The Huffington Post is known for their re-interpretations of news stories. The “writers” for the Huffington Post look through popular mainstream media news sites to find “their” stories. Of course, they do post a link to the original. This is not straight up plagiarism. Some would argue that this act is not Journalism. But that is a topic for another post. In this post I will be looking at a “re-interpreted” story the good people at The Huffington Post did compared to the actual story that they “borrowed” from.
First and foremost comes the obvious. The New York Times Article is structured, professionalism, and overall well written. What else could you expect? The Post Article is written in much more of a informal manner. It is shortened to about half the length of the article in The Times. In terms of internet readership this may have been a good idea. Many people are not willing to continue on to a second page to finish a story. Especially if that particular story is summed up as it is in The Times article’s lead. That is the lead was clear, concise, and gave you all the information you needed. The writing in The Times is more suited for print and, well, for people who actually read The Times online. If you are a frequent reader, or perhaps a subscriber, it is much more likely you will go on to read that second page. Unfortunately there is a significant number of people who won’t go to the second page. In most cases they won’t even read through the first page. They might wait until the shorter, regurgitated article comes out on The Huffington Post, similar sites, blogs, or the ever short and sweet Tweet. The trend is people just don’t want to read a wall of text. I am surprised some of you are still reading this. I will keep it short. The New York Times is excellent at what they do. They provide hard news in a professional manner that has become somewhat of a standard amongst forms of mainstream media. It is sad to say that, in today’s day and age, most people do not hold their news source to that standard. The Huffington Post is also good at what they do. Although it is not a form of Journalism we, as Journalist, are used to and we may not like it. It does suit a purpose and it does cater to a readership that might not follow news on websites such as The New York Times site. Both of these media outlets are important. One is in it’s infant stages. It needs time to progress to the point that the older form has matured. We can only give it time and see what happens.
The New York Times Article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/us/politics/obama-tax-plan-would-ask-more-of-millionaires.html?src=me&ref=us
The Huffington Post Article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/17/obama-tax-plan-millionaires_n_967861.html