Friday, July 05, 2013

Who Says The News Won't Bring Eyeballs To A...

...Newspaper Near (Or Far From) You?

In case you've missed them, Paul Willcocks has the first two of three excellent posts up on all that ails the newspaper business 'round here.

Number 1 post is here.

And number 2 is here.

And I, for one, am eagerly awaiting Number 3 wherein Paul is promising to offer up possible remedies.

Which, in the interim at least, brings me to a recent report by Nicky Woolf in The Atlantic on this very (kinda/sorta) topic.

First, the bad news.

Which is, of course, that codswallop still sells:

Of the three English-language newspaper websites with the highest readerships, two are British.

The number one spot has been occupied since last January by the Mail Online, an industrial-sized feedbag of celebrity titillation and gossip, with a ComScore rating of 50.2 million monthly unique visitors worldwide for May....

But then there is the very good news.

Which is that actual news and real, new information does too:

Currently in at number two is The New York Times, with 46.2 million. Snapping at its heels is The Guardian: it had 40.9 million last month.

That was before Edward Snowden arrived on the scene. Figures given exclusively to The Atlanticshow that -- according to internal analytics -- June 10, the day after Snowden revealed his identity onThe Guardian's website, was the biggest traffic day in their history, with an astonishing 6.97 million unique browsers. Within a week of publishing the NSA files, The Guardian website has seen a 41 percent increase in U.S. desktop unique visitors (IP addresses loading the desktop site) and a 66 percent rise in mobile traffic. On June 10, for the first time in the paper's history, their U.S. traffic was higher than their UK traffic...

How did the Guardian do it?

Of course, it's the Greenwald effect.

But only partly:

...The publication of the NSA documents represented the first time since the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 that 'top secret' classified documents were made public - nothing in the files leaked by Bradley Manning to WikiLeaks in 2010 rated higher than 'secret'. They were leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden to The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, and a veteran team of reporters led by Editor-in-Chief of Guardian US Janine Gibson was convened to shape the raw data into the story....

Very cool (and I highly recommend you take your eyeballs over to the Atlantic site and read Ms. Woolf's story in its entirety because it's really good stuff)...

And the story she tells, at its core, is of the very old-timey dig-, shape-, and follow- type newspaper work by The Guardian, I reckon.

The other thing I find satisfying about all of this is that is demonstrates that people really do want to still search out and read from the primary sources about stuff that they deem is important, and not just titillating.

Not that the two are always mutually exclusive or anything, as even real live Lou Grant/Ben Bradlee-types surely know deep in their creaky old bones.

Hey, don't know if you caught it, but....Another old-timey local newspaper guy, Mr. Jeff Lee, sure got himself steamed-up on the Twittmachine when it came to CTV's reportage on the troubles at Postmedia recently....



Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Ross

One of the nice factors of the Mail Online (excluding the T and A - celebrity titillation and gossip) is that they understand that in the land of the Interwebs, there is NO LIMIT to the amount of information that can be presented visually.

Almost all Canadian media properties have yet to grasp this fact. People want data and pictures!

If you look at their page, you will see text and pictures run on and on!

When will the Canadian newspapers (newssites) understand that there is no limit to online real estate.

Include lots of pictures and data and people will scroll and scroll!

I believe that any media property which would have posted multiple pictures and stories of, for example the Alberta flods, would have seen a massive increase in traffic.

Vet=y few medi sites gave us picture after picture of the Alberta floods.

Wake up Canadian media property decision makers and designers!

Anonymous said...

RossK said...

Excellent point Anon-At-The-Top--

Essentially, I think, you are suggesting that news media could use the TMZ model for good.


RossK said...

...rather than evil, I mean.