Friday, April 10, 2015

Ebbs and flows in knowledge acquisition

At the beginning of the year I posted Are Washington Post and New York Times commenters becoming more conservative? providing multiple examples of commenters on several articles calling out the reporter's hidden biases, innumeracy, illogic, etc. On a couple of the articles, the commentary was of an overwhelmingly conservative nature. Hence the question: Are WP and NYT commenters becoming more conservative. I then speculated.
If there is indeed more reader pushback to journalist Gramscian memes (TBD), then what is the cause? Are there more conservatives beginning to read the Washington Post and New York Times? Or are more of the small number of conservative readers beginning to comment more? I'd be surprised if either of those were the case.

My suspicion is that there is an emerging disconnect between the weltanschauung of journalists and that of their readers and that readers now have an easy way to call journalists on the unsupported biases and assumptions that are infecting the reporting.
Well, perhaps this report explains the rightward shift of the NYT and WP commenter community, Drudge Report still dominant by Dylan Byers.
The Drudge Report is the leading source of referral traffic (excluding social media and search referrals) for many of the top news organizations in the country, according to a new report from the Drudge Report's advertising management firm Intermarkets.

The bare bones conservative aggregator and agitator hasn't changed much in more than two decades and has enormous influence in conservative circles. In 2014, was the No. 1 site of referral traffic to the Daily Mail, CNN, Fox News, Roll Call, Breitbart, The New York Times, National Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and POLITICO, Intermarkets found.


The Daily Mail had 99 million referrals from Drudge last year, Intermarkets found. had 64 million, The Washington Post 47 million and The New York Times 36 million. The AP's website is a big beneficiary from Drudge, receiving more than 50 percent of its traffic from the site.
Interesting. That might imply that the WP and NYT subscriber base might not have anything to do with the increasing conservative commentary. Perhaps it is all those conservative readers coming over from Drudge.

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