Hey, good news! We finally have a way to explain all of that complicated, long-winded, boring prose journalists have been putting out over the past 100 years. Yep, The Upshot, from The New York Times, is here to save the day for us who need our news simplified.
According to the New York Times’ David Leonhardt: “…we believe many people don’t understand the news as well as they would like. They want to grasp big, complicated stories — Obamacare, inequality, political campaigns, the real-estate and stock markets — so well that they can explain the whys and hows of those stories to their friends, relatives and colleagues.
We believe we can help readers get to that level of understanding by writing in a direct, plain-spoken way, the same voice we might use when writing an email to a friend. We’ll be conversational without being dumbed down.”
I’m so confused by all of this. Do we need our news simplified? Isn’t this what we have The Daily Show for? And what about this is simplified?
I’d be curious to see what research actually led to this decision; what convinced The New York Times that we need our news in ‘plainspeak’? Do we need a jeans and hoodie version of The New York Times? Or do journalists need to adjust their style in general? If there is truly a need for a different style or type of journalism why not modify what you’re already doing v. creating something new altogether?