“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?