15 April 2014

Doctoral course: Journalism, New media and Civic Engagement

Location: University of Copenhagen

May 19-20, 2014.

The institutions and practices of journalism are undergoing a major shift as the Internet has reconfigured payment mechanisms, delivery systems, and issues of expertise and credibility for news.  At the same time, the urban populations of the world are becoming more densely diverse.  The intersection of these two trends results in a need to rethink the relationship John Dewey once theorized between news, civic engagement, diverse communities, and political competency.  Which theoretical models are most helpful in addressing the current situation?  How can current doctoral research into practices of news consumption and news sharing contribute to these understandings?  

Digital media technologies are often associated with processes of democratization of the public sphere and of civic engagement with the enhanced access to creating and disseminating media content. One example is the professional news media’s appropriation of non-professional images in the coverage of major political events, such as the Arab Spring, which renders the points of view of citizens/participants visible in the public realm to an extent not seen before, but which also changes the traditional roles of professional journalists and their sources. Another example is the seemingly vibrant cultural public sphere which constitutes itself on numerous, in particular, non-institutionalized websites, where ordinary citizens - cultural consumers or amateurs - engage in proliferating cultural debates and reviewing, providing and exchanging experience-based cultural evaluations. This, again, points to changing relations between producers and users, in this case of cultural criticism

In addition to discussions of research that explore these and related issues, this doctoral seminar features a discussion of new ethnographically based research that's soon to be published by Lynn Schofield Clark (University of Denver) and Regina Marchi (Rutgers University).  Titled, Young People and the Future of News and picking up a discussion started by David Mindich, David Buckingham, Mark Bauerlein and others on young people and the future of democracy, this research outlines five different ways in which U.S. young people (ages 15 - 25) approach news, and how news from various sources are integrated into their lives, communities, and politics.  Clark and Marchi argue that emergent news practices may share more in common with late 19th century than with late 20th century patterns, and it will be important for all constituents to understand these differing cultural patterns of news consumption/ sharing in order to plan for democracy's future.

The following senior researchers will contribute as presenters and discussants

Professor Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver, Visiting Professor at University of Copenhagen spring 2014.

Stig Hjarvard, Professor, University of Copenhagen

Nete Nørgaard Kristensen, University of Copenhagen

Credits – ECTS points

Participation in the course gives 1,4 ECTS; Participation and presentation of paper give 2,9 ECTS.

As preparation for the course, the doctoral students are required to read a compendium in addition to the submitted papers by doctoral students.