Wednesday, January 04, 2006

This is how the blogs are forcing the media to do their job

Seattle Times: By tallying clicks on our Web site, we now chart the most read stories in the online edition of The Seattle Times. Software then sorts the tens of thousands of stories for 2005 and ranks them. Not by importance, impact or poetic lyricism, but by which stories compelled the most people to put finger to mouse, click, open and, presumably, read.

...Now every editorial decision is based on Web-traffic stats. Popular stories beget similar coverage. Unpopular stories get killed. Reporters are even paid by whose stories get the most clicks....

By highlighting what is good in the news, and providing links to those reporters stories that are worthy, we force the editors to go with their work. [By "we", I loosely mean all bloggers and their commenters that post links to anything and everything. Sites like DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, Americablog,... have hundreds of thousands of visitors everyday. That's a whole lot of link clicking going on.] That's how we kept traitorgate on track, by overwhelming their click counters on every breaking piece of info and making those writers the holders of the fattest wallets in the newsroom.

The reporter with the most clicks writes the history. When we demonstrate through our mouses that we can handle complex stories and are able to crosscheck and scrutinize their work we force them to report the truth.

So when the news is worthy, please post a link on your site or in the comments, and I'll be sure to click on it every time.

btw, the story I'm quoting from happens to be about how...

The story last summer about the man who died from a perforated colon while having sex with a horse in Enumclaw was by far the year's most read article...
eew!

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