Reader's Corner

Industry Insight: Why newsroom metrics should have an expiration date

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You get what you measure.

Count the number of bylines a newspaper reporter produces, and you'll likely get more bylines. Track page views closely, and your newsroom will be far more attune to what is driving page views and how to get more of them.

What a news organization includes in the set of metrics that leadership and staff monitor regularly can have some unintended consequences. Distraction from things that are more important, if nothing else. Google Analytics can measure a lot of different things, and there's a temptation to include as many ways of measuring audience as one can cram into a spreadsheet. In the process, staff can get hung up on measuring changes in process instead of changes in outcomes.

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