Audience MetricsJournalismOpinion PowerEditorial AutonomyData AnalyticsDigital Platforms
University of AmsterdamLeiden University
As digital technologies have made their way into news production, allowing news organizations to measure audience behaviors and engagement in real-time, click-based and editorial goals have become increasingly intertwined. Ongoing developments in algorithmic technologies allow editors to bring their audience into the newsroom using specialized tools such as Chartbeat or Google Analytics. This article examines how these technologies have affected the composition of the audience and their power to influence news-making processes inside two Chilean newsrooms. Drawing on several months of newsroom ethnography, we identify how the pursuit of “clickable news” impacts editorial processes and journalistic priorities by changing the datafied audience opinion power behind news production. Shifts in opinion power, loss of control, and increased platform dependency may contribute to a concentrated media landscape. Our findings show that opinion power has shifted to a datafied version of the audience, raising new questions about platform dependency and editorial autonomy in media organizations. These results carry significant implications for understanding the chase for traffic in current multiplatform newsrooms and how this phenomenon impacts news production.
Tomás DoddsClaes de VreeseNatali HelbergerValeria ResendezTheresa Seipp