Changing patterns of news consumption and participation: News recommendation engines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


This study examines how the prevalence of news recommendation engines, such as the most-emailed stories list on the front page of the New York Times website, could change patterns of news consumption. The top five most-emailed articles from the New York Times website were collected for two 23-day periods. The content of the most-emailed list was found to differ both from the articles cued by editors in a traditional newspaper format and from patterns of individual online news browsing. Opinion, business and national news articles appear most frequently on the most-emailed list, and more than half of the total articles appeared on the list for multiple days. Counter-intuitive articles and articles that offered advice about life issues were significantly more likely to remain on the list for multiple days. The data suggest that the most-emailed list, part of a larger family of news recommendation engines (NREs), acts both as an aggregator of individual actions and as a new way for online users to navigate online information. In this second capacity, NREs demonstrate a public endorsement of particular content. This endorsement may both affect the articles to which news consumers are exposed and change their attitude towards these articles. NREs thus have the potential to change patterns of news consumption by allowing readers to communicate both with each other and, indirectly, with news institutions themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-489
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Internet
  • New York Times
  • News media
  • News recommendation engines
  • Public endorsement
  • Selective exposure
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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