I believe that the field of journalism would be better off if everyone adopted the plans of judging journalists based on popularity.
This is the best way to judge a journalist because it’s a good way to judge competition. In today’s media, there are numerous news sources to choose from. One can go to mainstream news outlets like the Washington Post, ABC or the New York Times, or check out some of the alternate media blogs like Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, Ed Morrisey’s HotAir.com or the Drudge Report.
While many people have lives and don’t have time to be too involved in what’s going on in the world, those that choose to make time to get informed or do have the time can decide for themselves what news sources they like or don’t like. If a news site truly is a good site, then more people will go to it, as people will spread it by word of mouth and/or link to it on social sites like Facebook or Twitter.
I feel that this is the best way to judge competition. Methods like subscriptions, pay walls, and what not are the kind of ways that drive consumers away, because they’d rather look at the news for free. Pew Research Center showed that 82% of people would find a new site to go to if their favorite Web site used a pay wall.
Some will say that it’s not a good method because anyone can just look at the site over and over again and that would skew the numbers.
While that is true, there is a measurement called unique visits which excludes repeats of people who visit the Web site. It is the unique visit measurement that should be used to judge Web site.
In a truly capitalistic free market, competition brings out the best producers in any market. The same can be applied to the media market, and is best judged by unique visits to a Web site.