Timeline Launches Information App To Give You The Context Behind The Day’s Headlines

Timeline Launches News App To Give You The Context Behind The Day’s Headlines

One huge complaints about present information protection is that there’s not sufficient context — an article or TV report may inform you what occurred as we speak, nevertheless it provides you no understanding concerning the historical past that led as much as at the moment’s information. Now a startup referred to as Timeline is aiming to vary that.

Whenever you open the Timeline app, it’d take a look at first like simply one other information aggregator. There’s a feed with the day’s huge information — however the headlines have a barely totally different spin on them. For instance, one in every of Timeline’s entrance web page tales as I write that is “The White Home v. Journalists,” which notes that the Justice Division is ending its efforts to get New York Occasions reporter James Risen to testify and determine confidential sources.

However whereas Timeline summarizes and hyperlinks to the Risen information, its focus is broader than that — because the headline signifies, the actual story it presents is concerning the typically tense relationship between US presidents and the press. So beneath a quick information abstract, you get to the meat of what Timeline does — which is, sure, a timeline, beginning with President Grover Cleveland complaining about journalists at his wedding ceremony approach again in 1886, then leaping via issues just like the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the way the press coated the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq, then lastly ending on Risen and, extra usually, Obama’s not-notably-open relationship with the press.

As I explored a number of the different sections of the app (US, World, Know-how, Enterprise, and so forth), I observed that their reliance on the day’s information can range. For instance, the tech tales are about broad themes linked to final week’s Shopper Electronics Present (“Devices That Make You Look Wealthy”, “The place’s My Flying Automotive?”) slightly than particular information, and certainly don’t hyperlink any outdoors information in any respect.

The app was developed by Axiom Zen, an incubator and consulting agency. Axiom Zen’s Head of Advertising and Progress Spencer Chen (a longtime frenemy, so I’m not being completely goal right here) informed me that whereas Timeline has constructed a customized content material administration system for its tales, the timelines themselves are created by a ten-individual editorial workforce. (Timeline’s editor in chief is journalist Jonathan Kalan.)

I requested Chen (by way of e mail) the place Timeline noticed a niche in all the prevailing information apps on the market, and he stated:

The information that we learn immediately is just the tail-finish of many necessary occasions in historical past that formed the occasions of in the present day. Timeline allows readers to find all these key sides of a information story and provides readers a lot richer context and understanding of the information. And in some methods, the group’s imaginative and prescient is much less about seeing an enormous hole within the information app class however extra about seeing a much bigger (and pure) evolution with one of the best methods information and knowledge is to be consumed by on a regular basis shoppers.

It’s a cool concept and a very good-wanting app. My preliminary quibble is that Timeline doesn’t truly do a fantastic job of presenting tales from elsewhere — it’s a must to seek for the hyperlinks, then faucet a number of occasions, then it opens a browser window which will or is probably not notably readable in your telephone.

However hey, in the event you simply need to see slick-wanting information tales from a number of sources, there’s all the time Flipboard. The larger query is whether or not shoppers are literally on this format — speaking about historic context can sound an terrible lot just like the information equal of consuming your greens, the other of pet slideshows and clickbait headlines. I suppose it’s each good and dangerous that the Timelines are fairly lengthy. I don’t know that I’d have the endurance to learn extra a pair of their entirety, however a minimum of they let you leap round, so you possibly can concentrate on the elements of the historical past that curiosity you.

And perhaps it’s extra interesting to consider Timeline as a historical past-pushed strategy to “explainer journalism,” which appears to be on the rise.

Anyway, if you possibly can go right here to obtain the app for your self. (The preliminary launch is for iOS and cellular net.)