Sorry, Sharon: Newser Proves Shorter Can Be Better

It may be painful to long-form writers, but Newser is 'a smart idea'
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 9:42 AM CDT
Sorry, Sharon: Newser Proves Shorter Can Be Better
Waxman vs. Wolff.   (Getty/Wikimedia Images)

Jack Shafer doesn't like Michael Wolff—he really, really doesn't like him—but he has to admit that in the battle of Wolff (for Newser) vs Sharon Waxman (for the Wrap), he's on Wolff's side. That's because Newser has something to teach Waxman and other news purists, he writes on Slate: "The mattresses of words that journalists rest their stories on aren't always as precious as we think they are. Sometimes shorter is better."

Based on seeing a story of his own whittled from 1,025 words to Newser's 140, Shafer writes, "I've got to admit that Newser has a knack for finding the most salient 75 to 150 words in a piece for excerpting and rewriting." Beyond that, he notes, "The fact that about 2.5 million unique users visit Newser each month indicates that abbreviating and rewriting other publications' copy for maximum effect—something journalists have been doing since the dawn of journalism—is a smart idea." (Read more aggregator stories.)

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