Clicks or Pulitzers? Quantifications and Resistance in Online Journalism in the United States and France

Sociological analyses of quantification—the transformation of different qualities into a common quantitative metric—often emphasize its role in processes of standardization between organizations. Yet numbers may in fact take on different meanings depending on their context. I explore this question with the case of online journalism and compare the reception of Internet metrics in an American and a French web newsroom. How do journalists react to the constant flow of information they receive about the online ‘success’ of their articles?

Angèle Christin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the New School for Social Research in New York. She completed her PhD in sociology at Princeton University and the EHESS (Paris) in July 2014. She is interested in sectors and organizations where the rise of ‘big data’ and individualized performance measurements challenges professional values and work practices. She is the author of Comparutions Immédiates: Enquête sur une Pratique Judiciaire (La Découverte, 2008) and the co-author of La sociologie contemporaine aux Etats-Unis (2012).

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