Even as reporters distilled the information they got from their notes, editors - especially crabby ones - worked to distill it further, whether through better story organization or by cutting extraneous information that didn't serve the narrative (or fit the page). Editors also curated the pages of their publications or contents of broadcasts by deciding which news mattered, which fit that day, what was the story to play first and which one needed to be held for more reporting.
Which is why I don't agree with the statement in a recent Newspaper Death Watch post about the revolution that is curation. Here's what Paul Gillin writes:
Never confronted? The basic function of the brain is to curate information to make sense of what's going on around us. It's an idea that we've confronted from the start, although the Internet does demand that we develop new methods for curating information to ensure the important stuff isn't lost in a sea of inanity. Indeed, good curation by good curators (good reporting?) might find stories we'd never be exposed to had the Internet not offered us the glimpse.
All of a sudden, “curation” is one of the hottest words in the Web 2.0 world. That’s because it’s an idea that addresses a problem humans have never confronted before: too much information. In the process, it’s creating some compelling new ways to derive value from content.
Gillin's post goes on to talk about a search tool he's invested in that is supposed to make online curating easier.