Browsing by Subject "online journalism"

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  • Bessonova, Anna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Previous research has shown that media organizations are increasingly relying on audience-measuring metrics derived from web analytic tools for news judgment. This reliance is said to be reshaping online journalism, raising the questions of audience power, tabloidization of content and the role of journalistic values. However, research on web analytic tools in news media is scarce and does not describe how and to what effect the tools are used in various types of news media. Therefore, this study was set up to discover how web analytic tools are used in Finnish online newsrooms and how their use affects relationship with the audience and journalistic content. To answer the research questions, nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with web editors and online journalists from Finland’s major news media. To observe possible differences in the use of web analytic tools, the sample included different types of media organizations: public service broadcaster YLE, broadsheet and business news dailies Helsingin Sanomat, Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Taloussanomat, general news media UusiSuomi, Aamulehti, HBL, and a more entertainment-oriented Iltalehti. Once gathered and transcribed, the interviews were coded and analyzed with grounded theory qualitative data analysis. The findings showed that web analytic tools are extensively used in Finnish online media and their use does affect journalistic work but as one factor among others. Data derived from web analytics was perceived to bring journalists closer to their readers, intensifying the dilemma of balancing news agenda between audience preferences and journalistic values. Online journalists and web editors were found to rely on web analytics for immediate handling of stories in real-time and for long-term strategic decision-making.
  • Wirén, Sini (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    On the basis of technological advances, changing economic conditions and heightened audience expectations for openness and credibility, it has been suggested that transparency should be a new ethical norm for professional online journalism. While theoretical knowledge on this topic is constantly expanding, comprehensive empirical analysis of the practical implementation of transparency measures in news production is still rather scarce, particularly in Finland. To fill this gap in the existing research, this study focuses on transparency in the content of ten leading news websites in Finland. The content is examined with a mixed-methods approach that incorporates both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis. While the quantitative analysis examines a total of 70 front-page articles from each of these news websites with a focus on systematic techniques that reflect transparency, the qualitative analysis scrutinizes these websites in their entirety by concentrating on the larger structures and elements that foster transparency through disclosure of information and supporting audience participation in news production. The results indicate that the level of transparency in the leading online media sources is still relatively low, and that there are no significant differences in transparency measures between the different kinds of mainstream news outlets, although certain techniques seem to be more popular in the tabloid media and others are more widely used by online-only or public service media. As practicing editorial and journalistic transparency does not usually require large financial investments, or involve legal restrictions, the discussion suggests that the main limitations for the utilization of transparency measures are the lack of audience demand on one hand and attitudinal resistance from the media professionals and organisations on the other. This study manages to add new knowledge to prior research on this topic by providing a comprehensive account of both the level and the nature of media transparency. At the same time, it clearly indicates that both transparency and online news publishing are such multi-dimensional and constantly evolving matters that comprehensive measurement of their prevalence would require much further research through a more diverse methodology. In addition to its academic contribution, this study introduces different transparency techniques that would benefit journalism practitioners. It also focuses the attention of consumers on the quality of online journalism and provides them with comparable information on the performance of different news outlets with regards to openness and public participation.