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Russian Journalists, You're Now Being Ranked in Real Time

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Russia, Citizen Media, Media & Journalism, RuNet Echo
"Mirror, mirror on the wall..." Oleg Kashin is one of Russia's fairest, most read journalists. Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who gets the most clicks of them all?” Oleg Kashin (pictured above) is one of Russia's most read journalists. Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Success in the news industry is no longer measured by the size of a newspaper's circulation. In today's online world, clicks are king. Accordingly, a new online service has launched that ranks Russian-language journalists according to the amount of social-media traffic their articles generate.

Behind the new project is German Klimenko, the director and owner of LiveInternet [1], an online portal that offers a range of services, including website analytics and blogging. Klimenko explains [2]:

Современные СМИ — это уже не жёстко регламентированный канал распространения информации, где роль журналиста минимальна, а власть главного редактора абсолютна. Сейчас это весьма свободная конструкция, в которой от журналиста зависит многое. Для современных владельцев изданий реальный и независимый взгляд на эффективность журналиста просто необходим.

Modern mass media is no longer a strictly regulated channel for the distribution of information, where the role of the journalist is minimal and the power of the chief editor is absolute. Today, mass media is a very loose structure, and many things depend upon the journalist. An accurate and independent measure of a journalist's effectiveness is simply now a must for the owners of media outlets.

Klimenko's new journalist-ranking tool is the latest feature to be added to his slick news aggregator service Mediametrics [3], which aggregates Russian-language news stories from around the Web, ranked by the number of visits to the article from various social-media sites. The information on the social-media traffic is provided by LiveInternet.

Mediametrics allows users to explore trending news on the Russian-language Internet in a variety of interesting ways, including searches by keyword [4]. News aggregation can also be restricted by time period (within the last hour, day, or week, for example), country (such as Russia or Ukraine), region of Russia, or social-media site (Twitter, Facebook, Vkontakte, etc.). Another feature [5] tracks mentions of major political leaders.

The new journalist-ranking tool [6] lists each article a journalist writes by the amount of traffic it attracts from social-media sites. The above-listed filters can be applied, and clicking on an journalist's name pulls up a list of all of that journalist's articles within the chosen time period, ordered by popularity. 

Mediametrics ranking page showing most popular articles by journalists from Russia over the last week for all social-media sites.

As Klimenko wrote [7] on Facebook, however, only some media outlets currently tag their journalists’ articles in a way that allows for aggregation by the new ranking tool. His Facebook post explains how the necessary tag can be added, and it will be important that many news outlets decide to participate for this new tool to become meaningful.

Klimenko says [2] he has also considered including prominent independent bloggers in the journalist rankings—an addition that would allow his new tool to capture a fuller picture of exactly who is driving news online.