Contextualizing the news: Integral part of news coverage often missing

ProPublica and NYU’s Carter Journalism Institute are teaming up to tackle one of the weaknesses in today’s media environment: explaining the news. The premise is the world is a complex place and people need help understanding the issues at the center of any given series of stories before they can truly comprehend the relevancy of what they’re taking in. A lot of news outlets don’t do this, either because they don’t have the resources or because they don’t care about producing good journalism. In other words, news outlets, if they are good at what they do, must contextualize the headlines for readers, viewers, listeners, etc. Sounds simple. But it’s not. As one of the guys driving this effort says, “It’s very difficult to do good journalism. It’s very difficult to understand, to really have stuff resonate without understanding the basic parameters of the story.”


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