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How readers interact with longform stories: They’re more likely to finish them if a trusted source shares it

Columbia Journalism Review

In an analysis of longform stories and their readers, Columbia Journalism Review found that 94 percent of longform readers finish the pieces they start reading, a significant diversion from the conventional wisdom that readers online are interested in shorter content. The analysis also found that readers are more likely to read a longform piece if a trusted source shares the piece, whether that’s someone they know or media outlet they trust. Michelle Levine, Anna Hiatt and Michael Shapiro write that “suggests that curation is an essential component of how longform gets read — whether that curator is an editor at a media outlet the reader values, or a friend.”

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