The need for a Daily News Project

I've heard it said many times that E2 is what hypertext should be - information and opinion at your fingertips, everything linked, just a click away.

Every day, in the daylogs, people write journals of what their days were like. These stories are often interesting, moving, happy, sad, inspiring. But what was the day like for the world as a whole? How are the markets doing? How are the Palestinians faring? What's the U.S. going to do about North Korea?

I think Everything would benefit greatly from a journal of news, every day. And I don't just mean pulling the headlines off CNN and hitting submit, I mean a detailing commentary by people who are in the know about current affairs. Such commentary would have to fit a few criteria -

  • Free from bias. We all possess innate bias, have a feeling of who we support in any given conflict (and the news really boils down to conflicts). If a neo-liberalist or a Marxist writes his interpretation of the news down, that isn't news. That's opinion, and you can node that elsewhere.
  • Not be plagiarised.
Wouldn't it be great, if, in a year, you're writing a node looking back retrospectively on the War or Iraq 2002 (although it looks set to be 2003 now!), and you discover that you can link back to the days of significant events in the war, and what's more they're all set in their international context! Doing an economics midterm? You might want to check out the exchange rates in an easily accessible form for the last year.

I hope I've convinced some of you of the value of this project, now we must move on to feasibility.

I think the ideal for this project would be to have a news write-up submitted every single day. This way we will get the maximum in depth and coverage. There seem to be two ways to go about this -
  1. A single write-up in the existing day log structure.
  2. A new node every day, along the lines of Daily News: December 30, 2002.
Personally, I favour option one. Option two would invite every man and his dog to submit their particular take on the news for that day, and would probably degenerate into GTKY fairly quickly. On the other hand, a single write-up submitted under the auspices of the project every day in the day log could be assured of objectivity and quality. True, it would get mixed up with all the non-factual daylogs, but this still seems like the best place for it to go. The only way I see the Daily News: December 30, 2002 structure being workable is if un-objective write-ups in it are removed1, which would be giving the editors even more work to do. The advantage of having a node like this is that many people could contribute news in a place made for it - in this way we might get people or groups of people regularly doing the news of their homeland.

The second consideration is how to split the workload. The more people that are in on this the better. Certainly no one person could output something of quality every single day! The crudest way to split the workload would be to assign people a given day of the week (or of the month, with enough volunteers) and ask them to cover every single aspect of the news for that day. I think this approach might lose consistency - it might be better for one person to cover the same story for its lifetime, as they will build up a good knowledge of it and be able to provide more insightful commentary/background.

Or perhaps people could cover one particular aspect of the news, such as business, War on Terror, Arab-Israeli conflict, Europe, America. These could all then be collated together into the final write-up to be submited. This would take a huge amount of co-ordination, but if it could be pulled off the benefits would be massive.

Ok, those are my thoughts laid down for now. Please please please /msg me with ideas, comments, or to volunteer. Even if you just tentatively want to see how the project goes and maybe get involved, drop me a line and we can all bounce ideas off each other.

1. Of course, some people might even argue for subjectivity - it would certainly be interesting to have the points of few of many different people on the stories and events of the day, but it would be imperative to make a distinction between worthwhile commentary and the sort of hyperbole even the Daily Mail shies away from. Thoughts on this are appreciated.