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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
Unformatted Document Text:  Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers 11 Newspaper ownership. Compaine (1982) has defined chain as “ the ownership of two or more daily newspapers in different cities by a single firm or individual.” Using the data from Editor & Publisher Yearbook 2001, each newspaper sampled was identified as owned by media groups or chains, or entrepreneurs. Taking the dynamic features of interactivity into account, the dependent variable interactivity level was measured using an index created based on several studies: Gubman and Greer’s analysis of online sites produced by U.S. newspapers (1997), McMillan’s analysis of 395 sites on the World Wide Web for models of funding for content in computer-mediated communication (1998), Massey and Levy’s content analysis of English-language online newspapers in Asia (1999), and Schultz’s content analysis of user interactive options in 100 U.S. online newspapers (1999). The index contained the following components: 1) Email, which measures availability of email and responsiveness of the newspapers. 2) Online forum, number of forums and topic diversity. 3) Section links, number of section links on the home page. 4) Hypertext, the underlined or highlighted text that contains links to other documents. 5) Search engine, the tool allowing readers to input key words to search for relevant information contained on the site. The index was calculated according to significance that each component contributes to interpersonal and content interactivity of Internet newspapers. The unit of analysis was one-day’s content of an Internet newspaper. According to Schultz (1999), the interactive features of newspaper Web sites are fairly constant. One day's content of an Internet newspaper should be sufficient to catch interactivity level of the site. The items that constitute index of interactivity on the homepage and on all subsequent pages were coded including availability of email, hypertext in stories, search

Authors: Qian, Zeng. and Li, Xigen.
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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
11
Newspaper ownership. Compaine (1982) has defined chain as “ the ownership of
two or more daily newspapers in different cities by a single firm or individual.” Using the
data from Editor & Publisher Yearbook 2001, each newspaper sampled was identified as
owned by media groups or chains, or entrepreneurs.
Taking the dynamic features of interactivity into account, the dependent variable
interactivity level was measured using an index created based on several studies: Gubman
and Greer’s analysis of online sites produced by U.S. newspapers (1997), McMillan’s
analysis of 395 sites on the World Wide Web for models of funding for content in
computer-mediated communication (1998), Massey and Levy’s content analysis of
English-language online newspapers in Asia (1999), and Schultz’s content analysis of
user interactive options in 100 U.S. online newspapers (1999). The index contained the
following components: 1) Email, which measures availability of email and
responsiveness of the newspapers. 2) Online forum, number of forums and topic
diversity. 3) Section links, number of section links on the home page. 4) Hypertext, the
underlined or highlighted text that contains links to other documents. 5) Search engine,
the tool allowing readers to input key words to search for relevant information contained
on the site. The index was calculated according to significance that each component
contributes to interpersonal and content interactivity of Internet newspapers.
The unit of analysis was one-day’s content of an Internet newspaper. According
to Schultz (1999), the interactive features of newspaper Web sites are fairly constant. One
day's content of an Internet newspaper should be sufficient to catch interactivity level of
the site. The items that constitute index of interactivity on the homepage and on all
subsequent pages were coded including availability of email, hypertext in stories, search


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