According to research conducted by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, a great number of Latin America’s online news sites recognize the importance of reader participation and reader interaction, but they still have doubts surrounding the potential benefits and risks of these Web 2.0 features.

According to this research, 64% of the Latin American online news sites have made it possible for readers to comment on the news and articles. 48% of them include the emails of the journalists most of the time and 51% include emails sometimes or never.

Approximately 59% of these sites publish user-generated articles and photos relatively frequently. Sixty-two percent consider this content crucial to driving traffic to their sites. 

Some 39% of the newspapers that do not have blogs say that although they have the technology to do so that they do not have the instruments to control the participation of users.

About 59% of the news sites have incorporated control systems in the reader’s forums and blogs; 62% of the online sites that have blogs say that these are edited. The distribution of newspaper blog content is as follows: 39% are for entertainment, 26% for sports, 22% for daily life and 13% relate to the editorial or opinion section.

Although a significant number of newspapers consider it important to integrate their newsroom, most online editions still depend on the information of the printed editions (produced every 24 hours). Only 4% of Latin American newspapers have integrated their print and online newsrooms, but 74% consider doing this in the short term.       

This research was generated by the Colombian Newspaper El Tiempo.com, looking at the 43 most important newspapers of Latin America.

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