Henrik Örnebring is Professor of Media and Communication at Karlstad University and Director of NODE. His NODE research is about the changing local news ecology in a context of technological and economic change. He has previously done research on comparative European journalism, journalism history, and on the impact of new technology on the working conditions of journalists.
Michael Karlsson, Professor at Karlstad University, is interested in online journalism and is widely published in journals such as New Media & Society, Information, Communication & Society, Journalism Studies and Journalism. He is Deputy Director of NODE and his research for the Centre deals with charting the decline/transformation of local and regional journalism in Sweden.
Christer Clerwall defended his PhD dissertaton “Behind the Web” in April 2009. It is a study of how different kinds of conditions for production influences the form and content of Swedish university web sites.
His primary area of interest is media production with a focus has on online/digital journalism. His research is concerned with finding out what happens with journalism (as content and as practice) when it moves to a digital context and digital platforms. His work for NODE is focused on so-called “robot journalism”, i.e. automated generation of journalistic content based on algorithms.
Charu Uppal does research in the areas of globalization, global media and social change, media and development, and media and environmental communication. She is also a part of the cross-national comparative research project Worlds of Journalism (where she studies the Fiji Islands). Charu’s work for NODE is a study of Satyamev Jayate (‘Only the truth triumphs’), an Indian talk show launched in May of 2012. The show is hosted by a popular film star, Aamir Khan, covers many topics that have not been given due attention in the news or popular media, and airs simultaneously in five languages. Each episode has sparked a nationwide discussion on topics overlooked by the mass media. The research analyzes the strategies used by the show to inform, educate, and validate audiences – by interviewing victims, social activists and experts. Building upon her previous work on mobilizing information, the paper extends the argument and definition of what ‘mobilizing information’ can imply and how an ‘old medium’ is still very relevant in bringing attention to social issues and generating a public discourse.
Elizabeth van Couvering
Elizabeth Van Couvering earned her PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2010 with a dissertation on the political economy of internet search engines. She has published several articles and book chapters on this issue as well as on media literacy and social and economic aspects of digital media. Her research interests are the political economy of new media, new media and corporate power, and online surveillance and data gathering for commercial purposes. Her research for NODE involves charting opinion makers and public opinion formation on Swedish social media.
Karin Fast got her PhD in 2012 (Karlstad University) with a dissertation on the interaction between media producers and media fans related to the transmedia property Transformers. Her research interests lie in the intersection between media production studies and media audience studies, with a particular focus on popular culture content. She has also worked on issues of mediatization, marketing and public relations (particularly branding and brand communities), and mobile elites. Her work for NODE is conducting a review of research on news production that is initiated or conducted outside of the regular news room by actors other than professional journalists. Specifically, it focuses on PR and public opinion agents – and the stakeholders that these intermediaries represent – as sources of news content. Of special interest is news production that takes place in relation to non-profit organizations, such as NGOs and activist groups, as their role as news producers remain underexplored. It is often assumed that due to time and resource pressures in journalism, such organizations have new opportunities to project their own agendas in and through the media. But does this assumption hold true? What does previous research actually tell us about the alleged changed relationship between news media and their sources (with a focus on non-profit organizations)? How, and to what extent, do the changed circumstances of news journalism impact on the ways in which journalists produce news content? Which sources are prioritized and deprioritized by today’s journalists? How are personal contacts and information subsidies valued respectively?
Johan Lindell’s research interests are in the area of media globalization, in particular the relationship between mediatization, cosmopolitanism, and social class. In his 2-year post-doctoral project for NODE, he studies new and emerging patterns of news consumption. He turns to questions such as: to what extent are alternative news sources replacing traditional mass media? What do people perceive as news today? Research has described a fragmentation of news publics as the media landscape is diversifying and people have more outlets to choose from. It is therefore crucial to ask about the extent to which social class and individual preference gains in importance for the orientation amongst news sources. Is news consumption becoming a site for socio-cultural differentiation? How does peoples’ class background and position within society relate to how, and what, news they consume?
Raul Ferrer Conill
Raul Ferrer is a PhD student at NODE. His dissertation aims to find out how the introduction of gamification in mobile news platforms affects journalism and news consumption, starting from the assumption that a healthy journalistic practice and well-informed citizens is a prerequisite to a vigorous democratic society. The study is primarily focused on the media choice of youth and the role that mobility, persuasive design, and game mechanics play in fostering engagement as well as changing and motivating the habit of reading news. The dissertation project examines the effects of applying gamification techniques in the consumption of news in the emerging mobile society. The focus is placed on young users and their mobile media choice and news consumption habits.
David Cheruiyot is a PhD student at NODE. The aim of his PhD reserarch is to understand how information technologies in Kenya and South Africa are affecting news media organisations, the journalism practice and conventional media regulatory systems like the Press Councils. While traditional media organisations are not necessarily facing difficult economic times in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa unlike in the West, they now have to contend with an audience that is increasingly being transformed by Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Media accountability scholars have often argued that the traditional media, as well as press regulatory systems, face a credibility crisis. The traditional media is now the subject of intense criticism for what is sometimes claimed as ‘irresponsibility’ and poor quality of journalism, and from a previously ‘inactive’ audience that has gone online. He will specifically investigate how blogs are growing to become avenues through which audiences observe, criticise or even deliberate with media organisations on journalism practices and news media operations. The key question of the dissertation is what the criticism of news media organisations and journalism practice by bloggers portends for traditional media accountability mechanisms in Kenya and South Africa.
Helle Sjøvaag is NODE’s guest researcher. She is currently a researcher in the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at Bergen University. Sjøvaag’s main areas of research are news and journalism, media policy and media economy. She currently leads a project to investigate the diversity of the Norwegian media landscape. As NODE guest Researcher, Sjøvaag’s affiliation is particularly centered on investigating the local news ecology.