Tag Archives: Charles Duhigg

The ‘New Journalist’: the tale of a sexy SEO headline

I have to say, this one bothers me.

Over the weekend, Kashmir Hill of Forbes.com had a sensational instant webhit “How Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did.”

A sexy little piece of business analysis, it got more than 680,000 page views on a President’s Day weekend, and Ms. Hill made a name for herself.

But here’s the thing: Hill didn’t do any of the reporting for it.

Nick O’Neill was the first to call her on it. In a blog post titled ‘How Forbes stole a New York Times article and got all the traffic‘.

The original 6,700-word story, which ran in the Times’ Magazine under the headline How companies learn your secrets, with its months of research, was a great piece, O’Neill wrote, but “didn’t have the headline it deserved.”

Hill “cut out the crap and got to the real shocker of the story,” O’Neill blogged.

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