The model of unfinished news

Paul Bradshaw adds the “news diamond” to the inverted pyramid. Or rather, he says, the news diamond is the new inverted pyramid.

For us in the U.S. (and Japan and several Latin American countries), this has lots of baseball analogy possibilities: “That story was a walk-off grand slam.”

Attempts at humor aside, it’s a pretty good model of how online news ought to flow.

Bradshaw says:

Just as the inverted pyramid was partly a result of the increasing role of the
telegraph in the news industry, and dominant cultural ideas of empiricism and
science, this news diamond attempts to illustrate the change from a 19th century
product (the article) to a 21st century process: the
iterative journalism of new media; the story that is forever
‘unfinished’. More than anything, it’s designed to challenge the dominance of
the inverted pyramid, to illustrate its origins in the industrial era, and its

Here’s what his diamond looks like:


  1. I don’t know if the diamond is an appropriate shape for describing his process ( better depicted here: ), but this does make a lot of sense from the delivery point of view. What we need now is a compatible process for gathering the news. Might it look like that process is reverse? ( gather facts into a database, chat it up with your editor, discuss it in a more open forum/budget meeting, then blog a first draft )

  2. Interesting, you may have something there.
    One of the paradigms that has been the most difficult to adjust among print newsrooms is the concept that a published article is the “finished” version, even if they agree that journalism is the first rough draft of history. This at least gives a structure for getting the information “published.” in an incremental fashion of layering more detail.

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