June 19, 2010

What do online newspaper readers like?

Online versions of newspapers frequently post lists of their most popular current stories, as measured in various ways: most viewed, most emailed, most linked to by blogs. Here are the Los Angeles Times' Most Viewed Articles the evening of Friday, June 19, 2010:
Yesterday was the first time I've ever seen all top ten most-viewed stories be sports stories.

The LA Times, which in the last 30 years of the 20th Century tried to compete with the NY Times as the most serious newspaper in the country, has in this century increasingly become a Sports Page-dominated outlet.

Granted, it was a big day in sports in LA, with the Lakers having won the NBA title the night before. And the U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach is a big deal with the demographic that reads newspapers online (PGA fans are the most likely to vote of all sports fans). A large fraction of LA golfers have at least driven by Pebble Beach Golf Links to ogle it (you can see a lot of the duller inland holes up-close-and-personal from your car, and if you park, you can see the famous 18th without paying anything other than the admission fee to the 17 Mile Drive).

Keep in mind, also, that The Most Viewed Articles have a high self-referential component, dependent in part on how big a push the online paper gives them.

In contrast, the New York Times' most viewed articles at the same time:
The Most Emailed Articles tend to be female-oriented self-help pieces that ladies forward to their friends and loved ones. The Most Blogged articles tend to be male Political Talking Points of the Day stuff.


Anonymous said...

Wow the NYT is really a dinosaur.

It feels wrong beating up on them.
They've gone full retard.

Glossy said...

Does LA have a tabloid? In New York team sports and gossip are deemed to be the tabloids' turf. A certain type of sports fan here considers the NYT to be too stuffy and/or "gay" to ever want to look at it. A guy like that would read the Post or the Daily News instead. Isn't it weird how the same organization can be seen by large sections of the public as both stuffy AND gay? And yet it is.

Simon in UK said...

The NYT Best Friend article is very creepy:


Steve Sailer said...

No, there's no tabloid newspaper in LA, despite the surfeit of tabloid fodder.

Famously, at Michael Kinsley's first LA Times editorial conference, the placement was discussed of a story about a madman decapitating the 91-year-old screenwriter of "Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein" and murdering a doctor neighbor, then being captured on the grounds of the Paramount movie studio. The decision was made to give such a tawdry story an obscure inside location. Kinsley wanted to know: Who do you have to decapitate to make Page One in this town?

l said...

Simon in UK said...
The NYT Best Friend article is very creepy

Having friends (i.e.: prefering the company of some peers over others) in youth forms the neural pathways to racism in adulthood.

Friendship is counter-revolutionary, revanchist.

If we are to have a truly color-blind, egalitarian society, our children must be isolated and made friendless. It's best that, if they form any emotional bonds, that these are to state-accredited child development experts.

Jerry said...

I've long noticed that the top ten articles in the NYT are self-help, not to say therapeutic.

Plus some commentary.

There is almost no news. On the one hand, news is now a commodity, you can get it from anywhere. News is less important. On the other hand, fewer people trust the NYT with news. For anyone who is not a lefty, their news is of course often insufferable.

At the same time, I have a sense that they have been pushing their self-help angle more and more. It's made them more pragmatic and practical, in a way.

headache said...

no way NYT personnel themselves believe the crap they try and stuff down our throats. I bet they are a very snobbish and clannish bunch themselves.

Kylie said...

headache said..."no way NYT personnel themselves believe the crap they try and stuff down our throats. I bet they are a very snobbish and clannish bunch themselves."

On the contrary, I think they believe it fervently--not for themselves and their fellow elites, of course, but for lesser mortals (i.e., you and me).

Like all leftists, they believe they know not only what's best for the masses but what's best for the masses to do (not always the same thing). They therefore believe they have the right to be prescriptive, not exemplary.

In this case, it's obvious why the leftists now proclaim that having a best friend is not healthy. It's not helpful to the state to have individuals turn to, support and depend on one another, particularly if they're white.

By the way, my best friend and I have been friends for nearly 40 years, though we haven't lived within 500 miles of each other since we graduated high school in 1973.

Bill Hearst said...

One possible reason for sports stories dominating is that you can still trust newspapers to report on sports with reasonable accuracy.

If a newspaper reports that the Lakers beat the Celtics last night, by a score of 110 to 104, you can assume that the Lakers did in fact beat the Celtics and won by that score. The play by play and and analysis of the game is probably reasonably accurate. But if the story is about a foreign policy crisis involving some country in the Caucasus, or unemployment, for all you know the whole thing might be made up (as in "Scoop"). If numbers are given, you can't trust this. And we know this from hard experience.

Newspapers, compared to bloggers, have enough news gathering resources that they could charge for the information and hard news they gather, and leave the soft analysis up to bloggers, and make their own columnists free on their websites. But they just don't have enough credibility to pull this off.

OhioStater said...

bread and circuses!

David said...


excellent comment. The tactics you satirize are actually in force, culturally. TV, vid games, can't stay outside because of crime etc., shrinking social capital, ballooning mistrust. These have injected a paranoid schizo feel into kids' downtime: only school and school-related stuff affords opportunities to meet and really play with other kids. And the schools are social engineering encampments, at bottom. The modern religion of "diversity" is of course "top priority" for these institutions, so an important goal seems to be to wipe out the possibility of choosing friends freely, because this might lead to ethnic networks among the conquered people. The elites know "children are our future."

OhioStater said...

Off topic, but the French national team is in complete disarray:


This team is now an embarrassment to the French, which is noteworthy since many of the players are not ethnically French.

It's safe to assume the next French World Cup team has more white players.

Anonymous said...

The sports stories are probably more readable than anything else the LA Times does. I assume eventually newspapers are going to die off, partly because with ESPN.com, and everyone else, you don't need to get the Times sport section. That and Craigslist.

Here in Denver the Rocky Mountain News dropped dead a couple years ago and I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens to the Post. I'll only read it if there's a copy laying around at the bagel shop, and then mostly the sports.

Anonymous said...

The current issue of The Economist has a major article on newspapers called "The Strange Survival of Ink".

A lot of it reads like whistling past the graveyard. They predict that now that the recession is over (their words not mine), paper prices will go up but so will advertising and newspapers (and presumably news magazines) will again prosper.

They scold America for relying on advertising so much. Unlike Japan American papers have been hit hard by Web based ad alternatives like craigslist. German papers are apparently doing OK too. Maybe this is some kind of regret for the outcome of WWII.

They predict that local papers will focus on local stories (how can I get one of these great guru jobs?). They predict more sports. So I guess they predicted your posting about all the sports stories in the LA Times.

A lot of conservatives think that at least part of the decline in the popularity of newspapers is because so many papers have adopted a strong liberal-socialist editorial slant that infects all their coverage. The Economist never mentions this issue at all. Then again the cover story for this issue is "What's wrong with America's right".


l said...

headache said...
no way NYT personnel themselves believe the crap they try and stuff down our throats. I bet they are a very snobbish and clannish bunch themselves.

I would modify that statement a little: They don't believe the crap they try and stuff down our throats applies to them. I think they really believe it does apply to the little folk outside of the journalistic/literary/academic world they inhabit. Sorta like how the Kennedys think forced integration is good for other people's kids, but, you know, there are reasons their own kids have to go to private schools.

David Davenport said...

Isn't it weird how the same organization can be seen by large sections of the public as both stuffy AND gay?

What, you think homosexuality is transgressive to the ruling regime? You're wrong. The "large sections of the public" you have in mind are aging liberals who think it's still the 1950's ... a dwindling tribe of pink Mohicans.

There is no contradiction and nothing weird about the perception that Establishment-approved fashion, gallery art, show biz, and journalism nowadays is very gay and very stuffy.

Pretentious, pompous gay people are stuffy. Assertively gay people are boring and therefore stuffy.

Newspapers such as the LA and NY Times are gay, stuffy, and boring, as is the Wall Street Journal and the vastly over-rated Economist magazine.

David Davenport said...

An example from Ann Althouse's blog:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Time's comprehensive archives allow us to see how the magazine's discussions of homosexuality have evolved..."

"... from pathologizing and stereotyping . . . to awkward attempts to view gays humanely while continuing to refer to their sexual orientation as a disease . . . to a gradual acceptance of gays as upstanding members of society who are struggling for equal rights. Articles from 1956, 1966, 1969, 1975, and 1979 [at the link]."

Posted by Ann Althouse at 6:12 PM 14 comments
Tags: homosexuality, journalism, science

Glossy said...

David Davenport,

What I meant is that homosexuality is typified by flamboyant behavior, which is kind of the opposite of stuffiness. The NYT's tone is stuffy, but gay in all the other ways that count. It's a weird combination.

There's a pattern of them using a stuffy, formal, extremely proper tone while campaigning for the world at large to become more and more casual and debauched. Their style and content are out of sync.

Truth said...

"Newspapers such as the LA and NY Times are gay, stuffy, and boring, as is the Wall Street Journal and the vastly over-rated Economist magazine."

David, it is quite a relief to find out that I'm not the only one here who gets his news from Tiger Beat and Ranger Rick.

Tanstaafl said...

What do online newspaper readers like?

In A Brief Sample of the Anti-White Reaction to Arizona I noted the results of reader polls for individual stories on NBC affiliate web sites.

Contrary to the media's vigorous moralizing, large majorities of readers were THRILLED about the spread of Arizona's stand on immigration to other states, and were simultaneously LAUGHING/FURIOUS at attempts to boycott Arizona and paint the majority of Americans supporting Arizona as "racist".

Whiskey said...

Glossy, no contradiction at all -- ever see "Selling New York?"

Its the world of ultra high end NYC real estate. EVERY broker is either a woman, or gay. The contrast between the two firms, the one run by Alpha A-hole (I assume Gay Dude) CORE, and the Kleiers (connected/crony female run firm) are obvious and hilarious. Watch and see, stuffy and gay go together.
The LAT Sports section peaked in the late 1980's to early 1990s, when Scot Ostler was still there, and the memory of Jim Murray hung around.

The LAT pushed Mike Penner/Christine Daniels, surgical trans-sexual, constantly. Talk about Gay. Sadly the poor person committed suicide, with all the attention, something the LAT put in the memory hole.

Their coverage of the local teams was and is pathetic. I get better coverage online from local sports bloggers. I get video and such from MLB and NFL Network, or ESPN.

As far as the WSJ goes, Murdoch apparently plans an LA and Chicago version to challenge the LAT and Tribune, along the lines of his challenge ongoing to the NYT.

Newspapers going hard-left probably have sacrificed a lot of readers. Multiculturalism results in a lot of folks who if they read a paper, read it in Spanish. Most of the reporters and columnists are diversity hires (the OC Register is notorious for this and teetering on financial collapse, already filing for bankruptcy) with little ability to connect to the older White readers who make up the core readership.

The WSJ has definitely fallen into female-attracting stuff. Lots of lifestyle stuff, fashion, celebrities, etc. I would bet against News Corp long term. James Murdoch is the heir apparent, and reportedly in a FT profile, has no clue that non-family execs need financial incentives. James Murdoch's ability to screw things up is large and his ability to keep and attract an executive talent team is low. He's on the record on wanting to fire Roger Ailes and make Fox News ($1 billion in profit yearly) into MSNBC, only harder left. Bear in mind Fox News alone provides enough cash to service most of News Corps annual debt.

Paul Mendez said...

I have noticed that any article about homosexuals shoots straight to the top of "Most Read" at the Washington Post website.

OhioStater said...

2 million people are coming out for the Lakers victory parade. The daily circulation of a paper like the LA Times is a lot less than 2 million.

More people vote for American Idol than vote in real elections. People don't care about serious news.