The new Scoop should have a clear seperation between original content and PR

Harry Chapman Public Seen by 141

Just an idea I thought I'd throw out to you all for discussion: the new scoop should have a separation between opinion pieces and press releases.

I.e. if you want blog posts and editorial pieces, you go to Pundit or Werewolf or something similar. If you want press releases hot off the PR-keyboard, go to scoop.co.nz. Basically a clear separation between original content and straight PR.

I find the mix of stuff at scoop.co.nz at the moment a bit confusing - what exactly is it serving up?


Sun 25 Jan 2015

i agree.


Harry Chapman started a proposal Sun 25 Jan 2015

The new Scoop should have a clear seperation between original content and PR Closed Sat 28 Feb 2015

by Harry Chapman Wed 26 Apr 2017

Decision blocked due to vague/inappropriate wording. Wording will be changed in a new decision so that it is a recommendation

Agree - 4
Abstain - 4
Disagree - 4
Block - 4
5 people have voted (19%)

Ron Beernink
Sun 25 Jan 2015

Scoop often gives the impression of being an 'opinion' site. That is great, but what we first most need is an independent / unbiased news site. Opinions should be given in context of the news, or as separate 'blogging' content.


Sun 25 Jan 2015

Yes a clear distinction.
However press releases and (self) promotional material could also have an link to an editorial introduction - with a description - of the source.


Harry Chapman
Mon 26 Jan 2015

A seperation will make it clear to readers what Scoop is for


Jim Whitman Mon 26 Jan 2015

I think it's great that Scoop makes it clear that it's publishing a press release and includes details of its source, particularly since MSM (main stream media) might simply rebadge and rejig the press release and we are non the wiser. I'd like to see clear source details continue to wrap the unedited PR.
In the web world we can use hyper links to other content that we wish to quote and it's great to make sure this ALWAYS happens unless we're using recollection, or the material can't be linked to.
Pure 'news'? I can't remember when I last saw one of those. A truly difficult area of content to strive to present. This deserves an extended discussion. I'd always be happy to publish anything I'd ever strive to write as 'mine'. People can make up their own minds. And rather than a national monopoly on pure news - a gold standard like the BBC or RNZ etc. - I like Twitter because of its diversity and I'm in control of the filter(s). But big outlets command much needed resources to 'be there' so perhaps the big outlets should be forced to be more diverse. I'm fed up with bankster economists, CIA politics, the U.S. propaganda, EU paltryness, and I still welcome the fresh air that Aljazeera brings. I thought it was wonderful, for all its own biases, when it emerged. We need more, not fewer sources.
So I better take a break.


Alastair Thompson Tue 27 Jan 2015

Hi. The way it currently works is that editorial content is for the most part in the Scoops wire. The other wires have press release content.

The exception to this rule is that BusinessDesk chose to put their editorial content in the Business Wire.

The issue you raise is one of information architecture and it has been raised by others. Things have been the way they are now for a long time (arguably 18 years).

A rethink of how to manage this will definitely be on the agenda for a redesign and separation of PR from editorial does indeed need to be clear.

That said I would note that Scoop does clearly label its content as Press Release, Article, Opinion, Speech or Column. This is not the case on voxy.co.nz where Press Releases are presented as if they are editorial.


Ian Apperley Tue 27 Jan 2015

I had thought that they were distinguished? Usually it is marked at the top of the page. I agree, the regurgitation of press releases posing as "news" is a pet hate. Computerworld are fabulous at this, it's just junk content.


Harry Chapman Wed 28 Jan 2015

My point is that I don't think being marked at the top of the page is sufficient. I almost never look at which "wire" it's under, and my guess would be that almost everyone is in the same boat.

There are also projects like Wellington.Scoop, which while incredibly valuable, is a strange mix of guest posts by people in the community and press releases. People should by all means have a platform, but why does it have to be in the same place?

Overall, my point is that when people go to scoop they should know what they're coming for. Is it press releases or is it guest blog posts/original content? I think it's confusing if those two things co-exist on the same site (even if they are in different "wires"/categories"). But that's just my view, and I take your point Alastair that this is a pretty fundamental point of contention :-)


Jason Brown
Sat 14 Feb 2015

A logo-based system would give readers quick visual cues about the nature and source of press releases versus news stories.


Alastair Thompson
Wed 25 Feb 2015

This forum is not a decision making body. If the proposal were reworded as a recommendation I would be happy for it to go through.


Alastair Thompson Thu 26 Feb 2015


I am a little anxious not to discourage this useful feedback. But the way Loomio provides only 250 characters for decision reasons prevented me from providing a longer explanation.. I therefore decided to block this proposal (which in Loomio is something that anyone can do - but for the sake of a harmonious community is in general a bad thing to do).

However for the reasons below I felt that it was important that I do so in order in part to clarify the general case as well as the specific case.

The feedback on this issue is important and it is feedback which we already intend to take into account when we start redesigning the information architecture around Scoop.

Scoop unlike some of our dopple-gangers (most notably voxy.co.nz ( http://voxy.co.nz )) does already very clearly label all Press Release as "Press Release" in the header of the item and also clearly attributes a byline to the content. Most Press Release content also includes the words "Press Release" in the body content. And on Google news Scoop's Press Release content and indeed some content which is not Press Releases is usually labelled "(press release" when it is linked to.

So the issue is not one of a an absence of clear notification but possibly one of emphasis.

There is possibly a wider issue however around this which relates to how Scoop treats press release content and editorial content within its "information schema" - this part of the Scoop design is one of its oldest features and it has to some extent proven itself over time. However as Scoop's editorial content has grown the distinction has become more and more of an issue. Scoop's view - unlike most editorial organisations - is not that editorial content is inherently superior. In many cases the original "announcement" of news from the horse's mouth is in and of itself extremely news worthy - and the fact that it is the full unadulterated announcement has a specific quality that Scoop's readers find very useful.

With breaking news you will notice that Scoop will often lead with press releases or speeches (for example with the announcement that we were going to war). And we do so because it is that quality of Scoop which is at the heart of the value that Scoop provides.

That said making the distinction clearer in design terms (without demoting PR content) is something which would undoubtedly would be useful.

If the original proposer wishes to restate their proposal in terms of a reccomendation that when Scoop does its redesign process this issue should be one of the key issues which should be dealt with I will happlily support it. However in the terms that the original proposal was posted I thought there was a risk that some in this support group might consider that it had a governance role in Scoop which at this point it doesn't have.



Harry Chapman Thu 26 Feb 2015

Hi Alastair, sorry for posting a proposal which oversteps the boundaries of this exercise! I can't edit the proposal now people have voted for it. But I'm happy to resubmit it when it closes using language which makes it explicit that it's a recommendation.
(I was just assuming that you would take anything this group decided as nothing more than a recommendation!)


Alastair Thompson Thu 26 Feb 2015

I expected that was the case Harry.

All good. And in fact the wording "should" is more in the manner of advice rather than an instruction anyway.

Nevertheless I thought it would be helpful for us all to make it completely clear. And thereby avoid future misunderstandings.



Jason Brown Fri 27 Feb 2015

This raises a question I had been wondering about these last few weeks.

Should proposals be put up to start feeling the way towards concrete proposals? For example, "Journalism is a public good?" or "Journalism funding should include public funding?"

Or do we need to be less / more specific, or, wait for Scoop lead on this?

Or put this question into the form of a proposal ? :)

jason brown


Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:50:09 +0000


Alastair Thompson Fri 27 Feb 2015

You can make proposals about what ever you want and we can agree or disagree about them.

Right now I would be particularly keen to see proposals about things related to promotion of the crowd-funding campaign :)

I think the only point I am trying to make is that we shouldn't have proposals which seek to direct Scoop. Those ones should be framed as recommendations.

Hopefully this is relatively clear.