News organizations need to design archives that better mirror the experience of consuming news in real time, and reflect the idea that the fundamental nature of a story is ongoing. This philosophy helps explain why terms like “breaking news” feel so stilted now. It’s not just because they’re overused and misused—and they are—it’s also because we measure news-time differently now. And it’s time news organizations think more seriously about doing the same. Newsrooms must figure out how to weave past and present journalism into the experiences we as readers are already expecting.
Meeting readers where they are doesn’t just mean gliding by in their Twitter feeds or on alerting them to a big story on their iPhones; it means being the source they find when they’re searching for something else — answering the questions they didn’t know they had.