The downside is that this material goes up online automatically, without editing or moderation. That’s problematic already, but the redesign makes it worse, by making it harder for the reader to know what content has been vetted and what has not. If the content is not going to be moderated and pre-approved, it should at least be put in a separate box and formatted slightly differently. That way, readers know what they’re getting, and the writers’ original reporting won’t get diluted and lost in the glut. Original content is what keeps people coming back, right?
News editors and Web developers have a lot of factors to take into consideration when designing an appealing news site. I’ll add one more thing for them to worry about: a site redesign that makes your Web site more “clean” can have the unintended side effect of making your content quite journalistically murky.