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Thurman, Neil; Schifferes, Steve (March 2012): The Future of Personalisation at News Websites: Lessons from a Longitudinal Study. In: Journalism Studies, Vol. 13, No. 5-6: pp. 775-790
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This paper tracks the recent history of personalization at national news websites in the United Kingdom and United States, allowing an analysis to be made of the reasons for and implications of the adoption of this form of adaptive interactivity. Using three content surveys conducted over three and a half years, the study records—at an unprecedented level of detail—the range of personalization features offered by contemporary news websites, and demonstrates how news organizations increasingly rely on software algorithms to predict readers? content preferences. The results also detail how news organizations? deployment of personalization on mobile devices, and in conjunction with social networking platforms, is still at an early stage. In addressing the under-researched but important—and increasingly prevalent—phenomenon of personalization, this paper contributes to debates on journalism?s future funding, transparency, and societal benefits.