A ‘Wikipedia for news’
It’s easy to feel lost in today’s world. Information overload was already a serious problem before 2016, when world events went crazy and have refused to slow down ever since.
The 'storyline’ I always end up getting wrapped up in is the supposed links between Trump, Brexit and Russia – how much of it is a conspiracy theory? How much of it is real? But there are many other overly-complicated 'storylines’ you can follow in the news these days if you want to get overwhelmed by facts and speculation.
Information overload itself isn’t so much of a problem anymore. Apps like Nuzzel
, and newsletters (like… this one?) help highlight the most important, or most talked-about, nuggets, to help you ignore the rest.
The bigger problem now is that many of the biggest stories are so ludicrously complicated. The Trump-Russia collusion allegations, for example – can you honestly keep track of all the strands of that story? Meanwhile, last night the UK government squabbled over technical details of their Brexit deal that were so detailed I suddenly felt like I didn’t understand Brexit at all.
There have always been complicated news stories, and you could often ignore them unless you needed to know more. But right now, the stakes are so high with a lot of this stuff, that understanding the finer points can really help you understand the world better than other people. Journalists can do an excellent job of distilling it down, but at the pace things move now, there often isn’t time.
Wikipedia itself sometimes fits the role perfectly, especially if a small group of people care enough about a story to do a good job compiling its page. But not every news story suits a Wikipedia page.
I’d love a news site that doesn’t do standard stories, and instead focuses on clearly explaining different stories as they evolve. It would have simple language and a neutral tone, and be the place to go to catch up on a story and thoroughly understand it.
Now, who’s going to build it?