These days there seems to be a lot of focus on statistics

These days there seems to be a lot of focus on statistics when it comes to online journalism. It's almost like the success of an online article is measured solely by how many likes, shares,tweets and views it's received rather than the actual content and skill the journalist has employed in the article. Of course, there is an obvious motivator. Money. An article with more views is going to make you more advertising revenue. But a serious problem arises when journalists start writing for views instead of reporting accurately, honestly and impartially.

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On ABC's Hidden PersuadersFolker Hanusch, from QUT's School of Journalism,Media and Communication, suggested that being confronted with daily statistics on how many views an article is receiving is negatively affecting journalists . He also suggested that statistics are affecting the quality of news journalism, "Print journalists are getting immediate feed back on how many people are are reading their storiesand what affect is that having on journalists work in terms of shifting their story agendas to get the most hits. And I think that's a worry."

ButABC's Kellie Riordan, believes just because an article has bad statistics doesn't mean it's a bad piece of journalism. She thinks we should be approaching online journalism differently when it comes to statistics. She discussed how she tries to view page view statistics, "I remember reading an article withKatharine Vinershe said look I use metrics in a different way. I don't say 'oh that story by Steve Austin is not doing very well only 200 hundred hits better bury it'. She'd say 'actually that's a really great piece of journalism what else can we do. Lets write a new headline, let's find a great image '".

Essentially, everyone has to adapt to the changing face of journalism online, but that doesn't mean losing journalistic integrity and using sensationalism for the sake of more views. In the journalism sphere it is more important than ever to recognise that people interact differently on different mediums. If an article isn't getting the views it should be, chances are it isn't because it's written badly. Instead it is important to review the articles formatting, it's integration of multimedia and when/where it has been promoted on social media.

At the end of the day without good statistics you're going to struggle to make money from online journalism but there are many ways to improve reader engagement and still maintain journalistic accuracy and honesty.

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Posted in Transportation/Automotive Post Date 12/07/2020


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