Tracing and tracking impact

Media content and the effect of its metrification

Authored by: Cornelius Puschmann , Antonio Compagnone

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Media

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138014176
eBook ISBN: 9781315673134
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315673134.ch32

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Abstract

In this chapter, we examine the concepts of mediatization, media effects, and media impact against the background of a growing convergence of broadcast and digital media. We relate these concepts to journalistic interpretations of digital media metrics such as clicks, shares, and likes, and provide an assessment of how language is enlisted as a resource in digital journalism to aggressively increase impact (‘clickbait’), relating this shift to previous historical developments in newswriting. While our focus in this chapter is on mass media content and the effect of its metrification, it is worth pointing out that the mechanisms for the analysis of interactions in digital media are increasingly similar across domains and disciplines, that is, that the mechanisms for following the spread of political messages by online activists are relatively similar to measuring the success of a social media advertising campaign. This growing integration means that fields that have historically been separate areas of inquiry, such as the study of the linguistic and non-linguistic properties of mediated communication, as well as disciplines that study content and those disciplines that study the effects of its reception, are likely to converge more closely in the future.

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