How we choose news stories at Mogul News

By August 30, 2019 No Comments

At Mogul News, we want to give you the best news reading experience possible. We consider all elements as part of that, from the signing up process to the design of the app right down to the stories we publish. That means choosing in-depth, analytical pieces for you. 

There are thousands of news articles published every day. They cover as many topics. We filter these down to only the ones that more most important. We give you the coverage that is worth reading. We give you truly curated news, picking what is the most informative to give you the edge, thanks to the deals we have with publishers such as the Financial Times, The Economist, The Times, The Telegraph and Bloomberg. 

Once the publishers push their stories to our servers, we do some quick analysis to whittle down the list. Topics and categories we don’t cover, such as sports, are hidden. There is not much opportunity for a very short update to give you the context or analysis you deserve as a Mogul News reader, so some of those types of articles are ignored as well. We also know, thanks to our own analysis of publishing trends, that some papers cover certain topics better. 

Choosing between the in-depth stories from all the publishers we offer is sometimes difficult. It is often a ‘you’ll know when you see it’ kind of thing, but there are certain things we pay particular attention to.

I think it would be best to compare two different stories. One is more simple reporting, the other an in-depth article. One isn’t better than the other, they don’t try to do the same thing. We do the same thing with Briefings, giving you the information you need on important breaking and developing stories. The report wants to inform you of events and keep you up to speed, the in-depth article wants to help you understand what’s going on.

The first is the BBC’s report on Boris Johnson suspending Parliament.

It’s got a very small bit of context to start off with, an overview of the main reactions and then it jumps right into quoting from different people. For much of the article, we are just presented with what other people said about the issue. 

The second is an in-depth piece from The Times.

From the start, you can see the difference. There is immediately some analysis. This move has pushed ‘Britain to the brink of a constitutional crisis’ as well as something that ‘could thwart attempts to stop a no-deal Brexit’.

While both stories give context, The Times article goes into greater background depth to help the reader understand the issue themselves. If you take the lede as a guide to how the article will dissect the topic, we are on the lookout for two things: why this is a constitutional crisis as well as what about it makes it harder to thwart Brexit. 

With the BBC article, we are only clued into events and much of their wider impact is not covered. This highlights the first thing we look for – what context is given.

The BBC article is made up mostly of quotes. We have a lineup of opposing figures ready to give their spin on events. It is a ‘he said, she said’ style of journalism that doesn’t give the reader much more than what biased political figures have to say on the issue.

There is a contrast of styles as well between the two articles. The BBC one sticks quite rigorously to very factual language. This can be seen very clearly in the opening line, the lede. The BBC says:

The prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament has prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.

There is nothing anyone could object to there.

The Times takes a more partisan approach, interpreting events while backing up that interpretation. It’s opening line goes:

Boris Johnson pushed Britain to the brink of a constitutional crisis yesterday after asking the Queen to suspend parliament in a move that could thwart attempts to stop a no-deal Brexit.

The language is more descriptive. There is more insight, giving readers, even if they disagree, a greater understanding of what’s going on. 

The reporting done by the BBC and others that break news is very much based around an event and telling you what is happening. It talks about the move technically, what went on, and the reaction to it. The Times leans more into analysis, the wider implications of what this event means. 

While both types of story are important to keep news readers up to date about what’s going on, we find The Times article more informative and more enjoyable to read. It is not made up mostly of quotes, it uses more expressive language, it goes into what the move could mean, rather than just people’s reaction to it. It is a more in-depth story.

That’s why we choose it to be in the Mogul News app for our users. It is the same for other stories from the Financial Times, The Economist, The Telegraph or Bloomberg. Mogul News isn’t here to give you the breaking coverage, we give you the tools to step back and really understand the why, rather than just the what. Mogul News focuses on giving you the tools to have a more informed opinion about what’s going on. It’s here to help you understand the world better. Sign up for a 7-day free trial here.