How the sliders work

The sliders at the bottom of each news page let you choose what to read in a deliberate and thoughtful rather than impulsive and manipulable way. There are four kinds of sliders:

What topic mix do you want?

Each page shows a topic (say “Crime & Justice”) and subtopics (say “Crime”, “Civil Liberties”, etc.) with a slider for each. The green background shows what fraction of the total news flow out there is about each subtopic, and you can use the sliders to adjust whether you’d like more or less than that. This affects the ordering of the subtopics and also the news mix at the top and elsewhere on the site. Click the update button to see things change.

What spin do you want?

Two sliders let you choose the bias of your news sources. The left-right slider uses a classification of media outlets based on political leaning, mainly from here. The pro-establishment slider classifies media outlets based on how close they are to power (see, e.g., Wikipedia’s lists of left, libertarian & right alternative media & this classification): does the news source normally accept or challenge claims by powerful entities such as the government and large corporations? Rather than leaving them alone, you’ll probably enjoy spicing things up by occasionally sliding them to see what those you disagree with cover various topics.


What writing style do you want?

Irrespective of topic and spin, two sliders let you choose your preferred writing style. The nuance slider ranges from inflammatory writing with crass low-blows, ad-hominem attacks, and deliberately ugly photos of criticized people, to nuanced writing in a more respectful style. The depth slider ranges from short breezy pieces with unsubstantiated claims to in-depth coverage/analysis/expose providing good context, careful sourcing, and often detailed numbers/graphics and a more academic style.


Do you want evergreen or fresh?

The shelf-life slider ranges from fast-expiring topics such as celebrity gossip and “so-and-so tweeted the following” to evergreen pieces (high-impact/novel analysis) that are likely to remain relevant for a long time to come. The recent slider lets you choose whether to focus on golden oldies or the very latest news. Note that your news gets ranked by combining the match to all the sliders, so we can give you the very latest news only at the cost of paying slightly less attention to the other sliders.