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Title: The art of Cherry-Picking in the utopian-dystopian world of numbers : a study on the use of web analytics among the online news media in Singapore
Authors: Siti Rahil Dollah
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This dissertation aims to understand how the online news media in Singapore use web analytics and the challenges they face in the more restrictive media environment of an Asian semi-democratic political system. Guided by Everett Rogers’ (1962, 2003) diffusion of innovations theory, which emphasizes communication and the interaction of values in the adoption of technological breakthroughs, it investigates how newsrooms negotiate and navigate their way through an environment where values cultivated by the social system have a tendency to become central despite the complex dynamics of forces shaping the use of web analytics in journalism. Through interviews with 22 journalists from 13 publications in Singapore, this study finds that by bringing the audience to the forefront of editorial decision making, web analytics accentuates a triangle of tension between the social system, editorial principles and market values as news organizations find themselves having to balance between the expectations of the all-encompassing state and a more visible audience. Although web analytics use in journalism has often been associated with a dumbing down of news phenomena in past research conducted in the West, this study finds that what happens in Singapore newsrooms is more complex and involves assigning utopian and dystopian values to web analytics data through the lens of the social system. This study finds that while the newsrooms and the content they produce have already started to change, web analytics has only dented the margins and not the core of how journalism is practised in Singapore.
Schools: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information 
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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