Focusing on the reader: Engagement trumps satisfaction

Rachel Davis Mersey*, Edward C. Malthouse, Bobby J. Calder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Satisfaction is commonly monitored by news organizations because it is an antecedent to readership. In fact, countless studies have shown the satisfaction-readership relationship to be true. Still, an essential question remains: Is satisfaction the only, or even the critical, thing to focus on with readership? This research indicates that the answer is no. Two other related constructs, reader experiences and engagement, affect reader behavior even more than does satisfaction. The discussion provides examples of how to increase engagement and calls for experimental research to understand how news organizations can positively affect engagement and thereby readership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-709
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Audience
  • Engagement
  • Experiences
  • News
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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