Greg Linch: Page views don’t measure impact of accountability journalism

The Linchpen
Greg Linch, a Web producer at The Washington Post, argues on his personal blog for a new way to measure the impact of accountability journalism:

An investigative piece that might be nowhere near as popular in pageviews across a mass audience (yes, sometimes, they can be) is quantitatively measured the same way a celebrity death story is. … If we value impactful accountability journalism, why are we quantitatively equating it one-to-one to entertainingly impactful news?

A better approach, he writes, would combine page views with other measures of reader interest:

You could factor in all the usual metrics of pageviews, pages per visit and time on site along with others such as comments, social mentions of a story (and by what kind of people) and links. You could track the larger conversation around a story … You could also account for actions taken by governments, non-profits, community groups, registered voters, parents and others.

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.