As I've deeply pondered why newspapers are waning and what changes are on the horizon, I've arrived at a different scorecard for readability. I'm proposing that media-savvy citizens already evaluate text along these lines. They're finding newspapers to be unreadable for very different reasons than copy editors do. Here's a first pass at how Journalism 2.0 may assess unreadability:
- Too informative: Provides too much information as if the readers are supposed to feel like they're drinking from a fire hose.
- Too factual: Makes a thing of objectivity as if that is not imposing a dominant narrative and devaluing subjective frames of reference.
- Too superficial: Dwells on what happened instead of the patterns that lead up to it and the reasons it could happen again.
- Too newsy: Fixates on breaking developments in an unfolding story without regard to making it worse by covering it.
- Too eager to blame individuals: Seeks to hold individuals responsible for actions rather than systems, communities and interdependencies.
- Too contemporary: Reports on what just happened instead of what always happens and historical precedents that say "here we go again".
- Too reactive: Fusses about covering the story accurately instead of proactively changing the story's outcome by intervening in it.