Last week I mentioned that one of my favorite journalists, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post Wonkblog, was leaving for some new venture. It turns out tha he’s not the only policy-minded journalist / blogger joining the project. Matthew Yglesias of Slate.com, Dylan Matthews also of Wonkblog, and possibly others will be starting something they are calling “Project X”, an online news site focusing on providing context and background “explainers” for current issues in the news.
“Today, we are better than ever at telling people what's happening, 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."
"The news business, however, is just a subset of the informing-our-audience business — and that's the business we aim to be in. Our mission is to create a site that's as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it.”
Their announcement includes a link to an open online application for possible contributors who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about specific topics.
I can’t help thinking that there is a crying need for context, history, and explanation for disability-related news stories and policy discussions. How many people casually read about, say, nursing home fires, cognitively impaired people dying in pointless scuffles with police, sub-minimum wage at sheltered workshops, long term care and “entitlements”, health care reform, etc., without any real understanding of what’s important about these happenings? How many disability stories play out as simple human tragedy or triumph, with important policy implications entirely missing?
Maybe some disability bloggers will step up?