Post #11: The Real Deal
“It’s ridiculous,” said customer Nancy Chacere. “People are sick and dying of E. coli [from] eating beef. Why are they worried about oysters?”
– “FDA Bows to Pressure From Fans of Raw Oysters,” by Debbie Elliott
Everyone, I’ve found it. They’ve done it, and I’ve found it.
Okay, okay, so maybe the audio and the slideshow aren’t embedded in each other, but the radio story about the FDA giving in to outraged consumers and suspending the sanitizing process they had placed on raw oysters is accompanied by an independent click-through slide show as well as a full text story on the issue. This way, readers are able to click through the photos at their leisure, instead of being tied down to a timed flash-through.
This is a great package, especially because the story is off the beaten track, even though it involves one of the most important governmental agencies in the country. This kind of quirky story is idiosyncratic of its news source and, well, it made me kind of hungry.
Let’s see some more of these varied multimedia pieces, NPR!
Central Square’s Hidden Treasures
Check it out: You might find the best-kept secret in Cambridge at one of these independent shops in Central Square. Video by me (Devon Maloney), music by The Peasantry and You Can Be A Wesley.
Post #10: Asking the Right Questions, the Right Way
I like to think NPR has been reading my blog with the utmost vigilance and fervor. At least that would explain the noticeable quality upgrade, from last week’s election coverage, to today’s headline story, a real investigative work written by Daniel Zwerdling: “Walter Reed Officials Asked: Was Hasan Psychotic?”
Journalistically speaking, this story is balanced, investigative, and something I actually enjoyed reading on a subject that has flooded the media in the week since the tragedy occurred at Fort Hood, in Texas. Stories like this are difficult to cover in a fair and balanced manner, especially with so many other news organizations distorting their coverage by touting angles like the fact that Hasan was Muslim over the fact that he was a mentally unstable military psychiatrist. Nevertheless, NPR showed its professional chops in covering all its bases. Though the article could have been a little longer (it ends rather abruptly, with no wrap-up or cap-off paragraph), Zwerdling cited comments from military and medical officials whose comments, albeit anonymous, must have been extremely difficult to obtain, given the high-profile nature of the criminal investigation. Sure, that may be a little naïve of me to say, but as a citizen reader, I found NPR’s coverage to be a cut above the rest.
In terms of multimedia, however, the piece was pretty minimal. Now this may actually be a good thing, when you compare other multimedia coverage on the Fort Hood shootings, like this gem:
But the fact remains that, other than a clickthrough slideshow towards the bottom of the article and a couple featured photographs, Zwerdling’s article could’ve benefitted from some audio; maybe a related story by another journalist, apart from and featured more than the “related links” at the bottom of the page. It’s possible this was an editorial decision, to keep coverage short, informative, and to-the-point, without speculation or inflammatory context.
….In that case, maybe lack of dimension is a good thing.
Post #9: Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Vote
In America at least, it seems that one of the most crucial tests of a news organization’s chutzpah is how well they cover an election day. This is what leads me to this week’s NewsTrack question: Does NPR’s coverage doenough today, as states across the country make crucial leadership decisions?
Let’s take a look at the home page on election night:
The one thing on NPR’s homepage about the election before the results were in was a photo that led to a live blog between two of NPR’s political bloggers in which members of the website could submit their own comments, as well, and it would all come into this continuous feed of dialogue — kind of like Twitter.
My first reaction was, How awesome–NPR is bringing journalism back to basics. In their book The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, which I’ve been required to read for another class, the authors, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, explain how journalism’s beginnings lie in publick houses, where townspeople would get together, drink, and discuss the “news” (obviously this was a less-than-sound method, but in practice, it worked). The NPR live blog coverage did just this–allowed people to sort through a very current event together, with expert writers moderating.
But then I thought again–Is that it? a live opinion blog? That’s all you can give us? Because there was no other coverage of the election, until McDonnell’s win was announced, and even then it was an AP story. Sure, I understand that the fact that this was happening at the very moment that they were blogging, but somehow I expected a little more from the news organization I know and trust. What about direct links to previously broadcast radio stories on the subject? Those are always bound to teach us something. Whether they be Q&As with elections experts or political analysts or live packages at polling places, I know they exist, but instant accessibility would have enhanced NPR’s coverage, and wouldn’t have been that difficult to compile (I mean, I don’t THINK they would have).
So in short, NPR kind of missed the boat in terms of preparation for and coverage of this election. On election night, I actually turned to CNN… which is saying a lot, because I can’t stand those Postal-Service-soundtracked commercials.
Post #8: NPR Editorials
Just a quick thought this week–aren’t you pleased?
The line between journalism and narrative is danced-upon this week as we examine NPR’s choice to feature a short editorial piece: a musing on the nature of Halloween by free-lance writer Teresa Nicholas.
The article is beautifully written, short enough to get through without boredom, and presents an alternate perspective on an overcommercialized “Hallmark” holiday. Kudos especially to Nicholas for her imagery. I truly relished the mental images evoked by her description of “large local spiders [that] spin stretched-out webs and lounge in fall’s gusty breezes.”
However, as pretty as it is, it seems superfluous in context of the website. It has an aura about it that says, “Thank god for online journalism; otherwise this thought would never get airtime.”
True, this type of editorial is characteristic of NPR’s style. Rich, reminiscent narratives that portray the country from a multitude of (educated) perspectives are idiosyncratic of the public radio news source.
But in the myriad that is the internet, articles like this pale in comparison to those of, say, New York Times bloggers’, whose posts are more substantial and less “fluffy.” In other words, the standalone nature of Nicholas’ piece, and those like it, makes it easy to be overlooked in a multimedia framework.
I can see these kinds of articles in magazines, literary journals, or perhaps even spoken on-air, on feature shows like This American Life. As it is, this particular article’s declaration of existence is merely a squeak. It’s a pity, too; I really liked it.
Post #7: “Let No Man Despise Thy Youth”
Note: My original post idea for this week was to find something about NPR’s online presence that I expressly dislike. After looking all week, I realize this endeavor will warrant a lot more time than I had anticipated. Thus, I say TO BE CONTINUED.
Now, to the good stuff. As a student journalist on the web, I’ve come to notice that revisiting stories or current issues is a delicate monster by whom many writers get eaten alive. By revisiting, I mean taking another look at a subject that’s been covered till it bleeds (“monster,” “bleeds”…yes, folks, this post is not for the weak-stomached–consider it Halloween-themed!) and presenting a new angle from which to extrapolate meaning. It seems that many of these revisits come from the multimedia realm, most likely because it costs virtually nothing to do so. Some prime cases of revisitation include articles about Woodstock veterans, the condition of past-featured refugees, and of course, the ever-popular what-has-this-convict-been-doing-since-his-last-media-circus.
The case I want to spotlight, however, is one that is actually kind of an interesting concept, if it had been executed a bit more creatively. It’s the intern series at All Songs Considered (yeah, yeah, I know, it borders on fixation), in which the producers have their “unimaginably young interns to review classic albums they’ve never heard before.” The intern, Meg Ruddick, re-reviewed AC/DC’s Back in Black.
Now, I completely empathize with an intern’s desire to prove him/herself by producing a thoughtful, professional-voiced blog entry. My concern, however, lies in the essence of the assignment. Now, it’s just my opinion, but I find that no one really cares about bloggers’ opinions, unless there’s some kind of spunk injected into their writing–a biting wit, a radical point of view…basically, any kind of intelligent acknowledgement of the fact that they’re standing on the shoulders of giants.
This is why I was somewhat disappointed with the blog that Meg posted about an album and artist TEEMING with things at which she could have poked fun. It’s AC/DC. For godssake, the members, well into their fifties, still wear schoolboy uniforms. Simply musing that Back in Black “must have been fresh and fun back in 1980″ or stating blandly that “no doubt it will keep rock ‘n’ roll fans entertained for generations to come” falls short of my expectations from NPR’s blog coverage, even if Ruddick is just starting out. What I’m saying is, if you can’t give your readers passion, at least give them a laugh.
(The one good thing I’ll say about this post, though, is the debate it sparked in its comments. I was much more amused by the often-outraged musings of users who remembered listening to the album when it was released in 1980 than I was in a the post’s fresh–and thus detached–review.)
Am I being contrary? Job-envious? Or just plain mean? Check out the article yourself and let me know what’s what.
Audio Slideshow: Faneuil Hall A Cappella Festival
Having troubles? We know. Click here to view slideshow.
Post #6: Stuff You Never Thought About
Talk about a full package. While stumbling around on the NPR website this week, I happened to fall into the “programs” category in the toolbar (okay, so it wasn’t really “stumbling”…more like “pointedly exploring”), where I discovered Science Desk correspondent Robert Krulwich‘s special series, “Krulwich on Science.” The latest story in the series completely captured me in a way I can only describe as “very NPR”: by spotlighting an aspect of human life that we don’t normally think about by presenting it from a wholly unique perspective.
I give you…“To Casket Or Not To Casket?”
That’s right. The article is about dead things. And beetles. Well, actually, the more accurate description would be that the article is about death, and what happens to us when we die. To naturalists, ecologists, and other nature enthusiasts, coffin burials are out of the question: they’d rather be “recomposed” into the ecosystem, or “beetlized”–a process that involves nature’s favorite little bugs breaking down dead things. The story examines our fears about death through Bernd Heinrich’s perspective: “The coffin is a last attempt to place a boundary between ourselves and nature.”
The way Krulwich has presented the story speaks volumes about the power of multimedia. Not only is the story a quirky special look at the world, but the author tells it in a number of ways. The five-minute radio piece is available at the top of an accompanying article that fleshes out the ideas introduced in the audio. Then, high quality photos approach the issue by breaking up the article with visual pauses that actually made me sit back and think about my own death. And finally, my favorite part:
A clip of Pete Seeger singing a funny song about decomposition. Also included is the verbal explanation of another type of burial, “promession,” which involves the gruesome details of how bodies can be frozen and then shattered–like cremation, only using ice instead of fire.
I mean, seriously. I don’t think a single demographic was left out by the components of this piece.
Way to make news interesting for everyone. You rock.
Flickr Slideshow: the Virginia Gentlemen
Post #5: OH NOOO, IT’S SWIIINE FLUUU!!
Okay, so the headline of this post was a little sensational. I apologize for that. But the comment contained in parentheses is something on which we’re going to concentrate this week, in relation to NPR’s coverage: how can a news organization cover a sensationalized, highly inflammatory issue like swine flu and still manage to provide accurate, intelligent information–not panic?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about how terrified everyone is of “the Illness” (I’d prefer it be called this; doesn’t it sound so delightfully like “the Plague”?) is local TV news. The 11 p.m. reports with their field interviews with doctors, strangely integrated clips of a crowded sidewalk, and statistics spouted by Botoxed anchorpeople are enough to make anyone shudder at the mere mention of H1N1. Like I’ve said before, I think this hysteria has a good deal to do with the use of video. If it’s captured on tape, it must mean everything they’re saying on TV is fair, balanced journalism, right?
Well, of course it is; I mean, look at Fox News.
However, I digress. I give this example, not only out of need of an outlet for my bitter, sarcastic skepticism, but because it illustrates a point: Monday morning’s top feature on NPR.org fully covers a public safety issue in every way except video, and, in my humble opinion, manages to do so in a far more even-keeled, and therefore ultimately far more effective, manner.
The package presented on the page includes photos, text, and sound: let’s call this the Trifecta (which would make this instance “the Illness Trifecta”…I’ll be copyrighting this later). Not only does the spotlight on swine flu begin with the nine-minute audio clip from Morning Edition that aired on syndicated stations Monday morning, but the article discusses both what was discussed in the clip, and what was not. Written by Richard Knox, NPR’s so-dubbed “swine flu czar” (You see? CZAR. Why haven’t we drawn these parallels to the Middle Ages before?!), the article answers listener/reader questions about the new vaccine, which entered the market in record time. Thus, instead of beating us around the head with THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT H1N1, the article aims to assuage fears and clear the air once and for all about the hyped pandemic (notice the word “panic” is hidden in there). This is a prime example of journalism’s main function: a public service–NOT a preacher on a stump.
The page of this article isn’t swamped with ads in the margins, either. There are links to a number of additional resources on NPR’s website, such as their Health Blog and even transcripts of a live web chat with the author of the article and a medical professor at the College of Virginia (the web chat was live a couple days ago on the site). My favorite addition, though, is “Don’t Gimme Five!”, a lighthearted photo “tutorial” by Bob Boilen and Allison Aubrey, illustrating greetings that will leave you germ-free. (I liked the awkward self-hug best.)
ACTUALLY, now that I’ve been thinking about it, I take back my comment about sarcastic skepticism. Check out this “update” on swine flu from Fox News, posted to YouTube two weeks ago. I especially enjoyed the red background with the lifeline pulsing through the frame. I sure do appreciate the reminder that swine flu may strike and take my life at any second.
Post #4: Spotlight: NPR Blogs
While we’re on the subject of spotlights…
The larger blogosphere a heinous beast of unwieldy, lawless “writers,” “commentators,” and “journalists” hemming and hawing about god-knows-what, as often as possible, with posts published at all hours of the day. I’d say about 80% of bloggers don’t blog for a larger news or entertainment entity, and an even larger majority don’t get paid (case and point, this broad).
So how are we supposed to sift through the muck and mire to get to the good stuff? Sure, word of mouth does a pretty good job of it. But take it from me, one of those proletariat myriad bloggers: NPR blogs may have the answer.
As yet another landing page connected to the main NPR site, NPR blogs range the gamut of subjects, from science to current events to pop culture. Bloggers like Linda Holmes, contributor for MSNBC.com and TV Guide, rant about Roman Polanski’s sordid scandal on Monkey See, while Carrie Brownstein, member of the band Sleater-Kinney and contributor to All Songs Considered, chronicles her adventures as a newcomer to the east coast scene on Monitor Mix. And of course, the ASC blog itself is a treasure chest of new and exciting dialogues about how, where, and why we listen to music. (Click here for a sad but great-for-blogging story from All Songs)
Clicking through a zillion links on the landing page to get to each blog isn’t necessary, either. When I signed up for an account with NPR, I was able to check off the blogs I enjoy reading (signing up also allows me to participate in user discussions in the comments section of each entry). Now, each blogger sends me emails with weekly updates. Yes, actually, you’re right—this is rather annoying. Though I do like reading the posts when I have time, I often end up deleting the emails because I can’t stand to have the four or five of them sit unread at the top of my mailbox for longer than a few hours.
What about a weekly blog digest, my fellow audiophiles? One weekly installment, complete with the latest from all my favorite bloggers, would survive far more often amidst the inundation of spam that invades my (and everyone else’s) inbox(es) every week.
One of my favorite things: with the exception of two or three of them, these bloggers are THE REAL DEAL, people. Maybe this is just the nature of the professional blogging world (how should I know? am I getting paid? HA), but often I feel as if news website bloggers are simply were winners of a raffle to get published on the organization’s website. (If so…where do I sign up?) However, let me stress this in bold caps: NPR BLOGGERS ARE EDITORS AND CORRESPONDENTS! Seriously, folks…these people are paid to know what they’re talking about.
What else is there to think about?
Is Thrifting Recession Proof?
College kids have always managed to be the Masters of Miser-dom. We know how and where to get the cheapest food, concert tickets, transportation, and, perhaps most of all, clothes. We’re hard-put to shell out more than $20 for anything–and by “anything,” I mean anything. But now, with times being as financially cumbersome as they are, the rest of the country is catching on to the trend: they’re jumping on the resale bandwagon.
But wait. Before we dive into this wild world of worn goods, let’s get some definitions straight. There are multiple kinds of resale institutions, and I want to properly attribute them.
- First, there is the term resale, which is basically an umbrella term for all things that are sold again: clothing, appliances, books, cars, you name it. That’s resale.
- Then, there is the thrift store. This, according to Dictionary.com, is “a shop selling secondhand goods, such as clothes, often to benefit a charity.” This means that thrift stores usually carry more than clothes, and since it’s to benefit a charity, the prices are usually lower than other resale stores.
- Consignment stores are a step up, price-wise, from thrift stores. Generally, rich people sell their designer clothes to these stores, who then sell them back to you, the proletariat, for cheaper (but often not cheap enough. see: “we’re hard-put to shell out more than $20 for anything,” above) prices. Consignment stores are usually the cleanest used merchandise stores, incidentally.
- Antique stores are retail store specializing in the selling of old collectible items. They can usually be found in conjunction with each other, at antique “malls,” and are stocked, unlike thrift stores (which are usually stocked by individual donations), “from auctions, estate sales, searching at flea markets or garage sales” (according to Wikipedia).
- There are more, but for the sake of your eyes (and my fingers), we’ll only be going into these four categories for now, because they are relevant to this article.
According to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Stores (NARTS), the resale industry rakes in billions of dollars yearly, and is only growing: in the past three years, the number of thrift stores has increased 5% per year. When comparing that to the intense rate of regular retail store closings of this year alone, it’s not difficult to see what business is good business.
As is apparent, though the number of stores decreased between 2002 and 2007 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau, not shown), the sales have actually increased, a phenomenon that can only mean that more people are fleeing for the thrift racks more often, rather than simply hitting up department stores Nordstrom’s or Macy’s.
Marvin Getman is the manager of the Sowa Antiques Market in the South End of Boston. The weekly market launched in June (not to be confused with the open air craft market that shares the location space), but Getman says it has already seen wild success.
“The response to the market has truly surpassed our expectations,” he said. “Sowa opened at just the right time.”
Getman said his dealers have attributed most of their sales to lower-end items.
NARTS appeared in Newsweek last October, in an article describing the consignment industry as actually thriving on the retail market’s economic woes:
In recent months, the high-end resale sector has been flooded with luxury items, thanks to the uncertain economy. According to a member survey by the National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops (NARTS), 75 percent of stores have reported an increase in new suppliers and 66 percent had an average increase in sales of 35 percent when comparing the first eight months of this year with the same period in 2007. “Even people whose shopping habits aren’t really affected by what’s going on look in their closet and think, ‘Do I need 10 pairs of designer shoes that look similar?’ ” says Adele Meyer, executive director of NARTS.
I think most reasons for this phenomenon are pretty obvious, but there are a few that may surprise. According to the US Census Bureau, “20% of all sales in this industry are made by businesses without paid employees.” That’s 16.5% more than any other industry with unpaid labor!
I think the testimony and statistics speak for themselves: now is the time to nickel-and-dime.
Check out 12 of the nearly 200 thrift and consignment stores that exist in the greater Boston area alone:
Post #3: NPR Music Spotlight
The quality that makes NPR truly unique among its multimedia journalistic counterparts–and perhaps the reason I was attracted to the organization in the first place–is its music page. Though many news sources report on music and entertainment happenings, few actually dedicate entire departments to something many of us have in common: a genuine passion for music.
Take a look at a screenshot from this week’s spread:
This site contains every aspect I could possibly want out of a music website. Not only do they cover nearly every genre, from jazz and classical to new wave and folk, but the layout is fully navigable: Live in-concert performances, interviews, artist profiles, and free Song of the Day downloads are easily accessible. Even the singular banner, on the right side of the page, looks like it belongs.
That being said, there are some things the site could withstand. Firstly, it’s disappointing, when considering NPR’s homepage color palette and layout to see a slightly less cohesive front page for NPR Music. The dark reds and oranges are annoying at first glance and clash with the otherwise neat site layout.
Still, NPR’s music discovery show, All Songs Considered, brings the cohesion back, as its homepage artistically captures the heart and soul of the show I’ve come to know and love over three years. All Songs alone has a cornucopia of different music media, including its Tiny Desk Concerts (videos of bands giving acoustic performances in host Bob Boilen’s miniscule office–check out Dr. Dog’s Tiny Desk video below), Guest DJ sessions (some of which include Lily Allen, John Waters, and Colin Meloy of The Decemberists), and live streaming concerts on select days. Did I mention every episode of All Songs is available either streaming online or by podcast?
Check out this week’s show, in which Bob Boilen, producer Robin Hilton, Song of the Day editor Stephen Thompson, and NPR’s Monitor Mix blogger Carrie Brownstein; discuss new sounds of the season, including new tunes from the Flaming Lips, Why?, and the Swell Season. I think what’s great about these special editions of ASC is the discussion and banter that comes out of a group of four audiophiles with starkly differing tastes. (Stephen, how could you not like Why?!) The variety of opinions voiced on the show assures that there will be something for everyone, and you’re almost guaranteed to stumble across your “fall album” of 2009. The user comment box at the bottom allows for listeners to weigh in on the gang’s choices, too. And the best part: you can listen to all the songs they play on the show by themselves on the landing page.
NPR, I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
Post #2: AP Disappoints
Now, I know NPR uses the AP wire.
Like most other news outlets, if not more often, NPR takes content from the wire to fill out its broadcasts and website. But since the shows themselves are more heavily analytical than investigative, who can blame them?
I’m sure I’m not the only college student who has been following the recent story of a Yale graduate student, missing since September 8, whose body turned up in the basement of a campus research building on Monday, six days later. However, this most recent update, which announces the taking into custody of research technician Raymond Clark III, a “person of interest” for the New Haven police, is disappointing for two reasons.
Firstly, just look at it. Not only is the story completely padding for the front page, but no other content has been added to the story–not even a photograph. Just sad.
Secondly, and perhaps the fact that disturbed me the most, was the content of the article. This, of course, is not really a criticism of NPR and its choice to post the article, since the story is surely of interest to a majority of people. I’m more concerned about the strangely amateur nature of the reporting. This journalist (only one, I’m assuming–two would just be a disgrace) writes like I do, which is upsetting for more reasons than one. This writer is paid by the Associated Press. REALLY?! I should quit school and go apply there now, if this kind of reporting is all it takes:
Clark moved to Middletown from New Haven six months ago, where he shared an apartment with his girlfriend and three cats, according to former neighbor Taylor Goodwin, 16.
Okay, REALLY, AP? I don’t care that he has three cats. The mention adds ridiculous fluff to an extremely serious story and makes him sound like he’s a delightfully domestic fiancé just bursting with love for animals (ironically, despite the fact that he tests on them for a living…). This is irrelevant. Also, citing a sixteen-year-old neighbor? Now, having a teenage sibling myself, I don’t intend to discriminate, but is this really wise or appropriate to the tone and gravity of the story?
Another interestingly chosen quote:
Keeping information secret during an investigation helps police confront possible suspects with little-known evidence about a crime and makes it harder for them to fabricate a cover story, said David Zlotnick, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.
Who are you, David Zlotnick? No offense, but you’re not connected in any way, shape, or form to this investigation. I don’t understand why the ASSOCIATED PRESS would choose not get this easily obtainable legal information from a source closer to home, maybe, oh, I don’t know, a Yale Law professor?
To be honest, this story easily sounds like the script of a TV “news” story. The sixteen-year-old source brings the story to the level of suburban gossip, and I don’t think this story needs more talk. Shame on you, AP. And shame on you, NPR, for running something like this. Wasn’t there a better source? Honestly. I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed. I thought you both were better than that.
Post #1: Initial Observations
Update your blog with your initial observations about the news site that you’re tracking. Pick one news story and contrast the way it was covered on your site versus in “traditional” media.
When I first visited NPR.org a few years ago, I was a little overwhelmed. Massive amounts of different types of media, sprawled across a busy page quickly intimidated me, and I was hard put to venture beyond the podcast subscription link for All Songs Considered.
However, as I revisit the site today, much has changed. No longer do I feel an uncontrollable urge to run screaming away from a plethora of font styles, about a zillion disorganized links “to listen,” and mystical photos of rubber-clad Arctic fishermen.
Nay, good friends; today, I type “NPR.org” into my web browser and up pops a clean, magical land of user-friendly information about the world beyond my doorstep. The color coordination is simplistic yet effective; the red-, blue-, black- and white-themed home page concisely lays out featured stories, both in print and sound (these multiple media are separated clearly now), in margin-generous boxes that actually make sense in their assemblage (cue sigh of relief). The site’s other “departments” are clearly and artfully marked in the toolbar, and each page brings a new wave of aesthetic satisfaction (I intend to focus, in a later post, on the NPR Music page, in particular, as a pinnacle of multimedia music journalism). In all, NPR.org is one of the most user-friendly news websites I have encountered thus far.
The substantiality and quality of their coverage, however, is of considerably greater importance than the prettiness of their website. NPR will prove an interesting case study on multimedia journalism because they lack a significant component of what the average person imagines when they refer to “multimedia”: video. However, this does not detract from the multifaceted nature of NPR’s content. Coverage of the Supreme Court’s debate about whether to amend present campaign finance laws, in light of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case and the controversy over the patrisan documentary Hillary: The Movie, is leaps and bounds fuller and more interesting than traditional news coverage of the issue. While the New York Times simply tells the story in text, NPR features a link to listen to the actual oral arguments presented in the Citizens United case, high resolution photos depicting the Justices together and Justices Sotomayor and Roberts in conversation, links to related NPR stories, and a reader comments section at the bottom of the story, in addition to the story’s basic text.
I mean, come on. How can you compete with that? It’s like bringing ink-stained newspaper fingers to a knife fight.