New Media - New Journalism? - An analysis of values and production of news online newsrooms.
The theoretical paradigm for my thesis is the concept of the construction of news, particularly online-news. The questions are: What kind of role does the online-news item play in the overall media picture, how is it consumed by the public, which media cycles evolve around the production of online-news, and how does the online-news take part in the production of other news, as more and more media platforms are integrated? This is combined with an institutional approach: How is the production of news organized, and what is the implicit or explicit policy in the online newsrooms? On the more individual level, the focus is on the daily work on the sites. At this level the journalist is seen as a gatekeeper, which raises questions about the effects of the gender, background, education, etc. of the journalists involved within the production of online-news. Other questions are: What processes makes an event an online story compared to a newspaper story? What explicit criteria lie behind the selection of news and the sources used in the news? Bourdieu’s focus on power contributes to this PhD project, with field theory as the overall structuring framework. Since On the power of TV and journalism came out in 1998, the interest in field theory studies within journalism studies has only grown. However it is still work in progress. Other theories and theorists that will be included in the project are Mark Deuze, the Norwegian Martin Engelbrechsen and the classical theories of newsroom production. But in general, this is a new area of study and there is only a limited amount of theory developed specifically within the framework of internet journalism. Contributing to this theoretical debate is also one of the objectives of this PhD project. The methodology is based on ethnographic observation and interviews. The observations in online newsrooms will take place in 4 different Danish online-news-sites time. The primary sources of data in the first phase of the project are also the texts surrounding the journalistic doxa, such as work-descriptions, work-manuals, descriptions of education and a limited number of interviews. Observation has the advantage of getting past the verbally expressed values, in order to understand the idea of how for example story A is chosen over story B, at the same time this method helps to overcome the gap between journalistic ideals and practices.