Competition in the online newsroom and that battle for traffic and page views, is causing journalism ‘burnout’ in young reporters, according to a report by the New York Times.
In his article, which sets a scene more likely to be found in the sales world in years gone by, Jeremy Peters writes that competition in online newsrooms has reached fever pitch. As a result could we risk ‘killing off’ young reporters under the pressure of a media world where numbers matter?
Young journalists who once dreamed of trotting the globe in pursuit of a story are instead shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought or be first to report even the smallest nugget of news – anything that will impress Google algorithms and draw readers their way.
The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all display a “most viewed” list on their home pages (…) At Gawker Media’s offices in Manhattan, a flat-screen television mounted on the wall displays the 10 most-viewed articles across all Gawker’s websites. The author’s last name, along with the number of page views that hour and over all are prominently shown in real time on the screen, which Gawker has named the “big board”.
Is this all just a case of friendly competition to encourage the best work? Or is online journalism by mainstream media at risk of becoming more and more a case of quantity over quality?