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The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Diffusion Online News 3 The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students The role that newspapers play in communities is changing as more people turn to online news sources than local newspapers. In 2010, more people got their news from online sources than from print newspapers, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (2011). The online newspaper plays an important role in providing information to empower citizens in a democracy (Garrison, 2005). Research has demonstrated that newspapers play an important role in fostering civic values in communities and increasing social capital (Jeffres, Lee, Neuendorf, & Atkin, 2007). A recent Pew (2009) survey concluded that “more than half of regular newspaper readers (56%) say that if the local newspaper they read most often no longer published -- either in print or online -- it would hurt the civic life of the community a lot” (p. 1). As newspapers are beginning to publish solely an online edition or adapting an online model, it is critical to examine the adoption process of online community newspapers. In March of 2009, Time Magazine published an article titled, “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America”. The article discussed ten of the major daily newspapers that will fold or will publish only online. On February 27, 2009, the Rocky Mountain News published its final edition within two months of its 150 th anniversary (King, 2009). In March of that year, the Seattle Post Intelligencer began to publish only an online edition. In addition to newspapers closing, the 24- hour news cycle presents a problem for online newspapers, owing to competition from the companion websites of television networks (Bucy, Gantz, & Wang, 2007). Online news sources take advantage of dynamic content and interactive features to promote community building (Imfield & Scott, 2005). Use of interactive features and dynamic content on community news sites leads to increased satisfaction for news consumers (Chung & Nah, 2009). College students obtain most of their news from the Internet through portal sites,

Authors: Hunt, Daniel., Atkin, David. and Kowal, Chris.
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Diffusion Online News 3
The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
The role that newspapers play in communities is changing as more people turn to online 
news sources than local newspapers. In 2010, more people got their news from online sources 
than from print newspapers, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press 
(2011).  The online newspaper plays an important role in providing information to empower 
citizens in a democracy (Garrison, 2005).  Research has demonstrated that newspapers play an 
important role in fostering civic values in communities and increasing social capital (Jeffres, 
Lee, Neuendorf, & Atkin, 2007).  A recent Pew (2009) survey concluded that “more than half of 
regular newspaper readers (56%) say that if the local newspaper they read most often no longer 
published -- either in print or online -- it would hurt the civic life of the community a lot” (p. 1).
As newspapers are beginning to publish solely an online edition or adapting an online 
model, it is critical to examine the adoption process of online community newspapers.  In March 
of 2009, Time Magazine published an article titled, “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in 
America”.  The article discussed ten of the major daily newspapers that will fold or will publish 
only online.  On February 27, 2009, the Rocky Mountain News published its final edition within 
two months of its 150
th
 anniversary (King, 2009).  In March of that year, the Seattle Post 
Intelligencer began to publish only an online edition.  In addition to newspapers closing, the 24-
hour news cycle presents a problem for online newspapers, owing to competition from the 
companion websites of television networks (Bucy, Gantz, & Wang, 2007).
Online news sources take advantage of dynamic content and interactive features to 
promote community building (Imfield & Scott, 2005).  Use of interactive features and dynamic 
content on community news sites leads to increased satisfaction for news consumers (Chung & 
Nah, 2009). College students obtain most of their news from the Internet through portal sites, 


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