NBCNews.com and its sister MSNBC.com have been my news go-to sites for years. World news, national news, sports, politics. All there for me, clearly organized just like a newspaper. If there was a late-breaking story, it was easy to find. National, international, sports, politics–nice and neat.
Several weeks ago, the site “updated” its appearance. Mostly images and little text, the site highlights what its editors believe to be the story we should be reading. Their choice, not the reader’s. You can find the rest of the stories, but to do that, you have to click this, then that, then… It’s almost as if the site’s brain-trust has determined that its visitors can’t actually read, and need the big pretty pictures to draw them in.
The network’s sister station, MSNBC has done the same thing (the two sites had been one and the same for a long, long time), and the two places I’d called my news home for years have just lost an avid reader.
I’m not crazy about CNN’s coverage, but at least you can find it. I try to read several news sites each morning: The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, (MSNBC, until recently). The newspaper sites are increasingly charging for content (and no, I don’t at all begrudge that). And increasingly, news sites (like Yahoo, AOL, Google, etc.) so tailor your news that you get no perspective at all. Everything curated to validate your point of view, to feed you pablum and decidedly not to challenge, grant you a wider perspective or remove your blinders. Yes, I know that MSNBC leans left, and the nightly roster of MSNBC programs lacks points of view other than the left’s (and it’s my very own validating pablum, thank you very much!).
But the NBCNews.com (and before it MSNBC.com) website has always been objective (except in the politics section), easy to navigate and informative. I really hope the powers that be who rule the network’s Internet presence rethink their new design. Let me know if they do, and I’ll come back. I promise.