different kinds of objects might have same-named methods (e.g. save) which might need different realizations (e.g. what has to be done for saving an abject). so, specialized subclasses can overload these methods.
concerning new changes on news-item. The version provided by malte continues to work (no one has to use the new news-item form page). The basic question is where to save the body of a message, in the description (plain text) or in the content of an item. Both options are open with the 5-3 version and the head version. i tend to believe that storing the content of items in the text is better, but in some aspects, the html has disadvantages (the 5-3 version converts to a semi-good text, it is harder to truncate the text to n characters due to wellformed-aspects of html).
In the worst case, one has to use another similar script to convert from old news-item to new news-item. The biggest problem with that is the ordering by publication date, which should go most likely into a separate field, since using modification dates on the CR are maintained by the triggers, which has the consequence, that each update script alters these dates... i will look more into the details in the near future.