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Dolors Palau-Sampio e-mail(Login required)

Abstract

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In a context marked by technological uncertainty and the search for a viable business model, the digital media have succumbed to various strategies to attract audience, reflected in the clicks generated by each reader. This article focuses attention on a reference newspaper as El País, to discuss what options were incorporated in order to attract visitors to the website. By using a quantitative and qualitative methodology, a study was carried out on four sections added by Elpais.com in the last two years: SModa, Icon, BuenaVida and Verne, which have generated significant traffic, particularly the latter. The conclusions of the analysis show a commitment to tabloidization, with anecdotal, lifestyle or curiosity content, while the so-called hard news is absent from these new sections. This circumstance coincides with headlines that have some characteristic features of the popular press, which act more as bait to capture the curiosity – and also generate income each time they are clicked on – rather than as informative elements. The fragmentation of the texts, and their list-style structure, mimic the success of some native digital media, while moving away from the standards of the quality press.

Keywords

Tabloidization, clickbait, reference press, quality, digital audience, innovation, Elpais.com

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