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The epistemologies of digital news journalism

News journalism is one of the most influential knowledge-producing institutions in society, and yet it is also one that is undergoing great transformation. The proposed project acknowledges that journalism is increasingly dependent on digital technology. Much research has focused on such changes, but so far none has focused on the particular implications of digital technology for the epistemologies of journalism—that is, how journalists know what they know, and how knowledge claims are articulated and justified. This project will address that void.

The project examines journalistic epistemologies through two key developments. The first is data journalism, a specialized form that conveys news through the analysis and visualization of numerical data. The second is participatory journalism, or the growing involvement of audiences in shaping news through digital platforms. The overall research question is: How are the epistemological practices of news journalism—presumed to provide factual and reliable public information—shaped by these changes in digital news production? The project will study journalists’ concrete judgments and practices in distinct stages of the news production process that ultimately lead to news publishing. The aim of this project is to investigate this overall research question in an empirical study of one newspaper and one broadcaster. A combination of observations, in-depth interviews and analyses of published news will be applied.

Project leader: Oscar Westlund
Researchers: Mats Ekström, Seth Lewis
Funded by: Riksbankens jubileumsfond

Page Manager: Mats Ekström|Last update: 12/19/2016

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