The primary goal of this article is to contribute to research on the quality of and practices in the participation of active users of online media, specifically related to important, European-level political issues. Our text deals with trends which were detected surrounding political engagement and interest in politics during the campaign for the European Parliamentary elections held in May 2014. We focus on the questions of the Scottish referendum for independence, which was held in September 2014, and indirectly on the so-called `Catalan question¿. We use those issues not as topics to be analysed per se, but as a starting point to investigate the trends that arise in a country when users decide to participate actively through comments. In this sense, our proposal openly aims to use well-known techniques: content analysis of comments and in-depth semi-structured interviews with the editors in charge of the comment sections of the media under analysis. Our article builds on previous research on the topic, and our goal is to verify the extent to which the trends identified in previous studies regarding the characteristics and quality of comments posted by users in Catalonia show consistent traits or not. For our purposes, quality is defined as the creation of productive and diverse debate communities as opposed to the entrenchment of homogeneous communities.
Tous-Rovirosa, Anna; Díaz Noci, Javier. Audience participation and political engagement in Europe: EU elections and the cases of Scotland and Catalonia in the Catalan Media (2014). Trípodos llenguatge, pensament, comunicació 2017; (39): 145-161.