Adding To The Noise

A critical view of new media, new technology and new marketing.

Does Copy Matter Less On The Web?

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A survey was just released by the Columbia Journalism Review that says copy standards are severely lacking on magazine websites. A survey of 665 online magazines found that copy-editing requirements online were less stringent than those in print at 48 percent of the magazines. And 11 percent did not copy-edit at all.

When it came to  fact-checking 27 percent used a less-stringent processes than print and 8 percent did not fact-check online-only content at all. And 45 percent of the websites change factual errors without letting readers know they had it wrong. The chairman of Columbia Journalism Review indicates that lower copy standards are a trade off for speed. You have to be there first to get traffic and traffic sells ads.

Does quality copy count on the Web? If online journalism is all about speed and scoops then maybe we are headed back to an era of Yellow Journalism. Yet this time its not being built upon the backs of the Penny Press. It is being built because of the free digital press.

The term kairos has a varied history, but generally refers to how context constrains one’s speech. Being aware of kairos makes a writer take into account place and time and audience. Words within a specific context should be effective and appropriate at that moment.

Does that mean that writers would take into account the context of web and lower their copy standards for digital applications?

The term kairos has a varied history, but generally refers to how context constrains one’s speech. Being aware of kairos makes a writer take into account place and time and audience. Words within a specific context should be effective and appropriate at that moment.

Does that mean that writers would take into account the context of web and lower their copy standards for digital applications?

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Author: Keith A. Quesenberry

Marketing Professor with Industry Experience

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