Participatory news websites are a large, heterogeneous, and dynamic object of research which has been difficult to systematize scientifically. This paper presents an integrative instrument for classification and an evidence-based typology of participatory news websites. On the one hand, it extracts seven heuristic types from academic literature. On the other hand, it presents three empirical types which emerged as clusters from an analysis of 101 websites: Exclusive Thematic Dossiers, Commercial User Playgrounds, and Local Media Clippings. A comparison of the heuristic and empirical types shows that they are only partially congruent. It is concluded that the existing heuristic types should be relabeled in order to reflect reality more precisely.