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Regional and National News Commenting Practices in Finland

The final speaker at ECREA 2014 is Veera Kangaspunta, who notes the importance of studying the audience behind online news comments. Traditionally, journalists have seen online news as a sideshow to the real news business, and online comments are thus a sideshow to the sideshow – but this is changing. While the quality of online commentary is often limited, and discussions may drift, they may be studied to reveal a great deal more about audience attitudes.

Veera's case study is focussing on an environmental accident in Finland and its coverage across local and national newspapers. The accident has a very different meaning for the readers of these papers, of course; national attention (and comments on the national paper's site) dies down a great deal more quickly than in the regional sites whose readers are living near the affected areas.

And that's when my iPad battery ran out - sorry!