“There’s no easy trick, no gimmick, to draw people to read your website,” writes Salon.com editor-in-chief Kerry Lauerman. “Trust me, we’ve tried.”
We’ve also — completely against the trend — slowed down our process. We’ve tried to work longer on stories for greater impact, and publish fewer quick-takes that we know you can consume elsewhere. We’re actually publishing, on average, roughly one-third fewer posts on Salon than we were a year ago (from 848 to 572 in December; 943 to 602 in January). So: 33 percent fewer posts; 40 percent greater traffic.
* Hit record
Rachel Barnhart’s Rochesterian blog reports that Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV has told viewers it will no longer show footage of the Le Roy students who are showing Tourettes-like symptoms. (I’ve called the news director for comment, but haven’t heard back.) This is what the station said, according to Barnhart:
Regarding the Le Roy story, we want to tell you about something we’ve decided here at 2 On your Side. The doctors involved in this case have said that part of the problem is that the media is constantly replaying video of these girls on the news, and the stress of being on TV, even after the interviews have ended, are making things worse for them. 2 On Your Side not only takes its journalism seriously, we also take seriously our role in our community. And if not showing the teens and their tics will help, then we’re in. We have decided, until or unless some other diagnosis is realized, that we will not be showing the video of the girls and their tics. We will continue to follow the story as we have from the start. We’ll talk to doctors, school administrators, and parents. Now, we can’t control all the media, even our own network’s coverage of this story, but we can control what we do and we have decided to do this because the doctors say its best for the kids in this situation.
I can see both sides. On the one hand, the girls themselves are continuing to give television interviews. Their parents, to my knowledge, have not complained to news outlets about use of footage. I am also unaware of any medical professionals directly reaching out to television stations asking them to stop. There is still intense interest in the case. Showing the girls’ distress in context can be helpful to a story. And, as one person said upon learning of this decision, “The genie is out of the bottle.”
* Buffalo station stops showing Le Roy girls and their tics
* “Le Roy is becoming the freak of the week to the rest of the country”
From KC JOHNSON: I’m a professor of history a Brooklyn College. I blogged and co-wrote a book (with Stuart Taylor) on the Duke lacrosse case.
I occasionally still update the blog, mostly on matters related to the players’ civil suit, which has the potential to be precedent-setting in higher-ed law. But I recently came across a post by Poynter’s Kelly McBride in which she both used Wendy Murphy as a source and referenced Murphy as an instructor in a Poynter seminar. Murphy had been a frequent commentator in the lacrosse case; over and over and over again, she simply invented “facts” to bolster her pro-prosecution viewpoint.
I had assumed that Poynter would be horrified by its connection with a serial fabricator; it turns out, after I heard back from McBride, that I was wrong, as I noted in the post summarizing the matter.
I’m obviously not a journalist, but I had assumed that for a group like Poynter, there’d be no bigger sin that a person using repeated, and easily checkable, misstatements of truth. That Poynter would put such a figure in a position to instruct journalists very much surprises me.
* Poynter & The Serial Fabricator
I’ve invited McBride to respond. Disclosure: I was once employed by Poynter.
UPDATE: Read McBride’s letter to Johnson after the jump. Read More
Facebook claims it has 845 million “monthly active users” and an even more incredible 483 million “daily active users,” but Andrew Ross Sorkin says “those eye-popping numbers should have an asterisk next to them” because of the social-media company’s “active user” definition.
Every time you press the “Like” button on NFL.com, for example, you’re an “active user” of Facebook. Perhaps you share a Twitter message on your Facebook account? That would make you an active Facebook user, too. Have you ever shared music on Spotify with a friend? You’re an active Facebook user.
Sorkin points out, though, that “Facebook’s definition of ‘active’ is nowhere near as problematic as Groupon’s fanciful accounting, and it does not appear that Facebook is trying to deceive investors.”
* Those millions on Facebook? Some may not actually visit
* Facebook’s Timeline facelift concerns some of its users