If I ran a news service

If I ran a news service, I think it’d be nice to prioritise. I think most general news outlets (not industry/topic specific ones) are still based on the idea of filling up a certain amount of space, print or otherwise.

Which is a shame, because some days are quieter than others. Some stories are more important than others. I think it’d be interesting to try ranking stories; there could be three or four different rankings, along the lines of:

– This changes everything! These would be the kinds of stories that you talk to strangers about on the bus, the ones that you remember where you were when you heard about them. The big ones. 

– The future is different now. Big shifts, things that signal a change in direction. They may happen over an extended period of time (i.e. commodity prices – still going down), so it might be necessary to call it retrospectively. Which is fine; the news outlet could bump these around the same time they become standard topics of conversation, a few days after the speciality sources have already covered it. 

– All clear – go about your business. This is the all clear. I could pull out my phone, glance at it quickly, and if the all clear’s on, I can go back to whatever I was doing. Under this category, a significant chunk of normal stories. 

So, don’t get me wrong. There are an enormous number of stories that are important and interesting, that could go in category number three. And telling those stories is an important contribution socially. It just strikes me that there’s room to help people filter a little better.

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