Recommender systems (RS) are on the rise in many domains. While they ofer great promises, they also raise concerns: lack of transparency, reduction of diversity, little to no user control. In this paper, we align with the normative turn in computer science which scrutinizes the ethical and societal implications of RS. We focus and elaborate on the concept of user control because that mitigates multiple problems at once. Taking the news industry as our domain, we conducted four focus groups, or moderated think-aloud sessions, with Dutch news readers (N=21) to systematically study how people evaluate diferent control mechanisms (at the input, process, and output phase) in a News Recommender Prototype (NRP). While these mechanisms are sometimes met with distrust about the actual control they ofer, we found that an intelligible user profle (including reading history and fexible preferences settings), coupled with possibilities to infuence the recommendation algorithms is highly valued, especially when these control mechanisms can be operated in relation to achieving personal goals. By bringing (future) users' perspectives to the fore, this paper contributes to a richer understanding of why and how to design for user control in recommender systems.