Contribution or Constrain? Audience Interaction in Swedish Online Newspapers
Keywords:audience interaction, online participation, newspapers, journalists, chief editors
A focus on audience interaction in online news media has increased rapidly during the past years. Online news media offer their audience several opportunities of interaction, for example, by submitting comments on articles or sharing pictures and videos. In addition, audience interaction has emerged as a fast growing research field: the motives for embracing online audience interaction have been analyzed and the kind of interactive opportunities offered by the news media has been mapped. Also, the question of whether audience interaction really contributes or rather constrains professional journalism has been vividly discussed. This study relates to the latter perspective as it examines professional journalistsâ€™ views on audience interaction. By focusing on the case of Swedish newspaper journalists, this study investigates how audience interaction is perceived to impact professional standards and to what extent such interaction is believed to be beneficial or rather an obstacle for journalism. Based on a representative survey of Swedish journalists, conducted in 2011-2012, and a survey of journalists working at local morning papers in Sweden, conducted in 2009, the analysis reveals certain dividing lines in media practitionersâ€™ attitudes to audience interaction.
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