Stripped-down sites miss nuances, interactivity

As ever, on the button.
Is news always and only news?

I am absolutely on board for your view of the WTC coverage, but isn't this a case where straight hard facts and speed were the essentials?

In the case of the local water company digging up a road for three months, shouldn't I have the opportunity at the end of the story to e-mail the chairman? Or place a vote urging them to do the work during next summer? Or even contact like-minded people so we can go and picket his house?

Of course, in this case, opinion is more important than fact. So what if the road is being dug up for 3 months? ARE YOU CRAZY?!? IT'LL MEAN CHAOS! I take my kids to school on this route and it already takes 30 minutes. How on earth can I visit my old mum in the retirement home if there's a 14-mile traffic jam outside the flats?

Yes, web news pages are over-designed, to serve the tastes of web designers, not users. Even the BBC is a cluttered mess. But we can't completely ignore the interactivity and present flat facts, that's not the nature of the medium.

Simon Crane has spent 15 years as a UK editor and journalist.

The Pressflex Services:


The OECD Observer magazine has jumped from being invisible to being highly ranked on the world’s main search engines. Pressflex has done what it said it would do when we teamed up in 1999.

Rory Clarke Editor, OECD Observer


What's new?