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Article
Making 'The Daily Me': Technology, economics and habit in the mainstream assimilation of personalized news
Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism (2011)
  • Neil Thurman, City University London
Abstract
The mechanisms of personalization deployed by news websites are resulting in an increasing number of editorial decisions being taken by computer algorithms—many of which are under the control of external companies—and by end users. Despite its prevalence, personalization has yet to be addressed fully by the journalism studies literature (Zelizer, 2009). This study defines personalization as a distinct form of interactivity and classifies its explicit and implicit forms. Using this taxonomy, it surveys the use of personalization at eleven national news websites in the UK and US. Research interviews bring a qualitative dimension to the analysis, acknowledging the influence that institutional contexts and journalists’ attitudes have on the adoption of technology. The study shows how: personalization informs debates on news consumption, content diversity, and the economic context for journalism; and challenges the continuing relevance of established theories of journalistic gate-keeping.
Keywords
  • customization,
  • gate-keeping,
  • individuation,
  • online journalism,
  • online news,
  • personalization
Publication Date
May, 2011
Publisher Statement
This paper has been accepted for publication in Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism and the final (edited, revised and typeset) version of this paper will be published in Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 12(4), May 2011 by Sage publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Sage Publications Ltd, 2011.
Citation Information
Neil Thurman. "Making 'The Daily Me': Technology, economics and habit in the mainstream assimilation of personalized news" Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism Vol. 12 Iss. 4 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/neil_thurman/9/