The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Like the New York Times, But Better

Posted on | August 23, 2012 | 8 Comments

Dan Riehl called me the other day to tell me he was re-launching his site with a design similar to the New York Times.


The new design is impressive, and Dan provides an interesting selection of headlines, including this one:

Lesbian Charlie Rogers faked hate
crime to advance political agenda?

Let that be a lesson to you newbie bloggers: Never miss an opportunity to use “lesbian” in a headline. And this story of bogus homophobia is quite interesting itself:

A Nebraska woman was arrested for faking an anti-gay hate crime in which she claimed three masked men bound her, cut words into her skin and spray-painted slurs on her wall before setting her house on fire.
Charlie Rogers, 33, had told police that the three assailants broke into her Lincoln, Neb., home on July 22. . . .
Reports of the alleged assault outraged the gay community, and hundreds of people participated in rallies outside the Nebraska capitol building, and at a park in Omaha.

So she’s the Tawana Brawley of the gay-rights movement. But that’s just one of today’s headlines at Dan’s new site. A few more:

Notice that Dan’s choice of news is not all-politics-all-the-time. Dan understands that one reason readers turn to New Media is to seek a different perspective in aggregating and curating news.

It’s not all about politics and opinions, but rather about the ability of the blogger/editor to present the reader with facts that might otherwise go unnoticed. A blogger may have a specialty or a particular viewpoint that makes his work distinctive, but success in online New Media ultimately depends on the news value of the site: How well does it serve the function of keeping the reader informed? That’s one reason why Wombat’s daily “Live at Five” headline roundup has been such a valuable addition to this blog.

Not every site on the Internet is (or should be) a general-interest news site. But whatever the topic, the value to readers is in facts, not opinions.

Dan Riehl understands that, and his site’s re-design provides a new, improved format for appreciating his work. Good on ya, Dan.