Seth Abramson
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SethAbramson Attorney. Professor. Metajournalist. NYT bestselling author. @Newsweek columnist seen @CNN @BBC &c. Metamodernist. Podcaster. Latest books: Oct. 14, 2019 2 min read

Was going to say I got to the third entry in this timeline before I found the first missing "key event" but in fact any Trump-Ukraine timeline that doesn't begin with Parnas selling Trump Org condos for Fred/Donald Trump at the same time Trump makes his first Moscow trip is wrong

PS/ The obvious missing event early on in the @washingtonpost timeline is the April 2, 2014 posting by Janosavich of a photo of Trump/Parnas at an outdoor event which—given what Trump said about his dress habits in HOW TO GET RICH—almost certainly was at a Trump golf course event

PS2/ Upshot: curatorialism journalism isn't easy, and event timelines are where you turn to curatorial journalists. A curatorial journalist will scour U.S. and international news, social media and various other public records going back decades to create a *comprehensive* record.

PS3/ Not to delve too deeply into the theory behind curatorial journalism—a major growth area in post-postmodern communications theory—but one thing it requires is a certain comfort level with a *large* number of narratives that intertwine but don't always resolve into linearity.

PS4/ Commercial media and conventional reporting says, "Okay, there has to be *one* metanarrative here and it has to be *linear* in composition." But that's not how the world works. An event timeline interweaves multiple metanarratives tracking the activities of dozens of people.

PS5/ For instance, to understand the Trump-Ukraine timeline you have to know where these people were at all points going back 20 years: Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani, diGenova, Toensing, Putin, Firtash, Fruman, Parnas, Deripaska, Manafort, Lutsenko, Shokin, Zelensky, Poroshenko...

PS6/ ...Yanukovych, Yovanovitch, Sondlund, Volker, Cohen, Sater, Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, Artemenko, Dowd, Downing, Zehlne and *many* others. It's *not* that all these people are connected to one another—it's that all are part of the many intertwining Trump-Ukraine metanarratives.

PS7/ In the future—and in this order of work-product—citizen journalists, independent journalists, curatorial journalists, data journalists, and subject-matter expert analysts will collaborate to help us understand the news better than the current commercial media framework does.

PS8/ So I think @AaronBlake is clear to say @washingtonpost has "a" timeline of the Trump-Ukraine scandal—and it includes about 5% of what a comprehensive timeline would include—but it's *never* right to give readers the impression they have a handle on something when they don't.

PS9/ Postmodernism weaponizes uncertainty by making it a dangerous status for anyone involved in a dialectic (a dispute of ideas in which one side must emerge victorious and vanquish the other). In metamodernism, not seeing the whole picture yet *isn't* something to be scared of.

PS10/ IOW, commercial media says "we got this"...when they don't. And they say that so you will buy their product. A post-postmodern journalist says, "We're working on this and doing the best we can—and you'll need to engage actively rather than passively to see the whole field."

NOTE/ Case in point! It's Jarosovich, not Janosavich. Comprehensive curations of complex events are done in real time—and the next generation of journalists will be *okay* admitting errors in real time even as they try to minimize them. More on Jarosovich: 

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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