Journalism – Analytics



Articles tagged “Analytics”

Tow Center for Digital Journalism 

Articles related to Analytics

Newsroom | Audience Anamytics | Challenges

“Quantified Audiences in News Production: A synthesis and research agenda”

This paper looks at how newsrooms’ increasing focus on audience analytics and metrics has influenced news production. Zamith examines impacts in five key areas, including news content, media ethics, and newsroom behavior. He suggests we are entering a third wave “toward the rationalization of audience understanding that is both distinct and in some ways a continuation of pushes in the 1930s and 1970s to use scientific methods and technological innovations to better quantify audience preferences and behaviors.”

Zamith also points out numerous questions that scholars have yet to answer. For example: Do journalists who rely heavily on analytics see their audiences as more or less intelligent, participatory, rational, reasonable, or thoughtful? Also, as changes in news consumption make news organizations’ homepages less important, how do metrics affect the way content is presented on chat apps or promoted through social media? (from Nieman)

Newsroom | Audience Anamytics | Challenges

Quantified Audiences in News Production 

This link to Journalism Research News article and link there the author’s personal website  where you can download the paper (open access, PDF file).

JRN says

“[ … ] Rodrigo Zamith, of University of Massachusetts Amherst. Zamith’s recent article chronicles the history of audience quantification and reviews the research on it.

” The current increase in using analytical software and different audience metrics is not an unprecedented upheaval, but a third wave of audience quantification, the author contends. The earlier waves took place already in the 1930’s and 1970’s, although the methods used were different – being based on the audiences’ self-reported behaviour instead of automated observation.

To read after I suggest 9 Online News Audiences An Nguyen

The issue, however, is not that simple. For if journalists forwent their traditional news judgment to go with whatever people want, journalism could face a further decline in its standards and other critical problems, which is the focus of the next section.
A new race to the bottom?
When Tim Armstrong declared in Business Week that web metrics are a “strategic window (into) quality content” at AOL, he raised more eyebrows than enthusiasm among observers. A reader labelled “AOL’s play” as a “new death of journalism” while another called it a dance between the editorial and the commercial, asking: “How long would it take to sweet-write your audience into accepting pandered palaver?” Meanwhile, a media blogger was quoted as saying:
“My fear is that once they start analysing where their traffic
comes from and where their dollars come from, they decide
maybe journalism should go after Hollywood celebrity and
sports figures who are doing dope.”
(Macmillan, 2010)



The Difference Between Analytics and Metrics

A common misunderstanding among marketers is that metrics and analytics represent the same thing. While they are both used to prove and improve the value of marketing, the terms are not the same and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. So, what’s the difference?

Online News | Measuring Journalism | 

Confronting Measurable Journalism: Matt Carlson ****

This introductory essay introduces “measureable journalism” as a term that encapsulates the cultural and material shift to digital platforms capable of providing real-time, individualizable, quantitative data about audience consumption practices. Measurable journalism is not a break from the past as much as it is an enactment of industrialized journalism’s desire to monitor its audience.

Choosing journalism metrics that actually count (and are countable!)  Julia Haslanger and Stephanie Snyder ****

Starting in spring 2017, we began to centralize the goals our partner newsrooms were stating when they started working with us, and noting any metrics they specified or seemed to be using. As we updated and analyzed that document throughout the year, two themes became clear:

  • Newsrooms are not practiced in setting measurable goals. (An example of an unmeasurable goal: “We’d like people to feel that they’re being listened to.”)
  • The metrics newsrooms picked often didn’t actually map to the goal they stated. (Example: “Be less of a one-way street” paired with the metric of “page views”.)

Note reading list at end of article.

Online News | Measuring Journalism | BBC Analytics

These four videos from the BBC Academy feature different aspects of collecting and using data to influence or inform online journalists’ decisions. The interviews are with practitioners in journalism and analytics working in BBC Mundo/World service. Best watched in one session laying the ground for developing conversation and discussion on the value of analytics and as in introduction to some of the tools used by a large publishing organisation. Refreshing change from Marketing-Speak

The Basics

How to use web analytics tools

How web analytics informs online journalism

Key terms jargon buster


Online News | Social Media

New York Times boss wants Facebook to cut out news

New York Times boss and foremer BBC DG Mark Thompson said he was “terrified” by Facebook’s attempts to use algorithms to rank the quality of news outlets, warning that “a machine entirely behind closed doors is going to rank the world’s news sources” and that publications would be ranked at the top only for as long as they remained “in the good books of Facebook”.

[…] Thompson is joining a raft of media executives who are looking at life beyond Facebook in the wake of a series of scandals and questions over the sustainability of online news business models.

“We want to create these environments where people have got a chance to make a critical judgment,” he said of Facebook’s attempt to fight disinformation on its platform. If it’s not possible to do it in a way where it’s going to be contextually understood then just use cat videos. If it’s too hard a puzzle then don’t do it.”

Online News | Growing Audiences | Engagement | Newsletters

How The Wall Street Journal is revamping its newsletters — and trying to add some whimsy

The first takeaway on this is to note the seniority of the people who run the WSJ’s newsletters; they are not interns or part timers helping out, they are experienced serious journalists. The second takeaway is the value of reviewing the performance and using data along with editorial judgement to determine what works and what doesn’t. Then there are “nudge” newsletters, too. How do you grow an audience and engage with them? Here are some excellent ideas.

Journalism | PR | Brands | Tech Journailam

Analyse this! Web analytics are changing the world of journalism. Have you considered how this changes your next communications plan?**

This article is from a brand/PR perspective rather than a journalism/publisher view. It still makes interesting reading.
In a survey of some 60 national journalists “with 75% of journalists claiming their publishers now use web analytics.”

The journalists were asked if web analytics were changing the way they think about stories (39% tech journos said yes). Whether web analytics play a role in editorial planning (37% yes). Almost half tech journos’ personal appraisals are informed by web analysis.

This is interesting but barely scratches the surface of what and why and the longer term impact, the effect of click-bait and so on.

A useful snapshot.