The Death of a Great Paper

This is the list of the most viewed articles at the Christian Science Monitor today.

Most Viewed -

Of those, I’d say four constitute legitimate news, one — the cash for clunkers piece — a public service, and five, tongue-in-cheek political coverage. Three of those five are about Sarah Palin.

If the Monitor dies in the next decade, it won’t be because the transition from print to web-only proved too difficult. It will be because their domestic coverage is almost non-existent. It will be because their international coverage now consists almost entirely of features and analysis, where it once was a source of daily reporting you simply couldn’t find anywhere else.

It will be because the paper that was once a proud alternative to yellow journalism now drives traffic with drivel like this.


Memo to the inaptly named Vote Blog: satire in the form of making fun of gossipy political coverage isn’t really satire if you don’t provide any real reporting as an alternative.


2 Responses to “The Death of a Great Paper”

  1. 1 danup August 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Sights like this are why newspapers would be well served by removing “most viewed” applets from their websites. We /know/ everybody always opens you up to the sports page—you don’t need to advertise it.

    • 2 Brian Eason August 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      Just about the only exception I can think of is the New York Times, owing mostly to their elite readership, and even they drive more traffic with softer news. But back to the CSM, it’s been a while since I read something on there I couldn’t find in more depth elsewhere. The only thing that comes to mind is an admittedly well-written exposé on Somali pirates a few months back.

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About the Author

Brian Eason is a University of Missouri graduate with bachelor degrees in Journalism and Political Science. He has covered Congressional elections and local government for the Columbia Missourian and worked as a general assignment reporter for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, IL. Brian has also had articles published in Roll Call.

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