The central argument of this article is that the social study of computer-mediated communication (CMC) has generated knowledge about at least four issues that have figured prominently in the development of online newspapers. Thus, CMC scholarship becomes relevant to analyzing the electronic version of a medium that has traditionally been the almost exclusive province of mass communication theorizing. Four issues are identified: (1) the social consequences of the increased anonymity of interlocutors; (2) the reconfiguration of territorially- and interest-based associations; (3) the processes that mediate between the introduction of new artifacts and their social outcomes; and (4) the mutual shaping of consumers and technologies. The role each has had in the construction of online newspapers is explicated and potential avenues for further research are suggested. Finally, Boczkowski maintains that the work outlined in this article fosters two dialogues crucial to the future of communication in increasingly networked societies: those between CMC and mass communication scholarship, and between media theory and practice.
- Computer-mediated communication
- Internet publishing
- New media
- Online communication
- Technological innovation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science