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.