Safeguarding the Journalistic DNA: Attitudes towards the Role of Professional Values in Algorithmic News Recommender Designs

Bastian, Mariella; Helberger, Natali; Makhortykh, Mykola (2021). Safeguarding the Journalistic DNA: Attitudes towards the Role of Professional Values in Algorithmic News Recommender Designs. Digital Journalism, 9(6), pp. 835-863. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/21670811.2021.1912622

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In contrast to the extensive debate on the influence of algorithmic news recommenders (ANRs) on individual news diets, the interaction between such systems and journalistic norms and missions remain under-studied. The change in the relationship between journalists and the audience caused by the transition to personalized news delivery has profound consequences for the understanding of what journalism should be. To investigate how media practitioners perceive the impact of ANRs on their professional norms and media organizations’ missions, and how these norms and missions can be integrated into ANR design, this article looks at two quality newspapers from the Netherlands and Switzerland. Using an interview-based approach conducted with practitioners in different departments (e.g. journalists, data scientists, and product managers), it explores how ANRs interact with organization-centred and audience-centred journalistic values. The paper’s findings indicate a varying degree of prominence for specific values between individual practitioners in the context of their perception of ANRs. At the same time, the paper also reveals that some organization-centred (e.g. transparency) and most audience-centred (e.g. usability) values are viewed as prerequisites for successful ANR design by practitioners with different professional backgrounds.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Communication and Media Studies (ICMB)

UniBE Contributor:

Makhortykh, Mykola


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 070 News media, journalism & publishing
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Taylor & Francis




Mykola Makhortykh

Date Deposited:

27 Jul 2021 09:32

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:52

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

journalism, algorithms, news personalization, media ethics, journalistic values, interviews




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