Media

When Bragging About Media Reliability, Get Your Facts Straight

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 26, 2010

If you only get the Spectator online, you won't have the opportunity to read today's op-ed by Eric Cunningham, titled "How media can survive: Keep it local", in which he revisits last Tuesday evening's panel discussion on the future of local media.

Cunningham happily reinforces talk show host Bill Kelly's claims about "the essential function that mainstream media provide in terms of the credibility and integrity of their content," in contrast to "the growth of anonymous and often vituperative character attacks facilitated through Twitter, Facebook or dubious websites."

Cunningham writes that Raise the Hammer "attracts 15,000 page views per month", contrasting this with the Spectator's five million page views per month.

That's incorrect. In fact, Raise the Hammer attracts 15,000 page views per day, or nearly half a million page views per month.

As I noted last Tuesday evening, it's less traffic than the Spec gets, but our site is entirely volunteer-run and our operating expenses are a mere $15 a month in hosting fees.

It's ironic that Cunningham would be off by a factor of thirty on a critical measure of the alternative local media's reach among readers, particularly in the context of an evening that constantly reinforced the reliability and trustworthiness of all those professional journalists and editors.

Even better is the fact that Mr. Cunningham's op-ed will not be published online on the Spectator's website, where it might be subject to the immediate and direct accountability of astute readers posting comments to call out the error.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

40 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By screenlies (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 08:33:30

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By adrian (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 08:56:37

Ryan, this ought to be a front-page article. This needs to be front and center. Not only did he minimize (by an enormous amount) the amount of reach RTH has, but he called it an "adventure". He belittled it.

RTH is by no means an "adventure". If his stats on The Spec's page views are accurate, RTH gets about 10% of the page views that The Spec does - that's a huge number, when you consider that RTH is run entirely by citizens, for no profit, while The Spec is a multi-million dollar corporation!

Screenlies, the site traffic report hasn't been available since the site was moved over to the new platform (Ryan, please install GA, I have an account if you need me to send you the script, it's a 5 minute install). But the page views were very high. And please note that "hits" is different than page views, if we counted hits, RTH would be in the millions per month.

If you wanted third-party confirmation, you could try a service like Compete. When comparing RTH to The Spec you can't see page views (unless you've got a Pro account), but you can see visitors. For instance, in 10/2009, according to Compete RTH got 3,479 unique visitors, while The Spec got 26,875. If those numbers are accurate (and I'm sure they're not, but they're useful for comparison), RTH got about 13% of the visitors that The Spec got, which is actually more page views than we're talking about here.

In other months, the numbers are even better. In 03/2009, RTH got 20% of the unique visitors that The Spec received. Twenty percent is HUGE when you consider the vast difference between these organizations.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By newspaper accountability (anonymous) | Posted July 11, 2013 at 15:54:32 in reply to Comment 37419

I agree that interestingly Mr. Cunningham again does not get his facts straight, which is a characteristic given his Spectator and Toronto Star comments of being victimized in a divorce which he alone dragged out for over a decade due to using his refusal to not disclose and his use of judicial/legal influence to sign false affidavits,unaudited financial statements, using personal undertakings which can be changed behind the back of the courts without the onus of the banks to reveal this; using Halton police to fabricate a report of having gone to the banks and finding no assets - when post judicial decision it was found that the police report was fraudulent and without merit - no police warrants or court orders forcing bank disclosure. No oiprd, Chief Blair action on the fraudulent report that garnered a false judicial decision from Justice Patillo and Justice Coats. For four years he refused as a former MPP to pay spousal support (claimed to have paid and did not pay, claimed he would pay if his spouse paid and then sat on all the monies, wrote cheques out to himself, wrote cheques with sticky notes that payments should bounce back to him - you get the idea) and made his spouse on a fixed income pay improperly downloaded and divided child support and education for 5 years for a 4 yr. degree when he knew the child had completed only 2 years of university. False claims of abuse, child alienation, bullying the ex's family with false, vexatious defamation suits against a vulnerable senior father in law, not paying equalization nor contract rights as demanded in their Borden and Ladler contract; claiming to to be the victim all while seizing the home of the ex wife, alienating the only child, attempting to seize the car of the ex wife and attempting to seize the ex wife's bank accounts based on a Justice Coats decision - with a non disclosed multiple - conflict of interest giving Mr. Cunningham all the rights and the ex wife no judicial independence what so ever...and having undisclosed Melrose corp, OEB International, sitting on profitable boards such as Woodland Chemical Systems Inc...all while lying with unaudited statements (claiming to make only 19k) and not paying a cent to a ex wife of 24yrs who paid millions into a marriage. Manipulating the law, lying and bullying should not be allowed among counsels nor judges who are placed in positions of trust - nor should the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator place one sided and non researched articles in the paper to protect a vindictive and dishonest politician.



Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2010 at 08:58:23

A little while after the website cutover, I installed Webalizer, a server log reporting tool, but I haven't yet figured out how to map it to a URL (httpd.conf kind of scares me).

Here's the data from Webalizer for January to date:

Measure            Avg        Max
----------------------------------
Hits per Hour     1,852      9,460
Hits per Day     44,462     63,037
Files per Day    32,705     49,518
Pages per Day    15,471     22,906
Visits per Day    2,801      3,783
KB per Day      895,413  1,580,655

Traffic to this site has been growing steadily and continuously for the 5+ years we have been in operation, fueled entirely by word-of-mouth (and -mouse).

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-01-26 08:04:56

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By MediaWatch (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 09:42:56

I bought a paper and actually read Cunningham's article. In fact I thought he was rather complimentary of RTH.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Lurkalicious (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 09:47:36

Please, aside from getting it's basic facts wrong, Eric's article dripped with condescension. Give the little 'adventurers' a pat on the head and send them off to bed, the grown ups are trying to talk.

How media will not survive: crap like this.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 09:54:36

What is this "newspaper" thingy anyway? Sounds like it's kind of like they printed out a website or something.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By synxer (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:18:21

This one ticks me off. He got the page views wrong, but what the heck does it matter what the page views are? So what if they are even 2 page views a month, what does that have to do with the quality or the truthfulness of the content?

This is just the perfect example of ego taking the driving seat of a problem solved by science and observation (not to mention logic).

I hope this new generation of media never takes a cue from the grindstone and perpetuate old good ideas that are now bad ideas.

Invention: a new idea not entirely tested on relating factors. Revolution: a change that is often necessary. Deprecation: the state of current media.

Change or be changed.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Trust Me (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:22:43

I just passed a copy of today's Toronto Sun, it has the word "SCUMBAG" written across the front page in like 200pt type. Voice of authority, that.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By synxer (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:31:52

I just passed a copy of today's Toronto Sun, it has the word "SCUMBAG" written across the front page in like 200pt type. Voice of authority, that.

Old media's cry of defeat, scrapping talons down the throat of change.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:40:21

you're trying to tell me that an old fashioned media publication printed erroneous information?? GASP! What a stunning revelation!

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:58:42

I agree that the article in the Spec reeked of condescension.

It's like the British Empire after Suez. It took awhile before some realized that the status quo had changed irrevocably.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By HowardElliott (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2010 at 13:17:44

On behalf of The Spectator, I apologize for the error. You're quite right, it's significant. While the opinions expressed don't reflect those of our newspaper, we have and take full responsibility for all our print content. We will run a correction in tomorrow's newspaper. There is no intention on the part of The Spectator to in any way belittle the work being done by Ryan through RTH or any other community-run social media source. On the contrary, we aspire to get to be as good at this part of web experience as Ryan and others in Hamilton are. And we expect to make real progress, soon. To clear the air on traffic, The Spec's web traffic details are proprietary, but for the record some of the basic numbers are as follows. We use Omniture Site Catalyst for traffic measurement.

TOTAL PAGE VIEWS, 2009: 61,767,755

TOTAL MONTHLY VISITORS, 2009: (IPs log in once but in the past month but may have logged in more) 5,983,458, slightly less than a half million monthly.

TOTAL DAILY UNIQUE VISITORS,2009(IPs logged in at least once daily but possibly multiple times): 10,038,284, a little more than 836K daily uniques each month.

We are pleased with the progress we made in 2009, and have ambitious traffic generation goals for 2010 as well. We intend to learn as much as we can from all the successful web players, including Ryan, as we push towards our objective of become a key source of on-line information and community.

Again, our apologies. We wish Ryan and the RTH family continued success.

Howard Elliott Managing Editor The Hamilton Spectator

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 13:26:57

^ Kudos to Howard Elliott for a mature, responsible, professional reply!

If the print media can get enough people like Elliott and Paul Benedetti on board, they'll definitely figure out how to ride out the transition.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 13:47:07

Great response Howard. Thanks for chiming in and being honest. If I may humbly make one suggestion for your web content - give us Paul Wilson back!!
Lol

Cheers Jason

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By z jones (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 13:51:08

Hear hear, credit definitely where it's due. I'm impressed to see the Spec take this seriously, it reflect very well on the integrity of their managers (if not a particular columnist).

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By adrian (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 14:18:01

Thank you Howard, your honesty and forthrightness is greatly appreciated by everybody at RTH.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2010 at 14:48:10

Howard, thank you for your thoughtful, heartfelt response.

Likewise, I wish The Spectator all the best in this new media environment. I don't want newspapers to fail; I would much rather see the Spec flourish, both in readership and financially, on the internet.

The great thing about the internet is that the medium serves as a platform - or a meta-platform - on which the various discourses among people take place. I don't see RTH in competition with the Spec or any other organization. Rather, I see growing interaction and exchange among the various entities and participants as a net win for everyone.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 22:10:16

If you only get the Spectator online, you won't have the opportunity to read today's op-ed by Eric Cunningham, titled "How media can survive: Keep it local", in which he revisits last Tuesday evening's panel discussion on the future of local media.

Here it is in all its glory:

How media can survive: Keep it local

ERIC CUNNINGHAM

The Burlington chapter of the University of Western Ontario alumni association recently sponsored a seminar on the future of local media.

An expert panel, which included Spectator editor-in-chief David Estok, favoured the large audience with a somewhat disturbing economic overview of the realities of media properties today. Simply put, some of them are in trouble.

The Canwest Global media empire that Izzy Asper built is in tatters. CHCH was sold for less than the price of a small Tim Hortons. The Aspers (more directly the banks) are selling most of their newspaper properties. The National Post is on the auction block.

Panel moderator Paul Benedetti, a journalism instructor at Western, told the crowd that the once-venerable Detroit Free Press now publishes only three days a week. It is the only paper in town.

On the electronic side, Rogers Media, owners of Toronto-based Citytv, recently dumped on-air veterans Anne Mroczkowski and Laura Di Battista. One former Citytv employee likened these events to “the end of local news.”

News and information are now a free commodity, available in real-time on the Internet. The challenge for both print and electronic media is the timely provision of local content.

Despite the explosion of Internet media, The Spectator has maintained paid-subscription levels of more than 100,000. Paid subscribers are now the paper’s single largest source of revenue. That said, it is hard to compete with “free.”

Ryan McGreal, the engaging editor of online media source Raise The Hammer, pays $15 per month to host a website that attracts 15,000 page views per month. This contrasts with more than five million page views per month at thespec.com. McGreal’s adventure is a nonprofit forum for different points of view.

Veteran broadcaster Connie Smith lamented the gravitation by the electronic media to “the lowest common denominator.” Connie made an opportunity for herself with her Always Good News show on CTS. She has established a niche market focusing on the positive things “that make our world a better place.”

Popular CHML talk-show host Bill Kelly brought home the essential function that mainstream media provide in terms of the credibility and integrity of their content. The Internet provides no such responsibility. Kelly quoted media icon, the late Edward R. Murrow, “A lie can go around the world while the truth is getting its pants on.”

Most people would agree that an informed public is a worthy societal goal. It will never be accomplished through the growth of anonymous and often vituperative character attacks facilitated through Twitter, Facebook or dubious websites.

The late former U.S. Speaker of the House, Thomas Phillip (Tip) O’Neil, institutionalized the phrase, “all politics is local.” So too, is the future of news.

When I was a child, my family was fortunate to subscribe to two newspapers. The Globe and Mail came in the morning and The Spectator in the afternoon. Access to newspapers for me fostered an interest in sports, business and public affairs. It also led to a lifelong interest in reading. Parents should think about this.

Local coverage enables me to be informed about important events in my community. News reporters and fellow columnists in this paper enhance my understanding of what is taking place at Burlington and Hamilton councils.

More importantly, local media provides for a level of transparency and accountability that elevates the level of behaviour of government and business. The mere prospect of exposure of impropriety on the front page of the newspaper is, in itself, an inducement to better stewardship.

In the fullness of time, the news and editorial opinion may guide my deliberations as I vote in pending elections.

Hopefully, it will help us all to make informed decisions, and help good triumph over not so good.

Eric Cunningham is the former Liberal MPP for Wentworth North and a public affairs consultant.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By corgi (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 23:46:08

That was surprisingly banal, it's like he just phoned it in. I got to the end and thought: that's two minutes I'll never get back.

Sorry to say it but the papers should be as worried about mediocrity as they are about inaccuracy.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 08:37:58

perhaps anyone who still gets the Spec can let us know whenever Paul Wilson nails a beauty piece. I can pop by a cafe on those days to read it. I've read one of his pieces in like 6 months since they yanked him offline.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 09:16:11

Shorter Eric Cunningham:

"How media can survive: Keep anonymous, vituperative bloggers off my lawn!"

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 09:50:44

Kelly quoted media icon, the late Edward R. Murrow, “A lie can go around the world while the truth is getting its pants on.”

This sums up the problem right here. Kelly doesn't understand that this quote doesn't apply to a medium where everything is fact checked by hundreds, if not thousands of people, all with the ability to call shenanigans on anything that isn't correct.

Though, since the lie is usually more interesting/shocking and thus attracts more viewers/readers the MSM would rather lead with the lie and retract it later (if at all) thus perpetuating its spread.

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-01-27 08:51:02

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 11:30:27

Kelly doesn't understand that this quote doesn't apply to a medium where everything is fact checked by hundreds, if not thousands of people, all with the ability to call shenanigans on anything that isn't correct.

Kelly also used the example of the Drudge Report advancing a bogus story about Sen. Kerry having an affair during the 2004 US election to illustrate his point about Those Darn Unaccountable Blogs!, conveniently leaving out the fact that the reason the rumour did so much damage is because it was picked up and disseminated by the Ever So Respectable MSM.

He also claimed his radio format was 'accountable' because listeners can call up and disagree with him, conveniently leaving out the fact that callers to the show are vetted by his producers, so we have no way of knowing if dissenting voices are being filtered out. We're just supposed to take it on faith. That's the problem with all the old media's claims of credibility: they're all faith-based. Trust us! We've been vetted by omniscient, infallible editors and producers who only have the best interests of the public at heart! Put down that mouse, the internet is a scary, dangerous place! Parents should think about this!

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 27, 2010 at 13:00:42

I got in a certain amount of trouble last Tuesday for suggesting that people shouldn't blindly trust what they read, see or hear from the media, since we're all human and we make mistakes. The audience looked outraged, and Connie Smith said she thought it would be awful if people couldn't trust the media.

I definitely felt like a stranger in a strange land.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 14:34:07

Yup. Connie especially was living in a dream world. She made Bill Kelly seem hip.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 15:27:00

This:

Even if there's consumer interest, the Apple tablet won't save journalism -- because it will be a massive distraction that will keep newsrooms from making the real changes that could keep us in business. I could go on for a couple of thousand words on this, but today I'll try to keep it short. The problem with newspapers isn't really not having the right technology. To survive, we need to change our whole worldview -- finding ways to encourage more dialogue with readers and more community involvement so that local readers feel they have a stake in this thing. And we also need to do a better job at the thing we claim to be already good at -- real journalism that makes a difference. To show what I mean, read this recent expose on the Washington Post to get a feel for how once-great news organizations have drifted so far off the track. If the Apple table has been around in 2003, we still would have screwed up the run-up to war in Iraq, and if it had been invented in 2007, we still would have missed the looming financial meltdown. How many stories we will miss now while the bosses upstairs are waiting for "Jesus" to suddenly deliver all the loaves and fishes of subscribers and cash.

Unless newspapers are giving readers what they need and what they want, it wouldn't matter if Steve Jobs invented a way to deliver the news via brain waves and ESP.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-01-27 14:27:38

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Really? (registered) | Posted January 27, 2010 at 17:05:01

Bill Kelly is Jaded and plagued with Bitterness & Ignorance (kinda sounds like another Radio Personality-Councilor...Hmm) It's too bad he bashes the Online Media so much, but with a Media with little-to-no Accountability (such as Radio), there's no doubt he's simply fearful for his job as, I mean really, Who listens to the Radio anymore!? Really!?

Change is scccaaaaarrryyyyy in Hamilton!

Comment edited by Really? on 2010-01-27 16:05:41

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted January 28, 2010 at 07:13:53

Here are some interesting thoughts on how the MSM, in the interests of a good headline, don't go after or tell the whole story. Rebecca Solnit (I first heard her on CBC radio not long ago and was glad to come across this article she's written) writes about the use of the word "looters" in the wake of disasters like the Haiti earthquake:

Within days of the Haitian earthquake, for example, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of photographs with captions that kept deploying the word “looting.” One was of a man lying face down on the ground with this caption: “A Haitian police officer ties up a suspected looter who was carrying a bag of evaporated milk.” The man’s sweaty face looks up at the camera, beseeching, anguished.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted January 28, 2010 at 07:41:37

Well at least someone in media gets it...

Retrieved from thespec.com

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-01-28 06:46:30

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 28, 2010 at 09:52:53

Here's another take on the looting myth:

http://www.wiretapmag.org/wire/44936/

There was an extremely disturbing photo published in several newspapers last week of a very young girl who had been shot dead by Haitian police. In both the captions I saw she was described as a 'woman' or 'female' looter, when it was quite obvious she was a young adolescent.

Old media: "Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?"

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By z jones (registered) | Posted January 29, 2010 at 09:12:58

Shorter Eric Cunningham: "How media can survive: Keep anonymous, vituperative bloggers off my lawn!"

Maybe Eric was pissed off about this?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:26:52

Yeah. Those darn bloggers with their anonymous facts and vituperative evidence.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By MarkWhittle (registered) - website | Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:08:44

I only wish they would bring Andrew Dreshel back online, it's as if the Spectator thinks only the paid readership should be worthy, instead of the rest of the world and the Hamilton residents who use the Internet to get their news. I like this enterprise (RTH), along with The Hamiltonian and other local opinionators, all the worlds a stage. I subscribe to the tree version of the Spectator and only read the front, the wife likes the rest. As to Cunningham, he's a Liberal Politician and spin doctor, what did you expect?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By frank (registered) | Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:30:55

I just got through my 2 week trial of the Spec and when I got the call to see if I wanted to buy it, I said no. Newsprint isn't like it used to be. It's hard to keep up with what comes out online and as long as people can understand that sometimes what comes out online isn't fact checked in the interest of being the first to publish something we're good. The problem lies in the last part...

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Oche! (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2010 at 17:06:44

Yeah, one of the problems with local media is that many of its stalwarts have yet to recognize that their authority was only credible when they operated in an oligopoly. The world has changed, but their reporting hasn't. And their biases and errors are caught out as frequently as they catch those of their detractors. The age of truth has passed. We live in the age of perception, opinion and belief.

The notion of media giants like Global being local is laughable. Their entire purpose was to maximize profits (and who, pray tell, is against a healthy profit?) by buying up local stations and filling as much programming time as possible with the same content from coast to coast. Most "local" content was largely left to the viewing hours of shut-ins, and mandated by licensing regs at that.

This is no giggling matter, however. Communications and advertising are central to our economy and the inability of media and advertisers to adapt to change has made a significant contribution to the recent recession. Overbearing executive salaries and no-down-payment monster homes are, in my opinion, more symptoms than causes. Put simply, people don't believe the media (new or traditional) or their advertisers. Alternative sources of news and opinions are quickly consulted through a variety of media. And this applies to local as well as international news.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted January 30, 2010 at 11:31:26

I think we're being too hard on the Spec. It's not like they publish pieces that are full of misinformation and outlandish fear-mongering just to create controversy:

http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/...

You'll never see anything this horrendous on RTH and we're FREE and always UPDATED! The National Enquirer is embarrassed by this piece.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 30, 2010 at 13:04:50

It's hard to keep up with what comes out online and as long as people can understand that sometimes what comes out online isn't fact checked in the interest of being the first to publish something we're good. The problem lies in the last part...

I think the problem lies in the fact that you think only online media are guilty of that.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted January 30, 2010 at 17:23:48

Ryan addresses his apprehension:

A little while after the website cutover, I installed Webalizer, a server log reporting tool, but I haven't yet figured out how to map it to a URL (httpd.conf kind of scares me).

You do not need to touch httpd.conf. You can open /etc/webalizer.conf to around line 42 (if default) and check for OutputDir, which should be /var/www/usage. Change this to a directory in the publicly accessible document root i.e. /var/www/html/usage. Webalizer will write everything to that directory nightly and will include in there an index.html page for us web browsers. You could make a symlink, but then you may also have to tweak httpd.conf to allow following IT. Be sure to make the target directory first. Another option is if you have a shell you could run an instance of webalizer outside of normal crond without altering the config file. To take a snapshot and write to a chosen directory use this command:

[root@localhost ~]# webalizer -o /var/www/html/usage

Look also at the configuration setting PageType. This evaluation tells Webalizer what to consider as legitimate Page Views. A proprietor who's small on big numbers could easily designate any image or flashy JS kludge, etc. as a page someone views. In webalizer.conf you will find oodles of options that are #commented-out by default. Turn some of them on if you dare but by all means have fun while you tweak IT with scare.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 31, 2010 at 13:33:27

Hi WRCU2,

Thanks for the guidance! Actually, on a suggestion from Adrian I added a symlink from the /static/ folder of the site over to the webalizer output. You can see it here:

I'll be sure to check out the options as well.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

Comment Anonymously
Screen Name
What do you get if you divide 12 by 3?
Leave This Field Blank
Comment

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds