Digital Journalism

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2167-0811 / 2167-082X
Published by: Informa UK Limited (10.1080)
Total articles ≅ 833
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Latest articles in this journal

, , Michael Karlsson
Published: 28 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2120032

Abstract:
Journalism and other institutions clash over automated news generation, algorithmic distribution and content ownership worldwide. AI policies are the main mechanisms that establish and organise the hierarchies among these institutions. Few studies, however, have explored the normative dimension of AI in policymaking in journalism, especially beyond the West. This case study inspects the copyright law’s impact on AI innovation in newsrooms in the unexamined Chinese context. Using neo-institutional theory and policy network theory, the study investigates the Third Amendment to the Chinese Copyright Law, exemplary court cases regarding automated journalism copyright disputes (such as Tencent v. Yingxun and Film v. Baidu), and other supporting documents. The findings show how China’s copyright legal framework separates authorship and ownership; defines “originality” and “creativity” in human-machine collaboration; and prioritises tech companies while undermining journalistic autonomy. We argue that the law’s eager embrace of AI may give tech companies an advantage over news organisations that do not necessarily have a strategy to adopt AI. Moreover, it favours state-owned, resource-rich official media over the private sector. An implication of this shifting power dynamic is the possibility of privately owned news media being marginalised, resulting in even stronger state control over media production and information flow.
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-22; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2118144

Abstract:
This article examines how and why Israeli journalists use their military service as a shield in response to online violence and digital hate. This practice, termed here the military-as-alibi strategy, is highly consequential. First, it excludes Israeli citizens who are exempt from military service (mostly Palestinian citizens of Israel and ultra-orthodox Jews). Second, it affirms the presumption that “good journalists” are not to be measured by their reporting, but rather by external loyalty tests that allegedly demonstrate their commitment to the national cause. Drawing on analyses of interviews with 20 Israeli journalists, media coverage and social media content, this article frames the military-as-alibi strategy within the local context of a militarised society, but also as part of journalists’ global struggle to win the hearts of their audiences in challenging times. Building on Tuchman ( 1972 ), the article labels journalists’ references to their military backgrounds as a strategic ritual of loyalty. The article proposes an alternative strategy to counter anti-press attacks: if journalism is indeed a public good (Pickard 2019 ), then “good journalism” should be considered “good citizenship”. This approach could free journalists from surrendering to nationalist loyalty tests, and lay better foundations for journalists–audiences relationships in the future.
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-21; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2117715

Abstract:
Alternative outlets can differ in their degree of partisanship, activism, and their opposition to a perceived news “mainstream.” We expect this could lead to diverging contributions to overall news diversity. We assess how mainstream-like, partisan and activist media differ from mainstream reporting concerning migration and refugee policy in Germany. We combine a manual analysis of speaker diversity in 12 mainstream and alternative outlets (N = 1,172 articles) with a computational topic model (N = 34,819 articles) covering 30 outlets to assess topic diversity. Interestingly, we find no significant differences between mainstream and alternative outlets regarding overall speaker diversity. But our data show differences in which parties get cited, and whether outlets focus on experts, civil society speakers, or migrants themselves. While mainstream media offer higher overall topic diversity, alternative media split along the lines of agenda accommodation and more independent agendas of partisan and activist media.
, Prashanth Bhat
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2118143

Abstract:
“Alternative news media,” that explicitly position themselves against mainstream media have emerged as an increasingly visible aspect of media systems globally including in India. And although such media can espouse left/right political positions, in the Indian context, such outlets are supportive of right-wing politics of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In this article—drawing on rhetorical approaches—we explore the efforts of OpIndia, the most-visited right-wing news site in India to critique and correct the country’s mainstream news outlets through a textual analysis of 576 articles contained in the site’s Media Fact Check section.
, Andreas Widholm, Jörgen Rahm-Skågeby
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2119151

Abstract:
This article studies the algorithmic project News values at Swedish public service radio, from the perspective of datafied managerialism. Drawing on ethnographic observations and interviews with managers the study shows how the project, that outwardly works to automate news-sorting algorithmically, was employed to generate data about a number of internal journalistic activities, for a variety of purposes. Data was perceived of as a type of capital that could engender, amongst other things, increased knowledge about the internal workings of the organization, thus making it easier to audit its activities, and to standardize the practice of news-valuation throughout SR. Importantly, these goals were not planned in advance, but emerged over the course of the project. The results show how longitudinal approaches to algorithms and data-collection could benefit journalism studies, as they provide a more comprehensive picture of how data are operationalized in journalistic organizations.
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2112519

Abstract:
This article uses the notion of habit to explore how news users adopt a new subscription into their everyday routines, and identifies facilitators and obstacles helping or inhibiting this process. Sixty-eight participants received a three-week newspaper trial subscription and were interviewed about their experiences afterward. Facilitators of repeated use were concurrent rewards; embedment into existing routines; and visual reminders. Obstacles were lack of steady routines; strong existing habits; perceived effort; disillusionment; and accessibility. Findings point to the importance of visibility: participants – even those with positive initial experiences – tended to forget their subscription. Visual cues were needed to remind participants to read their subscription: app icons, open browser tabs, social media posts, push notifications, and the print newspaper. Proactive implementation of these cues suggests participants themselves were also aware of their propensity to forget the subscription. Existing (news) habits either helped anchor use of the subscription or blocked it by being automatically cued up by context features. Results also point to a mental hurdle: having to muster up the cognitive and motivational energy to start reading the news. Finally, findings suggest that concurrently experienced rewards may be more conducive to news habit formation than retrospectively experienced rewards.
Published: 23 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-23; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2114920

Abstract:
Advances in analytical methodologies and an avalanche of digitized data have opened new avenues for (digital) journalism research—and with it, new challenges. One of these challenges concerns the sampling and evaluation of data using (non-validated) search terms in combination with automated content analyses. This challenge has largely been neglected by research, which is surprising, considering that noise slipping in during the process of data collection can generate great methodological concerns. To address this gap, we first offer a systematic interdisciplinary literature review, revealing that the validation of search terms is far from acknowledged as a required standard procedure, both in and beyond journalism research. Second, we assess the consequences of validating search terms, using a multi-step approach and investigating common research topics from the field of (digital) journalism research. Our findings show that careless application of non-validated search terms has its pitfalls: while scattershot search terms can make sense in initial data exploration, final inferences based on insufficiently validated search terms are at higher risk of being obscured by noise. Consequently, we provide a step-by-step recommendation for developing and validating search terms.
, Martin Shelton
Published: 14 September 2022
Digital Journalism pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2112520

Abstract:
Mob censorship, which “expresses the will of ordinary citizens to exert power over journalists through discursive violence” is traditionally considered a grassroots phenomenon. However, within technically mediated systems, who is behind the mob is sometimes unclear. We therefore ask how the technical affordances of the Internet and telecommunications networks complicate the identification of attackers and their motivations and multiply the forms of retaliation that attackers level against journalists. We conducted 18 semistructured interviews with seven current or former journalists, as well as 11 professionals with experience defending news organizations, including security specialists, press freedom advocates, and newsroom infrastructure support staff. Through a constructivist grounded theory approach and in conversation with Lewis and Westlund’s ( 2015 ) 4A framework, we found that journalists and those defending news organizations do not reliably identify sources and motivations behind attacks, which may be grassroots in nature but may also be instigated by corporate or government actors. Journalists nonetheless infer attribution and motivation from the context surrounding attacks. Systemic issues related to the lack of diversity, ongoing financial constraints, and journalistic norms of engagement, alongside a lack of internal and platform support, exacerbate repercussions from these attacks and harm journalism’s role in a democracy.
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