Social Reader: Making Research More Accessible?

February 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

ResearchGate, a social networking site for scientists and researchers, dubbed ‘Facebook for Science’, has launched a new social reader  – the RG Format – which it claims will help academics manage their work and time more efficiently.

The new RG Format is designed to allow researchers to openly share their own papers and read and comment on others, also to contact those who have left feedback on their work. According to ResearchGate, academics only find time to read for one hour and five minutes on average during their 60-hour working week. Email and meetings take up another 17 hours.

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Research: The Role Of The Fixer In Foreign News

February 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In modern foreign news reporting a ‘fixer’ is becoming as essential to the journalistic process as a foreign correspondent. Without a fixer – a local person hired to help with logistics, contacts and translation – the correspondent may fail to access the people, places, events or new information required to produce news reports.

Recent international studies have increasingly problematized the cooperation between correspondents and their fixers. They focus on how the fixer, as the correspondent’s eyes and ears, often collects local information on their behalf. This has led to a discussion about how a biased fixer could provide correspondents with selective or wrong information, which might then be reported as objective fact. However, my research suggests that the fixer and the correspondent should be considered equal, and their relationship as mutually influential.

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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

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