Friday, May 15, 2009


OK, it's just past midnight and the new has arrived.

Compare the pre-designed (top) and re-designed versions for yourself. (Click on each image to view them full-sized.)

We read the explanation page -- that handy guide to the new look and new features -- and frankly it made us nervous.

It sounds as though the thrust of the editorial material will be aggregation and reader feedback (aka "citizen journalism," Twittering, etc.), at the expense of fresh original reported content. See if you get the same vibe:

We will embrace the best work of other journalists around the Web and the most thoughtful questions and comments of our readers. Our mission is to create a forum for a continuous – and continuously worthwhile – conversation about key events and issues...

Every day, journalists, thinkers and pundits from around the world publish work that is worth reading. Part of our mission, as we see it, is to provide our readers with easy access to the best of that content ...

Taking advantage of the instantaneous nature of the medium, we will feature comments, questions and thoughts posted by Newsweek readers to our Twitter feed...

Every day, Newsweek editors will select people, groups or concepts in the news and ask you, our readers, to weigh in...Express your opinion and then join the discussion on each topic.

You know the Web is full of informational gems ...Every day, Newsweek editors will seek out those jewels and deliver them to you, whether they were published on a site here in the U.S. or halfway around the world...

Need we go on?

Is this what the Web really needs more of? Another site to collect everyone else's opinions?

And what about our high hopes that Newsweek will jumpstart its half-hearted video efforts? The homepage video box has been pushed down "below-the-fold," making it even more difficult to find, and it's been lumped under an increasingly meaningless "Multimedia" umbrella -- sandwiched between Photo Galleries and Interactive Graphics.

And the lead video story is still a six-week-old on-camera Q&A ... with Bob Saget.



MichBel said...

That's just hideous, and further proof that old media just does not GET what new media is up to.

Hello, Newsweek. Design 101. Large nice photos are much more graphically appealing than a bunch of text. I kept looking at the two pics. No, it couldn't be that the bottom one is the NEW REDESIGN! YUCK.

Also, what people will continue to look to our former journalism standard bearers for is the hot news, delivered by seasoned reporters.

If I wanted to read what people are saying on Twitter, I'd read Twitter. Oh yeah, that IS what I'm doing. What's bringing people to your page, Newsweek? I see nothing. Sigh.

Thanks for bringing this to light.


Michael Fox said...

The internet is FULL of other people's opinions (case in point...). There was a time when I would look to "the media" to provide me with intelligently presented facts, comments and opinions based on years of experience on a particular topic, and sufficient objectivity for me to be able to draw reasonable conclusions. Indeed, it was that blend of qualities that drew me in to the industry.

Now we are facing a growing barrage of comments and opinions often based on emotion, ideology, and any number of other factors that have little to do with the presentation of nuggets of knowledge and wisdom.

It would seem that once well-regarded media channels are divesting themselves of the responsibility to deliver accurate and valuable news, in return for driving advertising revenues through mass audience participation.

Maybe, one day, nobody will really know what is going on in the world...