The Great Dave suggests that the New York Times should make all its source material available, even the stuff that doesn’t make it to the newspaper.
He says “This is good for everyone. We need more data. Most people think that Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center”
Is lack of information really at the heart of the problem? Is publishing more stuff like that really such a good idea?
The problem isn’t the shortage of data. The problem is many-fold:
– the data isn’t accurate enough.
– the data isn’t being adequately scrutinised and interpreted into meaningful, reasonably objective information.
– the consumers of the information aren’t working hard enough or simply don’t have the skills to convert what they read and see into useful knowledge.
Just adding more data to the situation is not going to help. If anything, more information is just going to make things worse. At the moment, despite all their problems, many ‘quality’ newspapers make a reasonably decent fist of reporting and interpreting what’s happening in the world. Nobody who reads the New York Times cover-to-cover believes that Saddam Hussein blew up the WTC.
Anyway, newspapers have enough difficulty standing over the stories they do actually publish, without having to account for all the stuff they would have thrown away as well.