An article on “Journalism aggregators: an analysis of Longform.org” co-authored by Marco Braghieri, Tobias Blanke and I has just been published in Journalism Research. The article is open access and available in both English and German. Here’s the abstract:
What is the role and significance of digital long-form content aggregators in contemporary journalism? This article contends that they are an important, emerging object of study in journalism research and provides a digital methods analysis and theoretical engagement with Longform.org, one of the most prominent long-form content aggregators on the web. We propose that Longform.org can be understood as leveraging the datafication of news content in order to valorize the long tail of archived material. Drawing on scraped data from the archive, we undertake an in-depth analysis into the practices of long-form aggregators. While Longform.org exhibits a degree of curatorial diversity, legacy news media outlets tend to be featured more frequently. Accessibility of news media archives is one of the most relevant factors for being featured by Longform.org. Our analysis demonstrates the relevant role of smaller digital-only publications, which provide a unique mix of sources. Through a network analysis of scraped tags we explore the composition of themes, including personal, world-political, celebrity, technological and cultural concerns. The data and curatorial practices of such long-form aggregators may be understood as an area of contemporary news work that conditions which past perspectives are more readily available, experienceable and programmable on the web.
The article draws on Marco Braghieri’s research on long-form journalism and archives, about which you can read more in Yesterday’s News. The future of long-form journalism and archives recently published by Peter Lang.