USA Today, the top newspaper in the country (circulation-wise), is rumoured to be considering offering its writers page view bonuses.
The website Big Lead Sports reports that USA Today had a conference call last night and “according to a source, the paper outlined a plan in which it will pay annual bonuses to writers based on page views.”
Eee gads. It’s the end of journalism! Once USA Today writers figure out people will click on boobs that will be the end of its real news stories.
Or not. There’s a couple of interesting things to note about this.
The first is, who even knew USA Today had a website? Presumably they do — yes, here it is — but it’s not exactly a go-to source for news. So maybe this is one way to make it so (and if it is, they should probably begin by considering an design overhaul, currently it looks like MSNBC circa 2002).
Secondly, unlike the WSJ or NYT — which excel at hard, original, news reporting — USA Today essentially acts as collector the national news “synthesizing news down to easy-to-read-and-comprehend stories.” Often with flashy pictures and special bonus sections that include nice interviews with famous people. That are then distributed to hotel rooms and airport lounges across the country.
Basically they are a printed blog. If they had their digital wits about them they would have got in on the slideshow game long before HuffPo make it a defining feature of their site.