On the Style section of The Washington Post, Paul Farhi reports on the new guidelines the Associated Press has put in front of its journalists: basically, to keep it brief, with their stories between 300 and 500 words at most. This might be the result of Twitter-induced attention spans and an overwhelming amount of information readers are presented with on a daily basis.
Why? The news service says many of its members 15,000 or so newspapers, Web sites, and radio and TV stations around the world lack the staff to trim stories to fit their shrinking news holes. Whats more, AP says, readers can get turned off by longer stories, especially on mobile devices, an increasingly popular way for people to get the days news.
We need to be more disciplined about what needs to be said, Kathleen Carroll, APs executive editor, said in a (short) interview. We dont do enough distilling and honing, and we end up making our readers do more work.
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