Is the Article No Longer Enough?
What’s the most effective vehicle for modern day journalism? Jeff Jarvis argues that the traditional form of the article is becoming inadequate among the non-stop barrage of news and information. He proposes that the topic should become the new building block. These topics would be catalogued live, on some sort of web page, where a topic is curated, edited, and discussed. Like a wiki that constantly aggregates and links all information pertaining to a topic.
The story was all we had before — it’s what would fit onto a newspaper page or into a broadcast show. But a discrete and serial series of articles over days cannot adequately cover the complex stories going on now nor can they properly inform the public. There’s too much repetition. Too little explanation. The knowledge is not cumulative. Each instance is necessarily shallow. And when more big stories come — as they have lately! — in scarce time and space and with scarce resources, each becomes even shallower. We never catch up, we never get smarter. Articles perpetuate a Ground Hog Day kind of journalism.