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How Users Comment on Danish News Organisations' Facebook Pages

The next speakers at ECREA 2014 are Jannie Møller Hartley and Mads Kæmsgaard Eberholst, who examine how users are now intervening in journalistic processes. Their approach is a quantitative content analysis of seven Facebook pages of different Danish mainstream media outlets. Data collection was in real time to avoid subsequent moderation, and this resulted in 149 posts and 3,800 comments over one week, which were coded manually.

Newspapers mostly posted news items on their Facebook pages, focussing on domestic issues and politics. Items came largely from internal reporting, not from agencies. Most content was posted on weekdays, and the publishing rate varied widely between pages. Some 49% of posts were neutral news updates, 30% asked questions, 11% were ironic; questions generated the longest comment threads, followed by ironic comments and neutral updates.

54% posts were neutral; 29% showed anger; 17% were joyful. Angry and joyful posts generated more engagement than neutral posts, however. Joyful posts generated more positive, angry posts more derogatory comments, while neutral posts also attracted a substantial number of derogatory comments.

Overwhelmingly, comments expressed opinions. A handful also engaged in power critique, while few critiqued the media or expressed new points of view. A critique of power was most prominent in Politiken.