Establishing correlations between what is published and what is commented on: a case study of audience reading and commenting habits in and

Diana Rivero Santamarina, Irati Agirreazkuenaga Onaindia, Koldobika Meso Ayerdi, Ainara Larrondo Ureta


The agenda-setting paradigm has demonstrated itself helpful for explaining why the audience pays more attention to concrete events, by means of receiving more information about them. The new digital media environment seems to be introducing some disruptions in this scenario, owing to a new relationship between the media and the audiences. The Web opens the door to the participation of the public in the selection of media contents, even in the publication of news stories and comments, or in the social interaction.

According to this scenario, this paper explores how the publics' agenda gains visibility in the online media, through their interactive mechanisms. Specifically, the study aims to determine if the publics' agenda is coherent with the online media agenda, under the hypothesis that online public opinion has become a competing agenda-setting force.

Taking into consideration two European quality online media, and using a qualitative and quantitative methodology, the study focuses on the coverage of the main news items of the homepage with the aim of examining if the media main topics coincide with the contents preferred by the audiences.

The conclusions discuss if the traditional agenda setting is still influencing what the public reads and comments on the web.


Audience, Agenda-setting, interactivity, quality online newspapers, Web 2.0

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