The Future of Breaking News Online? A study of live blogs through surveys of their consumption, and of readers' attitudes and participation

Article English OPEN
Thurman, N. ; Newman, N. (2014)

This study investigates news readers’ use of, participation with, and attitudes to live updating news pages (also known as live blogs), an increasingly common online news format. Data comes from an online survey, and from web analytics of live blogs hosted by Guardian.co.uk and on the ScribbleLive platform. The survey had approximately 11,000 respondents and the sample was weighted to reflect the demographics of the online populations in the nine countries polled. The findings show the extent to which news consumers use live blogs to follow news, and, for the US and UK, their preferences for different types of news content in this form. UK respondents’ attitudes to the accuracy and balance of live blogs, and to their usability and convenience, are reported. The Guardian.co.uk data reveal the relative attention received by live blogs compared with picture galleries, articles, and an op-ed piece; whilst the data from ScribbleLive shows the proportion of content contributed by readers in a sample of 11 live blogs. In answering a call for further study of this under-researched aspect of online news, this study extends our understanding of the changes taking place as news consumption shifts, increasingly rapidly, from print to online.
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