A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University looks at how news media organizations are using audience analytics to influence and improve the editorial decision-making in the newsroom. Media consultant Federica Cherubini and RISJ director of research Rasmus Kleis Neilsen conducted 30 interviews with industry experts involved in developing analytics in news organizations in North America and Europe and identified three distinct approaches:
- Rudimentary: offers a certain amount of data, but lacks cohesiveness with newsroom organization and culture.
- Generic: multiple analytics tools are used, but the newsroom’s structure and mindset are optimized for short-term results.
- Editorial: bespoke tools, supported by an organization and culture focused on short-term and long-term data-informed decisions, and flexible to evolve as the industry changes.
Ultimately, researchers concluded that publishers must consider three key factors when determining the best analytics strategy to suit their publications: technological tools, newsroom culture, and the internal organizational structure. The study also highlights several best-practice case studies, including sophisticated tailored approaches at The Financial Times, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Die Welt, and The BBC.