Revolt of the Page-Slaves?

Revolt of the Page-Slaves? | The New York Observer

“In an e-mail to The Observer, one former staffer called Forbes.com “a page-view sweatshop.”

Should reporters be judged on traffic to their stories? Is the appropriate model one where the reporter does his or her job; audience-development worries about promotion and placement; and traffic falls on the shoulders of the editor, not the writer? Print is untrackable at a discrete level — newstand sales and circulation were the only numbers available, so for two hundred years reporters were essentially untracked. Now that they are tracked, I would imagine a very different dynamic at work in the profession.
If traffic were the gauge of quality, then we’d see a race to the salacious bottom … wait, isn’t that what celebrity journalism has already done to us?

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Revolt of the Page-Slaves?”

  1. Bingo! We have a winner.

    In the dark old days, editors ran what they thought we ought to read. Now they’re running what they think we want to read.

    I’m getting lots of requests to send the web traffic stats back into print editorial systems so they can better decide on future content. A truly slippery slope indeed, especially when you consider that traffic stats are really still not generally understood in the newsroom. These folks will soon find themselves chasing shadows as the vast hordes of google spiders and yahoo bots wreck their metrics.

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