City Research Online

Africa in the click stream: audience metrics and foreign correspondents in africa

Bunce, M. (2015). Africa in the click stream: audience metrics and foreign correspondents in africa. African Journalism Studies, 36(4), pp. 12-29. doi: 10.1080/23743670.2015.1119487


Digital technologies have transformed the relationship between news outlets, journalists and their audiences. Notably, editors can now monitor their websites and discern the exact news preferences of their readers. Research suggests that some editors are using this data to help them produce more popular, ‘click friendly’ content. To date, research on this phenomenon has focused on journalists working within newsrooms. This article adds to the literature by exploring the relationship of foreign correspondents in Africa with their audiences, and asks whether readership metrics are influencing the journalists’ selection and development of news stories. Drawing on 67 interviews with foreign correspondents in East and West Africa, the article identifies three different approaches to audience metrics: correspondents who are 1) data-driven; 2) data informed; and 3) data denialists. The article discusses the implications of these approaches for the media image of Africa that is distributed around the globe.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in African Journalism Studies on 20 Dec 2015, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Africa, audiences, international news, metrics, news production, readership data, search engine optimisation
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Africa in the click stream - final author copy.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (762kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login