May 15, 2021

UX Design: News articles must clearly indicate when updates are made to the content

INTRO / SUMMARY

Good design practices would it clear to readers when updates to an article are made. This example demonstrates the confusion that comes from rewriting (new title + new content) a published article after it is widely shared on social media.


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Post summary

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CBC News published an article on Nursing Day that was read widely on social media. It turns out that the details of the original article were incorrect and not fact checked.

CBC proceeded to rewrite the original article. It got a new headline, byline, and content. However, this change was never made clear to readers that the article was dramatically changed.

This practice of frequent 'updates' to articles seems to be increasing. It leads to problems in social discourse as people may think they have read the same article, when in fact each person may read a different version of an article. This makes conversation about the news very difficult.

Undocumented changes to published articles undermines the credibility of journalism, and the important roll that the Press plays in the maintenance of the 'public record.'  

Design implications & conclusion

Good design practices would make it clear to readers when updates to an article are made.  

This example demonstrates the confusion that comes from rewriting (new title + new content) a published article after it is widely shared on social media.

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