Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6182

Date

2018

Date of Award

8-7-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Journalism & Strategic Media

Concentration

Journalism

Committee Chair

Jin Yang

Committee Member

Thomas Hrach

Committee Member

Robert Byrd

Abstract

This paper explores the story selection process of reporters in newsrooms that use online metrics to measure article performance. As most media companies pressure reporters to deliver bigger viewership numbers, the gatekeeping power has been placed mostly in the hands of reporters. The questions investigated are whether this pressure is affecting the traditional First Amendment watchdog role of journalists and whether government oversight stories are being cast aside in place of lighter fare that will attract a mass audience. The study used a mixed-method involving story tracking data from a large East Coast newsroom; a national survey of reporters; and in-depth interviews with journalists. This investigation found that many reporters are embracing watchdog stories and such stories are likely helping them grow their metrics numbers. Reporters are using readership metrics to fine-tune their hunt for stories to maximize watchdog content, and readers reward reporters with higher metrics for the content.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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