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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Is The Jury In?

178,826 --- That is the number of "hits" or page views The Sun's "My Capture" gallery received in exactly one week from this moment. A week ago, Saturday, June 23rd 2007 at this time, 3:17 P.M. a week ago as I type this, I received a call on my day off of a major injury crash about six miles south of Kramer Junction. I was closest to this remote Mojave Desert location, so I went. Turned out five people were killed. I broach the subject of web hits because the average number of hits on any given "positive" news subject for a week is in the 200 to 2000 hit range. So 178 thousand and change is something to give me pause. I get comments from the public while I am in the field often lamenting the lack of positive news stories out there. I often tell them they are not thinking of my newspaper because I can prove that over half, and often much more, of our stories are, at worst, neutral. It is one of two things that give them this impression, I explain. One, they watch too much TV and this is their main image of the world, the other, is people scientifically remember "bad" news more. Then there are the "hits". The sheer number of viewers also serve to push the news industry to cover what they, the reader, obviously wants. I would be completely happy to never see another horrific crash ever again, but it is a PART of the business of covering news. There are many great and positive images we create and affect change for the good of the community. People do not see the whole from the perspective of a newsroom, to serve the people.

P.S. I try to remember in the worst of times such as this wreck that even covering a subject such as this will have a positive effect, eventually, because stories like this, on this road, will change the road. I know because I have watched it happen many times in my career.

PPS - {{ 191,428 hits as of July 7, 2007}}}
PPPS = 197,679 Aug. 21, 07




Unknown said...

Hey Eric, good blog. I agree with you. In my 20 plus years in the business, I hear the same thing as you, over and over. Kinda like the National Enquirer, if readers didn't want the dirt on the celebs, that mag would be outta business. The same with auto wrecks. I sometimes get blasted by the cops and sometimes get blasted by onlookers or bystanders at the scene. I'd be willing to wager that those same folks blasting me at the scene are looking at accident photos online. I'm not talking about the photos from that particular scene, but perhaps a scene that involves someone they know or love. Crazy world. I would love it if I didn't have to cover any more auto accidents.

Esther Hampton said...

Very thoughtful blogg