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Disruptive Change and New Media Policies: A Field Approach

Researchers: Rune Karlsen, Kari Steen-Johnsen, Bernard Enjolras, Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, Vilde Sundet, Karoline Ihlebæk
Schedule: December 2016-December 2019
Funding source: Forskningsrådet
Project No: 10158

Project Objectives

The primary objective of the project is to provide in-depth knowledge about of i) the media policy field ii) the media industry field, and iii) individual news consumption.

The secondary objective is to analyze the implications of these changes for fulfilling media policy goals of an open and enlightened public discourse, and a corresponding enlightened understanding among the public. 

Project Approach

The project combines a longitudinal perspective on media consumption and media policy development, with contemporary institutional field studies focusing on the interplay between key actors.

This combined approach enables us to consider the effect of media policy in detail, as it has occurred both on the field level and the individual level, and to provide historically embedded knowledge that can shed light on contemporary challenges.

Field analyses of the Norwegian media industry taken in the broad sense, including new, emerging actors, such as digital intermediaries, as well as established key players will allow us to analyze the impact of digitalization in relation to external and internal diversity, as well as quality.

This is combined with the analysis of a unique and complex data set on individual news consumption that includes information on sources/platforms used as well as content, and how this has developed in different user groups over the past two decades, i.e. the development in exposure diversity at the individual level.

Finally we make use of a large, comparative data set that enables the study of the development of political knowledge within different national media systems over time to probe the link between source diversity in a given system and an enlightened, politically knowledgeable population.

Project Relevance

Ultimately, our design allows us both to provide most-needed empirical descriptions of current developments in media systems linked to digitalization and globalization, and to ask fundamental questions about the potential space for public media policies in an era of exponential increase in news offers, and in a situation where the policy field has been opened up to a range of new actors.

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