Hey, everyone … it’s almost mid-January, and those of you who follow the Center’s media action may be wondering why you haven’t heard anything about December yet. There’s a reason for that, which I’ll explain below, but first the numbers you’ve been waiting for:
In December 2014, I submitted 33,772 pieces of the Center’s English language op-ed content to 2,593 publications worldwide. So far I’ve identified and logged 47 media “pickups” of C4SS English language content in December.
Submissions slightly lagged my goals for December — we had a few days with nothing to publish, which meant nothing to submit. I’m actually pretty happy with the pickup numbers for the month. December’s always been a difficult month for us, especially in even-numbered years. Between post-election commentary of the type we don’t do (“inside baseball” state policy stuff, etc.) and the tendency to go with puff piece editorialism around the Christmas holiday, our pickups tend to drop off a little. They did so this year, but not as much as I had anticipated.
Now, as to why this update is running late:
Whenever there’s a significant question raised on the matter of whether to add or remove a source from our “mainstream/popular media pickups” counting, it requires discussion.
Some time back, there was internal discussion at the Center on whether or not to start counting pickups by Before It’s News. The result of that discussion was the decision to count those pickups. BIN may not be “mainstream,” but it is “popular” (according to the imperfect Alexa rating service, usually among the 2,500 most popular web sites in the world).
Starting late last month, there was again internal discussion concerning BIN and a proposal that we stop counting pickups there. That proposal was driven by two arguments: That BIN is so non-“mainstream” (lots of “conspiracy theory” stuff, etc.) as to not qualify for our pickup tracking criteria, and that it is now (if it ever wasn’t) a non-discriminating aggregator rather than a discriminating site with an editorial policy.
I hope I’ve presented both sides of the logic for counting, or not counting, BIN pickups fairly. If not, I’m sure supporters and opponents of counting BIN pickups will clarify their viewpoints in comments.
In any case, I didn’t want to put out a media coordinator report until this issue was resolved, for the simple reason that if we’re going to take a double-digit dive in monthly pickup numbers by dropping BIN, I wanted to explain why in this report.
As it happens, our policy remains unchanged — for the moment. We are, however, looking into the possibility of a more diverse pickup-tracking operation in which “mainstream media,” “alt media,” “blogs,” “aggregators,” etc. get separate tracking/reporting functions and we can provide our supporters with more information on our media penetration in general. I’ll keep you informed of our progress on that.
I’ll be back next month with another report … hopefully much earlier 🙂
Yours in liberty,
English Language Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society