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FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam

Journalistic Reorientations: The Online Challenge to Journalistic Ontology

Awarded: NOK 7.9 mill.

Journalism is under siege, while its social role is more important than ever. The project "Journalistic reorientations" has investigated the conditions for accountability journalism. Among the accountability systems studied are so called annual editorial reports and their role in generating public debate on journalism and journalistic quality. The researchers in the project have been active in communicating findings from the project. Two of he researchers, for instance, have been interviewed 12 times in the media during the last year. Participatory journalism and user generated content are among popular slogans in todays debate on journalism. But still, genuine citizen journalism is, however, rare.

The primary aim of this research project is to investigate how journalism changes in its encounter with the Internet. The main research question is how professional and technological challenges from online communication forms impact on: 1) the normative a nd democratic foundations of journalism; 2) journalism's political economy; 3) journalism's professional practices; and 4) journalism's audiences. These four approaches address the question of journalism's ontology and practice from theoretical, structura l, disciplinary, social-cultural and communicative vantage points. Journalism is currently undergoing reorientations towards a new media situation. The new media ecology and the long tail economy entail new patterns of audience use of traditional journali stic formats. A marked reduction in newspaper readership and television viewing upset mainstream media practices to a new level of ambiguity concerning the future function of journalism. Such a shift in media consumption forces reorientations within the j ournalistic profession. This project will analyse empirically, conceptually and comparatively the changes taking place within journalism as the profession adapts to the new media environment. Analyses focus on the Norwegian situation - comparing findings with Nordic and Anglo-American media markets through collaboration with a team of international researchers. The project will investigate broadly journalism's opportunities and challenges in the digital environment, ultimately enquiring how this impacts t he role of journalism in democracy. Analyses of this process will result in theory development, data aggregation, empirical analyses, comparative grounding, research consolidation, and the recruitment of young scholars. Primary publications will amount to dissertations by three recruited candidate projects, a monograph by project manager Martin Eide, and two anthologies by subsequent project members.

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri hum og sam