Upcoming and ongoing:Media Use, Culture and Public Connection: Freedom of Information in the "Age of Big Data" (MeCIn) (2016-2019)
MeCIn researches how citizens exercise and experience their freedom of information, and what role media and culture have for people's relations to the public sphere - their public connection - across socio-cultural differences.
Founded in normative democratic theory and sociological theories of media use and cultural practices, MeCIn will (1) critically review existing methodological achievements in relevant fields, in order to (2) undertake a comprehensive empirical study of citizens' public connection across media and cultural arenas, to map structural differences and explore everyday experiences. To give due attention to issues of exclusion from the public sphere, the project (3) focuses specifically on studying mechanisms of detachment, and understanding the experiences of marginalized citizens. The empirical endeavours will bring insights into how people in Norway use their freedom of information and connect to the public. These insights will allow for (4) reconceptualizing the role of the citizen in the age of big data. Together, these four steps will bring applied knowledge needed in on going policy processes.
MeCIn triangulates original survey data on media use and cultural practices as well as computer assisted large-scale mappings of online media use, with qualitative in-depth scrutiny through diaries and interviews of use across and beyond the media.
Teletext Across Europe (2014-2016)
This project, undertaken with Hilde Van den Bulck at the University of Antwerp, takes the largely ignored medium of teletext as a focus point to discuss issues of history, policy and technology and use - across a range of European countries and contexts. The project aims to bring together insights from studies of teletext to facilitate comparisons, but also to add to our understanding of a often overlooked part of recent media history. More information.
Forthcoming with Hilde Van den Bulck (eds) Teletext Across Europe: From the Analogue to the Digital Era, to be published by Nordicom in 2016.
Forthcoming with Hilde Van den Bulck "Beyond the Buzz: Why Media Policy Researchers should study Teletext". To be published in Seamus Simpson, Hilde Van den Bulck and Manuel Puppis (eds) European Media Policy for the Twenty-First Century: Assessing the Past, Setting Agendas for the Future. London: Routledge.
Social Media and Election Campaigns (2012-2016)
I'm partner in the RCN funded project Social Media and Election Campaigns, headed by Gunn Enli at the University of Oslo. Focusing on election campaigns in four stable democracies; The United States, Australia, Norway, and Sweden, the project uses a cross-national and cross-media approach to investigate to what degree social media changes political communication. More information.
2015 with Eli Skogerbø "Twitter på tvers – koblinger mellom journalister og politikere". [Journalists and Politicians on Twitter] Norsk medietidsskrift, 22(3): 1-21.
2014 with Anders Olof Larsson "Triumph of the Underdogs? Comparing Twitter Use by Political Actors During Two Norwegian Election Campaigns". SAGE Open, 4.
2014 with Axel Bruns "Structural Layers of Communication on Twitter", pp. 15-28 in Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt and Cornelius Puschmann (eds) Twitter and Society, New York: Peter Lang.
2014 with Anders Olof Larsson "Twitter in Politics and Elections - Insights from Scandinavia", pp. 319-330 in Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt and Cornelius Puschmann (eds) Twitter and Society, New York: Peter Lang.
2013 with Gunn Enli (eds) "Social Media and Election Campaigns", Information, Communication & Society, 16(5).
2013 with Anders Olof Larsson "Untangling a Complex Media System. A Comparative Study of Twitter-Linking Practices During Three Scandinavian Election Campaigns". Information, Communication & Society, 16(5): 775-794.
Past:The NRK Online: A Longitudinal Study of Online News (2013-2015)
Based on the project The NRK's Online News (2010) (see below), this project aims to offer an updated overview of how the Norwegian public service broadcaster the NRK provides news on the web. Partly replicating the data collection and analyses from the the 2010 project, the idea is to produce comparative insights into how a news organization like the NRK has changed, and what consequences such changes have for the news. The project employs a combination of several large scale data sets, along with case studies, to shed light on the issues at hand. The project is partly funded by the Council for Applied Media Research. More information (in Norwegian).
Forthcoming with Helle Sjøvaag and Eirik Stavelin "Continuity and Change in Public Service News Online: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation". To be published in Journalism Studies.
Regulating Public Service beyond Broadcasting (2008-2014)
Building on my PhD-project Public Broadcasters, the Internet, and Democracy (see below), this project looks at to which extent and how media policy is adapted to incorporate media beyond broadcast radio and television in the idea of public service. By now, while the actual services of public service institutions have expanded onto new media platforms, the regulations lag behind, still mainly characterized by ad hoc solutions and an unsettled regulatory context. Concentrating on the situation in Germany, the UK and Norway, the project compares and critically evaluates ongoing regulatory developments.
2014 with Karen Donders "European State aid control and public service broadcasting: Competition policy clashing or matching with public interest objectives?", pp. 426-441 in Karen Donders, Caroline Pauwels, and Jan Loisen (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of European Media Policy, London: Palgrave.
2012 with Hilde Van Den Bulck "To Test or not to Test: Comparing the Development of Ex Ante Public Service Media Assessments in Flanders and Norway". International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 8(1):31-49.
2012 "How to Preserve the Broadcasting Licence Fee: The Case of Norway". Journal of Media Business Studies, 9(1): 55-69.
2012 "Between Public Service and Commercial Venture: The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on the Web 1994-2000", pp. 75-90 in Maureen Burns and Niels Brügger (eds) Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web. New York: Peter Lang.
2011 "Defining Public Service beyond Broadcasting: The Legitimacy of Different Approaches". International Journal of Cultural Policy 17(1): 52-68.
2010 "Governing Public Service Broadcasting: 'Public Value Tests' in Different National Contexts". Communication, Culture & Critique 3(2): 207-223
Online Media Participation and the Transformation of the Public Sphere (2009-2012)
The primary objective of this project is to assess how online media participation facilitates structural changes of the public sphere in modern democracies. The project will provide an empirical mapping of the blogosphere from a Norwegian perspective. Analyzing how online media participation changes a mass-mediated, mainly nationally demarcated public sphere, the project will test two main hypotheses: (1) language barriers and geographical belonging remain key frames for online media participation. (2) Online media participation is only partly dialogical and scarcely networked. The project's secondary objectives are to appropriate recent democratic theory, and contribute to reconceptualizing the debate about the fragmentation of public debate, as well as the transnational and networked character of the public sphere. The prosject is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
2012 with Anders Olof Larsson "Studying Political Microblogging. Twitter Users in the 2010 Swedish Election Campaign". New Media & Society, 14(5): 729-747;
2012 with Anders Olof Larsson "Methodological and Ethical Challenges with Large-Scale Analyses of Online Political Communication". Nordicom Reveiw, 33(1): 117-125
2012 "Who Participates and How? Twitter as an Arena for Public Debate about the Data Retention Directive in Norway". International Journal of Communication, 6: 1222-1244
2012 with Anders Olof Larsson "Twitterbruk under valgkampen 2011" [Twitter use during the Norwegian 2011 election campaign]. Norsk medietidsskrift, 19(2): 151-162
2011 "Mapping the Norwegian Blogosphere: Methodological Challenges in Internationalizing Internet Research". Social Science Computer Review 29(3): 313-326.
Class, Higher Education, Media Use and Cultural Taste (2008-2011)
This project combines the knowledge interests of educational and cultural sociology with those of media studies. It aims to contribute applied knowledge about the relations between three factors: (a) social background, (b) the choice of various sorts of higher education, and (c) cultural preferences and the uses of media (including ICT). The project replicates and expands a study conducted 10 years ago. It will thus result in a very large and internationally unique set of data that will yield new insight into current media use and communication practices among youth in Norway, as well as increased understanding of substantial changes in media use and communication practices over time. Furthermore, the data analyses will be used for theory development pertaining to the interrelatedness of social stratification, higher education, media, communication and culture in the ongoing reproduction of the social system. The project is to a considerable extent inspired by the theories, methodologies and empirical work of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. The project is a collaboration with Jostein Gripsrud and Jan Fredrik Hovden.
2011 with Jostein Gripsrud and Jan Fredrik Hovden "Changing relations: Class, Education and Cultural Capital". Poetics, 39(6): 507-529.
The NRK's Online News (2010)
This collaborative project, led by Dag Elgesem, is a study of the online news provision by the Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK. Mapping the overall activities on the web, but focusing on the textual provision of news, the project combines large-scale datasets and computer-assisted analyses with manually coded samples and qualitative case studies. The aim is to assess whether or not the NRK's online news is in line with the organization's remit. The project is funded by the Norwegian Media Authority.
2012 with Helle Sjøvaag and Eirik Stavelin "Public Service News On The Web: A Large-Scale Content Analysis of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporations Online News". Journalism Studies, 13(1):90-106
2010 with Dag Elgesem, Helle Sjøvaag, Eirik Stavelin, Maren Agdestein, Joachim Laberg, Linn Lorgen and Gyri S. Losnegaard NRKs nyhetstilbud på Internett i 2009 [The NRK's online news in 2009 - in Norwegian]. Report to the Norwegian Media Authority. Bergen: University of Bergen. 165 pages.
Public Broadcasters, the Internet, and Democracy (2004-2008)
PhD project studying public service broadcasting facing a digital media system. The focus is on internet services since the mid-1990s. With a comparative design, the I discuss how public service broadcasters seized opportunities and handled challenges related to the internet, and how national and supranational regulatory regimes and policy actors coped with public service broadcasting venturing online. I concentrate on publicly owned former monopolists, assessing four such institutions in three states: the British BBC, Norways NRK, and the ARD and the ZDF in Germany.
I argue that traditional practices of media policy do not suddenly change in the digital era. Rather, settings for public service are to a large extent still defined within well-established frameworks, and dependent on the conditioned legacies of each states political culture. Discussing similarities and differences in the development of the institutions internet activities, and their corresponding national regulations, I find the development characterized by ad hoc solutions. This also applies to the EU policy regime, built on a competition law-logic. With the latter regime, I argue, we are incapable of grasping the autonomous democratic functions of public broadcasters online services. Moreover, the regime provides insufficient space to play out national differences.
In the project I also explore the democratic functions of public broadcasting institutions in an online environment. With a founding in normative public sphere theory, I contend that there is a potential in online communication not only for dialogue, but also for dissemination. Both communicative forms should be utilized by public service actors in ways that consistently counter processes of enclosure and balkanization in the public sphere. On this basis, I develop a scheme for public service media online. By scrutinizing marginal parts of the cases internet activities I lastly explore this scheme, and the limits of public broadcasters publicly funded online offers. Thereby, I aim to revitalize discussions about the functions of public service as a media policy tool in the digital era. In my view, public service media remain relevant. The project publications substantiate why, and outline how.
2009 Public Broadcasters, the Internet, and Democracy. Comparing Policy and Exploring Public Service Media Online. Phd-thesis. Bergen: University of Bergen.
Public Sphere Theory (2004-2010)
This project (lead by Jostein Gripsrud) is based on a thorough reading of political philosophy and democratic theories from the social sciences, focused on the idea of the public sphere and the functions of the public sphere in modern democracies. During the last decade, public sphere theory has been central to thinking about and studies of democratic rule and political communication. The public sphere is also a key term politically, not least in the EU's effort to develop and legitimize democratic procedures on an European level. The project aims to provide an updated overview of public sphere theory, and also contribute to its further development within media studies.
2011 The Public Sphere: Vol. I-IV (SAGE, 2011), co-edited with Jostein Gripsrud, Anders Molander and Graham Murdock.
2010 The Digital Public Sphere. Challenges for Media Policy (Nordicom, 2010), co-edited with Jostein Gripsrud
2010 The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader (Lexington Books, 2010), co-edited with Jostein Gripsrud, Anders Molander and Graham Murdock, in collaboration with Martin Eide, Karl Knapskog, Leif Johan Larsen, Leif Ove Larsen and Peter Larsen