Executive Editor Bill Keller, fighting the storm in his newsroom at the New York Times over staff buyouts and feasibility of the company’s business model, told the Silicon Alley Insider that the paper doesn’t judge its success on how many people read their articles online.
As for our journalists, we evaluate them on the quality of their work, not the quantity of their pageviews. We’re not Digg. We’re not American Idol.
Sure, traditional journalists get it — news isn’t a popularity contest and page views aren’t a measure of quality. But get over it. Online readers lead the way by their clicks on a page and advertisers pay for that. Until we find a mass audience that is willing to pay for good stories, popularity contests will continue to chase after advertising dollars.
There may be some hope of changing the pageviews model. Check out this recent call by former CNET co-founder Shelby Bonnie to kill the CPM.