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Opening Arguments

Contextualize this

Oh, God, here we go again:

In December it was reported that Ezra Klein was leaving the Washington Post because of a dispute over the funding of a new web project that Klein wanted the paper to sponsor. Now Klein and his cadre of bloggers have announced some details of that new project, saying that their site will report the news while adding the "crucial context" that will help readers understand it.

On January 2 it was made clear that Klein was out at the Washington Post, and by January 26, Klein took to the website TheVerge.com to announce his new site. It is to be called Vox.

Saying he intends to "fix the news" with Vox, Klein bemoaned the failure of the Internet to make the news better at delivering the "crucial context" people need.

"Today, we are better than ever at telling people what's happening," Klein wrote, "but not nearly good enough at giving them the crucial contextual information necessary to understand what's happened. We treat the emphasis on the newness of information as an important virtue rather than a painful compromise."

This contextualization has been announced as the hottest new thing in journalism almost every single year since I've been in the business, and the clowns who preach it always act like they're the first to ever propose it. What "putting the news" in context almost always means is that the writers wrap the information in their own prejudices and preconceptions. Klein has been doing that for years, stuffing his reporting with whatever liberal propaganda is fashionable.

Yean, the news is broken, but Klein isn't somebody I trust to "fix" it. Hell, he's one of the people who broke it.