Social news sites are some of the most popular destinations on the web. These sites hold the promise of allowing users to select the most important stories. Found on them are a wealth of articles that are interesting but wouldn’t make the cut in larger media corporations. The most notable social news outlet is Digg. Or should we say, was Digg. The management of Digg decided they were not to be bothered with the prestige of continued success. In Q4 of last year they redesigned their site (for the fourth time) in a best effort attempt to relinquish their pole position. To this end they made a lot of headway. Millions of users left, one of whom was their beloved founder Kevin Rose.
There is a lot of variety amongst the most popular of these sites. Some promote particularly liberal news, others more conservative. Then there’s Fark, the home of all news odd, unique, or otherwise worthy of mockery. Part of what keeps these sites going are the discussions that take place on the comments boards. People get into spirited debates about the topics being presented. They cite other sources and write pages of dialogue and opinions. It can be quite entertaining and a great way to discover information.
But something’s lost in the noise of the discussion and the vast array of news sources that are presented. Bias runs rampant, facts are sometimes sparse, and opinions tend to rise to the top. Restoring order and integrity to the social news world is NewsPapair. It is a new social news site where all content is created by its users. The goal is to present the facts in an objective and unbiased fashion without the distraction of opinion, political preference or debate.
NewsPapair has multiple functions. The first is where users can submit new articles. This isn’t like submitting an article in a conventional social news site where they find an article on the web and submit the URL. On NewsPapair they literally write and then submit the article. Here the entry takes a turn in the direction of Wikipedia in that other users are able to edit and update it. In so doing the community as a whole is able to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how of the news event. The end result is an accurate and unbiased presentation of the facts.
Beyond editing the original news article users can vote up or down articles depending on how they feel about them. Each article can also have commentaries or questions added to it. Commentaries are a place for additional objective information on the topic. Questions are for the purpose of seeking clarification on the article. The nature of the questions and answers are to follow the same high standard of journalistic discipline as the original entry. They are to have a constructive and impartial tone with the intent to lead to an answer that explains “why” or “how”. They are not be open-ended or hypothetical questions or favor a particular view. As indicated in the FAQ, there are many sites that encourage debate and taking sides on an issue. This is decisively not the goal of NewsPapair.
In order to maintain the integrity of the content, using NewsPapair is an earned privilege. Anybody can join and submit content but everyone is given a reputation score. As they interact with the site their score goes up or down. In general if the content they provide is voted up they gain points, and if it’s voted down they lose points. As your reputation grows you gain new editorial rights such as the ability to edit questions and answers, or edit news and commentaries. For true power users they’ll gain access to moderator tools. Visitors are also welcome to read the content as is, with no registration required.
The social news market is in a state of flux. And the existing popular sites are a frenzy of discussions and opinions which can detract from the true facts of a story. NewsPapair is a sanctuary for accurate news stories. Its strict code of editorial integrity makes it a unique and unprecedented way to share and learn the news.
NewsPapair, in an abrupt turn around, decided instead that nobody would be a reporter.