Active audiences and journalism: Analysis of the quality of content elaborated by users

TitleActive audiences and journalism: Analysis of the quality of content elaborated by users
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Ayerdi, K. M.
Affiliation (1st Author)The University of the Basque Country
Section or WGAudience Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeAUDF1a
Slot Code (Keyword)AUDF1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session TitleAudiences, Publics and News Media
Submission ID5521

The communications media have very rapidly integrated audience participation into their websites. The range of tools and platforms offered is very wide: evaluation of reports, commentaries on news items, the sending of news content in any format (text, audio, video, photos), surveys, etc. While these mechanisms enable citizens to raise their voices and make their opinions and denunciations known, for the media they form part of a strategy aimed at strengthening the brand, obtaining the loyalty of readers and generating traffic, as a path towards the economic profitability of the digital media. During recent years we have witnessed an increase in the spaces for content elaborated by audiences in the news media, and a growing integration of such content in spaces that had until now been reserved for news professionals. Those changes introduce new patterns of communication and giving rise to new forms of creative expression, journalism and participation. All of this has aroused the interest of researchers, and there are abundant studies on the presence of participatory mechanisms in the online media and the attitude of journalists towards participation. However, there are few academic contributions that have been centered on analyzing the quality of audience participation, a crucial aspect for evaluating the significance of user generated content and its contribution to the development of a more enriching public sphere. The research project wants to assess the strategies of the most prominent journalistic organizations to deal with the fact that audiences are becoming more participative and therefore newsrooms are becoming more eager to accept user-generated content (UGC). The research project will identify and explain the interactivity strategies of online news sites and the opportunities open for audience participation in the news production process. a) What are the tools and spaces for participation that news websites offer to the users, both within their sites and on existing social networks? We are interested both in factual as literary contributions by the audience (comments in news, forums, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, proprietary social networks of the online news sites). b) What are the norms designed by journalistic organizations to regulate participation and authorship of UGC? c) How do online communities related to news content spring and evolve, whether they are promoted or not by an online news website? d) What are the narrative and dialogical characteristics of UGC, whether they are comments, news pieces, videos or pictures sent to the newsroom, either as authors or coauthors with the journalists? We will apply content analysis to research this question We will analyze the presence of the audience in the blogs of these online newspapers: El Pais, The Guardian, Le Figaro and La Repubblica

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