The construction of participation in news websites: A five-dimensional model

Yacov Netzer*, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Limor Shifman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Audience participation has become a salient component of contemporary digital news environments, challenging traditional boundaries between readers and journalists. In this paper, we present an analytical framework for the evaluation of participation features in news websites, consisting of five axes: Chronology—the stage of news production; Visibility—transparency and prominence; Agency—users’ and editors’ level of activity; Integration—segregation versus embeddedness of participatory features; and Share-ability—inner, public and social circles of activity. This framework was developed in a cross-cultural study based on a grounded theory approach. We examined participation features in 15 prominent news websites in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel, and conducted a cross-national and cross-organizational analysis. Other than the use of advanced social plugins, no significant cross-national differences were found in the implementation of participatory features. However, the differences discovered between news organizations require further investigation into the factors shaping the selection and construction of news-based participatory features.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)619-631
Number of pages13
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 14 Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • Audience metrics
  • Audience participation
  • News websites
  • Online journalism
  • Participation features
  • User-generated content


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