Online Newspapers’ Readers’ Comments - Democratic Conversation Platforms or Virtual Soapboxes?

A1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift (referentgranskad)


Interna författare/redaktörer


Publikationens författare: Kim Strandberg, Janne Berg
Förläggare: Communication and Society Research Centre of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Minho
Publiceringsår: 2013
Tidskrift: Comunicação e Sociedade
Volym: 23
Artikelns första sida, sidnummer: 132
Artikelns sista sida, sidnummer: 152
eISSN: 2183-3575


Abstrakt

Online discussions between citizens have been subject to scholarly debate and several
empirical studies for a substantial period of time. Scholars have envisioned these as potential
venues for citizens’ deliberation. Often, however, empirical findings do not support these notions.
The quality of discussion is often not up to the standards of truly deliberative discussions.
Nonetheless, there are strains of evidence suggesting that online discussion venues applying
facilitators, fixed topics and actively enforcing discussion rules, may avoid many of the problems
with discussion quality. This article therefore examines whether readers’ comments on a Finnish
newspaper’s website resemble democratic conversations. During the course of three weeks in
spring 2010, we content analyze 300 reader comments. Our findings indicate that although there
are strains of democratic conversations to be found in online reader comments, there are also
many instances in which the opposite holds true.
Online discussions between citizens have been subject to scholarly debate and several empirical studies for a substantial period of time. Scholars have envisioned these as potential venues for citizens’ deliberation. Often, however, empirical findings do not support these notions. The quality of discussion is often not up to the standards of truly deliberative discussions. Nonetheless, there are strains of evidence suggesting that online discussion venues applying facilitators, fixed topics and actively enforcing discussion rules, may avoid many of the problems with discussion quality. This article therefore examines whether readers’ comments on a Finnish
newspaper’s website resemble democratic conversations. During the course of three weeks in spring 2010, we content analyze 300 reader comments. Our findings indicate that although there are strains of democratic conversations to be found in online reader comments, there are also many instances in which the opposite holds true.


Nyckelord

democratic conversations, online deliberation, online reader comments, public sphere, quality of discussion


Dokument


Senast uppdaterad 2019-18-09 vid 06:34