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Digitally facilitated newspaper consumption and value co-creation

Cheng-Hao Steve Chen ( University of Southampton , Southampton, UK)
Meng-Shan Sharon Wu ( University of Portsmouth , Portsmouth, UK)
Bang Nguyen ( East China University of Science and Technology , Shanghai, China)
Stacey Li ( University of Portsmouth , Portsmouth, UK)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 31 October 2018

Issue publication date: 19 March 2019




The purpose of this study is to provide insights into value creation within a newspaper consumption community, adding to current information research by demonstrating how an atypical consumption community can co-create value in ways different from those identified in extant research. The upheaval of the newspaper industry’s business model and value chain in the face of digitalisation has led to significant decreases in newspaper revenue. To stay successful in the modern digital climate, it is essential for newspapers to utilise the interactive features of Web 2.0 to find new value sources. To do so, it is necessary to focus not just on tangible financial value but also symbolic value. The study supports the notion that consumers collectively co-create value through consumption community practices.


Through the conduction of a netnographic exploration of active consumers on the Guardian website and interviews with passive consumers, the study’s aims of understanding co-creation in digitally facilitated newspaper consumption environment were achieved.


The findings have opened up new ways in which newspapers can harness value through consumption communities as well as suggesting the future scope of research. This study indicates that newspapers foster an atypical environment for the creation of a cohesive consumption community – something that has failed to be appreciated in extant information research – because their diverse content influences the formation of multiple community pools with members who do not always share the same beliefs. In addition, the study reveals that the Guardian’s online consumption community co-creates value without strict adherence to the prescribed contingencies set out in current literature. The findings uncover new patterns in community behaviour proving value to be created not just through their co-consumption but also through individual consumption.


This study contributes to discussions on how communities co-create value and how this differs with different article subjects (lifestyle and political and types of participants, both active and passive).



Chen, C.-H.S., Wu, M.-S.S., Nguyen, B. and Li, S. (2019), "Digitally facilitated newspaper consumption and value co-creation", The Bottom Line, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 16-46.



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