Ex-LAT reporter and editor William Lobdell took some meaning from a recent perusal of the most-viewed stories at the Times and Register websites, concluding that the opinion pieces, crime briefs and celebrity fluff that attract eyeballs are valued more highly than the original work of journalists. He blogs:
For many years, I always thought that newspapers would successfully make the transition from a paper product to the Internet ó though the process would be painful. Iím not so sure anymore. Hereís why. The majority of Internet readers arenít looking for a comprehensive news report that is incredibly expensive to produce....
Both The Times and Register devote tremendous resources to provide readers with in-depth reporting from around the world. But do todayís readers care? I would argue that they would rather read commentary (the reason why the Huffington Post has been so successful) and celebrity and crime news.
Lobdell's book "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America" will be out in February.