‘Let’s Get Them Involved’ . . . to Some Extent: Analyzing Online News Participation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The development of social media applications, such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, has offered new participatory opportunities for everyday media users. This article contributes to research by looking into one specific aspect of the increasingly more participatory media ecology—the news comment feature. Drawing on a quantitative content analysis of 1,100 news pieces, as well as spaces for user comments, the article reveals both how this emerging public space is shaped by the media company and, later, appropriated by their participating users. Our analysis reveals, for instance, that the online newspaper prefers to allow users to comment on lightweight news such as sports and entertainment. The users, however, prefer to post comments on news covering changes in proximity space, politics, and health care, while also clearly ignoring the most available news pieces (sport and entertainment). In the concluding section, the discrepancy in preferences is discussed.


  • Susanne Almgren
  • Tobias Olsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Media and Communications


  • participation, user-generated content, social media, news comments, content analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalSocial Media + Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch