Study says quality of content is down at Nola.com

CJR

A Tulane University study says the quality of content has declined at Nola.com since the Times-Picayune decreased print frequency, Dean Starkman writes. The study, on which Starkman consulted, looked at “hard” and “soft” news (including opinion pieces) in the printed paper and online.

While “the 2013 version of the printed Times-Picayune is not terribly different from its predecessor in terms of the type of stories covered,” Starkman writes, the stuff on its digital products “was more likely to be about lighter subjects such as sports and entertainment, as opposed to politics, education, courts and other traditional core newspaper beats.”

Nola Media Group Editor and Vice-President for Content Jim Amoss told Starkman the study’s methodology “doesn’t begin to provide a statistically valid measure of ‘soft’ versus ‘hard’ news” online. The study also found the news organization’s stories are more thinly sourced. Amoss told Starkman stories are often iterative, and an “early, quick dispatch about a trial or a city council meeting will necessarily have fewer sources than its full-fledged version at the end of the day.”

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