New definitions of quality in a digital age
I missed these in the past couple of weeks on Paid Content.
Ben Elowitz knocks down traditional measures of quality in the first post and proposes some new ones in the second.
From his second post, commenting on traditional measures:
Here’s the problem: They simply aren’t enough to win audiences, drive financial success, or, for that matter, ensure viability. The demise of institutions like Newsweek proves that—and shows that publishers that don’t move beyond these anachronistic measures of success will perish.
I agree with Elowitz to the point of saying quality measures have been expanded in an age when there is digital abundance, and anyone who does not think long and hard about what he is saying is not understanding what is happening.
But I don't think it's quite the zero-sum game his posts might suggest. I don't think the "old" measures are "anachronistic," just too narrow. I think there still is value in "correctness" and "craftsmanship." "Objectivity" is a straw man - we never have been objective. Fairness, however, still has its place, if nothing else but for civility.
"Credential," I agree, does not count much among users in an age of transactional credibility. But Elowitz does not deal with the reality that it still carries quite a bit of sway on the other end of the pole -- news gathering. That makes for an interesting set of questions that need more research.