What most do not read

Every morning, as an inviolable ritual, the editorial meeting of the Listin Diario begins with a look at the metrics that reveal which news are read the most, in hierarchical order, on both our printed and digital platforms.

To the surprise of those who have chosen the front-page news a day before, on the assumption that they’d be the most relevant of the next day, because of their alleged repercussions and the importance we give them from a journalistic point of view, “the most read” title actually belongs to different news that generally have nothing to do with our head ones.

This routine of verification has allowed us to learn, through time and experience, that digital users are more interested, according to these exact metrics, on all human topics and issues that are closer to their needs and experiences, which give them a better understanding of the reality of our country and the world.

To a large extent, the knowledge of these preferences is what has been influencing the redactors to plan and decide the contents of the future according to the interests of the audience, in a way that we can guide ourselves by leaning on readers so that we all can be better connected.

Due to the absence of proper metrics or fluid monitoring systems that can measure the interactions of readers with the printed newspapers, the closest thing would be checking out the digital audience, since this group gets to consume what the printed platform has translated into the digital, plus the added multimedia files which make the latter platform maintain a very good informative dynamic on the relevant topics of every day.

With this we’ve verified something that has also been confirmed by the latest survey of Gallup Dominicana published by the newspaper Hoy, during the month of May of 2019, which implies that most readers, both printed (55.4%) and digital (53%) ones, never actually dedicate time to read the news about politics, and that this group only watches the political transmissions on television on a very casual basis.

This would seem incongruous if we believe in the perception that society is politicized and saturated with the news that have to do with pronouncements, polemics, insults and disqualifications amongst politicians or those that reflect the internal crises of the parties, which seem to dominate all the news space of the country, and therefore, are part of the inevitable menu of the media.

This turns out to be a rather widespread trend in the world of journalism in general, as a recent investigation by the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin, has revealed that most Americans surveyed disdain reading the news that repercussions conflict, misbehavior or degradation towards or between politicians.

The study concludes that although the media may believe that this type of news based on the emotional response, anger, outrage and insults can entice the readers more, “our results show that journalists should think twice when choosing the type of focus that is given to political news, since they’re considered less credible”.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.