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From community to commerce? Analytics, audience 'engagement' and how local newspapers are renegotiating news values in the age of pageview-driven journalism.

Morrison, James

Authors



Contributors

Agnes Gulyas
Editor

David Baines
Editor

Abstract

Local newspapers were once bastions of their communities – reporting everything from church fetes to factory closures and speaking truth to power to councillors and business leaders. But growing competition from online media, combined with advertising downturns, technological challenges and repeated consolidations in ownership, has seen a steady drift away from conventional community news values towards a hard-nosed approach to story-telling, as ever-dwindling resources have forced editors to focus on audience-driven content. A recent manifestation of this market-driven local journalism has been the rise of analytics-focused newsgathering, in which articles receiving the most web ‘clicks’, online comments and Facebook ‘likes’ determine decisions about how future stories are selected and framed. Drawing on in-depth interviews with five local web editors from around the UK, this chapter explores how journalists are increasingly ordered to embellish and follow up tales that engage and enrage audiences the most – turning the newsgathering process on its head, as commercial ‘clickability’, not public interest or normative news values, determine what is covered (and how).

Citation

MORRISON, J. 2020. From community to commerce? Analytics, audience 'engagement' and how local newspapers are renegotiating news values in the age of pageview-driven journalism. In Gulyas, A. and Baines, D. Routledge companion to local media and journalism. Abingdon: Routledge [online], chapter 30. Available from: https://www.routledge.com/9780815375364

Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2020
Publication Date Apr 30, 2020
Deposit Date May 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2021
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Series Title Routledge media and cultural studies companions
Book Title Routledge companion to local media and journalism
Chapter Number 30
ISBN 9780815375364
Keywords Engagement; Newspapers; Journalism; Analytics; Readers; Community
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/910492
Publisher URL https://www.routledge.com/9780815375364

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