The Center for Media Engagement examined a representative sample of 155 newspaper and television news websites in the United States to understand how they were using social media buttons, comment sections, online polls, lists of hyperlinks, and mobile versions.
The report shows that
- Over 95% of news sites allow site visitors to “share,” “like,” or “recommend” news content on social media.
- News sites let users “share” content via Facebook more than “like” or “recommend” the content.
- Over 90% of news sites have a comment section.
- Comment section codes of conduct appear on 33% of top television news and 74% of top newspaper sites.
- Interactive polls appear more frequently on newspaper sites than on television news sites.
- News sites rarely warn visitors that online poll results are not scientific.
- Over two-thirds of news sites include links to related and recommended content.
- Over 70% of news sites have links to their most popular content. Of these sites, approximately three-fourths require scrolling before links to the most popular content are visible on the homepage.
- Approximately 30% of local television news stations and top newspapers advertise a mobile app on their homepage, but not on the main page of their mobile site.