Liberal Arts‎ > ‎Almost News‎ > ‎

Timelines

The thing that bugs me most about news articles  (other than the tension) are the jumping around in the storyline. News articles have a format similar to the following:
  • first paragraph: the most 'new' information
  • second paragraph: "this comes on the heels of xyz"
  • third and fourth paragraphs: quotes from people
  • remaining story: fill in the blanks of the past
I've always appreciated stories that came with a sidebar that featured a timeline. Even better, timelines with links! Even better: collaboratively edited timelines that let the journalist do what she's good at while readers pick up the somewhat tedious work (it's not the most brain-busting thing) of putting events into place.

This assumes:
  • stuff happens in sequence. Much of life happens in parallel. How to account for that?
  • it may not be known when who did what, though it could be enough to know what day it happens on, even if it is a 24-hour news cycle
I've seen apps that do collaboratively-edited timelines, and here's a list of what I've come across: