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Metrics at WorkJournalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms$
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Angele Christin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175232

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175232.001.0001

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The Multiple Meanings of Clicks

The Multiple Meanings of Clicks

Journalists and Their Algorithmic Publics

(p.75) Chapter 4 The Multiple Meanings of Clicks
Metrics at Work

Angèle Christin

Princeton University Press

This chapter centers on the uses and interpretation of web analytics at TheNotebook and LaPlace. It talks about how the two publications used the same software programs to track the preferences of their online readers but made sense of the metrics provided by these programs in different ways. The chapter discusses the traffic in New York that soon became an imperative for the top editors in charge of managing the publication while staff writers refused to embrace the tyranny of metrics. It also looks into the journalists in Paris that were simultaneously deeply critical of traffic numbers and obsessed with clicks. It also shows how metrics do more than function as market indicators and reveal the journalists' representations of their algorithmic publics.

Keywords:   TheNotebook, LaPlace, online readers, New York, metrics, Paris, traffic, clicks, algorithmic publics

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