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The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Diffusion Online News 18 One of the most important findings in this research study was that college students read the print edition of their community newspaper in addition to reading online. Although, the participants are part of the “digital generation” (Buckingham, 2006) and do read their community newspaper online, they seem to prefer the print edition of the newspaper over the online version. Participants in the sample population appear to be hybrid readers, readers who read both the print and online edition of the newspaper. Chyi, Yang, Lewis, and Zheng (2010) found that hybrid users outnumber online only readers by a 2-1 margin in local markets. Chyi et al. found that hybrid users are more active users of the online newspaper website. Although hybrid use was not directly tested in the current research study, the participants under study reported using interactive features and being satisfied with online newspaper while still actively reading the print edition. To engage hybrid readers, newspaper websites might benefit from complementing the print edition rather than positioning themselves as a substitute. The online news website under study lacked personalized tailoring options and customizable features that are found on other newspaper websites. This Daily Me dynamic has been of interest to scholars as the increased personalization of features exists in online news (Bucy et al, 2007). People can customize their homepages on their own or sometimes rely on their Internet service provider to provide them with news on their homepage or start page (Salwen, 2005). The online community website being studied lacked many of these customization features and the participants did not report using the ones available. The results indicate that the majority of participants are still in the third stage of the innovation-decision process, where they are still making decisions whether to adopt or reject their online community newspaper. Because college-aged students are of interest to professional and academic researchers, this does support the notion that moving to only an online platform

Authors: Hunt, Daniel., Atkin, David. and Kowal, Chris.
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Diffusion Online News 18
One of the most important findings in this research study was that college students read 
the print edition of their community newspaper in addition to reading online.  Although, the 
participants are part of the “digital generation” (Buckingham, 2006) and do read their community 
newspaper online, they seem to prefer the print edition of the newspaper over the online version. 
Participants in the sample population appear to be hybrid readers, readers who read both the print 
and online edition of the newspaper.  Chyi, Yang, Lewis, and Zheng (2010) found that hybrid 
users outnumber online only readers by a 2-1 margin in local markets.  Chyi et al. found that 
hybrid users are more active users of the online newspaper website.   Although hybrid use was 
not directly tested in the current research study, the participants under study reported using 
interactive features and being satisfied with online newspaper while still actively reading the 
print edition.  To engage hybrid readers, newspaper websites might benefit from complementing 
the print edition rather than positioning themselves as a substitute.  
The online news website under study lacked personalized tailoring options and 
customizable features that are found on other newspaper websites.  This Daily Me dynamic has 
been of interest to scholars as the increased personalization of features exists in online news 
(Bucy et al, 2007).  People can customize their homepages on their own or sometimes rely on 
their Internet service provider to provide them with news on their homepage or start page 
(Salwen, 2005).  The online community website being studied lacked many of these 
customization features and the participants did not report using the ones available. 
The results indicate that the majority of participants are still in the third stage of the 
innovation-decision process, where they are still making decisions whether to adopt or reject 
their online community newspaper.  Because college-aged students are of interest to professional 
and academic researchers, this does support the notion that moving to only an online platform 


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