By Ben Cohen
According to Simon Owen at Bloggasm the Huffington Post may not be the 'Savior of Journalism' many in the blogosphere believes it to be. Owens set out a reasonable criteria that would essentially define what was original reporting and what was not (and set the bar pretty low), then applied that criteria to the 77 headlines on the front page. The results were as follows:
There were a total of 77 headlines on the front page of the
Huffington Post when I conducted the survey. Of those, 4 headlines
simply linked to news outlets offsite. There were 5 HuffPo stories that
contained original reporting. There were 55 HuffPo stories that simply
expressed opinion and/or summarized content from other outlets.The
remaining 13 stories were reprinted wire copy.
So this means that approximately 6% of the HuffPo stories on the
front page tonight contained original reporting. This is likely
significantly fewer originally reported stories than you’d find on most
major newspaper websites, including the New York Times, LA Times and
the Washington Post.
Owens analysis is not an indepth one (he doesn't claim it is either), but it is interesting nevertheless, and provides an insight into the horrible truth about the new media: That original reporting isn't as profitable as opinion news. And Owens deserves much credit for actually doing some original reporting himself.