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How the monetisation of personal metrics is leading to an individualist journalism

Author Kathy Nickels
Date 2 August 2021

In this opinion piece published on The MediumSilvia Montaña-Niño discusses how the use of engagement metrics and incentive models in newsrooms are leading to a profound shift in newsworkers’ professional identities and the way that a journalist works. This article identifies several factors that are driving journalists towards an individualist journalism model and highlights the problems with monetising newsroom metrics in relation to journalism for the interest of the public and positioning journalists as influencers.

Dr Montaña-Niño says that “incentive models that are based on journalists’ abilities to entertain and engage as part of their branding routines entrench what many researchers have described as an ‘identity dilemma’”. She proposes that “journalists have moved from keeping their traditional professional image and understanding these metrics as mere means for assessing their engagement with and personal connection to the audience on social media, and towards using those metrics as a tool in designing an individual commercial strategy”.

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