Pay Per Click Journalism

from the the-times,-they-are-a-changing dept

As news rooms continue to try to adjust to a world in which the internet exists (yeah, it's taking them quite a while to come to terms with this), there's an interesting experiment happening down in Chile. The publisher of the paper set up a system where everyone in the news room gets real time stats about what stories readers on the newspapers' website are clicking on, and those clicks drive what news stories will appear in the next day's print edition. In other words, the website acts as market research for what stories people want to read in their newspapers... and apparently, the paper is doing quite well because of the change. While some decry the lowest common denominator of journalism this brings out, the publisher claims he's just showing people what they want, rather than trying to lecture them about what they should be reading about. What's even more interesting, however, is how it appears to be impacting the journalists. They constantly monitor stories to see who gets the most clicks -- and the publisher is going to offer salaries based on how many clicks they get. In other words, it's pay-per-click journalism, which (of course) is going to promote more sensationalistic stories. It also makes you wonder how long it will take before we get stories of journalistic click fraud, where a journalist hires one of these click fraud services to repeatedly click on his or her articles, just to make them seem more "popular."

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  • identicon
    jeremiah, 2 Dec 2004 @ 2:22am

    the Slashdot effect

    I wonder how they reconcile large-volume linkages from sites like Slashdot, Fark, Techdirt, etc.

    I think/hope/pray this can only lead to a proliferation of pr0n, gadgets, cool music, more games, and more pr0n in my coveted Sunday edition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg Linden, 2 Dec 2004 @ 5:31am

    Personalized news

    Going one step further, a personalized news site like Findory not only change the headlines based on what appears to be generally popular, but also change the headlines based on what you, individually, read. All in real time.

    [Full disclosure: I work at Findory]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RJD, 2 Dec 2004 @ 7:07am

    ---

    So pretty much all the news web sites are going to resemble people magezine. Sad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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