When News Goes Online. A Cross-Media Analysis of Editorial Logics and Consumers’ Feedbacks in the Printed, Online and Facebook Versions of the Italian Newspaper la Repubblica
As a consequence of the advent and diffusion of new media, one of the most accredited hypotheses in the realm of mediatization theory has been that the essential prerequisites of mediatization would have slowly started to disappear. On the contrary, we hypothesize that the unprecedented knowledge about users’ preferences given to media companies would be reflected in the logics of news production, which would shift from being guided by internal logics and standards of newsworthiness to be driven by an audience-oriented commercial logic. Therefore, we expect storytelling techniques to prevail in online news production, with soft news becoming progressively prevalent moving from traditional to new media. We address our hypothesis performing a cross-media analysis of the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, investigating both the different editorial logics underlying the selection and framing of contents as well as the relationship between the general news frame and the level of readers’ engagement. In our findings, soft news prevails regardless of the platform, also following a positive trend as we move towards Facebook. Moreover, soft news seems to be able to foster a higher level of users’ engagement as expressed in terms of likes and shares, while hard news prevails in commenting activities.
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