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Engaging Audiences

Hanusch, F., & Tandoc Jr, E. C. (2019). Comments, analytics, and social media: The impact of audience feedback on journalists’ market orientation. Journalism, 20(6), 695-713.

The study was conducted to empirically verify the influence of using the new audience feedback systems on the culture of journalism. It was particularly conducted for testing if such mechanisms have an impact on the extent to which the changes are perceived by the journalists over a while in conceiving their role. It is important to conduct such tests and explore the results of such mechanisms from time to time. The author states that the roles of the journalists are devised as shaped through the opinions and expectations of the audiences. This feedback of the audience is now communicated to the journalists regularly and it is being done easily using the new feedback mechanism of the audience. The feedback mechanism includes the comments of the readers, on social media platforms, and web analytics. In the study, a survey was conducted of 358 Australian news journalists and the study results indicated that an increase in the recognized significance of the orientation of both consumers and citizens is usually related to the reading of the comments of the readers. On the other hand, the author also found out that the recognized effectiveness of web analytics using the feedback of the audience is linked to an increase in the recognized significance of consumer orientation. 

Bright, J., & Nicholls, T. (2014). The life and death of political news: Measuring the impact of the audience agenda using online data. Social Science Computer Review, 32(2), 170-181.

In the study conducted by Bright & Nicholls (2014), the author states that the huge development in the online channels of media that are acting as a significant platform for the news has led to the origin of different debates about the change in journalism in the new era of the Internet. Significant importance is given to the tensions related to a prospective spin towards populism in which there is a shifting of reporting the significant news by the journalists and other editors to what interests the audience guided by the extensive volumes of audience metrics that is available. There has been enough research on this which has indicated how important these statistics are, however, there is not much quantitative research done to test the relationship between the decisions of the editor and the audience behavior. This study was conducted to acknowledge and fill this gap. The study is based on a data set that includes more than 40,000 articles that were published in five popular outlets of news in the UK in 6 weeks. In this study, the author explores the relationship between the readership of a news story and the chances of it being replaced from the front pages depending upon the list of “most read” which is now available in many websites offering news. It was found that if an article was a most read article then its chances of being replaced from the front page decreased by approximately 25% and this was observed for both types of news whether it is political or entertainment news. A surprising observation was that there was a substantial effect in “quality” publications as compared to their tabloid equivalents. The study results are a proof of the little but growing potential of the shift towards the online populism.

References for Comments, Analytics, and Social Media

Bright, J., & Nicholls, T. (2014). The life and death of political news: Measuring the impact of the audience agenda using online data. Social Science Computer Review, 32(2), 170-181.

Hanusch, F., & Tandoc Jr, E. C. (2019). Comments, analytics, and social media: The impact of audience feedback on journalists’ market orientation. Journalism, 20(6), 695-713.

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