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HINTS & TIPS

Get the most out of News in Five

This page will show you how we designed the site to give you the easiest access to the most information.

How is our information organized?

This picture shows how everything we write is structured...



As you can see, everything is centered around an ISSUE.

This allows us to be independent of news cycles. For example, whether or not there is a minimum wage bill in Congress, whether or not Walmart changes its wage policy, and whether or not the media chooses to write about it, the issue of a federal minimum wage still is an issue. Its status, our position, and suggested citizen actions might change - all of which can be reflected under the issue discussion.

What about news, bills, and court cases?

An issue can can have one more related items, as we explain below.

News
When something happens that affects an issue, we'll write a news story about it. We group related news stories together (i.e. health care policy, consumer protection), so you can better understand the context of a story.

A news story doesn't have to be connected with an issue. We report some stories simply because we feel readers would benefit from knowing about them.

Bills and Court Decisions
An issue might have bills associated with it (whether they are enacted, pending, or no longer active). It also may be affected by one or more Supreme Court decisions. We separately provide information for each relevant bill or court decision, and link them with their associated issues.

What are all the links about?

When you see an underlined word in something we write, it is a link to more information.

In most cases it is a link to our glossary. This is not your ordinary glossary. In some cases, it simply defines the term. But in many cases it offers an in-depth explanation that will help you understand the actual issue.

Whenever we mention an elected representative, you can click on their name to find pertinent information about them.

Why do our links act like they do?

Why do they behave like they do? You might notice a few non-typical aspects of many of our links.

They don't stand out very much
How do you write one story that's both a quick read for an expert yet doesn't assume a normal reader knows all the terms we discuss? Our solution is to have links that don't stand out much from the text. So we hope are links are findable, but not distracting.

Links open up a new tab
This one was a tough call, but here's our rationale for doing it this way...

o Tabs make it easier to quickly flip between various aspects of an issue, such as a news story and a pending bill. And maybe even a few glossary entries.

o Each tab is labeled with the type of page it is.

o Backward navigation usually won't require more clicks. Just close a tab rather than pressing the back button.

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