Watch The News Change

from the right-before-your-very-eyes dept

Slashdot (of all places) is running a very interesting feature article about news sites that change their articles during the day. So, the same URL will be updated continuously through the day. Obviously, the web is good for that, and there’s nothing wrong with updating an article to make it more accurate. However, places like CNN don’t actually indicate what they changed. Some news sites have a “corrections” page, or add an “update” tag. CNN just changes the time stamp. I think the changing nature of a story in progress makes it completely reasonable to update an article over the course of a day – but it would be a lot more ethical (and interesting to watch) to at least indicate how the article changed.

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Comments on “Watch The News Change”

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LordSlakyr says:

Cheaper but problematic for linking

Having worked for a now-defunct DotBomb portal, we used to publish thing under the same URL because it was cheaper and easier to update an existing content page than to create and maintain versions that are only minorly changed.

It caused a problem, though. Sometimes we dramatically changed the content of a page to a totally different subject (which is not what the ./ article is discussing), and we got complaints from people who had bookmarked the page, or were referencing it with a link, and the previous content being referred to was no longer there. We decided that updates would retain the same URL, but significant changes needed to be “branched” and the former version of the page would still exist, though it may have not been linked into the main site any longer except through search.

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