My most recent article in Harvard’s Nieman Lab explores why Occupy Wall Street is perfect for web journalism. I interviewed editors from the New York Observer, The Atlantic, and Reason to determine how hungry news consumers are for OWS content.
Bob Cohn, the online editor for The Atlantic, told me that 10 percent of the publication’s top 100 posts for the month of October concern Occupy Wall Street — by far the largest concentration of any one topic. “The full range of the digital vocabulary — videos, slide shows, text articles — is doing pretty well,” he said. “I think it’s a complete reflection of reader interest.”
Growing coverage from media outlets, Cohn said, also signals the evolution of Occupy Wall Street from a single protest to a genuine movement. He believes that many journalists were surprised when it gained legs — three to four weeks ago nobody would have been able to predict that the coverage would have blossomed into what it is today. And part of the reason news outlets are seeing so much traction on it is because it’s a movement that lends itself well to the Internet. “I think this kind of fast-moving story from city to city really is tailor-made for web coverage,” he explained. “On the other hand I’m certain that for many print publications there’s tremendous opportunity for long-form print coverage. But in the early days it’s so dynamic; it’s a great opportunity for web journalism.”