The Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Digital News Audiences

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Abstract

The changing patterns of news consumption in a digital era bring about new configurations between audiences, information, the devices upon which they consume it and the different (mobile) places and (shiftable) times where and when this is possible. This chapter highlights the need to consider these interrelated changes in the media ecology if we want to grasp the newfound complexity of media consumption. Specifically, it outlines how audience engagement with news and different spatiotemporal configurations made possible by digital technology are trends that complement and reinforce one another in terms of changing the socially-situated affordances of news use. Having sketched these contours, the chapter then highlights analytical challenges for understanding and conceptualizing the new interrelations between digital news content, production, and consumption, grounding this analysis with theoretical insights that emphasize the significance of spatiotemporal dynamics. The emphasis here is on the interrelations and mobilities of digital news audiences, based on a recognition of the productive impacts of media use while being careful to note the limitations of a paradigm shift that points solely to the possibilities generated by the ubiquitous presence of media in our everyday lives. Aspects of interaction and personalization beget by new media technologies certainly shape the possibilities, practices and power audiences have to choose news wherever, whenever, and however they want. However, this simultaneously challenges the conventional routines and symbolic power of journalism as a place where, metaphorically, people can come together.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies
EditorsBob Franklin, Scott Eldridge II
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dateOct 2016
Pages375-84
Chapter37
ISBN (Print)9781138887961
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

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