The “what” basket is filled with reporting in a straightforward manner on things that happened. “There was a fire at 8th and Elm Street today. No one was injured,” and all that. The “so what” basket is the why it happened and/or why it mattered arm of journalism. It’s telling the audience that the fire on Elm and 8th was the third one this month, and that police are investigating all three as arsons. The “now what” basket is where the story is headed, what’s the next thing that someone interested in it should pay attention to. The fire department is reaching out to other communities to see if there are any fires similar to the three near Elm and 8th — and so on and so forth.
Massive amounts of time and money are still dedicated to the “what” — a “what” that only gets heavily read if your number comes up in the Google or Facebook algorithm or a massive aggregator like Matt Drudge plucks it out of the 1,000 other “what” pieces floating in the ether. —Washington Post
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