Report Launch: The Traffic Factories
Metrics that track audiences’ online behavior are ubiquitous in news organizations. While there is no shortage of opinions on what such data means for journalism, there is comparatively little empirical research on the subject of metrics. Ethnography can shed light on how people and organizations actually produce, interpret, and use this data. How do analytics shape newsroom culture, internal dynamics, and daily work? How can publications create a culture around metrics that aligns with their organizational mission and values? Caitlin Petre’s new report, The Traffic Factories, explores these questions via ethnographic research on Chartbeat, Gawker Media, and The New York Times.
Please join the Tow Center for the launch of this report; Petre will present her research findings and moderate a discussion featuring fantastic panelists. She’ll be joined by
John Herrman, whose ‘Content Wars’ series for The Awl astutely examines the journalism industry’s metrics-driven moves and counter moves,
Samantha Henig, one of the New York Times‘ ‘digital deputies’ charged with broadening the use of metrics throughout the company’s newsroom.