From community to commerce? Analytics, audience 'engagement' and how local newspapers are renegotiating news values in the age of pageview-driven journalism.
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).
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|
|Keywords||Engagement; Newspapers; Journalism; Analytics; Readers; Community|
MORRISON 2020 From community
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