[We published] Short (a few hundred words) summaries or explainers about a major news event covered more in depth by somebody else. In its best form, we wrote short little decoders of a big story, and tried to link generously to the original source. At its worst, we monitored Twitter and Google for trending topics, and dispatched an intern to cobble together our own summary, posted it quickly, then prayed to the Google gods that the effort would win, if only briefly, their favor.
I'm not proud of that last approach, a mandate from above, which we were able to quietly scuttle after it was proven to have absolutely zero impact.
They're now publishing a third fewer stories, but have increased traffic by forty percent since cutting out "aggregation" and focusing on original stories.
The Daily Mail, a notable British tabloid, is suing Gawker after the latter posted “My Year Ripping Off the Web with the Daily Mail Online,” an expose of the paper’s sourcing habits. In it he said: “Unlike at other publications for which I’ve worked, writers weren’t tasked with finding their own stories or calling sources. […]
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