Articles «Previous Next»

The Future of Personalization at News Websites: Lessons from a longitudinal study

Neil Thurman, City University London
Steve Schifferes, City University London

Article comments

This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Journalism Studies © 2012 Taylor & Francis; Journalism Studies is available online at informaworld TM: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1461670X.2012.664341

Abstract

This paper tracks the recent history of personalization at national news websites in the United Kingdom and United States, allowing an analysis to be made of the reasons for and implications of the adoption of this form of adaptive interactivity. Using three content surveys conducted over three and a half years, the study records—at an unprecedented level of detail—the range of personalization features offered by contemporary news websites, and demonstrates how news organizations increasingly rely on software algorithms to predict readers’ content preferences. The results also detail how news organizations’ deployment of personalization on mobile devices, and in conjunction with social networking platforms, is still at an early stage. In addressing the under-researched but important—and increasingly prevalent—phenomenon of personalization, this paper contributes to debates on journalism’s future funding, transparency, and societal benefits.

Suggested Citation

Neil Thurman and Steve Schifferes. "The Future of Personalization at News Websites: Lessons from a longitudinal study" Journalism Studies (2012).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/neil_thurman/11