Something I feel obligated to point out though is that newspapers are dying. I do tech support for a large newspaper company in the US. Most of the papers are running on a skeleton crew. For many, fact checkers are a thing of the past.
It's so bad that circulation is now called "audience development".
Most editors do their best to hold the line on integrity. But when you are trying to do so much with so little, shit gets through.
On the other hand, this is a Murdoch Property and they are known to be ethically challenged.
This isn't an impossible scenario, but the pressure would have to come from real high. Like Board of Directors level. In the US, if a government official went to an editor in chief and attempted to pressure them into publishing something they didn't want to the government official would probably see an exposé published about them instead.
>It would eventually win of course — and as a result, fuel the innovation that gave rise to P2P sharing and torrents. Mission accomplished!
Torrents seem to be dying out though. Or maybe I'm just out of the loop on where the good ones are hiding. I can still find (normally new episodes of various shows [I use the files for video editing]) what I'm looking for but the swarms are smaller than they were and they tend to die off faster.
CNN is down to having one comment thread a day. And most of the time its only open for six hours.
OTOH, very seldom do I find reasoned, intelligent discussion within CNN's comment threads so I don't consider this to be any loss.
In fact I very seldom see well-reasoned intelligent conversation in the comments of a story at any general news site. Most of the time, regardless of what is being reported, comments will devolve into the same old unwinnable debates about Politics and Religion.
So I can see where Reuters is coming from. I don't think I will miss the comments there either.
What you are writing about is really nothing new. Metrics have driven journalism throughout the history of the industry. Before there were pageviews, there were Neilson Ratings and circulation numbers. What we now call comments used to be referred to as "Letters to the Editor".
Conflict and breathless coverage of non-issues have long dominated the headlines. The real problem with today's media coverage is that there is no room or time for anything but headlines. Stories that would have run on the inside pages of a newspaper are now ignored because they aren't worthy of the homepage and there is no where else to put them.