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
Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Sustained Relief for Severe Depression
19.03.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
AI study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes
06.03.2019 | University of Gothenburg
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Information Technology