Here is a slide I often encounter in draft publications: a screen shot of a news web page, with a few words circled in the middle of the article. There are a few problems with this:

  • The circled quote is often impossible to read
  • The other elements of the web page screen shot compete for attention: the big headline, the photo. The article was not designed to focus the attention on your circled text
  • Today's web pages are crammed with screen elements that you don't need on your slide: social media like buttons, advertising
  • A screen shot of a random news web site does not carry the same credibility anymore as a cut out article of the 1935 New York Times once did

There are better way to show that piece of evidence:

  • Incorporate data in a bar chart, comparing it to something, and putting the news web site in the bottom source line
  • Creating a big quote page, again quoting the news web site as a source

When should you use news web sites? Maybe if the headline in a very credible news source is what you need. But then, cover unwanted screen clutter with white boxes to draw the attention of the audience to that headline, and nothing else. Here is an earlier blog post about formatting newspaper screenshots.


Photo by G. Crescoli on Unsplash

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