Provide links to context, please

In an article published today, the Daily Emerald reveals that Sam Dotters-Katz has proposed changes to the ASUO Constitution (which I would link to but it’s apparently not available online):

Dotters-Katz and Papailiou’s proposal would add two justices to the existing five-member court and require it to submit rules changes to the Senate for approval. It would also re-establish the Elections Board as an independent entity to avoid conflicts of interest that Papailiou said were endemic under previous administrations.

There’s something wrong with this picture. I’m not talking about the proposed changes, rather it’s in the way that the information is presented. Reporting in the “traditional” news brief format, the reader (me) is left more confused than informed. There is almost zero context associated with the article, and I haven’t the faintest idea what the information presented actually means.

Such is the old paradigm. Newspapers are dead; long live newspapers. I’m of the opinion however that the new paradigm, the one that everyone’s afraid of, is actually improving journalism. Go figure.

For instance, if the Daily Emerald had the innovation, talent, and tools, I would have been presented an array of options to expand my knowledge about Dotters-Katz, how the ASUO runs, and why he proposes a change to the Constitution. There would likely be a list of previous posts on this issue, a small topical wiki in the sidebar synthesizing the pulse of ASUO, and curation of student blogosphere reactions to the announcement (like this one and one from the Oregon Commentator), among other forms of information.

Instead, the readers get nothing better than a press release and I have to use Google, coincidentally, to educate myself further. Google is taking the place of the news organization largely because the newspapers are flailing. Get with the times, please, and use the infinitely useful and flexible platform the internet gives you to empower your community with information.

Oh wait, the Daily Emerald runs College Publisher. Make sure your CMS is open source, and then innovate.


albert January 5, 2009 Reply

You’re kind of taking College Publisher bashing a bit part. It’s perfectly possible to link within their system.

Daniel Bachhuber January 5, 2009 Reply

Alright, I’ll grant you that much. As far as I know, there’s no way to do some of the other features (like a topical wiki, etc.).

Joey Baker January 5, 2009 Reply

Linking on CP is possible, you just have to know the html code. However, Daniel’s right: even related articles are hard/impossible on CP.

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