Governing the media: Web analytics in Spanish newsrooms

Santiago Justel Vázquez, Josep Lluís Micó Sanz, Enric Ordeix Rigo

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The arrival of the Internet forced the media to transform its traditional business model and has revolutionized journalism with an “explosion” of new techniques, tools, assumptions and expectations (Anderson et al., 2014). Among these is endless web analytics data (Kaushik, 2010), the statistics and charts obtained from the interaction of the readership with news websites. Web analytics have vastly increased the availability of information about what each newspaper’s audience is like, and in some cases this has resulted in journalism that is less focused on hard news (Tandoc, 2014; Justel et al., 2016) and more concerned with increasing the number of visitors to the publication’s website. The current study is based on eleven in-depth interviews carried out with journalists holding a range of different positions (from editors to writers to web analysts) within the newsrooms of Catalonia’s main newspapers. The conversations held with these professionals confirm that web analytics data occupy a central place in newsrooms and that they are mainly employed from a quantitative and not a qualitative perspective. For the newspapers analyzed, metrics such as the number of visitors each news item obtains or the number of unique users are still more influential than other parameters, such as the duration of time spent reading a webpage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Audience
  • Business models
  • Journalism
  • Web analytics


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