The media have quickly integrated the participation of the audiences in their websites. The range of tools and platforms offered is very wide: evaluation of information, news comments, news content submissions in any format (text, audio, video, photo), surveys, etc. These mechanisms enable citizens to raise their voice, make their opinions known, their complaints ... For the media, they are part of a strategy focused at reinforcing the brand, achieving loyalty among readers and generating traffic, as a way to achieve economic profitability of digital media.
During the last years we have witnessed an increase of spaces for the contents elaborated by the audiences in the media and a growing integration of these contents in the spaces reserved until now to the information professionals. These changes introduce new patterns of communication and give rise to new forms of creative expression, journalism and participation.
Studies on the presence of mechanisms for participation in cybermedia and the attitude of journalists towards participation are abundant. However, the academic contributions that have focused their interest in analyzing the quality of audience participation are infrequent.
The research group Gureiker will try to answer about which are the tools and spaces that the media use and offer users to open spaces of participation: What are the changes in the conception of authorship that are occurring due to the changes introduced by the so-called Web 2.0, and, consequently, what are the rules by which the media govern participation; How communities of users are created and maintained, and what are the relationships established in these communities; And what are the narrative and dialogical characteristics of the contents produced by the user.