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Baden, Christian; Springer, Nina (2014): Com(ple)menting the news on the financial crisis: The contribution of news users’ commentary to the diversity of viewpoints in the public debate. In: European Journal of Communication, Vol. 29, No. 5: pp. 529-548
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Abstract

Does news users’ commentary contribute to widening the diversity of viewpoints represented in the news? This article comparatively analyses the interpretations of the current financial crisis in the online coverage of five German newspapers and the subsequent commentary of news users. Using an innovative strategy to identify the interpretative repertoires constructed by news and user frames, it assesses how user commentary deviates from those viewpoints represented in the news. Findings show that user accounts mostly remain within the wider interpretative repertoires offered by the media. However, they utilize media frame fragments rather freely to construct their own views, shifting focus and elaborating upon new aspects. While no consistent alternative repertoires were constructed, users thus valuably complemented the diversity of concerns discussed on news websites.