Personalization Logics and Publics by Design

Jannie Møller Hartley, Anna Schjøtt Hansen, Jannick Kirk Sørensen

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In this chapter, we investigate media organizations’ introduction of personalized content distribution as the next step in a long datafied evolution. With rich empirical examples from ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews, we show how publics are cultivated through what we label ‘personalization logics’: individualism; dataism; and binarity and predeterminedness. These ‘personalization logics’, we argue, become drivers for how media organizations (re)construct their audiences, namely as aggregated, predictable and controllable datapoints. Thus, this reconstruction of the audience allows the media organizations to engage in new forms of publics cultivation – publics by design – as they now materially begin to shape and design the publics they wish to cultivate into these systems. Finally, we discuss the broader implications of these processes and the cultivation of publics as personalized aggregated ‘dividuals’ by news media in a datafied era.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDataPublics : The Construction of Publics in Datafied Democracies
EditorsJannie Møller Hartley, Jannick Kirk Sørensen, David Mathieu
PublisherBristol University Press
Publication date31 Jul 2023
ISBN (Print)9781529228625
ISBN (Electronic)9781529228632, 9781529228640
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023

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