Philip Napoli

Philip Napoli
Duke University | DU · Sanford School of Public Policy

PhD
Director, DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

About

149
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
September 1999 - December 2013
Fordham University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (149)
Chapter
The relatively short relationship between digital platforms and the news media has been characterized by constant evolution and conflict. As the economics of journalism have faltered and digital platforms have risen to become prominent gateways to the news, that relationship has increasingly caught the attention of policymakers. This chapter focuse...
Research
Full-text available
Executive summary In recent years, as thousands of local news outlets have folded amidst financial troubles, a number of online news networks have emerged to take their place. But reporting suggests that despite these networks' nimble structure, unfettered as it is by a need for printing presses and local offices, their news product and their adher...
Article
As digital platforms have come to play a central role in the news and information ecosystem, a new realm of watchdog journalism has emerged – the platform beat. Journalists on the platform beat report on the operation, use and misuse of social media platforms and search engines. The platform beat can serve as an important mechanism for increasing t...
Chapter
In this chapter, we explore the rationales that have traditionally justified media regulation in the United States and argue that the quid pro quo rationale, which has accompanied the treatment of the spectrum as a public resource in broadcast regulation, may have applicability to the social media context. Specifically, we argue that aggregations o...
Article
Unlike many other countries around the world, the United States has taken relatively little substantive action in the realm of platform governance, despite the United States being directly impacted by occurrences such as Russian interference in the 2016 election, domestic disinformation related to the 2020 election, the Cambridge Analytica data bre...
Article
en In the United States, debates about political bias in the content curation and moderation practices of social media platforms have spilled over into the policy realm, rekindling conversations about the Fairness Doctrine and its potential utility in possible regulatory approaches to social media. This article revisits the history of the Fairness...
Preprint
Full-text available
As digital platforms have come to play a central role in the news and information ecosystem, a new realm of watchdog journalism has emerged-the platform beat. Journalists on the platform beat report on the operation, use, and misuse of social media platforms and search engines. The platform beat can serve as an important mechanism for increasing th...
Preprint
Debates about political bias in the content curation and moderation practices of social media platforms have spilled over into the policy realm, rekindling conversations about the Fairness Doctrine and its potential utility in possible regulatory approaches to social media. This paper revisits the history of the Fairness Doctrine and uses this hist...
Article
This Introduction to this special issue on Policy Issues in Digital Journalism explores the reasons why this is a particularly important time for scholars to be exploring policy issues in digital journalism, as well as the reasons why, in some national contexts, there has been resistance to approaching the crisis in journalism as a public policy is...
Article
News audiences are increasingly fragmented across different media platforms. Consequently, individual news organizations simultaneously disseminate their content across different media. Each of these media has different user bases, interface characteristics, and distribution systems. Given these substantial differences, the dynamics of the gatekeep...
Article
Full-text available
Una postura común entre las plataformas de redes sociales y los agregadores[1] de contenido es su resistencia a ser caracterizados como empresas mediáticas. En cambio, compañías como Google, Facebook y Twitter insisten reiteradamente en que deben ser consideradas como empresas puramente tecnológicas. Este artículo critica la posición que sostiene q...
Article
The widespread concerns about the misuses and negative effects of social media platforms have prompted a range of governance responses, including preliminary efforts toward self-regulatory models. Building upon these initiatives, this paper looks to the self-regulation of the audience measurement industry as a possible template for the self-regulat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Based on our analysis of local news data provided by Facebook for February of 2019, a number of key findings emerge that provide insight into local news on Facebook: ● For communities meeting Facebook’s threshold for launching the Today In feature, 61% of the stories aggregated were identified as serving a critical information need. ● While stori...
Preprint
Full-text available
The economic challenges facing local journalism and the associated declines in revenues and newsroom staffs have generated great interest in understanding the composition and dynamics of local news ecosystems. Much of this research has focused on case studies of individual communities while other research has focused either on the content produced...
Book
acebook, a platform created by undergraduates in a Harvard dorm room, has transformed the ways millions of people consume news, understand the world, and participate in the political process. Despite taking on many of journalism’s traditional roles, Facebook and other platforms, such as Twitter and Google, have presented themselves as tech companie...
Preprint
Revelations about the misuse and insecurity of user data gathered by social media platforms have renewed discussions about how best to characterize property rights in user data. At the same time, revelations about the use of social media platforms to disseminate disinformation and hate speech have prompted debates over the need for government regul...
Article
Archived webpages are a critical source of data for understanding the current state of the news media industry, as well as how the industry has changed over time. Dramatic changes in the news media industry in recent decades have occurred in tandem with the evolution on the Web. Archived webpages are valuable records for understanding and analyzing...
Book
Media scholarship has responded to a rapidly evolving media environment that has challenged existing theories and methods while also giving rise to new theoretical and methodological approaches. This volume explores the state of contemporary media research. Focusing on Intellectual Foundations, Theoretical Perspectives, Methodological Approaches, C...
Article
Drawing on Shoemaker and her colleagues’ five levels of analysis, i.e. the individual, routine, organization, institutional, and social system levels, this study examines news media’s post-election selfexamination. This study uses natural language processing-related techniques to analyze a corpus of news articles published 10 days after the electio...
Chapter
Audience ratings are a central component of the operation of media industries. This entry describes both the industrial and methodological dimensions of audience ratings, providing an overview of the history and evolution of audience ratings, as well as considering the contemporary challenges confronting audience measurement and the means by which...
Article
A common position amongst social media platforms and online content aggregators is their resistance to being characterized as media companies. Rather, companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have regularly insisted that they should be thought of purely as technology companies. This paper critiques the position that these platforms are techn...
Chapter
Audience studies is a broad and multifaceted area of communication research. It encompasses a wide range of theoretical perspectives, as well as a diversity of methodological approaches, that all share a concern with understanding how and why audiences engage with media, and the broader political, cultural, and economic implications of the media––a...
Article
The concept of competitive displacement is central to theories of media evolution, and the threat that the Internet has posed to printed newspapers provides an ongoing case study on the topic. In particular, this situation offers an opportunity to examine the strategic efforts of print newspapers to prevent competitive displacement, as well as the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A common position amongst online content providers/aggregators is their resistance to being characterized as media companies. Companies such as Google, Facebook, BuzzFeed, and Twitter have argued that it is inaccurate to think of them as media companies. Rather, they argue that they should be thought of as technology companies. The logic of this po...
Article
This article revisits the long tail phenomenon, a dozen years after it was first articulated as a model for the digital media economy. As this article illustrates, both the research evidence and the evolution of industry practice have demonstrated that the long tail phenomenon has failed to take hold to the extent expected. This article outlines th...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that many of the traditional distinctions used to distinguish critical from administrative research do not hold up well within the context of communications policy research. This argument is illustrated through an analysis of early communications policy research literature that sought to define the contours and objectives of the...
Article
This article argues that many of the traditional distinctions used to distinguish critical from administrative research do not hold up well within the context of communications policy research. This argument is illustrated through an analysis of early communications policy research literature that sought to define the contours and objectives of the...
Article
With resources for local journalism outlets on the decline and the use of digital tools on the rise, there has been greater consideration of the audience among journalists, editors, and foundations. Recent research on news audiences has focused on the industry-driven concern of the impact of technology on news audience practices and routines as wel...
Article
This paper presents a three-level conceptual and methodological framework for assessing local journalism and the extent to which it meets community information needs. This research grows from frequent calls from policymakers, foundations, and advocacy groups for methods and measures to facilitate comparative analyses of the state of local journalis...
Chapter
Today’s communications economy is fundamentally different from the communications economy that characterized the previous “mass media era” in ways that dramatically affect the production, dissemination, and consumption of news and information critical to the effective functioning of democracy. As the traditional news business model has declined, bi...
Article
Changes in the ways that audiences use television, and the ways in which such usage can be measured, raise the possibility of a transformation of the audience commodity, and the currency that fuels the audience marketplace. Specifically, it appears at this point that social media analytics are beginning to play a role in how television program succ...
Article
This article seeks to identify the basic contours of how the notion of the public interest is taking shape in the realm of social media. Drawing upon social media governance discourse and research on the dynamics of how social media platforms are being used in the dissemination and consumption of news and information, this article argues that a res...
Chapter
Full-text available
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the media marketplace is the role and function of the audience. In the dual-product marketplace that characterizes media, in which content is sold (or given) to audiences and audiences are, in turn, sold to advertisers, audiences occupy the unique position of being the customer in one market and the pr...
Chapter
In the United States (U.S.), diversity, rather than pluralism, has traditionally been one of the overriding goals of media policy (Napoli 1999). The concept of diversity overlaps to some extent with the concept of pluralism in a variety of ways (see Karppinen 2013), as will likely become clear in the discussion that follows. Diversity policy — and...
Chapter
In United States media policy, issues of media pluralism and diversity have been tightly intertwined with the issue of media ownership. In the US, the media ownership issue involves not only concerns about ownership concentration and its anti-competitive effects in the economic marketplace and in the marketplace of ideas; but also concerns about th...
Article
In 2009, The Knight Commission released a report identifying access to credible and relevant information as a key requisite for healthy communities (Knight Commission, 2009). This report subsequently led to a comprehensive assessment by the Federal Communications Commission of how community information needs are being met in the broadband era (Wald...
Article
The concept of diversity has always been an underlying principle in media policy-making and the era of participatory media has not changed that core concern. However, dramatic changes in contemporary media systems suggest a need to reconsider how this complex principle is conceptualized and applied. Social media have brought about a seemingly infin...
Article
This article provides a critical comparative analysis of mobile versus personal computer (PC)-based forms of Internet access. Drawing from an interdisciplinary body of literature, it illustrates a wide range of ways in which mobile Internet access offers lower levels of functionality and content availability; operates on less open and flexible plat...
Article
Communication scholars have recently begun to recognize and investigate the importance of algorithms to a wide range of processes related to the production and consumption of media content. There have been few efforts thus far, though, to connect these developments to potentially relevant bodies of existing theory and research. This article seeks t...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter examines how Internet (PC and mobile) ratings panels are constructed, managed, and utilized. We provide an overview of the history and evolution of Internet/mobile ratings panels and examines the methodological challenges associated with creating and maintaining accurate and reliable Internet/mobile ratings panels. The research that ha...
Chapter
This chapter examines the relationship between the process of audience measurement and core principles in US communications policy making. The focal points of this analysis are the controversial launches in the United States over the past decade of the Nielsen Local Peoplemeter (which measures local television audiences) and the Arbitron Portable P...
Article
For an increasing proportion of the population worldwide, mobile-based forms of Internet access represent the primary means of going online. Furthermore, for some sectors, mobile-based forms of Internet access are the only means for connecting online. Much has been written about the tremendous benefits, and even the transformative capacity, associa...
Article
Media industries scholarship has devoted a substantial amount of attention to understanding the decision-making dynamics surrounding the production of media content. This work has addressed factors such as organizational norms and structures, environmental cognitions, and audience information systems. Today, an increasingly important layer over all...
Article
This paper examines the emergence of diversity as a guiding principle of Internet governance. This paper compares how diversity is being interpreted and applied in Internet governance discourse and related research with its interpretation and application in traditional communications policy-making and policy research. As this paper illustrates, a s...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the emergence of diversity as a guiding principle of Internet governance. This paper compares how diversity is being interpreted and applied in Internet governance discourse and related research with its interpretation and application in traditional communications policy-making and policy research. As this paper illustrates, a s...
Article
Media scholars have only recently begun to recognize and investigate the importance of algorithms to a wide range of processes related to the production and consumption of media content. There have been few efforts thus far, though, to connect these developments to potentially relevant bodies of existing theory and research. This paper seeks to add...
Article
This paper examines the emerging global phenomenon of mobile leapfrogging in Internet access. Leapfrogging refers to the process in which new Internet users are obtaining access by mobile devices and are skipping the traditional means of access: personal computers. This leapfrogging of PC-based Internet access has been hailed in many quarters as an...
Article
Technological changes are straining traditional institutionalized conceptualization of the television audience, while at the same time providing opportunities for alternative conceptual and analytical approaches. The result is a rare point in time in which the very nature of the audience commodity is being reconsidered by industry stakeholders. Thi...
Article
This paper examines the emergence of diversity as a guiding principle of Internet governance. This paper compares how diversity is being interpreted and applied in Internet governance discourse and related research with its interpretation and application in traditional communications policymaking and policy research. As this paper illustrates, a so...
Article
This paper examines the emergence of social TV analytics as an alternative to traditional television ratings. Drawing upon data from three of the leading providers of social TV analytics, this paper investigates the extent to which these measurement systems are providing comparable representations of audience engagement with individual television p...
Article
This article considers how changes in audience behaviors and in audience information systems are affecting the future of academic audience research. This article first illustrates how changes in the media environment are undermining traditional approaches to audience research while also giving rise to alternative analytical approaches. This article...
Article
This article examines the evolution of media diversity policy concerns in response to the changing technological and institutional dynamics of the media environment. It identifies those diversity policy concerns that are receiving less attention from policymakers in light of ongoing technological and institutional changes (diminished), those that a...
Article
Radio's America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture. By LenthallBruce. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. xi + 261 pp. Notes, index. Cloth, $50.00; paper, $20.00. ISBN: cloth, 978–0–226–47191–4; paper, 978–0–226–47192–1. - Volume 82 Issue 4 - Philip M. Napoli
Article
Full-text available
Concerning media diversity, should policymakers be more concerned about the choices consumers of information make than what sources are available to them? Dr. Napoli argues that with all of the information outlets currently available, focusing on source and content diversity is becoming less important than understanding the information that is actu...
Article
A fundamental principle of public policymaking should be that public policy must be made with publicly available data. This article develops this position and applies it to an assessment of the current state of communications policymaking, a policy area in which controversies surrounding the transparency of policy research and the accessibility of...
Article
Media organizations are both political and economic actors They have the ability to influence public opinion voting behavior and government policy At the same time they tend to be motivated primarily by profit maximizing goals Agency theory also called the principal-agent approach has been useful for understanding the behavior of individuals in pro...
Article
Full-text available
This paper revisits the concept of mass communication, which has faced persistent challenges to its continued relevance in light of changes that have taken place in the media environment. This paper offers a counterpoint to claims of the term’s diminished relevance, as well as to some recent efforts to reposition the term, by putting forth an inter...
Book
A synergy between academia and activism has long been a goal of both scholars and advocacy organizations in communications research. The essays in Communications Research in Action demonstrate, for the first time in one volume, how an effective partnership between the two can contribute to a more democratic public sphere by helping to break down th...
Article
Full-text available
This article puts forth two media policy priorities that are emerging as a result of the ongoing transformation of the media environment, in which the traditional distinctions separating media producers and media consumers are becoming increasingly blurred. Specifically, this article contends that policymakers must prioritize speakers' rights of ac...
Article
This chapter reviews the literature on public interest media advocacy and activism. In so doing, it organizes the literature according to the three primary theoretical perspectives on social movements—framing processes, political opportunities, and mobilizing structures, to reflect the increased tendency in recent years for scholars to conceptualiz...
Article
Cultural and media policy have remained largely distinct fields of research, policymaking, and policy advocacy in the United States. There are, however, significant areas of overlap between these two areas that have not been fully explored. The author examines the linkages between the two fields, covering the traditional lines of demarcation that h...
Article
This paper investigates the ongoing emergence of diversity as a guiding normative principle of Internet governance. This paper starts from the premise that principles play a fundamental role in the development and implementation of any regulatory regime, but that the communications policymaking process historically has suffered from ambiguous and s...
Article
This paper proposes and develops a model of audience evolution. The concept of audience evolution in this case refers to the notion that the dominant framework employed by media industry stakeholders (content producers, distributors, advertisers, media buyers, etc.) to conceptualize the audience evolves in response to environmental changes. These e...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the literature that has examined how media organizations make sense of their audiences, the analytical techniques and technologies employed, and how this information is embraced or resisted in the operation of media organizations. As this review illustrates, the historical trend in audience understanding has been one of a steady...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the wide range of lines of social scientific inquiry raised in the ongoing process of assessing and formulating media ownership policy. Specifically, this paper examines the areas of inquiry raised by the FCC's effort to craft an index for assessing viewpoint diversity in local media markets.
Article
Full-text available
This report examines the 2007 Internet Governance Forum, held in November, 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Internet Governance Forum is a UN-sponsored convening that emerged from the UN’s World Summit on the Information Society. The purpose of the IGF is to provide a multi-stakeholder forum for discussion and debate on the wide range of social,...
Article
The role of hyperlinking in the development of the Internet warrants investigation for a number of reasons. First, along with the Internet's inherently global reach and its virtually unlimited content capacity, hyperlinking is one of the key factors that distinguishes the Internet from traditional media. Second, the dynamics of hyperlinking have ev...
Article
This study analyzes the provision of local news programming on local television and its relation with station ownership characteristics and market conditions. The results show that station financial strength and market competition have a significant, positive relation with the quantity of local news programming. However, there is little evidence th...

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