ARTICLE: Journalists accept audience metrics but not comments

Untitled by Lalmch, licence CC0 1.0

Singaporean journalists have “internalised” the use of online audience metrics, but still largely reject direct audience feedback, write Andrew Duffy, Rich Ling, and Edson C. Tandoc Jr., all of Nanyang Technological University. The authors conducted an ethnographic study at eight Singaporean digital newsrooms, which included a total of 60 newsworkers.

The researchers approached both audience metrics and feedback as “heteronomous influence”, citing the works of Pierre Bourdieu. In contrast to earlier studies, the journalists had incorporated the use of metrics as part of their self-imposed professional routine, for example adapting story length and format according to data on readers.

Reader comments, on the other hand, were still seen as undue external pressure – something the journalists preferred to ignore.

The article “The People Have Spoken (The Bastards?)” was published by the journal Journalism Practice. It is available online on the publisher’s website (abstract free).

Picture: Untitled by Lalmch, licence CC0 1.0.

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