Many news outlets allow users to contribute comments on topics about daily world events. News articles are the seeds that spring users' interest to contribute content, that is, comments. A news outlet may allow users to contribute comments on all their articles or a selected number of them. The topic of an article may lead to an apathetic user commenting activity (several tens of comments) or to a spontaneous fervent one (several thousands of comments). This environment creates a social dynamic that is little studied. The social dynamics around articles have the potential to reveal interesting facets of the user population at a news outlet. In this paper, we report the salient findings about these social media from 15 months worth of data collected from 17 news outlets comprising of over 38,000 news articles and about 21 million user comments. Analysis of the data reveals interesting insights such as there is an uneven relationship between news outlets and their user populations across outlets. Such observations and others have not been revealed, to our knowledge. We believe our analysis in this paper can contribute to news predictive analytics (e.g., user reaction to a news article or predicting the volume of comments postedmore »
This content will become publicly available on January 1, 2024
(2022 in press) Digital platforms in the news industry: How social media platforms impact traditional media news viewership., accepted July 4, 2022 (ABS 4).
We examine how social media plays the role of an attention driver for traditional media. Social media attracts and channels attention to a topic. This attention triggers people to seek further information that is reported professionally in traditional media. Specifically, the volume of social media posts about a stock influences the attention to this stock the next day, proxied by the viewership of news articles on the same stock published the next day. We test this hypothesis in the stock market context because social media is less likely than traditional media to diffuse fundamental information in the stock market. Analyzing stock-related news articles and stock-related social media posts from Sina Finance and Sina Weibo, we find that the social media post volume of a stock at time t-1 is associated with the traditional media viewership of the same stock at time t. This effect is amplified when social media sentiment about the stock is more intense or positive, and with an increase in the volume of verified social media posts about the stock. Our results provide evidence that social media platforms act as attention drivers, which differ from the information channel functions discussed in prior literature.
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- Journal Name:
- European journal of information systems
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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