Media companies seemingly have made gate-keeping decisions that privilege certain types of UGC over others (Jonsson & Ornebring, 2011). Jonsson and Ornegring (2011) found media outlets empower their audiences to create content related to soft news including popular culture items or everyday life as opposed to hard news or informational content. Furthermore, news outlets do not permit the audience to be involved in the creation of news through crowd sourcing or other means of journalists working with the audience to create articles (Jonsson & Ornebring, 2011). So while there are more opportunities for the public to submit content they have little control over the selection of news or what happens to the information they submit (Domingo, Quandt, Heinonen, Paulussen, Singer, & Vujnovic, 2008).
H1. Media companies will have a larger percentage of user-generated content in the areas of soft news and opinion compared to hard news.
It would seem based on the trend of newspaper companies of all sizes firing photographers; there would be a need for additional photography at community newspapers. Photographers have experienced the brunt of layoffs within the media industry as a number of newspapers have cut their entire photography staffs (Anderson, 2013). The most publicized examples include the Chicago Sun Times and Sports Illustrated eliminating their photo departments and electing to use reporters to take photographs, hired freelancers, or both (Channick, 2013; Peterson, 2015). This would seem to indicate that publications have need for additional sources of photography, but it is unclear if that need is being met through additional UGC photographs, by reporters taking photographs, or through hiring ...
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...further coverage (Thompson, 2014). There are two types of interaction; one is where the site allows consumers to communicate with each other and the second is when newsroom personnel engage in communication with the audience (Chung & Nah, 2009). The ability to communicate with newsroom personnel is rarely used (Chung & Nah, 2009). There are technological issues that can be utilized. Media outlets should focus on the creation of responsive websites (Brandel, 2013). There have been companies that have resorted to games or other applications as a way to motive people to interact with the news (Quinn, 2014). There is little research, however, demonstrating that publications have their staff actively engage with their audience on the publication website. In fact research seems to suggest that most of this type of interaction occurs in social media spaces (Janega, 2014).
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