Being an important facet of audience engagement, interactivity allows readers to comment and debate the content they get in online newspapers. The interactivity features of news content enhance readers’ positive attitudes toward the news website and influence users’ behavior in terms of sharing the content and revisiting and recommending the sites to others. This higher level of engagement can lead to higher levels of readership, an important component of the growth of a newspaper.
Paraskevi Dekoulou, lecturer in the School of Business at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, and Kyriakos Riskos, a doctoral candidate, and George Tsourvakas, professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, did a content analysis on 1,050 news articles of five online-only newspapers in Greece to examine the interactivity features and readers’ engagement.
Results showed that hard news attracted more user comments than soft news. Similarly, hard news attracted more user replies than articles with soft content. Politics, world, and entertainment were the three news categories that attracted more comments and replies.
Readers shared to their personal profiles on social networks more online articles about culture and articles that included videos and made more comments and replies on articles that contained hyperlinks.
The authors also found that news about politics, accompanied by infographics, increased the number of user comments and replies, but the combination of news politics and infographics attracted fewer shares to social media.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2GA4fz3
Riskos, K., Dekoulou, P., & Tsourvakas, G. (2019). User interactivity in online newspapers: Exploring the relationship between content features and user response. Newspaper Research Journal, 0739532918814465.