As much as I still have a distaste for the site, I think BR has been improving of late. That Savage article by Keith Greenberg, for example, was a substantial piece of investigative writing. And -- for whatever reason -- they allowed him make it look like it had been written by an adult rather than an ADHD-addled 6 year old. I am referring of course to the "slide show" culture of having a 1-page article spread over 12 pages. I don't understand and have never understood why sites do that. Is that a generational thing? Do kids these days just love clicking "next page"?
BR are employing some good, serious writers now. And that Greenberg article shows that it's perfectly possible for them to publish articles all on one page. Snowden's Shield article was pretty good too. No reason why it couldn't have all been on one page like Greenberg's article either. If they did a tiny bit more of that sort of stuff, and allowed their more insightful contributors a space to write at length, all on one page and not in these awful "slide shows", then there's no reason why it couldn't gradually improve as a site.
A lot of my problems with it traditionally have been the shallowness of their top 25 lists and this slide show business. Good knowledgeable writers fix the first one, seemingly the latter is not set in stone.
People like list articles. Slideshows happen to be the best method for delivering list articles in the content management systems used by BR and many other sites. The big exceptions I can think of are Cracked and AV Club. Slideshows are encouraged because they do well, not because it's a big page view boosting scam. Even for non-list content, I think it can work fairly well with the right piece (like Snowden's weekly segment by segment "Raw Report Card"). And like I've said before: BR has by far the best slideshow interface of any site I've used. On most sites I have to wait for a new page to load, but on BR the next slide loads instantly and seamlessly.
If anyone wants to criticize specific writers, specific articles that they felt were embarrassing to be featured, etc, then that's fine. I get why the site can be divisive and that there's not much middle ground as far as how people feel about it. The generalizations, exaggerations (ONE MILLION DOLLARS), slideshow format criticisms from people who seem like they haven't actually read any on BR, and weirdly mean spirited personal insults (again, ONE MILLION DOLLARS), etc. are what I don't really understand at all.