Audience participation in online news websites: a comparative analysis


  • Rosa Franquet GRISS - UAB
  • Maria Isabel Villa GRISS - UAB
  • Ignacio Bergillos Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona



Participation, Internet, information, Public Service Broadcasting


In a moment of transformation of media as a result of ongoing processes of digitalization and convergence, television broadcasters are increasingly betting on tools that allow the public to assume a more active role in the production of contents. Emergent phenomena such as participatory journalism, user-generated content or the integration of social networking websites are becoming more and more relevant in the online public sphere. This paper compares the models for online news websites participation developed by RTVE (Spain) and BBC (England). The analysis focuses on the different participative resources, the access protocols, the technical mediations and the restrictions of the content produced by the audience in these two influential broadcasters. The concept of participation is articulated from the perspective of studies that understand it as new feedback opportunities provided by digital technology. Particular obstacles and requirements are detected in each media. Although television broadcasters seem to offer a large variety of tools that would allow the public to assume a more active role, it is still peripheral and complementary.

Author Biographies

Rosa Franquet, GRISS - UAB

Full Professor in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Project Director of the GRISS (Image, Sound and Synthesis Research Group). Academic coordinator of the doctoral studies in "Communication Content in the Digital Age" and the official Master's degree "Research in Contents in the Digital Era". President of the "Societat Catalana de Comunicació" (Catalan Communication Society from the Institute for Catalan Studies) and chair of the section "Communication and Digital Culture“ of the Spanish Association of Communication Researchers (AE-IC).

Maria Isabel Villa, GRISS - UAB

PhD candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. B.A in Social Communication and Journalism by the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, M.A in Audiovisual Communication by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis at the same university. Her fields of interest are image and new technologies of communication.

Ignacio Bergillos, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

PhD candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.




How to Cite

Franquet, R., Villa, M. . I., & Bergillos, I. (2011). Audience participation in online news websites: a comparative analysis. Observatorio (OBS*), 5(3).