Page Views: The Holy Grail

by Kim Taylor

We’ve heard it ad nauseam:  ‘print is dead … or dying.’  Newspapers and magazines remain only so we can line our bird cages on the cheap, right?  I tend to think that’s an overgeneralization, but that’s hardly the issue here.

Over the past few weeks, I quietly observed while a magazine I read for years found itself at the center of a ton of online buzz.  First for an article in which their writer waged war against a category of healthy bloggers called Fit Bloggers; and yesterday, for a piece in which yet another writer displayed her utter disgust over “Fatties” being intimate on TV … specifically referring to CBS’s hit sitcom, “Mike & Molly.”

Nearly one thousand people have commented on the story; they’ve made it to Twitter’s Trending Topics; even the ladies of “The View” weighed in.

From a publicity standpoint, you’re thinking gold mine, right?  Holy Grail even.  But, if you read the comments or scan the Facebook page of the writer or magazine, it’s not hard to see which way most folks lean.

It’s also not hard to see what’s really motivating their controversial writing and editing:  page views.  See, both articles were conveniently posted online, where advertisers are lured in by page views and click-throughs … more views, more dollars for the magazine.

Sure, it’s great thinking for short-term revenue generation, but at what cost?  Based on the consensus of its readers, their subscriber numbers will undoubtedly suffer.

So, I wonder, is sensational journalism the only remaining survival method, or will responsible journalism prevail?  For the sake of the next generation, I can only hope it’s the latter.

Category: Taking Aim Tags: , , 2 Comments

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