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Title: Exploring News Environment, Interface Usage, and Gratifications in Real-time Internet News Browsing
Keywords: Internet Browsing, Online News, Online Information Seeking, Uses and Gratifications, Interface Behavior
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2011
Citation: ZHANG LINGZI (2011-01-10). Exploring News Environment, Interface Usage, and Gratifications in Real-time Internet News Browsing. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Discussions on Internet news use have centered on whether the medium allows audiences to have more control in news consumption. However, this debate is rarely explicated in the context of real-time Internet news browsing. This study, based on a survey and laboratory observation of 51 college students as they browsed Internet news over a period of 20 to 25 minutes, presents a timely effort to categorize, measure, and predict Internet news environment and interface usage. The participants? platform attendance, content exposure, encountered presentation elements and interface usage were generated through coding screen video of Internet news browsing sessions and matched with user individual characteristics collected from the survey. Chi-square correlations, Mann-Whitney?s U test, and logistic regressions were performed to examine the association between these variables. Findings identify different ways in which users exert their control, such as by actively and selectively: (1) interacting with the structure at the platform, content and presentation levels; (2) ordering their information browsing; (3) realizing their gratifications. Whereas prior laboratory research on online information behaviors often confined participants? activities with a specific task or a given information system, the current research investigates free news browsing in an open Web environment, and thus provides an insight into online information activities in leisurely and naturalistic settings. This study contributes to the research of Internet news browsing in two ways. Theoretically, it attempts to bridge the gap between traditional news media research and the studies of human computer interaction (HCI) on information behavior in an online context. A descriptive framework to categorize Internet news browsing was proposed with constructs from human-computer interaction (HCI) research. This study also adopted uses and gratification, a theory developed in the mass media era, to predict real-time Internet news environment and interface usage. Methodologically, the current study combines methods used in previous research with a format of real-time data. Specifically, screen video was utilized to extract direct and detailed information that users encounter in real-time news browsing, which may overcome the limitations of self-report measures. Another contribution of this study is the formulation of a coding scheme based on the page view unit. Such a scheme quantifies real-time news browsing into probabilistic occurrence of platform, content, presentation and interface usage, which could be modified and applied in other Internet contexts.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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