Rethinking Research Methods in an Age of Digital Journalism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Research Methods in an Age of Digital Journalism

1st Edition

Edited by Michael Karlsson, Helle Sjøvaag


212 pages

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The digital infrastructure of media production, dissemination and consumption is becoming increasingly complex, presenting the challenge of how we should research the digital journalism environment. Digital journalism takes many forms – we therefore need to revise, improve, adjust and even invent methods to understand emerging forms of journalism.

In this book, scholars at the forefront of methodological innovations in digital journalism research share their insights on how to collect, process and analyse the diverse expressions of digital journalism, including online news, search results, hyperlinks and social media posts. As digital journalism content often comes in the form of big data, many of these new approaches depart from the traditional methods used in media research in significant ways. As we move towards new ways of understanding digital journalism, the methods developed for such purposes also need to be grounded in scientific rigour. This book aims to share some of the emerging processes by which these methods, tools and approaches are designed, implemented and validated. As such, this book not only constitutes a benchmark for thinking about research methods in digital journalism, it also provides an entry point for graduate students and seasoned scholars aiming to do research on digital journalism. This book was originally published as a special issue of Digital Journalism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Research methods in an age of digital journalism Michael Karlsson and Helle Sjøvaag

1. Taking Stock of the Toolkit: An overview of relevant automated content analysis approaches and techniques for digital journalism scholars Jelle W. Boumans and Damian Trilling

2. Tracing Online News in Motion: Time and duration in the study of liquid journalism Andreas Widholm

3. What is the meaning of a news link? David Ryfe, Donica Mensing and Richard Kelley

4. Chances and Challenges of Computational Data Gathering and Analysis: The case of issue-attention cycles on Facebook Niina Sormanen, Jukka Rohila, Epp Lauk, Turo Uskali, Jukka Jouhki and Maija Penttinen

5. Word Counts and Topic Models: Automated text analysis methods for digital journalism research Elisabeth Günther and Thorsten Quandt

6. Quantitative analysis of large amounts of journalistic texts using topic modelling Carina Jacobi, Wouter van Atteveldt and Kasper Welbers

7. Googling the news: Opportunities and challenges in studying news events through Google Search Jacob Ørmen

8. Grasping the Digital News User: Conceptual and methodological advances in news use studies Ike Picone

9. Same, Same but Different: Effects of mixing Web and mail modes in audience research Annika Bergström

10. Action Research: Collaborative research for the improvement of digital journalism practice Stephanie Grubenmann

11. Content Analysis and Online News: Epistemologies of analysing the ephemeral Web Michael Karlsson and Helle Sjøvaag

About the Editors

Michael Karlsson is Professor in Media and Communication Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden.

Helle Sjøvaag is a Research Professor in Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway.

About the Series

Journalism Studies

Theory and Practice

The journal Journalism Studies was established at the turn of the new millennium by Bob Franklin. It was launched in the context of a burgeoning interest in the scholarly study of journalism and an expansive global community of journalism scholars and researchers. The ambition was to provide a forum for the critical discussion and study of journalism as a subject of intellectual inquiry but also an arena of professional practice. Previously, the study of journalism in the UK and much of Europe was a fairly marginal branch of the larger disciplines of media, communication and cultural studies; only a handful of Universities offered degree programmes in the subject. Journalism Studies has flourished and succeeded in providing the intended public space for discussion of research on key issues within the field, to the point where in 2007 a sister journal, Journalism Practice, was launched to enable an enhanced focus on practice-based issues, as well as foregrounding studies of journalism education, training and professional concerns. Both journals are among the leading ranked journals within the field and publish six issues annually, in electronic and print formats. From the outset, the publication of themed issues has been a commitment for both journals. Their purpose is first, to focus on highly significant or neglected areas of the field; second, to facilitate discussion and analysis of important and topical policy issues; and third, to offer readers an especially high quality and closely focused set of essays, analyses and discussions; or all three.

The Journalism Studies: Theory and Practice book series draws on a wide range of these themed issues from both journals and thereby extends the critical and public forum provided by them. The Editor of the journals works closely with guest editors to ensure that the books achieve relevance for readers and the highest standards of research rigour and academic excellence. The series makes a significant contribution to the field of journalism studies by inviting distinguished scholars, academics and journalism practitioners to discuss and debate the central concerns within the field. It also reaches a wider readership of scholars, students and practitioners across the social sciences, humanities and communication arts, encouraging them to engage critically with, but also to interrogate, the specialist scholarly studies of journalism which this series provides.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies