In research published this month, Neil Thurman of City University London reveals that, despite the seemingly heavy emphasis on UGC at mainstream news websites, questions remain about the extent to which users are interested both in participating themselves and viewing other readers' contributions.
Thurman spoke to editors at Timesonline.co.uk, Telegraph.co.uk, the BBC News website, FT.com, Independent.co.uk, Scotsman.com, TheSun.co.uk, and Associated New Media, and gained first-hand insight into the popularity and failings of UGC across household name news websites.
In this in-depth study, Thurman found that 'popular' debates on the BBC News website's 'Have Your Say' attracted contributions from just 0.05 per cent of the site's daily unique audience, and one fifth the page views of 'popular' news stories.
The research showed that the slow uptake of UGC by some editors was due in part to worries over legal liabilities. Furthermore most publications insisted on moderation because of concerns over: spelling, grammar and decency; duplication; unbalanced views; and a lack of newsworthiness amongst contributions. These issues had caused some websites to drop UGC altogether.
Although contributors were found to be avid consumers of their own material, some publications were struggling to commercialise reader contributions due to low participation rates (at the Independent.co.uk) and insularity (at DailyMail.co.uk).
Cost was also an important contingent factor. Reader participation was found to be expensive, mainly because of moderation - 80 per cent of the user generated content initiatives launched by the publications surveyed for the study were edited or pre-moderated. These costs have not yet been fully off-set by the revenues generated.
Despite this Thurman found no fundamental prejudice against the form and several publications intended to expand their provision in this area as time and ability allowed. The editors interviewed understood that secondary benefits existed as user generated content initiatives could provide a source of stories and content for stories.
The findings have implications for both readers and editors of news websites showing the very practical problems publications face when implementing UGC initiatives.
Thurman says: "By becoming gatekeepers of UGC, editors are on familiar territory and can protect their brand's value - a key aspect of their job. But it is a delicate balancing act. Too much filtering and control could frustrate the supply of UGC - something that is not in the interest of editors or users."
Neil Thurman | alfa
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy