Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

News websites' uneasy relationship with user-generated content revealed

27.02.2008
Major news websites are struggling to make the most of readers' contributions due to factors such as the costs of moderation and the varying quality of user-generated content (UGC), whilst in return readers are not fully engaging with the UGC initiatives.

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
Further information:
http://www.city.ac.uk/journalism/people/faculty/thurman_publications.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Statistical method developed at TU Dresden allows the detection of higher order dependencies
07.02.2020 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Novel study underscores microbial individuality
13.12.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

NUI Galway highlights reproductive flexibility in hydractinia, a Galway bay jellyfish

24.02.2020 | Life Sciences

KIST researchers develop high-capacity EV battery materials that double driving range

24.02.2020 | Materials Sciences

How earthquakes deform gravity

24.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>