June 14, 2010

Balancing Community News, Citizen Participation

Worth reading might be the Suburban Newspapers Association recent report (PDF) on citizen participation in community news.

From a recent summary in the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association newsletter:
  • 76 percent of respondents believe the public should be allowed to interact through newspaper websites. They want to be able to comment on stories, post their opinions, participate in forum discussions and provide reviews. 
  • 26 percent of the users of newspaper websites said they think stories on those sites should be written only by professional journalists. Fifty-five percent of the respondents believe content submitted by citizens who are qualified because they are an expert on a specific topic or witnessed a news report should be allowed to post news.
  • Eighty-six percent feel it's important that newspapers label the content source and 77 percent say contributors should register. Sixty percent believe they should be required to use their real name. But the survey found that registering does not seem to deter participation and using real names also does not appear to be a significant deterrent.
  • Forty-eight percent of newspaper executives said user-generated content has no impact on credibility, 27 percent believe it can increase credibility and 25 percent think it decreases credibility.

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