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Factual Content in a Post-Factuality Environment

The morning session on this final day of ECREA 2016 starts with a panel that emerges from the "Journalism beyond the Crisis" ARC Discovery research project that Brian McNair, Folker Hanusch and I lead. As Aljosha Schapals explains in his introduction to the panel, this explores the changing content forms, journalistic practices, and user reception of factual content, as well as the implications of these developments for overall democratic processes.

Uncovering Early Twentieth-Century Citizen Journalism

The final speaker at ECREA 2016 for today is Bolette Blaagaard, who shifts our focus back to citizen journalism. This has largely been understood as a process of citizens distributing news and journalism, often in opposition to conventional professional journalism; but here the focus is more on citizens making (or citizen-making) journalism, with an emphasis on the creative and the embodied political.

Factors Affecting Media Trust in the Czech Republic

The third speaker in this ECREA 2016 session is Jakob Macek, who turns out focus to the apparently increasing polarisation of political discourses in many developed nations – he cites Brexit, the U.S. elections, elections in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and other countries as examples. This generates huge challenges for the social sciences: for opinion polling, most obviously, as well as for other forms of studying public debate and public opinions.

Does e-Participation Generate More Positive Attitudes towards Democracy?

The second speaker in this ECREA 2016 speakers are Dennis Friess and Pablo Porten Cheé, who shift our attention to e-participation tools and platforms. They begin by noting that there is a democratic crisis which manifests itself in growing scepticism about representative policy-making. One response to this is a call for more opportunities for citizen participation, especially also through online platforms; but does such e-participation lead to more positive attitudes towards democratic processes?

Commenting Patterns at De Correspondent and Krautreporter

The final session at ECREA 2016 today begins with Lena Knaudt, whose focus is on the democratic potential of slow journalism. Examples for this kind of journalism are especially platforms like De Correspondent and Krautreporter.

How Audience Measurement Approaches Construct Different Audience Imaginaries

The final presenter in this ECREA 2016 session is Jakob Bjur, whose interest is in the media measurement of media work. There is now plenty of work on audience measurement systems, and also a growing wave of criticism of these systems: such systems are viewed as capturing audience labour, but with very one-dimensional metrics that generate measurement currencies that are very far removed from actual audiencing practices.

What Factors Influence Experiences of News Overload?

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is Miriam Steiner, whose focus is on news overload amongst the well-educated elite. This is an increasingly important issue as it appears to be in the process of becoming a serious condition in contemporary society. Well-informed citizens are a fundamental precondition for a functioning democracy, but there is now a high-choice news environment that provides an immense volume of news which is at the same time also easier to ignore. This generates a widening news consumption gap, especially between populations of various levels of education, and may result in a growing polarisation between news seekers and news avoiders.

Do Conspiracy Theorists Leave More Critical Comments on News Websites?

The next ECREA 2016 session starts with Marc Ziegele, whose focus is on the presence of conspiracy theories and truth demands in user comments on the news. Some theorists have had high hopes for the role of user comments as a deliberative medium, increasing the diversity of viewpoints and enabling a broad discussion about the news by ordinary participants.

Platform Power in Turbulent Times

The second keynote speaker at ECREA 2016 today is Rasmus Kleis Nielsen from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He begins by noting the rise of platforms such as Google and Facebook as new digital intermediaries: these major global companies enable interactions between at least two different kinds of actors, host public information, organise access to it, and give rise to new information formats, and influence incentive structures around investment in public communication (including journalism).

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