Advances in technology allow news outlets to publish news on various platforms—their own websites, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and so on. As a result, many readers do not subscribe to broadsheet; rather, they read news on social media pages of news outlets.
News outlets have also been applying various techniques to present news on those platforms to attract readers. To understand how a news outlet presents the same news on various platforms, Danny Paskin, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at California State University, Long Beach, studied the publishing techniques of The New York Times on its four different platforms: print, its website and its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The author conducted a content analysis of the posts made in a week in 2017.
During the week, The Times published 101 stories in print, 971 stories on its website, 354 stories on Facebook and 525 stories on Twitter.
The vast majority of stories (around 72 percent of 1,414 stories) appeared in only one of the four platforms. Of those 1,011 stories that appeared in only one platform, 70 percent appeared on the newspaper’s website, followed by Twitter, Facebook and print. There was little consistency across the four platforms for news dissemination when it comes to specific stories being published.
Stories focusing on national politics were featured prominently in all four platforms, ranked as the most covered topic on both Facebook and Twitter. Most print stories focused on international news, and editorial and opinion columns were featured most often on the front page of the website.
Every story published on both Facebook and Twitter had a photo or illustration accompanying it. In print, most stories published were teasers, including just a headline and nothing else. Most had no photo, and most were published on the bottom half of the page. On the website, most stories were also teasers, most also had no photo or multimedia, and most first appeared online early in the day, about 12:01 a.m.
The study suggests that The New York Times journalists and editors are paying attention to the unique details and demographics of the different platforms when selecting what news will be disseminated there.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2UNqRQA
Paskin, D. (2018). News publishing across platforms: Gatekeeping for print, web, Facebook and Twitter. Newspaper Research Journal, 39(4), 376-388.