Interview With NPR On Process Journalism

Yesterday I did an interview with NPR’s On The Media about the idea of Process Journalism.

Process Journalism is the posting of a story before it’s fully baked, something the New York Times officially despises, but they do it too.

From my original post:

We don’t believe that readers need to be presented with a sausage all the time. Sometimes it’s both entertaining and informative to see that sausage being made, too. The key is to be transparent at all times. If we post something we think is rough, we say so. If we think it’s absolutely true, we signal that, too, while protecting our sources.

But anyway, media outlets like the NYTimes think that having to update a story is a sign of weakness. I believe the opposite, that it’s a sign of transparency and a promise to our readers to continue to give them the best information we have. Corrections and updates are made constantly to big news posts.

Some people ask why we don’t just wait until we have the whole story before posting. That’s where the cheap/expensive quote above comes in. The fact is that we sometimes can’t get to the end story without going through this process. CEOs don’t always take our calls when we’re asking about speculative rumors. But when a story is up and posted, it’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork to give us additional information.

It’s that iterative process, which Jarvis nails completely, that I was trying to guide Damon to. He can like it or hate it, but it works. And readers love it. The only people who don’t like it are competitors who like to point out that a story was partially wrong, and that they got it right later. But the fact is that they didn’t even know there was a story to begin with. Our original post kicked off the process, and they, like us, started digging for the absolute truth.