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Will pay-for-click save online journalism?

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Sunday, Jan 28, 2007

Matthew Ingram, the Globe and Mail technical writer, has a good article on his website: Should I Be Paid Based on Trafffic.  Here he talks about the recent incentive program where some publications are paying writers a bonus if their columns get more web traffic.  “Newspapers already promote writers who draw a large readership,” he reasons but he also worries about “pandering for page views” (writing sensationalized articles just to get more readers) and if that will dictate what kind of writing we see on the web.  It’s a good issue to ponder.  Hopefully, editors will be vigilent about this system as it gets used (and abused) in the future.  In the meantime, if you see some unusally over-the-top articles at your favorite publication, you’ll know one reason why that’s happening.  Of course, all of us at PopMatters would never approve of such practices and splash SEX and items about WILD GIRLS or CELEBRITY GOSSIP or anything like that (editor, please note my web traffic spike, which will no doubt start now…).

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