The purpose of our study is to identify the potential of popular media as platforms for spreading ideas or facts, their ability to attract the attention of the audience to their content and provoke online (and eventually offline) discussion.
Adherence to journalistic standards, analysis of the content, business-models, ownership and financial performance of the media were not taken into account, although they undoubtedly affect the reputation and efficiency of the media platforms.
The index is calculated on the basis of 5 factors available for the quantitative measurement and comprehensively characterize the effectiveness of the media brand.
To adjusting values measured on different scales to a common scale, we "normalized" them: the highest value in the sample for each scale is expressed by 100% (or 1). Shares (proportions between different values of the scale) is what we see on the charts.
Finally, in order to obtain an index of efficiency, we determined the "weight" of each factor by conducting a small expert survey.
15 people took part in the survey (5 journalists, 5 media experts, 3 PR-specialists, 1 media manager and 1 representative of media policymaking and regulatory authority). After calculating the mean values of the responses, we received the following weight factors: Attendance - 0.2; Citation - 0,2; Citation Reach - 0.17; 'Quality' Traffic - 0.23; Facebook Engagement - 0.2.
What's in the index?
We measured attendance based on the average monthly number of visits on the site according to the SimilarWeb data for August-December 2017. For the media with several domains, attendance rates were summed up.
In addition to the total number of hosts, the effectiveness is influenced by the size of "quality" audience, readers who are really interested in the information they read. Because the quality of traffic received from referrals is difficult to control, we have decided to take the total volume of search, direct, and social traffic as an indicator (data for December 2017, SimilarWeb).
What media are most often referred by other media? We have measured the number of media references in the sample of TOP-100 most visited Ukrainian sites throughout the year, and removed all cases of self-citing.
The number of publications with a link to the source does not tell anything about audience size of these publications, so as an additional metric, we introduced the total coverage of all publications with links to the above media within a month (the audience is determined only for references for December 2017). The data enables an approximate comparison of the media audience whose primary source was a particular media.
Finally, social networking is a powerful tool for engaging the audience, and the key one for the Ukrainian media is still Facebook. We evaluated the effectiveness of media pages with the Fanpage Karma service during December 2017. As a performance criterion, we chose the monthly number of all likes, shares and comments that does not depend neither on the total number of followers, nor on the number of posts on the page.
What we learned?