The study found that the share of weeklies that were group owned increased by about half, to 62 percent, since 1997. Research presented in 2004, using different methodology by different researchers, showed group ownership at 58 percent.
Roughly two-thirds of weeklies had websites in 2009, but only about 6 percent allowed visitors to directly upload articles, and about 6 percent had paywalls, the latest study found. That number appears to have increased greatly in the past year or two, but the research only went through 2009.
The study was presented by Stephen Lacy of Michigan State University at the convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. His co-authors were Daniel Riffe of the University of North Carolina, David Coulson of Jackson State University and Robin Blom of Michigan State. For a PDF of the paper, click here.