Journalists Crave That Touch of Link

Spotlighting individual stories transforms competition for readers
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 7:25 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., left and Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., appear in this Feb. 26, 2008, file photo.    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)
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(Newser) – "If it bleeds, it leads" is a journalistic truism, but in the age of new media, the traffic-driving link is the gold standard. With aggregators and bloggers cherry-picking lively content, "since the hits are often coming for specific stories, and not the entire site, a blockbuster story that gets linked to, say, Drudge, is money in the bank," Michael Scherer writes for Time—the Swampland blog, of course.

“If you say something provocatively, you will succeed online,” Scherer says. "If you play it safe, you will not.” A recent Politico article with a flashy slant on Hillary Clinton (she’s toast!) garnered widespread attention—and "money in the bank for Politico." And Scherer’s curmudgeonly argument landed him in a funny position: He's nearly apologetic in revealing that Drudge linked to his post.