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How people read online: Why you won’t finish this article.

How people read online: Why you won’t finish this article.
Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone. You “bounced” in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time “engaging” with this page at all. So now there are 100 of you left. OK, fine, good riddance. Wait, hold on, now you guys are leaving too? I better get on with it. Schwartz’s data shows that readers can’t stay focused. OK, we’re a few hundred words into the story now. Take a look at the following graph created by Schwartz, a histogram showing where people stopped scrolling in Slate articles. A typical Web article is about 2000 pixels long. Courtesy of Chartbeat Chartbeat’s data shows that most readers scroll to about the 50 percent mark, or the 1,000th pixel, in Slate stories. Or look at John Dickerson’s fantastic article about the IRS scandal or something. A Slate Plus Special Feature:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.html

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Why constructive journalism can help engage the audience While the belief that 'if it bleeds it leads' – that bad news sells – is still very much out there, the idea of 'solutions' or 'constructive' journalism is built on the basis that people want more from the news they consume. Constructive reporting aims to produce stories that give the audience a more comprehensive look around the issue at hand, focusing on solutions for problems rather than just the problems themselves. Cathrine Gyldensted, a journalist who teaches at Denmark's School for Media and Journalism, has been planning to set up a national centre for constructive journalism in the belief that journalism urgently needs innovation, but on content rather than platforms. According to Gyldensted, more and more people who use news media say they do not want such a negative 24/7 news cycle. "What I would call constructive journalism engages readers and listeners and viewers more," she told Journalism.co.uk in a podcast last week. Screengrab of the Fixes column, New York Times

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