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The Future of Personalisation at News Websites: Lessons from a Longitudinal Study

Thurman, N. & Schifferes, S. (2012). The Future of Personalisation at News Websites: Lessons from a Longitudinal Study. Journalism Studies, 13(5-6), pp. 775-790. doi: 10.1080/1461670x.2012.664341


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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Studies on 27 Mar 2012, available online:
Publisher Keywords: customization, individuation, interactivity, online journalism, online news, personalization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
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