Websites and readers of local newspapers are more likely to embrace commenting, while national papers prefer social media sharing, write Susanne M. Almgren, of Jönköping University, and Tobias Olsson, of Lund University. The authors analysed the interactive features and audience participation of 3 444 stories published on the websites of nine Swedish newspapers.
The rural Arbetarbladet (circulation of 20 800) was the only paper that allowed commenting on all of its stories, while the national tabloid Expressen (circulation of 217 400) was the only one to completely dismiss user comments. The other seven papers allowed commenting on some stories, but the users’ enthusiasm varied: relative to their circulation, the rural Nerikes Allehanda‘s (52 700) readers were roughly twice as active commenters than those of the national Aftonbladet (250 300).
The newspapers’ positions are quite different when Facebook and Twitter activities are considered, the authors found. Readers of smaller, rural papers are way behind those of national papers’ in social media activity.
Almgren and Olsson’s research article “Commenting, Sharing and Tweeting News” was published by the journal Nordicom Review. It is freely available online (open access).
Picture: Untitled by LoboStudioHamburg, licence CC0 1.0.
Edited on 22.9.2016: The title of this story was corrected from “new stories” to “news stories”.