Jun 23, 2010

Rolling Stone gathers few comments

New media hawks have noted that Rolling Stone magazine failed to garner the attention it deserves on its website commensurate with the media attention it received for publishing Michael Hastings's profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal - you know, the article that apparently got the hand-picked commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan fired by the man who hand-picked him.
Here's how Nieman Journalism Lab saw it:
After the piece ran, it started picking up incoming links, presumably driving tremendous traffic to the site. I checked in on the story today, exactly 24 hours later, to find that, despite the story completely dominating the news cycle — TV, blogosphere, Twitter, newspapers — only 16 comments had been posted to the story (not counting a couple dozen comments responding to those comments). When you try to view all 16, you get a 404 error message. No users had “shared” or “liked” it, according to the story’s social media meter. (Although that’s probably an error — I tried liking it and it still says zero.) In any event, that’s rough — the vast majority of the conversation is happening elsewhere.
Does the lack of comments mean the story or the publisher failed in some way? Or does it show that most readers no longer worry about checking original sources for information, choosing instead to digest the fast-food version of complex and important news reports?


Anonymous said...

Who cares if the facts are true. Ours seems to be a sound bite driven world. I think this is the biggest danger that we face as a nation-the fact that a great many of our fellow citizens swallow what they're fed with out much thought as to what the truth is. They are malleable and easily manipulated by self-serving talking heads spouting Madison Avenue like cliches.

Anonymous said...

As with everything else in the web culture, the story was immediately hijacked by aggregators (including some MSM types) and the debate moved there. The publication that paid the freight - RS - gets pickpocketed. Happens every day a million times over on the web.