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Datafication, Media and Democracy: Transformation of news work in datafied society

Project description

Transformation of journalism under datafication

Datafication and algorithmic data processing in the media have resulted in the datafication of journalism. Questions arise concerning the transformation of news work and the responses of the audience. One view is that audience datafication neglects the value of information aiming to attract greater audiences. Another view supports that audience datafication increases the connection of journalists with the audience, improving the financial base of their work. The EU-funded DataMeDe project will increase our understanding about the role audience datafication plays in the new context of journalism. It will combine ethnographic observation, interviews and a survey with the audience to better understand the use of audience data by journalists and the media and will explore the gap between journalists and news users.


DataMeDe – Datafication, Media and Democracy is MSCA IF Proposal aimed at examining the journalism datafication, from a comprehensive and multilayered perspective. Objective of DataMeDe is to advance our knowledge about the role of audience datafication in transforming news-work. From one point of view, audience datafication leads to production of content that attracts audience, regardless of the informative, citizen value of news. From the other, it improves connection between journalist and audience, strengthening financial base of news-work. Existing scholarship is characterized by great conceptual divergence, conclusions mostly based on perceptions of journalists or editors, and largely unquestioned belief that audience datafication is closing the ‘news gap’ between journalists and news users. Borrowing from sociology of news, hierarchy-of-influences, and audience studies, DataMeDe will advance the concept of datafied journalism, by conducting research at four interrelated levels: 1) individual journalist 2) newsroom structures 3) inter-organizational 4) reception level. DataMeDe will use mixed methods approach, combining ethnographic observation and interviews at first three levels, and survey with audience. Such multilayered perspective will allow DataMeDe to: a) identify factors that influence differences in comprehension and utilization of audience data by journalists, editors, mangers, media-tech workers b) explore the gap between actual, and audience news preferences re-constructed by audience data. By shedding light on disconnections of journalism practice with executive decisions and audience preferences, DataMeDe will provide research-based evidence to inform policy debates about audience privacy and data-tracking, digital media literacy campaigns, media industry, journalism education development, while advocating for tools and practices that benefit public good and not just prosperity of media organizations.


Net EU contribution
€ 214 158,72
5020 Bergen

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Norge Vestlandet Vestland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 214 158,72