Some journalists fret that by letting the readers decide which stories get assigned, media outlets risk turning their attention away from hard, investigative news. “My fear is that once they start analyzing where their traffic comes from and where their dollars come from, they decide maybe journalism should go after Hollywood celebrity stuff and sports figures who are doing dope,” says Alan Mutter, who writes about the media industry on the blog, Reflections of a Newsosaur.
That hasn’t been the effect for James Graff, who joined AOL after losing his job as a senior editor at Time. “We’re breaking stories,” Graff says. “We’re feeling the kind of hum that comes from the fact that we’re building something.”
There’s a lot to unpack here, but mostly what AOL is doing is putting the cart before the horse. When you chase what’s popular and not what’s important on the basis of pageviews and advertising dollars, then really, you cease being a news organization. (Thanks Angela)