Due to web analytics, diverging journalistic cultures might be emerging. Folker Hanusch of the University of Vienna studied the influence of analytics to newswork looking at individuals, organisations and different platforms.
Analytics affects economics and advertising dynamics in newsrooms. These changes have direct effects also on journalists’ autonomy. The author conducted in-depth interviews with 21 journalists from 8 news organisations in Australia.
Most journalists stated that traditional news values have not changed considerably, and were quite optimistic about the ability to know more about their audiences. Digital-only newsrooms generally make more data available to reporters compared to legacy media.
Analytics are increasingly beginning to shape journalistic practices. The time of day of publishing news and the use of varying platforms are important factors: they show how differing journalistic cultures are emerging. Newsrooms can target specific audiences depending on the time of day they read the news and platforms they use, the study describes.
In the future, only analysing the website of the organisation might not be enough. Future research should take into account aforementioned practices of distribution and time brought forward by analytics, the author states.
The article “Web analytics and the functional differentiation of journalism cultures” was published in Information, Communication & Society and is available online (free abstract).
Picture: divergence by Thomas Leth-Olsen, license CC BY-SA 2.0