17.11.2020 Hypertextes #1
Angèle Christin

Angèle Christin, Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms, Princeton University Press, 2020.

Olivier Alexandre a publié une recension de l’ouvrage dans la revue Sociologie.

Hypertextes a reçu Angèle Christin (Université Stanford) le 17 novembre 2020 de 17h à 17h45 en visioconférence.

Metrics at Work. Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms

EN. When the news moved online, journalists suddenly learned what their audiences actually liked through algorithmic technologies that scrutinize web traffic and activity. How have audience metrics changed journalists’ work practices and professional identities? In Metrics at Work, Angèle Christin analyzes the ways that journalists grapple with audience data in the form of clicks, and how new forms of clickbait journalism travel across national borders.

Drawing on four years of fieldwork in web newsrooms in the United States and France, including more than one hundred interviews with journalists, Christin reveals many similarities among the news websites—their editorial goals, technological tools, and even office furniture. Yet she uncovers crucial and paradoxical differences in how American and French journalists understand audience analytics and how these affect the news produced in each country. The book shows how distinct cultural forces and journalistic traditions shape how journalists make sense of digital metrics.

Contrary to the popular belief that analytics and algorithms are globally homogenizing forces, Metrics at Work shows that computational technologies can have surprisingly divergent ramifications for work and organizations worldwide.

Angèle Christin is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. She studies how algorithms and analytics transform professional values, expertise, and work practices. Her book, Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms (Princeton University Press, 2020) focuses on the case of web journalism, analyzing the growing importance of audience data in web newsrooms in the U.S. and France. Drawing on ethnographic methods, Angèle shows how American and French journalists make sense of traffic numbers in different ways, which in turn has distinct effects on the production of news in the two countries. Angèle is currently a Visiting Researcher with the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England.