The NY Observer announced a new policy of offering cash bonuses as an incentive to entice reporters to write about popular subjects and boost web visits to their stories. Read more here: http://www.theawl.com/2010/05/pink-weekly-debuts-cash-for-traffic-reporter-bonus-jackpot-scheme.
While this publication is not the NY Times or the Wall St. Journal, the idea behind it may open the door for editorializing, opinion pieces and entertainment for other news outlets. It made me think of the lead-in to the local TV FOX news affiliate last night. The top “news” story was about the TV show “24” and star Kiefer Sutherland and that fact that his alter ego, a.k.a. Jack Bauer is ending his final crusade against terrorists in the final season of this hit TV show. Since when does prime time TV programming constitute news? According to FOX TV, that would be nearly every night. Recent studies indicate that the majority of Americans still get their news, in this order of priority: TV (local news first, national next) and now the Internet (Source: Pew Internet research: http://www.pewinternet.org/Media-Mentions/2010/CNN-Tech-Online-News.aspx)–and newspapers third. How do you get your news fix and do you care if it’s packaged as entertainment?