There’s an upside and a downside to the fact that space on the Web is essentially limitless. It’s great that a news site like NYTimes.com can be used to upload supplemental material such as audio, video, extra photos and original documents. But it’s not so great when someone decides that a tightly edited story in the print edition can undergo gasification on the Web.
To wit: This morning I was reading the online edition of the Times — ostensibly the print analogue — when I came across a disclaimer that accompanied a story about a video made just before a deadly protest last May in Uzbekistan: “This is an expanded version of the article that appeared in the print edition.”
Sure enough. I copied and pasted the online version into Microsoft Word, and it clocked in at 3,750 words. According to LexisNexis, the print version is just 2,949 words.
Extra stuff for those with the time and interest to peruse it is great. But please, let me read the basic story without having to plow through an extra 800 words.