News Website, Search Engine or Social Media? Explaining Different Pathways to News Online

News Website, Search Engine or Social Media? Explaining Different Pathways to News Online

On the Internet, we reach news via a wide variety of channels. For example, via search engines, social media or via the news sites directly. The authors Judith Möller, Robbert Nicolai van de Velde, Lisa Merten and Cornelius Puschmann trace these paths in a guest article on the blog of the Democratic Audit, an independent research unit at the London School of Economics.

„[…] The first pathway is the simplest: directly visiting the homepage of a news outlet, for example the New York Times or the Guardian. We consider this pathway to be a routine behaviour. As we navigate online, we want to keep informed about current events from time to time. We have a general interest in news and are therefore inclined to head to a news site to keep abreast of current events. The second pathway to news is through search engines: someone is searching the web due to a specific information need (e.g. Where is the nearest dentist? Who will become the next Algerian president?) and then accesses news articles as part of a search result. Similar to routine access, users in this pathway find news through search because of an informational need, but in the case of search this need is much more specific. The third pathway to news is through social media. […]“
The complete article can be read here.

The blog post refers to the recently published paper Creatures of Habit: Explaining Online News Engagement Based on Browsing Behavior.

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