A Zagat's For Journalists: Rate News Sources On Many Criteria

from the changing-face-of-media dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about Pay Per Click Journalism in Chile, where a newspaper publisher is going to base salaries on how many clicks reporters’ stories get on the paper’s website. Sam Whitmore saw that story and started to think about what it meant, leading to a proposal for a Zagat’s style ratings system for news sources, where anyone could come along and rate news sources on a large number of criteria, building up an overall “review” of the source. He called me up (early in the morning) to ask what I thought of it, and my response (in his article) is to worry if publications would then “write to the test” — trying to hit on just those criteria. Sam’s response, appropriately enough, is that at least these metrics would be much more broadly applicable and useful than something simple like clicks on a website, as seen in the situation in Chile. He’s absolutely right. However, since our conversation, I’ve been thinking a bit more about it, and I still wonder how well it would work. People seem to get much more personal about news sources, and accusations of bias from one side or the other could lead to very polarized results. Still, it would definitely be an interesting experiment, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it show up soon enough.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “A Zagat's For Journalists: Rate News Sources On Many Criteria”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Marsha (user link) says:

Interesting idea ...

But I still worry about what it would mean for some types of stories, like investigative stories that might not be immensely popular yet are necessary for the media to be a watchdog. I saw Whitmore mentioned coming up with some kind of scale that would incorporate “traditional” media values/purposes in the survey. That might address it, but I’m still skeptical.

Anonymous coward says:

Re: Business plan

Search sites are looking to integrate news as fast as they can. Yahoo, Google, LookSmart, and others need better ways to sort the news, give it priority and relevance.
These sites need to get people to trust them as much as they trust the editors at the New York Times, who do the same thing with the stories submitted by their reporters. Well, perhaps trust them more than that…
Enter Sam Whitmore’s idea. Big money here.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...