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The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students
Unformatted Document Text:  Diffusion Online News 7 and lead to community involvement. The community, which has always been a strong aspect of civic life, has been affected by increased personalization and more de-massification of the media. New media offer the ability to increase social capital by increasing social networks through online sites or fostering new relationships in an online environment. Social capital within a community can lead to safer and healthier communities with better educated people where the economy and democracy work better (Putnam, 2007). An important component of community newspaper readership is attachment to one’s community (Jeffres, Atkin, & Neuendorf, 2002; Friedland &McLeod, 1999; Janowitz, 1967). Demers (1996) found that personal experience within a community does increase newspaper reading for community newspapers, but not the metropolitan newspaper. Based on these contributions of community attachment on readership, the following hypothesis is proposed: H1: Community attachment positively predicts one’s level of interactive feature use on a community newspaper website. Interactive Features As dynamic content continues to diffuse among online newspapers, the current research aims to understand the role of dynamic content in the adoption process. Online newspapers break the static, closed structure of the printed newspaper by introducing multimedia (Tremayne et al., 2007). The dynamic features could include streaming video and audio of news stories, links to more information, photographic slideshows, blogs, and forum discussions. Imfield and Scott (2005) conducted a study of online news websites and determined that there were structural elements on the sites that promoted interactive discussions and community building. Sundar (2000) found that multimedia (audio and video) downloads are powerful psychological cues and that multimedia can assist memory more than text alone. Sundar’s study

Authors: Hunt, Daniel., Atkin, David. and Kowal, Chris.
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Diffusion Online News 7
and lead to community involvement.  The community, which has always been a strong aspect of 
civic life, has been affected by increased personalization and more de-massification of the media. 
New media offer the ability to increase social capital by increasing social networks through 
online sites or fostering new relationships in an online environment.  Social capital within a 
community can lead to safer and healthier communities with better educated people where the 
economy and democracy work better (Putnam, 2007).
An important component of community newspaper readership is attachment to one’s 
community (Jeffres, Atkin, & Neuendorf, 2002; Friedland &McLeod, 1999; Janowitz, 1967). 
Demers (1996) found that personal experience within a community does increase newspaper 
reading for community newspapers, but not the metropolitan newspaper.  Based on these 
contributions of community attachment on readership, the following hypothesis is proposed:
H1: Community attachment positively predicts one’s level of interactive feature use on a 
community newspaper website.
Interactive Features
As dynamic content continues to diffuse among online newspapers, the current research 
aims to understand the role of dynamic content in the adoption process.  Online newspapers 
break the static, closed structure of the printed newspaper by introducing multimedia (Tremayne 
et al., 2007).  The dynamic features could include streaming video and audio of news stories, 
links to more information, photographic slideshows, blogs, and forum discussions.  
Imfield and Scott (2005) conducted a study of online news websites and determined that 
there were structural elements on the sites that promoted interactive discussions and community 
building.  Sundar (2000) found that multimedia (audio and video) downloads are powerful 
psychological cues and that multimedia can assist memory more than text alone.  Sundar’s study 


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