What The Fuck Is This All About?
WTF Just Happened Today is today's essential newsletter, blog, and community chronicling the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
I'm a journalist, product manager, and web developer, and I started this project because I was having trouble keeping up with the pace of news coming from the Trump administration. It started as an Instapaper and Evernote notebook, which quickly became unwieldy as news events started to blur. So, I started logging the news on a day-by-day basis here.
The goal is to capture the most important news coming out of the White House in a digestible form inspired by The Skimm, Techmeme, and tweetstorms. It’s like the Wirecutter for politics.
What was suppose to be a personal project – a challenge to log the daily shock and awe of the administration’s first 100 days – has become my full-time job. See? Trump is creating jobs.
Editorial Policy: This is the news through the lens of a person making decisions about coverage – much the same way a front page editor does for newspapers. With every blurb I write, I’m make a news-value judgement. Journalism is a set of ethics based on trust, truthfulness, fairness, integrity, independence, and accountability. WTF Just Happened Today is a reflection of these ethics, but also applies the following standards and practices:
WTFJHT takes a neutral-ish position. It’s not intentionally partisan. It’s purposefully fact-based. It focuses on clearly saying what happened, concisely presenting the facts, citing the primary source, and moving on. Bias is the byproduct of being a human making decisions. Sorry.
WTFJHT does not offer commentary, opinion, or analysis. This isn’t a platform for pundits. That’s what the primary sources linked to are for.
WTFJHT’s value is derived from its reputation and promise to the readers. The voice, tone, and being non-partisan all represent the brand. If I break this promise, I break the trust of the reader.
With WTFJHT, you will find an independent voice with personal accountability, and a consideration for how the editorial choices I make impact others. I go through considerable effort to cite the original source of the news. I also try to make sure each recap is rich with a diversity of sources.
Transparency. WTFJHT is open sourced and hosted as a public repository on GitHub. Anybody can view the change log at anytime for any post. They can make pull requests to fix grammar, typos, facts, sources, etc., as well as contribute code.
Choice. I cite every reference by the name of the original source and link to it clearly. Where appropriate, I’ll include additional sources to the same or similar news.
Clear expectations. The premise of WTFJHT is simple: answer what happened, what the facts are, and cite the source.
Consistency. Every day that I meet the expectations I set, I earn trust with the audience. For every day that I fail to meet the expectations I set for myself, I lose trust. It’s that simple.
Making something people want. Yes.
Create more value than I capture. I’m not here to get rich. I’m here to provide valuable news you can use. That’s why there are…
No strings attached. There’s no business model trickery here. No ads. No content gates. No selling of data. I have a website and a newsletter, and I never stray from any of the above. Why the fuck would I want to sell out my audience anyway?
This project is open sourced and hosted as a public GitHub repository. Log new issues, comments, feedback here.
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WTF Just Happened Today?
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