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In Service of News Subscribers: Exploring Belgian Journalists’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Relations in the Digital News Ecosystem

Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
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Academic Editor: Andreu Casero-Ripollés
Journal. Media. 2022, 3(1), 81-98; https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3010007
Received: 7 December 2021 / Revised: 7 January 2022 / Accepted: 10 January 2022 / Published: 15 January 2022
This qualitative paper contends that as news media are faced with growing commercial pressures and changing news consumption habits, they need to rethink their relationship with two of their main stakeholders: readers and advertisers. Multi-stakeholder marketing provides a useful conceptual framework for such an exercise, since it invites media practitioners to reconcile the conflicting interests of different stakeholders. This study aims to understand journalists’ levels of multi-stakeholder thinking regarding advertisers and readers. To explore how contemporary journalists see their role with regard to distinct stakeholders in the news ecosystem, we interviewed 14 Belgian journalists working for legacy and digital native news media. The goal of this exploratory study is to examine (1) how journalists perceive and rethink their dependence on readers and advertisers in the digital news ecosystem and (2) how their perception of the digital news ecosystem influences their attitudes towards these stakeholders. Findings indicate that journalists tend to see the value of readers in monetary terms and believe increasing reader revenue will help journalism survive. Other types of reader value (feedback, expertise, and content) are peripheral. This focus on subscribers also seems to coincide with a devaluation of other stakeholders like advertisers and non-paying readers. View Full-Text
Keywords: stakeholder marketing; news media; news business studies; subscribers; advertising stakeholder marketing; news media; news business studies; subscribers; advertising
MDPI and ACS Style

Luyckx, D.; Paulussen, S. In Service of News Subscribers: Exploring Belgian Journalists’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Relations in the Digital News Ecosystem. Journal. Media. 2022, 3, 81-98. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3010007

AMA Style

Luyckx D, Paulussen S. In Service of News Subscribers: Exploring Belgian Journalists’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Relations in the Digital News Ecosystem. Journalism and Media. 2022; 3(1):81-98. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Luyckx, Dorien, and Steve Paulussen. 2022. "In Service of News Subscribers: Exploring Belgian Journalists’ Perceptions of Stakeholder Relations in the Digital News Ecosystem" Journalism and Media 3, no. 1: 81-98. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3010007

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