Last week’s post was a tirade, but I’ve had a change of heart. What clouded my judgment, I later realized, was having followed websites like huffpost long term and having gotten accustomed to their way of reporting. I’m adjusting well to propublica’s watchdog style of writing.
‘Our Investigations’ for example, is an exceptionally well organized section.
Each tab is is succinct, with the correct image backing up the headline, and lists the number of stories in each section, as well as the latest addition. )
The Nerd Blog drives a certain point home about propublica : just like there are writers/artists who write/paint for consumers and there are writers/artists who write/paint for other writers/painters so that the latter can learn from them, propublica does not necessarily cater to the consumer. It publishes news for other journalists. (Which is perhaps why, the only slight criticism I have of the Our Investigations section is the ‘Hottest Stories’ widget.
(This may be a value judgment on my part, but I feel it doesn’t suit propublica’s overall dignity. )
All of this really should have been obvious to me before. For instance, most articles are rather long, and some get as lengthy as a clarkesworld short story. (I’ve read posts by certain huffpost bloggers I follow that are longer than a propublica post, but those read more like analyses and culture trends. Not news. ) Which would not hold the attention of the consumer looking for fast news consumption. What I like about this approach is that it stresses content . Style, presentation etc matter, but not over content.
There are some of the obvious things in this section that are praiseworthy. The news apps team have their pictures up without it being invasive.
Apps to help other journalists are available, and the work accomplished by the team is arranged with the care of a gallery exhibit. (Example) Apps aside… some of the content of this section got my nerd juices flowing!
What I did find a bit strange in this section though, at least at first, was a phrase like ‘NEW INTERACTIVE VIDEO!’ jumping out at the reader, with a summary of the expose, but no video. The video was on a separate page. And not one, but several related videos, arranged in the correct order for someone to understand.
Another good section to analyze is Muckreads, but I’ll leave that for the coming week.