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Comments please: How the British
news media are struggling with
user-generated content
Alfred Hermida
University of Britis...
Research context
Source: Freedryk (http://www.flickr.com/photos/freedryk/)
What we did
• In-depth interviews with 11 senior
news executives at British
newspaper websites
• Survey of UGC on 12 UK
ne...
What we found
– Growth in UGC
– Motivated by fear and self-interest
– Shift towards a filtered model
– Debate over value o...
What we found
• Formats for participatory journalism:
• Polls
• Messageboards
• Have your says
• Comments on stories
• Q&A...
What we found
What we found
Why editors are doing this
• “The idea of becoming a forum for debate
was an area that newspapers had to get
into, otherwi...
Why editors are doing this
• “Give them a piece of property on the
internet, within our site.”
• Peter Bale, TimesOnline.c...
Why editors are doing this
• ”There’s no substitute for a good story and
more than 10 times the amount will read
the story...
Towards moderation
Source: Janerc (http://www.flickr.com/photos/6542906@N00/)
Towards moderation
• “We serve a busy audience who don’t have
much time to read the paper, who don’t
have much time to rea...
The value of user media
Source: Sniffles (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sniffles/)
The value of user media
• “You need to realise that only a small
number are really going to communicate.
But that small nu...
Conclusions
• Ambivalence towards user media
• Retention of gatekeeper role
• Add value by mediating
Thank you
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Hermida

ISOJ 2007

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  1. 1. Comments please: How the British news media are struggling with user-generated content Alfred Hermida University of British Columbia March 31 2007
  2. 2. Research context Source: Freedryk (http://www.flickr.com/photos/freedryk/)
  3. 3. What we did • In-depth interviews with 11 senior news executives at British newspaper websites • Survey of UGC on 12 UK newspaper websites
  4. 4. What we found – Growth in UGC – Motivated by fear and self-interest – Shift towards a filtered model – Debate over value of UGC
  5. 5. What we found • Formats for participatory journalism: • Polls • Messageboards • Have your says • Comments on stories • Q&As • Blogs • Your media • Your story
  6. 6. What we found
  7. 7. What we found
  8. 8. Why editors are doing this • “The idea of becoming a forum for debate was an area that newspapers had to get into, otherwise they'd get left behind” • Richard Burton, Telegraph.co.uk
  9. 9. Why editors are doing this • “Give them a piece of property on the internet, within our site.” • Peter Bale, TimesOnline.co.uk
  10. 10. Why editors are doing this • ”There’s no substitute for a good story and more than 10 times the amount will read the story rather than the comments attached, but it’s still valid to give that feedback area." • Steve Purcell, Mirror.co.uk
  11. 11. Towards moderation Source: Janerc (http://www.flickr.com/photos/6542906@N00/)
  12. 12. Towards moderation • “We serve a busy audience who don’t have much time to read the paper, who don’t have much time to read the website, and they look to us to have done the filtering and the compression for them” • James Montgomery, FT.com
  13. 13. The value of user media Source: Sniffles (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sniffles/)
  14. 14. The value of user media • “You need to realise that only a small number are really going to communicate. But that small number make it much more interesting for everyone else.” • Simon Walden, Guardian.co.uk
  15. 15. Conclusions • Ambivalence towards user media • Retention of gatekeeper role • Add value by mediating
  16. 16. Thank you

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