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Maintaining Power by Guarding the Gates: Journalists' Perceptions of Audience Participation in Online Newspapers

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Andersson
Published in Journalism and Mass Communication
Volume 3
Issue 1
Pages 1-13
ISSN 2160-6579
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 1-13
Language en
Keywords Audience participation; Online Newspapers; Professional Journalists; Editorial Managers
Subject categories Media and Communications, Media Studies


Focus on audience participation in online news media has increased rapidly in recent years. Online newspapers offer their audience several opportunities to participate, for example by submitting comments on articles or uploading pictures/videos. Audience participation has also emerged as a fast growing research field; the motives for focusing on audience participation have been analyzed and the kind of participatory opportunities that news media offers the audience have been mapped. Also, questions on whether audience participation should be regarded an advantage or disadvantage to professional journalism has been discussed. This study relates to the latter perspective as it examines media practitioners´ perceptions of audience participation. By focusing on the case of Swedish newspaper journalists this study analyzes how audience participation is perceived to affect journalistic work and to what extent such participation is believed to benefit journalism. Based on a representative survey of Swedish journalists, conducted in 2011-2012, and a survey of journalists working at three local morning papers in Sweden, conducted in 2009, the analyses reveal a rather ambivalence attitude to audience participation among the journalistic corps.

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