How 21st Century News Ought to be

For the most part, how the news is reported to the consumer has changed little in decades, perhaps a century.

When the Internet became available, television stations began to offer print (and video) stories via web sites. Newspapers began to offer web sites – and occasionally offered video.

But few took advantage of the underlying technologies to develop interactive news and analysis tools.

There have been some gradual tip toe steps towards providing these kinds of tools. During elections, results are often presented in interactive, clickable maps or charts.

A very few news sites have offer a bit of Covid-19 data in interactive form. When the news is based on data – or time – there is so much that could be done to deliver a richer, more informative interactive news experience.

An interactive time line would enable the news consumer to scroll through past timeline events – or just linked news stories – by time. This would help us see how the issue has changed, over time, or how the reporting has changed, over time.

Several web sites provide interactive tools to explore Covid-19 related data. Occasionally, an online news web site here and there will offer similar functionality.

It is now 2021 and the news media is still stuck in the past and not thinking “outside of the box” to deliver enhanced value made possible by technology.

They remain stuck with click bait, fear inducing headlines. This is not the path forward for journalism success. It is long past time to embrace available technologies. They have demonstrated they can do it – but mostly for special features. It’s time to make these tools a standard part of reporting.

(Oh, and could you cite references? The story that says “a new study says” but never gives the title of the study, the publication, or a link, is DOA for me.)