Content Curation and Editing Process at Inshorts

We live in a world where myriads of events are reported everyday. A person sees events happening in his/her neighbourhood, city, state, country and all over the world. Now, as far as we are concerned, the question arises about what is important enough to be covered. Contrary to popular belief that this is best left to machines and algorithms, we firmly believe that this is where a person’s judgement, based on his/her understanding of human instincts, comes into picture.

At the very surface of concept of events, there are two kinds of them. There are events that happen frequently in our daily life and the ones that are not very common. In all those cases, some reports might catch our attention while the others may seem to be a usual deal for us. As the sheer volume of events and stories streaming all around us overwhelm us, we tend to look at it very simply. In order to decide what is worth covering, we just try to answer the question whether our target audience (18-32 years of age), even with little or no knowledge of current affairs, will be able to establish an instant connection with the news that we are considering.

So, what are the kinds of news with which people are able to establish an instant connection? To answer this question we put ourselves in our users’ shoes and divide stories in two buckets.

The ones that impact our lives

There are incidents which directly impact the lives of the people. Such incidents attract people’s attention very easily. For instance, the rise/slump in food or fuel prices directly affects us all. If there is a news about a central government scheme providing employment to the unemployed, then it will have a widespread appeal among the people. We consider such stuff worth publishing.

Apart from the incidents which directly affect people, there are happenings which indirectly impact them. Suppose there is a slowdown in international markets, which consequently affects the Indian market, it will attract people’s attention. These are the kind of incidents/events have an indirect impact on us. To be able to connect with them we need to understand the influence the event is going to have on us. So, are we all aware of the influence that all such occurrences are going to have on us? Again to answer this question we have to delve into a users’ mind. Putting ourselves into a user’s position, before selecting such news articles for publishing, we make sure that a common person (with little or no knowledge about the background of the news) is able to understand the effect the incident is going to have.

The ones that keep us updated

There are some incidents which may not have a very significant impact on the daily lives of readers but they add to their knowledge base. Being aware of such incidents makes one feel that he/she is informed about whatever is happening or is being talked about. We consider this our duty to make sure that a user is connected and in sync with the world.

Summarisation

The guiding principle of creating a short is to make the information most relevant and easily understandable. One of the ways we do this is to figure out facts that are most relevant and easy to remember and understand. We ensure that a person reading a short is able to talk about whatever he/she has read in the short, to any person, after going through the short once.

Once the facts are selected, we make sure that we do not include our own opinion but only facts. While covering statements of eminent personalities (which may be their opinion) we ensure that readers are clearly able to understand that it is their opinion, not ours.

Images also play an equally important role for us. Our editorial team selects images which are best suited for a short. Images which resonate the mood and content of the short are used.

The whole process, starting from content selection to the final editing to make the short ready for publishing, is what makes us provide our users with the right content, always.