In the latest move to rid itself of the content farm label, website examiner.com has put together an advisory board with journalists from top news organizations.
A partial list of board members features some heavyweight journalism credentials: Jim Brady, former executive editor of WashingtonPost.com, Geneva Overholser, Director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Steve Robinson, former managing editor, CNN Investigative Unit.
The announcement came after the site boasted traffic records. In a press release citing comScore data, in February 2011 the Examiner boomed in traffic to become to the 72nd largest domain in the U.S. Launched in 2008, the company currently reports its most successful month ever, with a whopping 25.8 million unique visitors.
So why bother with quality? In a word: Google. The search engine colossus recently launched new algorithms, openly anti-content farm, to weed out copycat copy and low-quality writing so that much of what kept sites like examiner.com or ehow.com at the top of search rankings now makes them sink down.
The fact that the Examiner's network of 68,000 contributors produce more content daily than The New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, ESPN and MSNBC.com put together is no longer enough.
In order to push the quality-over-quantity aspect, the Examiner has already put those journalism advisors to work reviewing a white paper on identifying and maintaining high quality online content from multiple contributors. Excerpts were presented at the the International Symposium on Online Journalism in Austin, Texas, and a full version is available at the Examiner blog.
The Huffington Post, which publishes mainly non-professional contributor content, also recently added an editorial staff of six, boosting the total of professional journalists to 23.