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Better in the original

The thing about the New York Times' coverage of the story of a student who sold an Apple laptop on eBay, was cheated by a scam artist, and successfully hunted the guy down, is that it's not nearly as interesting or entertaining to read as the guy's own rendition. It's a great story, but it's not great news, and nothing makes that plainer than reading it as a news story.

In fact, it's exactly the kind of story that should help define the respective roles of personal web publishing and professional news publishing. The personal story's already been done; if there's any role for a professional news organization, it should be to fill in the bigger picture, not to sterilize and then regurgitate an anecdotal tale.

These journalists better learn quick; it's almost 2010.

(The thread on MetaFilter's better than the Times piece, too, by the way.)

December 19, 2002 12:27 PM

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