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Title: Twenty-first century online news : studies of production, content and consumption in Europe and the US
Author: Thurman, Neil James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 5143
Awarding Body: City University London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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The purpose of this dissertation is to present and reflect on seven years of research into the form of online news, its production, and consumption, at national and local websites in the UK, the US, and Finland. The general methodological approach was inductive and exploratory, with the work based mainly on semi-structured research interviews with journalists and editors and on content analysis. Quantitative Internet audience measurement, and observation and document analysis in the field were also used, although less frequently. Most of the work took a broad survey approach, although two in-depth case studies were also conducted. Forty per cent of the work included longitudinal data collection in order that the analyses could integrate evidence from across historical periods. The findings are multifarious and cover the Internet's globalizing and localizing potentials, technological and media industry convergence, changes in social relations between professional journalists and their audiences, and the adaption-or personalization-of news to individual readers' explicitly registered and / or implicitly determined preferences. The research reveals evidence of cyclical patterns of organizational and social behaviour, records evolutionary changes in online news output and professional attitudes, and demonstrates how technology's consequences are often unexpected. The research has practical implications for online newspapers' attempts to court international readers, serve local communities, integrate user-generated and multimedia content, develop business models, adapt to online-only delivery, and design and deploy forms of news personalization. These studies contradict some older scholarship on the supposed revolutionary effects of technology, question some of the concerns that have been expressed about how the changing characteristics of news might have negative consequences for society and individuals, and highlight gaps in the existing literature. In its suggestions for future research this dissertation calls for greater methodological integration so that the dependencies between news artefacts, their production, and consumption can be more clearly demonstrated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available