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What do we really know about online news readers?: Critical reflections on importance of qualitative studies of newspaper user comments
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for HumanIT. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication. (HumanIT)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8225-3447
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recent years witnessed an explosion in increased user interactivity brought into online news environments due to the advances in digital technologies and convergence of various online and offline journalistic practices. This phenomenon already started to be explored by academics from different research spheres, but mainly in the form of quantitative studies, focusing very little, if at all, on the content of user comments and reader responses, leaving out the qualitative side of the problem. In this sense this article is an attempt to contribute to uses and gratification perspective of studying news and their consumption from the standpoint of critical theory, that is to engage into a critical analysis of online user interactivity. First part of the article provides a short theoretical exploration of the current research field, whereas second part conducts experimental empirical analysis of reader responses for three news articles chosen from, English-language based news website providing international audience news articles about Sweden. Article ends with a discussion of possibility of unified theoretical approach to user comments, as well as a call for more concentrated and widened research of online user interactivity both from quantitative and qualitative sides.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sweden, user comments, reader responses, qualitative analysis
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-28510OAI: diva2:636964
NordMedia 2013: "Defending Democracy. Nordic and global diversities in media and journalism". NordMedia, Oslo, Norway, 8-11 August 2013.
Available from: 2013-07-15 Created: 2013-07-15 Last updated: 2014-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Mehrabov, Ilkin
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Centre for HumanITDepartment of Geography, Media and Communication
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