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Lee joins the cutback club

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HanSenSE, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Newspapers say they are giving away free corona stories as public service. Like I said information about the virus and restrictions on the public is readily available on government websites. Newspapers are doing a public service making the stories free? Are they doing a public service by forcing their reporters to furlough, take pay cuts and get into the government unemployment lines? Wrong decision to give away the stories. If there's an item that the public must see regarding restrictions, "maybe" make that story free.
    Giving the stories away for free isn't helping the furloughed newspaper writer.
  2. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    The Athletic disagrees.
  3. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    The Athletic is an all-sports website, dipshit. They have literally no option.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    You said or implied there are no sports stories out there now that are readable. They disagree and laugh all the way to the bank at newspapers making it easier for them to take over.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    And they are currently do a 90 day free trial because absolutely no one is subscribing during this.

    cake in the rain likes this.
  6. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    who is giving away stories? In NJ and NY pretty much every paper now costs $2 a day.
  7. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Seriously? Self-awareness can be a valuable tool for growth.
  8. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    A couple points:

    1. Every sports editor/reporter in my neck of the woods is currently chipping in with page layout, news reporting and online duties during the pandemic. As they absolutely should. Flexibility always was a big part of working in sports, and that's truer than ever during the pandemic. When (if?) things return to normal and there's a need for sports coverage, those folks can shift back into their old beats and jobs. We hope.

    2. I agree web site tallies/data is hard to manipulate — and frankly, not worth it. What happens instead: those numbers and data get used to push ownership's and/or a certain manager's agenda. The problem at smaller-sized publications is the bulk of their revenue still comes from print advertising (what's left of it), and what's a popular read online isn't necessarily the same as what's popular among print readers. The latter remains tough to measure.
  9. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    I can speak to your No. 2 item, Coco. In my former (horrible) Gannett life, I had my ups and downs, and didn't subscribe to the "metrics and page views are the be-all, end-all" approach that management favored.

    There was a group of stories on my beat that was picked up by USA Today and other national outlets, and it was a mushroom cloud. I got something like 300,000 PVs in a 2-week period, and had videos that destroyed all records at our shop for views. The next Monday, I put together my schedule for the week ahead, included the metrics for the previous week, and sent it to my boss.

    He responded by saying that my page views for those stories "didn't count, because they were the wrong kind of page views." We went back and forth, with him maintaining that because these page views were from readers who would never come back to our website, they were invalid. Things got heated, with me finally telling him I wasn't going to play his bullshit metrics games any more, so my future schedule wouldn't include my metrics, so he can look them up himself and do what he wanted. He was laid off a couple of months later, and I was jettisoned a couple of months after that.

    At no point did I ever believe the numbers were "cooked" in any way. The way those numbers were analyzed and used? Yes, complete bullshit. But not manipulated.
    HanSenSE and I Should Coco like this.
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Burns, I'm with you in that like any field, the numbers can be used by management to justify whatever they want. I got laid off from Patch, and I'm sure part of it was that I had gotten a negative performance review for not being able to fulfill company content goals. (Basically, they had quotas for content types that I ignored, because nobody read the shit.) I was regularly exceeding the site hit goals, but, they didn't seem to care about that.

    However, *I* liked having the information because I found it was valuable for my own purposes. It confirmed some of my ideas coming into the job (football did waaayyyy better than any other sport) and helped shape coverage in some other ways. That's also why I was curious about hit numbers for sports stories now - I can imagine that people are looking for alternative things to read besides Covid19 stuff, but from the anecdotal reports in other threads, it sounds like they just aren't as interested in other stuff right now.
  11. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Agree completely. Such a valuable tool to be able to recognize what content was resonating and what was being ignored and a waste of time. I really enjoyed the tools that told you how far down into a story people were reading. It led me to tweak certain content to make it a 10-inch story, for example, instead of a 20-inch story that 95 percent of my readers only made it halfway through.
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The Athletic's gonna hurt bad after this. I feel for them.

    I feel for everyone, mind you. All involved.

    I don't get why the stories are being given away for free. At all.
    BurnsWhenIPee likes this.
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