Comments, What For? User Participation and Quality of the Debate in Four European Newspapers Political J-blogs

MediaWatchIn recent years, we have witnessed an increase in the spaces for content written by audiences in the news media and the growing integration of such material in areas that had been reserved for news professionals until now. And, without a doubt, political issues have been one of the ones that have generated the most debate on the networks. And, without a doubt, political issues have been one of the issues that have created the most citizen participation. To contribute to this debate, the article summarizes findings of a broader project on the activity of audiences employing qualitative research of the users’ comments collected from the political blogs of Elpais.com, Guardian.co.uk, Lemonde.fr, and Repubblica.it. As results indicate, the patterns of the audience’s participation varied across countries. Still, it coincides in that there are lower levels of dialogue between participants as well as of involvement of the authors-bloggers than expected.

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