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The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Diffusion Online News 16 The research question assessed whether the presence of strong print readership within the community would impact the diffusion of an online community newspaper. The responses to the two items measuring continuous use demonstrate that the sample population read the print edition of the newspaper more than reading the online edition of the newspaper. When asked about their level of agreement with the statement “I most frequently read my community newspaper online”, 49% reported that they disagreed while another 15% did not degree or disagree. When asked their level of agreement with the statement “I most frequently get my news from the print edition”, 46% reported that they disagree while another 15% did not degree or disagree. Although the sample did not fully adopt the online community newspaper, the statistical profile uncovered here reveals strong evidence for use of both the online and print newspaper. Discussion This study tested a new theoretical model of online news diffusion guided by uses and gratification theory and diffusion theory. Community attachment was shown to be an important predictor of using an online community newspaper website. The results support prior research that community attachment is positively related to readership of one’s community newspaper (Jeffres et al., 2002; Rothenbuhler et al., 1996; Demers, 1996). As more newspapers are developing their online model, the predictive relationship of interactive feature use has important implications for community building as well as theory building. In particular, the model provided further support for the notion that use of interactive features can lead to a perceived satisfaction of one’s community newspaper website (Chung & Nah, 2009). Study results extended the research on online newspaper credibility by demonstrating that the perceived credibility of a community newspaper can be predicted from one’s level of

Authors: Hunt, Daniel., Atkin, David. and Kowal, Chris.
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Diffusion Online News 16
The research question assessed whether the presence of strong print readership within the 
community would impact the diffusion of an online community newspaper.  The responses to the 
two items measuring continuous use demonstrate that the sample population read the print 
edition of the newspaper more than reading the online edition of the newspaper.  When asked 
about their level of agreement with the statement “I most frequently read my community 
newspaper online”, 49% reported that they disagreed while another 15% did not degree or 
disagree.  When asked their level of agreement with the statement “I most frequently get my 
news from the print edition”, 46% reported that they disagree while another 15% did not degree 
or disagree.  Although the sample did not fully adopt the online community newspaper, the 
statistical profile uncovered here reveals strong evidence for use of both the online and print 
This study tested a new theoretical model of online news diffusion guided by uses and 
gratification theory and diffusion theory.  Community attachment was shown to be an important 
predictor of using an online community newspaper website.  The results support prior research 
that community attachment is positively related to readership of one’s community newspaper 
(Jeffres et al., 2002; Rothenbuhler et al., 1996; Demers, 1996).  As more newspapers are 
developing their online model, the predictive relationship of interactive feature use has important 
implications for community building as well as theory building.  In particular, the model 
provided further support for the notion that use of interactive features can lead to a perceived 
satisfaction of one’s community newspaper website (Chung & Nah, 2009).  
Study results extended the research on online newspaper credibility by demonstrating that 
the perceived credibility of a community newspaper can be predicted from one’s level of 

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