How private media managers talk about responsibility to society in an era of turmoil
Trine Syvertsen, Karen Donders, Gunn Enli and Tim Raats
Digitization, new entrants and the disruption of business models prompt concern about the media’s societal mission. The article investigates how media managers conceptualize societal responsibility in an era of turmoil. Based on 20 semi-structured interviews with executive managers of private media companies in Norway and Flanders, the study reveals important differences in the definition of the public interest. While Flemish media managers emphasize brand value, Norwegian managers emphasize societal values, such as educating the public. When comparing managers of traditional and newer companies, a third, more straightforward market logic is also elicited, illuminating the vulnerability of traditional values.
Panagiotis Tsigaris and Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
The intersection between academia and social media is gradually overlapping. The ability to vent personal and professional discord online, either through blogs or social media, has had both positive and negative consequences on academic communication, with the public and/or in the public domain. ResearchGate (RG) is one of the most popular academic social media sites that allows commenting, either in response to published papers or to questions that are posed on that platform. This paper explores an important aspect of a high-profile, topical and controversial 2017 paper (Derek Pyne; Journal of Scholarly Publishing; DOI: 10.3138/jsp.48.3.137) that had based itself on a flawed blacklist created by Jeffrey Beall. In that paper, unfounded claims were made regarding financial rewards as remuneration schemes at a “small business school” in Canada related to publishing papers in “predatory” journals, i.e., in open access journals that were blacklisted by Beall. Based on those claims, Pyne used RG as a platform to target academics at his research institute. Pyne could have, but did not, use the scholarly platform to engage with his colleagues in an academic debate about his controversial findings, causing personal disrepute on three occasions. Consequently, RG was contacted with a claim of defamation on each occasion. Within hours of each claim, Pyne’s comments were deleted. In early May, RG also erased his social media account. The issue of actual or potential insults in the public domain, such as on blogs, is rarely discussed, much less related to academic social media sites like RG. This case study, and the issues discussed herein related to social media more broadly, will be useful for academics to better navigate increasingly challenging publishing waters.
Although LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, the research concerning self-presentation on the platform is limited and fragmented. The main goal of the study was to explore the self-presentation of Polish football managers on LinkedIn in four dimensions: completeness and attractiveness of the profile, network-embeddedness, and activity. Using quantitative content analysis of managers’ profiles (N=319), the research shows that the managers exploit the potential of LinkedIn to build their personal professional brand only in a very limited and mostly static way. In addition, the self-presentation in LinkedIn is the best among managers working in Polish Football Association, improves with the length of professional experience, and shows only slight differences between women and men.
Exploring imagined affordances of automation in news journalism
Stefanie Sirén-Heikel, Leo Leppänen, Carl-Gustav Lindén and Asta Bäck
News automation is an emerging field within journalism, with the potential to transform newswork. Increasing access to data, combined with developing technology, will allow further inquiries into automated journalism. Producing news text using NLG (natural language generation) is currently largely undertaken in specific, predictable news domains, such as sports or finance. This interdisciplinary study investigates how elite media representatives from Finland, Europe and the US imagine the affordances of this emerging technology for their organization. Our analysis shows how the affordances of news automation are imagined as providing efficiency, increasing output and aiding in reallocating resources to pursue quality journalism. The affordances are, however, constrained by such factors as access to structured data, the quality of automation and a lack of relevant skills. In its current form, automated text generation is seen as providing only limited benefits to news organizations that are already imagining further possibilities of automation.
The case of a career media participant turned media professional
This article discusses the relationship between nonprofessional media participation and the professional handling of participants. It expands on the case of “Karen”, who related her life-threatening illness and patient experience in a broad range of media before transitioning into professional communications work for a health organization that required her to recruit other patient-participants. The article contributes to research on media participation by focusing on the blurred boundaries between professionals and nonprofessionals. It describes how relationships between the two can be characterized by tensions and dilemmas that are closely tied to issues of status and control. Karen’s case is instructive in the particular light it sheds on such matters and on how control over the mediated telling of a life story is exercised.
Comparing Swedish news and cultural journalism on the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris
Kristina Riegert and Andreas Widholm
Although terrorist attacks in Europe have increasingly been carried out on cultural targets such as media institutions, concert halls and leisure venues, most research on media and terrorism draws conclusions based on traditional hard news stories rather than on journalism specialising in cultural issues. This study explores the distinctiveness of Swedish cultural journalism by comparing it to news journalism, using the 2015 terror attacks in Paris as a case study. Our content analysis reveals that whereas news journalism is mainly descriptive, focusing on the short-term consequences of terrorism, security frames and political elites and eyewitnesses as sources, cultural journalism is more interpretive, giving a voice first and foremost to “cultural elites”. The “cultural filter” put on this event means a focus on the longer term implications of terrorism and instead of engaging in the hunt for the perpetrators, there is greater emphasis on the societal dilemmas that terrorism accentuates, especially the democratic values that are at stake. However, our results also show that the ongoing “journalistification” of cultural journalism, as defined by a stronger prevalence of descriptive style, blurs the lines between news and cultural journalism.
Elsebeth Frey, Ragnhild K. Olsen and G. Anthony Giannoumis
The digitalization of journalism has resulted in an increased overlap between technology and journalism in the newsroom. This development has profound implications for journalism education. The present study investigates a team-based experiential learning project between journalism and computer science students in a digital feature journalism course. Using the concept of trading zones as our analytical lens, we explore the students’ thoughts and opinions regarding professional roles and boundaries as well as areas of tension and spaces of mutual understanding in the collaborative context. Using mixed methods and data from questionnaires, observations and semi-structured interviews, the study demonstrates how trading zones between journalism and computer science students varied from homogenous collaboration to heterogeneous coercion, with diverse experiences of collaboration, coordination and collapse.