Postimehe online-väljaande lugemine üliõpilaste hulgas



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Tartu Ülikool


The Bachelor thesis „The reading of the online version of Postimees among students“ studied how the information contained in a one day issue of Postimees online version is noticed and read among 24 students who study educational sciences in the University of Tartu. The main aim of the thesis is to find out on what bases the participants make their choices between contents on news site, what are the reasons why they sometimes quit reading in the middle of the article and why they choose to read an article from beginning to end. Also, one of the aims of the thesis was to find out what articles were the most popular on March 23rd’ among the 24 students and to analyse why they were so popular. One of the research questions was how do they move on Postimees online news site. To find the answers for posed research questions, the author of the thesis combined mainly two research methods – think aloud protocol and media diary research. The purpose of using think aloud protocol was to find out on what bases the students make their choices between contents on Postimees news site. The main purpose of using media diary research was to find out which articles where most read and noticed on March 23rd’ among students. From the 24 students, 15 kept media diary on March 23rd’. They wrote down timely reading sessions and articles or other contents (they were allowed to read comics, horoscopes, crosswords etc.) they read during the sessions. At the same day, 9 students participated in think aloud protocol – they read Postimees online issue and commented loudly on their choices. Each student was studied individually and there was about an hour and a half between each protocol. First protocol took place at 8:04 AM, last protocol took place at 11:27 PM. 24 students noticed (read partly and read wholly) 133 different articles. No other contents were read (horoscopes, comics etc.). One of the articles was an advertisement presented as an article. To prioritize the articles by popularity, the author took into consideration the time when the articles were put up on the web and the opportunities for students to read the articles (for example a student who read at 9 o’clock AM could not read an article that was published online at 1 o’clock PM). The most read articles on research day were “Seven Ukrainian and Estonian tourists were kidnapped in Lebanon“ („Liibanonis rööviti seitse Eesti ja Ukraina turisti“), “The candidates of the Reform Party for the minister positions are announced“ („Selgusid Reformierakonna ministrikandidaadid“) and „The Actress Elizabeth Taylor died“ („Suri kinolegend Elizabeth Taylor“). The reasons students gave for reading the article about new minister candidates were that the theme of the article is topical and important. Other articles were read because the theme was shocking and unexpected. To analyse the protocols qualitative analysis was used. As a result, the following tendencies occurred: - Important factor for choosing an article for reading is the theme. The psychological closeness of the topic for the recipient plays a major role among the factors influencing the reception of news site materials. The theme must be psychologically or geographically close to the person. - The participant chose to read an article if the heading of the article arose questions in the participant’s mind. Heading can be either manipulative or the question can be related to participant’s own experience, interests etc. - Important role in keeping participant’s attention is that the theme of the article must correspond to the participant’s expectation produced by the title of article. - Also, when the heading of the article is too informative, participants choose rather not to read the article. - If the heading is too abstract, the participants may choose the article for reading to understand the heading, but they quit reading as soon as they understand what the article is about. - The photo is only important when it depicts the situation related to the theme of the article and is relevant to the article. - When the theme of the article is important, unexpected and actual, the participants will notice it and there is no need to play with the words in the heading to make the article more attractive. - The participants prefer to read articles that are compact and short and they do not like to read much of the background information online. All of the participants are methodical readers. They read the online version moving from top to bottom. All participants prefer to read the first main page of, but 3 of them also like to read rubrics. In conclusion, combining think aloud protocol and media diary research gives extensive information about how students act on online news sites. Also, the author evolved three methods on how to prioritize the articles by popularity. These methods are suitable for use in other online media usage researches. The author assesses the chosen research methods to be suitable based on the research questions. Present bachelor thesis provides a good platform for further theoretical studies in online media.