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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
Unformatted Document Text:  Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers 4 email and discussion forums or online chat (Outing, 1998, b). Email serves as a fast, asynchronous means of interpersonal communication between users and communicators (Schultz, 1999). The email link gives the newspaper new ways to solicit reader feedback, to expand information gathering by reporters and create a new category of news (Calamai, 1995). Online forum is a powerful interactive tool that brings people together. Online forums provide a place where users can share their opinion with others and also ask questions and discuss some topics. The user groups, according to Berthon et al (1996), may build a kind of community atmosphere in the site, which in turn may make this site a satisfying option. Lasica (1996) points out that such facility strengthens readers’ bond to a media source, allows readers to interact with each other, not just the journalists. Online forums widen the interaction between readers and readers (Schultz, 1999) and give readers an opportunity to contribute rather than just consume (Lasica, 1996). An open forum where users can share thoughts, ideas can provide much value to the site (Pete, 1999). Content Interactivity Interactive journalism offers the opportunity to address the diverse needs and preferences of readers. One dimension of interactivity is seen as consisting of “the availability of choice and unrestrained navigation in the cyberspace” (Ha and James, 1998, p. 457). One of the measures McMillan (1998) used to test the complexity of choice dimension of interactivity is the number of links from the home page of newspaper Web site. A greater number of section links is “an indication of higher complexity of choice.”

Authors: Qian, Zeng. and Li, Xigen.
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Factors Influencing Interactivity of Internet Newspapers
4
email and discussion forums or online chat (Outing, 1998, b). Email serves as a fast,
asynchronous means of interpersonal communication between users and communicators
(Schultz, 1999). The email link gives the newspaper new ways to solicit reader feedback,
to expand information gathering by reporters and create a new category of news
(Calamai, 1995).
Online forum is a powerful interactive tool that brings people together. Online
forums provide a place where users can share their opinion with others and also ask
questions and discuss some topics. The user groups, according to Berthon et al (1996),
may build a kind of community atmosphere in the site, which in turn may make this site a
satisfying option. Lasica (1996) points out that such facility strengthens readers’ bond to
a media source, allows readers to interact with each other, not just the journalists. Online
forums widen the interaction between readers and readers (Schultz, 1999) and give
readers an opportunity to contribute rather than just consume (Lasica, 1996). An open
forum where users can share thoughts, ideas can provide much value to the site (Pete,
1999).
Content Interactivity
Interactive journalism offers the opportunity to address the diverse needs and
preferences of readers. One dimension of interactivity is seen as consisting of “the
availability of choice and unrestrained navigation in the cyberspace” (Ha and James,
1998, p. 457). One of the measures McMillan (1998) used to test the complexity of
choice dimension of interactivity is the number of links from the home page of
newspaper Web site. A greater number of section links is “an indication of higher
complexity of choice.”


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