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Watching the Traffic Numbers

Interesting piece in the New York Times today about a columnist at the Washington Post who was apparently let go because he was no longer a traffic draw. He's going to work at the Huffington Post now.

It points up the ongoing friction about traffic counts in journalism. The Internet lets you count how many people are reading what for how long. Instant ratings, so to speak.

One camp will tell you that lets a news outfit concentrate on the subjects people are actually interested in. The other camp will tell you that a news organization should be deciding on journalistic merits.

Hey, there are some stories you should run and promote because it's the right thing to do. Toy recall stories, for example ... Maybe not a lot of, but if you reach the right readers you might have saved a life.

But on the whole, you really need to watch the traffic and see if you are serving your customer's needs.