Study finds K-12 education journalists prefer gut instinct to analytics to determine who's reading


A new study from the University of Kansas shows that while journalists do use new technologies to better understand their audiences and what they would like to read, K-12 education reporters and editors still largely rely on gut feelings as opposed to analytics software, suggesting limitations to the practice.

Education news has always been a topic of strong reader interest in community journalism, whether it is coverage of a local school bond issue or an increase in lunch prices. In recent years, there has been heightened interest with news of school closures during the pandemic and controversies about subject matter covered in the classroom. Stephen Wolgast, professor and Knight Chair in Audience and Community Engagement for News in the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, interviewed journalists and educators from seven news organizations that cover education in Kansas to find out how they determine who is reading their work. 

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