Writing Matters

17 January 2018
Technological advances have made it easier for Americans to connect with each other and to connect to each other and to find information, including details about the major issues facing the country. But those advances present both challenges and opportunities for individuals and U.S. institutions. Not only is more information readily available, but so is more misinformation, and many consumers may not be able to easily discern the difference between the two.
Amid the changing informational landscape, media trust in the U.S. has been eroding, making it harder for the news media to fulfill their democratic responsibilities of informing the public and holding government leaders accountable.
Results of the 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy show that most Americans believe it is now harder to be well-informed and to determine which news is accurate.
The Big Bubble
6 December 2017
By Per Grankvist
Who, or what, shapes our world view? Can facts really be ”alternative”? Is Google personalizing search results to each user and how does customization of news affect us? What do you really know about the algorithms that influence everyday life in a world that is increasingly digital? You can read about all that in The Big Bubble, an upcoming book on how technology is making it harder to understand the world.


How Are Small, Local Newspapers Doing
30 November 2017
By Christopher Ali and Damian Radcliffe
Too often we tend to hear one single narrative about the state of newspapers in the United States. The newspaper industry is not one sector. While there are considerable variances between the myriad of outlets—whether national titles, major metros, dailies in large towns, alt weeklies, publications in rural communities, ethnic press, and so on—a major challenge for anyone trying to make sense of industry data is its aggregated nature. It’s nearly impossible to deduce trends or characteristics at a more granular level.
The story of local newspapers with circulations below 50,000, or what we call “small-market newspapers,” tends to get overlooked due to the narrative dominance of larger players. However, small-market publications represent a major cohort that we as a community of researchers know very little about, and a community of practitioners that too often—we were told—knows little about itself.
Our study seeks to help redress this recent imbalance. We embarked on our research with a relatively simple yet ambitious research question: How are small-market newspapers responding to digital disruption?


Information Disorder
1 November 2017
By Claire Wardle
Today, after six months of work, we’re publishing a substantial research report, co-authored by myself and the writer and researcher Hossein Derakhshan, that builds on that earlier thinking.
Commissioned by the Council of Europe, the report lays out a new definitional framework for thinking about information disorder, provides an overview of current responses and summarizes key academic studies on how people consume information, particularly fact-checks and debunks. It ends with thirty-five recommendations, targeted at technology companies, national governments, media organizations, civil society, education ministries and funding bodies.


Media Landscapes: Hungary
27 October 2017
As a result of many foreign investors leaving Hungary and domestic oligarchs purchasing their outlets in recent years, media in Hungary have undergone a large-scale transformation, and the current supply and ownership structure are highly different from those before the 2008 financial and economic crisis.
Hungary’s political and media landscapes have undergone frequent changes over the past one hundred years. The country went through eleven political regimes, and most of the political elites instrumentalised the press and media in an effort to cement their positions by promoting their messages. As a result, media freedom has often been flawed and journalistic autonomy has been lacking. See more in Media Landscapes: Hungary
Media in Third-Wave Democracies
22 September 2017
Where are the third-wave democracies of Southern and Central/Eastern Europe to date, particularly as regards their media systems? And where are they heading for? How does the transfer of media institutions and cultures from more established democracies work in countries historically lacking democratic traditions? What are the lessons of the different levels of political and media democratisation in different countries, put in a comparative perspective? What is the current status of media freedom in third-wave democracies? What are the major media policy challenges in these countries to date?
The Budapest Business School and the Euromedia Research Group organised a joint conference under the title Media in Third-Wave Democracies: Southern and Central/Eastern Europe in a Comparative Perspective on 15 April 2016 in Budapest in an attempt to answer these questions. This volume is a collection of the talks delivered by various speakers at the conference, as well as of a few chapters studying related issues but unexplored during the event. It offers comparative studies on media regulation, internet use, journalism cultures, as well as seven country case studies from the two regions, including on Greece, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. For more information, contact us.
What Is Journalism Studies Studying?
14 September 2017
By Rasmus K Nielsen
I’m at the 2017 Future of Journalism conference in Cardiff, one of the most important academic journalism studies conferences in the world, with more than 200 participants from Europe, the US, and beyond. Over 150 papers will be presented, many of them will later be published in some of the field’s top journals.
All these papers are work-in-progress, fresh, recent, up-to-date work by a wide range of academics studying journalism from a range of perspectives, from a range of background, from a range of countries.
In combination, they provide a basis for at least a partial answer to the question of what journalism studies is actually studying today. So I did a quick and subjective categorization of all the paper titles by topic.
Are Roboreporters the Future?
26 July 2017
Fear not, journalists: Roboreporters are not coming for your jobs, at least not yet. That’s the takeaway from a new report from Alexander Fanta at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, who took a look at how 15 news agencies in Europe have implemented automation in their organizations. While the news agencies have been drawn to the the efficiencies of the technology, organizations still have a lot of work to do with realizing that promise. Fanta’s conclusion: “So far, automation is limited in its scope and complexity,” as he writes in the report.
Where Do People Get Their News?
14 July 2017
The media industry is unique in its ability to spread information that may influence the democratic process. This influence depends on where and how citizens get their political information. While previous research has examined news production and consumption on specific media platforms - such as newspapers, television, or the Internet - little is known about overall news consumption across platforms. To fill this gap, Patrick Kennedy and Andrea Prat of Columbia Business School use a model of media power and individual-level survey data on news consumption to estimate the potential electoral influence of major news organizations in 18 countries.
The Future of Investigative Journalism
1 June 2017
Despite the dangers and uncertainties, it is an exciting time to be an investigative journalist, thanks to new collaborations and digital tools. These nonprofits are inventing a potent form of massive, cross-border investigative reporting, supported by philanthropy. They are discovering that they are more secure and powerful in their watchdog work when they work together across borders. More about the future of investigative journalism, in this report from Ellen Hume and Susan Abbott.
Media Capture in the Baltics
3 May 2017
Media companies have been experimenting with different strategies to find new sources of funding in the environment of growing digital and financial pressures, and, in the Baltics, this has led them to expand beyond country borders and single media types. The annual snapshot study Baltic Media Health Check finds that, in 2015-2016, the regional giants and fierce rivals, Eesti Meedia and Ekspress Grupp, that both have their roots in newspaper business, have expanded and diversified their operations and now set the tone across all three Baltic states.
More great studies at Mediapowermonitor writings