News has traditionally served as a common ground, enabling people to connect to others and engage with the public issues they encounter in everyday life. This article revisits these theoretical debates about mediated public connection within the context of a digitalized news media landscape. While academic discussions surrounding these shifts are often explored in terms of normative ideals ascribed to political systems or civic cultures, we propose to reposition the debate by departing from the practices and preferences of the news user instead. Therefore, we deconstruct and translate the concept of public connection into four dimensions that emphasize people’s lived experiences: inclusiveness, engagement, relevance, and constructiveness. Situating these in an everyday life framework, this article advances a user-based perspective that considers the role of news for people in digital societies. Accordingly, it offers a conceptual framework that aims to encapsulate how news becomes meaningful, rather than why it should be.