Study: Newspaper Sites Embrace User Content, Comments in 2008

A 2008 study released by The Bivings Group showed that newspaper web sites  increasingly embraced user content and comments, launched reporter-written blogs and shied away from requiring registration to read articles.

The Bivings report, titled The Use of the Internet by America’s Newspapers [PDF], attempts to quantify how the 100  largest newspaper sites have embraced new media tools, such as blogs, RSS, comments and so on. The study does not include TV,  radio or other non-newspaper sites.

Among the key findings:

-Fifty eight percent of newspapers allowed for user generated photos, while 18 percent accepted video and 15 percent articles.  Overall, 58 percent of newspapers offered some form of user generated content in 2008 compared to 24 percent in 2007.

-The number of newspaper websites allowing users to comment on articles has more than doubled in the last year.  Seventy five percent of newspapers now accept article comments in some form, compared to 33 percent in 2007.

-Integration with external social bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us has increased dramatically the last few years.  Ninety-two percent of newspapers now include this option compared to only seven percent in 2006.

-Only 11 percent of websites require registration to view full articles, compared to 29 percent in 2007 and 23 in 2006.

Read the Bivings Group post for the summary and previous years’ studies, or download the 2008 report as a PDF.

About Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's Sun-Sentinel.com and OrlandoSentinel.com. Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.
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