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Abstract

Most research on public relations (PR) roles takes the starting point of PR as an indispensable boundary-spanning function. Context may explain how PR is performed and which skills are important, but not the degree to which PR is necessary. In this article, we tackle the latter question by identifying and discussing the role of the low-flying communicator in the Danish region of North Jutland. The study is based on individual and focus group interviews with communication practitioners and students. The results show that many regional companies have established a communicative comfort zone “under the radar” of public attention. This leads to recruitment problems. Companies are less visible in the labour market and depend on graduates who stay in the region for personal reasons. A certain unwillingness to cross boundaries of social and public spaces feeds into sense-making but also contestable role understandings of PR practice and education in regional contexts.

Abstract

The user-generated wiki encyclopedia Wikipedia was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Wikipedia has become the world's largest wiki encyclopedia, and behind many of its entries are interesting stories of creation, or rather intercreation, since Wikipedia is produced by a large number of contributors. Using the slogan “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” (), Wikipedia invites everyone to participate, but the participants do not necessarily represent all kinds of individuals or interests – there might be an imbalance affecting the content as well as the perspective conveyed. As a phenomenon Wikipedia is quite complex, and can be studied from many different angels, for instance through the articles’ history and the edits to them.

This paper is based on a study of Featured Articles from the Swedish Wikipedia. Three articles, Fri vilja [Free will], Fjäll [Fell], and Edgar Allan Poe, are chosen from a list of Featured Articles that belongs to the subject field culture. The articles’ development has been followed from their very first versions in 2003/2004 to edits made at the end of 2012.

The aim is to examine the creation, or intercreation, processes of the articles, and the collaborative production. The data come from non-article material such as revision history pages, article material, and some complementary statistics. Principally the study has a qualitative approach, but with some quantitative elements.

Abstract

The potential of audience participation constitutes a most important characteristic of digital journalism. This article presents an inductive study of audience participation in the production of online news in a Danish context, analysing how audiences participate, and what relationships between journalists and audiences accompany this participation. The article discusses the concept of participation, arguing on the basis of sociological theory that it should be understood as those instances where the audience influences the content of the news through their intentional actions. Applying this definition, it proposes four ideal types of audience participation in the production of online news, namely sharing of information, collaboration, conversation and meta-communication.

Abstract

The question of how ownership impacts on the performance of the press is a perennial one. Despite the extensive attention devoted to the perceived consequences of ownership, information about what newspaper owners actually do remains limited. This article discusses an alternative path for research on media ownership. It involves the board of directors, the main agency that is expected to exercise ownership power. The article presents a study that focuses specifically on the decision-making in and around the boardrooms of three Swedish newspaper firms between 1955 and 2005. Building on analyses of board meeting minutes and interviews with board members, the study shows that the impact of ownership is established, and develops, in an intricate web of interacting forces, internal and external to the firm. It thus underlines the need for both a multi-theoretical foundation and a multi-method design in research on ownership influence in the media.

Abstract

The article discusses the celebrity humanitarian as media construction. Departing from a discussion of celebrification, the article argues that celebrities in public roles outside the field of entertainment are inevitably framed by and structured in accordance with celebrity logic. The article discusses how celebrity humanitarianism is a contested field, which, in order for a particular activity to support the celebrity persona, relies heavily on strategies of authentification. Finally, the article shows how information about a photograph of Angelina Jolie from her trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo in March 2013 is transformed and translated into gossip about the star’s private life when discussed by users on a celebrity site.

Abstract

This article analyses developments in Norwegian magazine journalism in the last decade, focusing on the broad and varied spectrum of magazines targeting women. The analysis is based on multiple methods and data sources, aiming to connect the production and reception of magazine journalism to the texts of magazines. This article will identify and discuss five key trends: fragmentation, digitalization, Nordic inspiration, redefinition of the political and beautification. The trends are discussed in light of public sphere theory and selected orientations in Nordic journalism research.

Abstract

Credibility is frequently represented as both an ideal goal for journalism as a profession and as an integral part of the news industry’s survival strategy. Yet there is no widely accepted operationalization of the concept of credibility. In the current article, we present the results of a study of credibility in Danish news media. Credibility is defined at an institutional level by two dimensions: A) the accuracy and reliability of the news stories featured in leading Danish news media, and B) journalists’ knowledge and understanding of the Danish code of press ethics. The results show that sources only find objective errors in 14.1% of the news stories, which is a lower figure than most other studies report. The results also show that Danish journalists find bad press ethics to be an increasing problem and attribute this problem to increased pressure in the newsroom.

Abstract

This article examines the changes in cultural journalism in newspapers with regard to its dual field structure. The influence of media organizations’ policies on professionalist dualism is discussed based on the results of a quantitative content analysis over the period 1978–2008 and semi-structured theme interviews with the heads of the culture departments of major Finnish dailies. The results indicate that culture departments have developed their own news production, with increased managerial control and the strengthening of the journalistic paradigm, whereas opinionated journalism, including criticism, is increasingly outsourced. The culture departments thus aspire to sustain a balance between the professional paradigms related to field-hybridity, which creates a distinct structural formalism in this specialized type of journalism and makes its evolution over time relatively stable.