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The Future of News Is Not About Facts: It's About Context, Relevance and Opinion

The Future of News Is Not About Facts: It's About Context, Relevance and Opinion | Wepyirang | Scoop.it

"News sources can't just give us the facts. They must tell us what those facts mean."


Via Robin Good
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Robin Good's curator insight, February 24, 2014 4:55 PM



Here's a refreshing look at the future of news that highlights the importance of going deeper into creating value for readers by providing more focus, relevance, context and opinion.

These are the characters that properly define what we now refer to as "curation" when it comes to content and news.


The following passages, extracted from the book, The News: A User's Manual, are by Alain de Botton, and have been excerpted from a lengthy article on The Week entitled "The Future of News".


"News organizations are coy about admitting that what they present us with each day are minuscule extracts of narratives whose true shape and logic can generally only emerge from a perspective of months or even years — and that it would hence often be wiser to hear the story in chapters rather than snatched sentences.


They [news organizations] are institutionally committed to implying that it is inevitably better to have a shaky and partial grasp of a subject this minute than to wait for a more secure and comprehensive understanding somewhere down the line.


...


We need news organizations to help our curiosity by signaling how their stories fit into the larger themes on which a sincere capacity for interest depends.


To grow interested in any piece of information, we need somewhere to "put" it, which means some way of connecting it to an issue we already know how to care about.


A section of the human brain might be pictured as a library in which information is shelved under certain fundamental categories. Most of what we hear about day to day easily signals where in the stacks it should go and gets immediately and unconsciously filed.


... the stranger or the smaller stories become, the harder the shelving process grows. What we colloquially call "feeling bored" is just the mind, acting out of a self-preserving reflex, ejecting information it has despaired of knowing where to place.


...We might need help in transporting such orphaned pieces of information to the stacks that would most appropriately reveal their logic.


...it is news organizations to take on some of this librarian's work. It is for them to give us a sense of the larger headings under which minor incidents belong."

 


The call for understanding how much greater value can be provided by curating news and information in depth, rather than by following the shallow, buzzy and viral path beaten by HuffPo, Buzzfeed and the rest of the gang, is clear.


But beyond context and depth, real value can only be added if we accept the fact that going beyond the classic "objective fact reporting", by adding opinion and bias in a transparent fashion, can actually provide greater value in many ways, as Alain de Botton clearly explains:


"Unfortunately for our levels of engagement, there is a prejudice at large within many news organizations that the most prestigious aspect of journalism is the dispassionate and neutral presentation of "facts."


...


The problem with facts is that there is nowadays no shortage of sound examples. The issue is not that we need more of them, but that we don't know what to do with the ones we have...


...But what do these things actually mean? How are they related to the central questions of political life? What can they help us to understand?


...The opposite of facts is bias. In serious journalistic quarters, bias has a very bad name. It is synonymous with malevolent agendas, lies, and authoritarian attempts to deny audiences the freedom to make up their own minds.


Yet we should perhaps be more generous toward bias.


In its pure form, a bias simply indicates a method of evaluating events that is guided by a coherent underlying thesis about human functioning and flourishing.


It is a pair of lenses that slide over reality and aim to bring it more clearly into focus.


Bias strives to explain what events mean and introduces a scale of values by which to judge ideas and events. It seems excessive to try to escape from bias per se; the task is rather to find ways to alight on its more reliable and fruitful examples. 


There are countless worthy lenses to slide between ourselves and the world." 


Overall, these ideas offer a truly refreshing look at the future of news and at the relevance that context and opinion could play in transforming this medium from a vehicle of mass distraction to one of focused learning and understanding for those interested. 



Must read. Rightful. Insightful. 9/10



Full article: http://theweek.com/article/index/256737/the-future-of-news 


Reading time: 10':20"






Javier Antonio Bellina's curator insight, February 25, 2014 2:36 PM

El futuro de las Noticias no es sobre los Hechos, sino sobre contexto, relevancia y opinión.

Catherine Pascal's curator insight, March 3, 2014 5:12 AM

 Intéressant 

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How To Successfully Sell Online Without Selling Yourself Out: Be the Sun

How To Successfully Sell Online Without Selling Yourself Out: Be the Sun | Wepyirang | Scoop.it
I've never read a book on sales. They seemed corny. Like many people, I always looked down on the concept of "selling." It seemed like something lower than..

Via Robin Good
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Robin Good's curator insight, January 25, 2014 3:06 AM



We often manipulate people in order to sell something to them.


According to James Altucher, investor, author and entrepreneur, this is sad, as you really don't have to approach selling in this fashion, if you want to get the maximum results.


Here's a few of the wonderful things he suggest you should really invest in, to sell drastically more:


a) Friendship. Nobody is going to buy from someone they hate. The buyer has to like you and want to be your friend. People pay for friendship.


b) Say NoIf you reduce the supply of you (through “No”) then the demand for you goes up and you make more money (and have more fun).


c) OverdeliverPeople want to do business with people who give them presents. Over-delivering is a present. And it makes you feel good. Give and you will receive.


d) It's not the productStop going to BS entrepreneur, get-rich conferences. In the long run nobody cares about your product. In the long run, it is the entire holistic view of your offering, your service, you, that you are selling. 


But there's a lot more good advice than these four points.


He suggests for example to get rid of bad customers, to sell the dream they will experience and not the product, as well as to realize that your very best customers are your existing clients.


If you, like me, don't feel good about selling, marketing and pushing products like most people do online, then you will get a fresh breath of oxygen by reading in full this excellent article.


"Be the sun and you will become abundance."


Excellent read. Highly recommended. 10/10.


Full article: http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/21/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-selling-anything/ 

(8 mins. reading time)




(Image credit: Woman profile by Shutterstock)


Tom Hood's curator insight, February 2, 2014 8:42 AM

As Dan Pink says, we are all in sales now.  Whether we are selling  our ideas, our brands, or real products and services, we are all in sales. 

 

This is a great article about  what  'selling' should be. Robin Good's insights combined with this excellent article  resonated with me. I think we all need to think about sales in a new light, one that truly focuses on the relationships, trust, and helping others succeed in this crazy and exciting world we live in.

 

You?

sales-push.com's curator insight, September 23, 2014 9:10 AM

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Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are

Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are | Wepyirang | Scoop.it

Via Robin Good
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Robin Good's curator insight, February 9, 2014 5:46 AM



Vincenzo Marino does an excellent reporting job on the International Journalism Festival news site, by summarising and distilling the good stuff emerging from an interesting and sustained debate on Twitter (Business Models for Journalism - Storify) on the state of online journalism and its potential future business models, initially kicked off by entrepreneur and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.


Among the highlights, what Andreessen calls “the most obvious eight business models” for now and the future:


1. Quality journalism for high-quality ads

2. 
Succeeding in making readers subscribe and pay for value products


3. Premium content worth buying


4. Relying on live conferences and events


5. Investing across multiple channels


6. Crowdfunding ("Gigantic opportunity especially for investigative journalism")


7. Offering the option to pay in Bitcoin for micropayments


8. Keeping an eye on philanthropy (like ProPublica and Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media)


One stratospherically important point to take home from this valuable roundup is the following: 


"The role played by quality, however, is crucial especially when analyzed in the light of the tendency of the market to expand, creating less accurate content.


The challenge is to make a product (or brand) a point of reference, a lighthouse in the night of uncontrolled content and viral hoaxes."



Informative. Resourceful. Insightful. 8/10


Original article: http://www.journalismfestival.com/news/state-of-the-media-and-possible-business-models/ by Vincenzo Marino 


Reading time: 12 mins.





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Pageless Design: 8 Great Reasons To Use It

Pageless Design: 8 Great Reasons To Use It | Wepyirang | Scoop.it
Pageless design frees websites from the outdated conventions of print design and fully utilizes the digital platform they’re built on.

Via Robin Good
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Robin Good's curator insight, October 27, 2013 2:43 PM



If you have not heard before about pageless design, this term refers to those websites made up of just one, long page providing all of the content needed to present a product, issue or company.


Nathan B Weller suggests in tis article eight great reasons to use pageless design.


My comment: There are many situations in which a pageless design can provide greater simplicity, more engagement and conversions, especially when elements of storytelling and covering multiple aspects of a topic are used.


Informative. Instructive. 8/10


Full article: http://www.dtelepathy.com/blog/design/8-reasons-why-pageless-design-is-the-future-of-the-web 




Elizabeth Bowden's curator insight, October 29, 2013 7:46 AM

Smart sites instead of web sites.  Instead of scattering your story on several different pages (About, Mission, etc.) users simply scroll.