An organizing principle

What editors want is to have that chaos organized in a fashion that can be presented in a periodical publication. All periodical publications are similarly engaged in this artifice: The New York Times tells you everyday that it contains all the news that is fit to print, and we all know that isn’t true. It can’t be true. But to The New York Times’ credit, they’re out there with the artifice telling you on the front page, “This is what you’re buying here.” You are buying an organizing principle. The world is full of stuff that happened yesterday, much of which is unknown, much of which no one can make any sense out of. But this thing you hold in your hands attempts to make some sense out of it. And of course, dismally fails, as all journalistic analysis ultimately fails, but it at least gives you the comfort of a kind of organization to impose on it.

Michael Kelly, The Art of Making Magazines.