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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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20

Studying Online News Audiences

Trends, Issues, and Challenges

Deborah S. Chung

ABSTRACT

The exponential growth of thousands of online newspapers and millions of online news consumers is evidence that online news publications are a critical source of information. Online news sites have evolved over the past several years in content and form, and many have developed into serious publications incorporating innovative storytelling techniques and providing various methods of audience engagement. While research examining the evolving form of news online exists, very little is known about the audiences who visit the sites of these publications. How are online news audiences using interactive tools? How has the relationship between traditional information senders and receivers changed? This chapter surveys the major trends taking place in the world of online news publications and the latter's efforts to engage their audiences, as news organizations struggle to re-evaluate their traditional roles and practices in the online climate. This chapter's discussion includes, as part of news production, the integration of interactive features, the emergence of blogs, citizen journalism, and other social tools such as Twitter and Delicious.

Introduction

Throughout the history of news, technology has played a critical role both in advancing the spread and status of journalism and in challenging the traditional boundaries and conventions of journalism's practices and products. The Internet's ...

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