Highlight differences

February 12, 2009 / A NNW feature provides a glimpse into the BBC’s headlines and snippets editing process for their main RSS feed.

One of the features of NetNewsWire I like the most is “highlight differences.” With this option switched on, the feed reader compares older and newer versions of a feed and merges them with del and ins markup to reveal the changes. Among the feeds I read heavily, BBC News seems to have the most numerous edits. Here are the recent examples from a list of roughly 100 entries:

US lawmakers reach stimulus deal

Members of both houses of the The US Congress reach agreement reaches what President Obama praises as a “hard-fought compromise” on the details of President Obama’s his economic stimulus plan.

2/11/09 6:41 pm

Two quizzed over Australia fires

Australian officials blame arsonists for fresh fires Police are questioning two people in Victoria, as a dozen relation to the bushfires continue to burn in the state.southern Australia that have killed at least 181 people.

2/11/09 9:21 pm

Prostate cancer urine test hope

US scientists have moved a step move closer to a simple urine test to distinguish between the benign and aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

2/11/09 7:52 am

UK jobless total at 1.97 million

The number UK unemployment reached 1.97 million between October and December, a further sign of jobless people in the UK is set to pass two million for the first time since 1997 when figures are published later.downturn, official data shows.

2/11/09 5:02 am

Mexico gun fights leave 21 dead

Gun battles Twenty-one people die in shootouts between soldiers and suspected drug gang members and troops leave 21 dead hitmen in northern Mexico, police say.Mexico.

2/11/09 5:25 am

Israeli rivals claim election win

The leaders of Israel’s two main parties, Likud and Kadima, both say they have won the country’s snap early election.

2/10/09 10:59 pm

US cybersecurity review under way

A 60-day The Obama administration starts a review of how well the US copes with relentless cyberattacks has been kicked off by Obama’s security chief.thwarts spies and malicious hackers.

2/10/09 6:27 am

Some of these edits are factual updates (e.g. adding the “hard fought compromise” quote; replacing “blame arsonists” with “questioning two people”), while others soften the tone of the informational claim (e.g. “1.97 million” versus “set to pass two million”, “thwarts” versus “copes”). Both kinds of changes are made to strengthen the utterance: either by adding factual clauses or by making the tone sound less evaluative, which is to say, more impartial.

† I’m not saying that the claims are actually impartial. I don’t think they can be.

Comments are closed.

Zero to One-Eighty contains writing on design, opinion, stories and technology.