Reader Comments on News Articles: Critical or Complementary

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Reader Comments on News Articles: Critical or Complementary

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Reader Comments on News Articles: Critical or Complementary
Author(s) Hiller, Monique
Date 2016
English abstract
Guardian and Zeit online articles attract a large number of reader comments in general and those that include links specifically. Using both quantitative and qualitative content analysis, the reader comments that include links in 80 articles on four topics – The Refugee Crisis, the Syrian Conflict, Elections and Artificial Intelligence – from both newspapers were classified according to type and pro or contra stance to the article they were posted in response to. The aim was to discover whether a majority of these comments agreed with or opposed the main premises of the articles they were responding to and to determine whether different topics results in different reactions. In addition to that the goal was to try and ascertain whether these findings indicated falling trust in journalists or not, and what readers sought to achieve by commenting and posting links, if in fact they had a concrete motivation. Findings demonstrated that 61.1% of reader comments with links disagreed with the articles they were posted to, and controversial topics were more likely to attract links by readers and greater disagreement. Previous research and this study could not clearly conclude whether audience trust in journalists is falling or whether that was a mere extension of falling trust in authorities and organizations for example. It could also not determine whether audiences comment and share links to effect some form of change or whether they simply seek a platform to express their opinion without any conscious goal in mind.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 65
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Newspaper
Handle (link to this page)

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