#news #algorithms #audiences
By shining a light on the previously neglected combination of public service media (PSM) and the audience perspective, this paper adds to the debate on (algorithmic) news personalization. While news personalization may offer new opportunities, it can clearly also conflict with the PSM mission of universality of access, reach, and content. This empirical study compares the audience perspective on the news personalization of users and non-users of public service news in Germany, France, and the UK. Overall, the findings of the online survey show that users of public service news in Germany and the UK—in comparison to non-users of these services—perceive more risks such as missing out on certain topics or viewpoints, place greater value on a shared public sphere, and more strongly prefer a news selection primarily made by professional news editors. In France, however, the differences between users and non-users of public service news are rarely significant, which is interpreted against the background of the different media systems and the role of PSM. The findings add to the understanding of what public service news audiences expect PSM organizations to provide while keeping the difficult balance between personalization and universality.