News & Criticism

Why Does E&P Hate Its Readers?

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More specifically, what does Editor & Publisher have against putting links to the news stories it covers in the frickin' stories?

Something or someone pointed me to the E&P blurb Sen. McCain Calls 'Wash Post' Article on Him 'Worst Hit Job' Ever. Sounds like fun! McCain bitching on CNN about the WaPo. Great, I missed both. Where can I find those stories?

Well, damn good question. E&P evidently assumes readers want to poke around blindly. Or maybe this was just an oversight.

Next E&P story, please. Says here the WaPo ombudsman reamed out WaPo blogger William Arkin for his "mercenary" crack that sent right-wing blogs into orbit. Wow, I'd like to read..that..too. Where is it? E&P helpfully explains, "[t]he entire piece can be found at www.washingtonpost.com."

Gee, thanks folks, that's no oversight. And here I was planning on sniffing around the Boston Globe site.

E&P considers itself, and it yet remains, the flagship industry trade publication for the newspaper biz. For the publication to be so far out of step with standard practice on the wide-world Intertubes does make you wonder if The New York Times really will be publishing in five years.

Readers want choices and links and the ability to go as deep or as shallow as they want to on a given topic. E&P pretending that editors and publishers still make that call would be cute in the same way those stories about people mistaking computer mice for footswitches were cute 15 years ago. Except it is not 15 years ago, or even five years ago.

I, for one, won't be heading back to E&P for any of its coverage—it's too painful, like watching a wooly mammoth waddle into a tar pit. But I've helpfully included links for readers so inclined.