Still True Today!
“Can I throw out a crazy idea?” I said, laying on the table a mockup of the front page of the Post I had prepared. “Why not have a feature called ‘Still True Today’?” I explained that this would be a small but visible line or two across the bottom of the front page; a kind of tickertape, nothing that would interfere with 98 percent of the usual front page, where the big news of the day would always appear. But, in addition, in this small daily feature, you’d highlight facts that were, well, still true today. My own list would include things like "42 million Americans uninsured – 80% in family with full time worker,” “2 million teachers need to be recruited in the next decade, while average teacher salary is $40,000,” and so on, in the Two Percent spirit. You might go with a different subject each day, I suggested – say, health on Monday, education on Tuesday, the working poor on Wednesdays -- but repeat the same facts each time. Obviously there are countless permutations. The exercise would require our top papers to put forward what they think are the most important things citizens need to remain aware of even as the news changes each day. It might help set the agenda for the papers’ in-depth reporting projects. The art department could make sure this recurring feature was fun and lively. Who knows? If the Times or the Post started such a feature, the ripple effect might be huge.
I still like the idea so I've added it to the top of the blog. I've started it with some of my own "favorite" troubling things that are Still True Today. Feel free to nominate your own ideas in the comments here, and I'll work the best ones into the rotation. And feel free to prosyletize the Still True Today idea to your favorite media outlets.