Radical Transparency is the Latest Hot Trend in Online Journalism


The latest hot trend in online journalism is transparency in the editing process. For example, there’s this from the New Republic:

The secret is that this is from my RSS feed. You won’t see it if you click the link and go directly to the TNR site. Then there’s this from Vox:

This one, however, turned out not to be a secret RSS bug. Vox just posted the wrong version on their site, and then removed it a few minutes later. Spoilsports. Personally, though, I applaud this trend. I think everyone should publish both initial drafts and final edits, along with all editor queries. Or, maybe some clever anarchist should hack into the New York Times content management system and download a few years’ worth of initial drafts and editor comments. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

NOTE: Do not target me. Someone else, please. Besides, no one edits my blog posts, so there are no fun editor queries. All the mistakes, idiotic opinions, and transparently anti-Bernie/anti-Hillary propaganda is my fault alone.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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