Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 223

Full Length Research Paper

Web news readers’ comments: Towards developing a methodology for using on-line comments in social inquiry

Natalie Henrich1* and Bev Holmes2
1Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Vancouver, Canada. 2Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Vancouver, Canada.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 November 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013


Readers of on-line news are increasingly posting comments in response to news articles and the comments of other readers. These comments are a rich source of qualitative data that reflect public opinions and provide insight into how decisions are made and beliefs formed. Analyzing this unique data source requires a well thought out methodological approach to meet the goals of the study. This article explores opportunities and challenges associated with using on-line comments in qualitative studies, and encourages a debate among researchers about these issues toward finessing approaches for using these unique data most effectively.


Key words: On-line news, posted comments, methodology, inclusion criterion, public deliberation, participatory journalism.