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Talking Gatewatching and Journalism at ECREA 2016

Taking a quick break from liveblogging the paper sessions I've seen, I was asked to do a quick interview for the ECREA 2016 YouTube channel – and it's online already. So, here's a quick chat about the future of journalism, and a preview of the themes of my upcoming sequel to the Gatewatching book:

The Disruption of Journalism by Algorithmic News and J-Robots

The next speakers at ECREA 2016 are Marko Milosavljević and Igor Vobić, whose interest is in the emergence of automated journalism and 'j-robots'. Such technologies are gradually emerging into everyday journalistic practices, and the prospect in an industry under stress is that what can be automated will be automated; this creates new tensions for the news industry, however.

Drivers of Innovation in European Public Service Media Organisations

Next up at ECREA 2016 are Annika Sehl and Alessio Cornia, whose focus is on the presence of public service media online. Online news consumption across a range of devices is now very prevalent, but the online reach of public service news is widely divergent across different countries; in many countries public service media have been overtaken by social media platforms as sources of the news, in fact.

How Do Journalists Cover Journalism Innovation?

I missed the first paper of the following ECREA 2016 session (sorry, Helle Sjøvaag), so I'll resume liveblogging with a paper by Colin Porlezza. He notes that change is the only constant in journalism history, but this has become worse recently: many news organisations have gone out of business, and innovation has become a crucial asset for surviving organisations. A variety of small journalistic startups have also emerged to exploit gaps in the market.

Twitter-Based Journalist/Politician Interactions in Germany

The final paper in this ECREA 2016 session is by Christian Nuernbergk, whose focus is on the interaction of political and journalistic actors via social media. Both now have to deal with emerging personal publics in social media, in addition to their conventional mass media publics; they now need to have in mind a range of such publics in their everyday professional practice.

Repertoire- and Reciprocity-Oriented Perspectives on Journalistic Uses of Social Media

The next paper at ECREA 2016 is presented by Christoph Neuberger, whose focus is on the dynamic relationship between journalism and its audiences. He points out that the complexity of communication has increased with the range of options for communication that have now emerged in online contexts.

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.

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