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Jim Thornton's Election Blog..."The Power of Precis"

Submitted on Mon, 08/06/2009 - 10:00am

Monday 1 June 2009

Looking at the amount of stuff that gets pushed through peoples' letterboxes, you can understand why everybody seems to suffer from information overload. Delivering your election leaflet, you assume everybody will pull it out from the junkmail with glee and carefully read it and think about it, whereas what actually happens is that it goes in the bin with everything else. The reason I like The Week magazine is that I know that its precis of the columns I read is amazingly accurate, so I trust the way it summarises the columns and articles I have not had time to read. It gives me an excellent summary of the arguments on both sides of an issue, and this is the model I would really like for the EHP website - I would really like people to come to it for a brief summary of the facts and the arguments on both sides of local issues. In this way, perhaps we could get better local debates on contentious problems. People have been emailing me questions, and asking on the doorstep, and there is a great temptation to give a slick one-sided answer, when in truth all of these issues are complex: I hope they still teach precis in our schools - it is a skill that is going to be much in demand in an information saturated world.

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