More from the ‘The River of News Is Upon Us’ department: Talking Points Memo has rolled out “TPM NewsStream,” an auto-updating feature that publishes, Josh Marshall says, the “best of TPM.” The feature mimics Twitter’s architecture—not only in its composition of a vertical “stream” of news items, but also in its de-contextualization of those items: its landing page eschews categories for its stories, displaying only their headlines, timestamps, and lede grafs. (Users have the option to view story streams by topic—eg, “NY-23,” “Battle for Health Reform,” etc.—but those are also de-categorized.)
And while this kind of lack-of-context is one thing on freewheeling, crowd-created Twitter feeds, it’s quite another on TPM—particularly given that, per the conventional wisdom, institutional journalism’s value will lie, increasingly, in its capacity to offer curation, categorization, organization, etc. In other words, in its very ability to tame the torrents of information that surround us. Will TPM’s readers appreciate the outlet’s dipping of its toes into news’s rushing river? Remains to be seen.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.