Irene Costera Meijer, Constanza Gajardo

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic


Over the past few years, audience engagement as concept and practice has become increasingly relevant in journalism. Its ambiguous use however, also as a professional domain, has turned it into a complicated buzzword. Nevertheless, its wide use has resulted in particular conceptualizations of engagement that, however fragmented and dispersed, inform on relevant issues, such as the editorial influence of user-focused technological innovations, the organizational values of the news organizations, the professionals’ normative boundaries, and the questioning of the social function of the profession. This paper critically addresses how audience engagement has been used and operationalized over the last 10 years through the analysis of the discursive practices of 83 academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals involved in journalism studies. The suggestion is that the scholarly conceptualization of audience engagement seems to have taken a turn within journalism studies. 'Engagement' used to be linked to people’s civic engagement understood as the ability of media to connect audiences with civic life and democracy. Currently, in the wake of social media giants, it is often approached from a commercial point of view where engagement is referred to as the newsroom’s ability to keep customers’ (audiences’) attention through the offer of a product or an experience (the news) and often with unspecific purposes. Nevertheless, in both stages, the evaluation of audience’s online contributions was assessed, among other factors, in accordance with journalists’ expectations of their attitude as citizens
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventFuture of Journalism - The School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) at Cardiff University , Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sept 201914 Sept 2019
Conference number: 7


ConferenceFuture of Journalism
Abbreviated titleFOJ
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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