Michael Miner of the Chicago Reader discusses NBCChicago.com’s new redesign in a larger story about what happens when errors are introduced as you “collate and synthesize the news.”** (Those are the words of NBCChicago.com’s managing editor, not Miner.)
On the redesign, which incorporates a poll on each story that asks users how they feel, Miner says:
“Stunts like this pander to the public in order to attract the elusive online advertiser…That’s the voice of a utility, not a news medium. When every news medium sounds like this, who will we count on for serious journalism?”
I don’t know if Miner realizes it, but every one of NBC’s local news sites “sounds” like this thanks to rolling out this redesign across all their local sites. The better question is, “When every online news medium looks like this, how does your local news coverage differentiate itself?” Certainly not by treating them like network affiliates. (The “Rock Stars on the Rampage” photo gallery is a “lead story” on three of NBC Chicago’s sites right now and don’t get me started on its “Local Beat” section.)
More on the NBCChicago.com redesign from me last month.
** I don’t mean to say this happens every time someone blogs about a story. There are plenty of talented people who do this and manage to get the details right.