, content creation, in-house explainers and multimedia stories. Then integrate a story-specific search engine that gathers together absolutely everything else that can be gathered on that topic, and applies whatever niche filtering, social curation, visualization, interaction and communication techniques are most appropriate."
Jonathan Stray makes also a very inspiring connection to Jay Rosen of NYU and his idea of covering 100% of a story which in my view correctly anticipated the niche content curation trend while going beyond it in its effort to explore gateways to innovation.
Insightful. Visionary. Inspiring. 9/10
A useful article on the role of journalists by Jonathan Stray. He postulates that rather than writing stories, journalists should be trying to solve the problem of comprehensively informing the user on a particular topic, by applying filtering, social curation, visualistion and interaction with their audience. I think the professional press has woken up to this, and commend the Guardian for their insightful reporting.