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The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Diffusion Online News 10 Online News and Media Substitution Media substitution has been well documented in communication research (Lin, Salwen, Garrison & Driscoll, 2005). Stempel et al. (2000) found that print news readership decreased with the diffusion of the Internet. Althaus and Tewksbury (2000) suggested that media audiences might abandon traditional media for the Internet because of media substitution. Lin et al. (2005) found that print newspapers were displaced more than other traditional media for online news. Research has also suggested that college students might not abandon traditional news sources for nontraditional news sources in certain cases (Diddi & LaRose, 2006). Some research has demonstrated that college students prefer reading print newspapers over the electronic newspaper (Bressers & Bergen, 2002). Since theory does not provide a clear picture of whether demand for print versus online news modalities is complementary, competitive, or orthogonal, the following research question was posed: RQ1: How does readership of the print edition impact the diffusion of an online community newspaper website? Method Design The study consisted of a survey that was administered online through a third party online survey company, QuestionPro.com. The survey was conducted during the Fall of 2010 and asked participants to answer questions about the online edition of their college newspaper. Sample Study data were drawn from a sample of undergraduate students (N= 428) that could be described as both purposive and convenient. The participants were recruited from large

Authors: Hunt, Daniel., Atkin, David. and Kowal, Chris.
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Diffusion Online News 10
Online News and Media Substitution
Media substitution has been well documented in communication research (Lin, Salwen, 
Garrison & Driscoll, 2005).  Stempel et al.  (2000) found that print news readership decreased 
with the diffusion of the Internet.  Althaus and Tewksbury (2000) suggested that media 
audiences might abandon traditional media for the Internet because of media substitution.  Lin et 
al.  (2005) found that print newspapers were displaced more than other traditional media for 
online news.
Research has also suggested that college students might not abandon traditional news 
sources for nontraditional news sources in certain cases (Diddi & LaRose, 2006).  Some research 
has demonstrated that college students prefer reading print newspapers over the electronic 
newspaper (Bressers & Bergen, 2002).  Since theory does not provide a clear picture of whether 
demand for print versus online news modalities is complementary, competitive, or orthogonal, 
the following research question was posed:
RQ1: How does readership of the print edition impact the diffusion of an online 
community newspaper website?
Method
Design 
The study consisted of a survey that was administered online through a third party online 
survey company, QuestionPro.com.  The survey was conducted during the Fall of 2010 and 
asked participants to answer questions about the online edition of their college newspaper.  
Sample
Study data were drawn from a sample of undergraduate students (N= 428) that could be 
described as both purposive and convenient.  The participants were recruited from large 


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