Aside from my little rant abut page views yesterday, there are far more reasons to seek another way to engage online audiences for the good of the overall product.
Eat Sleep Publish really lays out a great case against page view-driven news value. The author, Jason Preston, suggests page view goals create a conflict of interest for news managers. As a daily online news manager for a metro news site, I can see where he’s coming from.
He notes that the overall value of a story to many news organization lies in how many page views it receives online. When everyone’s competing to not be the next laid off, it’s only natural for a reporter to write in such a way to get page views or for an editor to arrange placement for a story based on how many page views they think it might get (as opposed to its actual news value). The latter, I’ll admit, happens all of the time.
Does this make us, the newsroom types, in the employ of advertisers? Sure, we may not know who they are exactly – but does it represent a bias to push for them to make more off of ad impressions? Very intriguing food for thought. I’d be interested in hearing more opinions on this, people.