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19

Because this is journalism today. And The News & Observer’s owners are desperately searching for a way to survive.

So the rumor is that a lot of big names are leaving the N&O. And a lot of big changes are coming.

The biggest change: Reporters will be evaluated by their clicks. By how many online clicks their stories get.

Not news. Not scoops. Not great reporting or writing. Not solid, sustained coverage of dull things like government.

Clicks! Which probably involves sex or scandal or something equally sensational.

This is why those old-style readers who sat down to breakfast with their old-style print N&O Tuesday found this story on Page One: “This is why your Facebook feed is full of clues about finding painted rocks.”

Clicks!

But don’t blame the folks at the N&O. Or even their bottom line-obsessed owners.

They’re giving us what we (apparently) want.

Now, that’s frightening.

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