Research: Journalists Still Observe News Embargoes

January 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The news embargo is an ancient press tool that seems, at first glance, not to fit into the modern world of digital media. However, although there are no deadlines on rolling news or social media, a new study reveals that many journalists and public relations professionals will still observe an embargo, and delay publishing a story until an agreed time.

The arguments for doing so haven’t changed very much over the years: embargoes are practical for busy, pressurised journalists, and for a source they can mean their story will be better researched and more accurate.

Although there are few, if any, sanctions against journalists who ignore an embargo, this rarely happens. Peer pressure and an unwritten code of honour means that journalists rarely break embargoes, in case it appears that they have ‘cheated’ to get a story before the competition.

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Generation E: Data Journalism and Migration

January 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An estimated 11 million European Union citizens live in a different EU country from which they were born.

Generation E, the first cross-border data journalism project on European youth migration, aims to tell, and catalogue some of their stories.

The uniquely multi-lingual, pan-European project crowd-sources and publishes narratives from young Southern Europeans, aged between 20 and 40 years old, who left their countries for reasons ranging from a search for work, to wanderlust.

Funded by, the independent project, which was launched last September, is led by four data journalists from Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece: Jacopo Ottaviani, Sara MoreiraDaniele Grasso, and Katerina Stavroula. It not only aims to document European youth migration, but also to compile statistics and shed light on immigration trends.

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Media research: Quantity or Quality?

October 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers occasionally make us aware of the insanity of scholarly “productivity“. The publish or perish system young researchers are forced into and the brutal competition they face. Thomas Hanitzsch, of the University of Munich, has published an essay lamenting the absurd consequences of the “gold standard“ of research productivity.

Hanitzsch reported that 4800 journal articles in the field of communication studies were published in 2012, a 470% increase compared to 980 articles in 1999.

However, new knowledge in the field of communication studies has not quintupled since 1999 according to Hanitzsch, who is part of an international team conducting the Worlds of Journalism research project comparing journalism cultures in 21 different countries. Read more

Internationalizing Media Research in Europe

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Media research in Scandinavian countries is being internationalized, reflecting a Europe-wide trend towards publishing and working across national borders. The number of articles published in international journals by Nordic academics has doubled in the last ten years, according to a recent study by David Fernández-Quijada, a media analyst at the European Broadcasting Union.

Fernández-Quijada analyzed the publication patterns of communication scholars from the five Nordic countries, by applying bibliometric techniques to over 500 articles published in international scientific journals from 2001 to 2010. He found that internationally published research articles had increased by 243 per cent during that period. Scandinavian academics predominantly co-authored research or collaborated with Anglo-Saxon scholars, particularly from North America.

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Let’s Communicate Our Research!

September 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the main aims of the European Journalism Observatory (EJO) is to promote dialogue between media researchers and practitioners.

On the occasion of the EJO’s 10th anniversary we will be presenting and discussing best practice strategies in communicating media research from different academic and journalism cultures at this year’s European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) conference. How can we reach a broader public with our research results and communicate more effectively with journalists and via social media in today’s “knowledge society”? Read more

Grace and Favour? A Study of Twitter Favourites.

June 23, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Twitter is a key platform for information dissemination and exchange and a significant tool for journalism but there is as yet little research on how one of its key functions – the favouriting of tweets – actually works.

Researchers Florian Meier, David Elsweiler (both from University of Regensburg), and Max Wilson (University of Nottingham) studied the motivation of Twitter users to use this function.

Favouriting appeared on Twitter in November 2006. The users can favourite tweets by clicking on an accompanying small star-shaped icon. As a result, the favourited tweets can be located on separate timeline and accessed faster by both the user and their followers. Meier, Elsweiler and Wilson’s research shows this function is becoming more popular: in May 2013 the star was clicked 1.6 billion times, four times higher than a year before. Read more

Bridging Political Coverage and Cynical News Consumers

June 5, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

News is growing more negative. Research shows this is a a growing trend in political news and articles. Researchers argue that the political stories are commonly framed negatively, and the cynical coverage appears focused on the conflicting aspects of politics. However, is the increase of negative political coverage dictated by the newsrooms or is it a result of readers’ preferences for negativity?

This is the issue studied by Marc Trussler at Vanderbilt University and Stuart Soroka at McGill University, who argue reader’s preferences (demand-side of news), is more important than news provider’s preferences (supply-side of news). They demonstrate that the readers, indeed, prefer the negative political news. Read more

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