DISSERTATION - Transforming journalism, transforming audiences. Audience-centered research on news practices in the Digital Age

(16-06-2020) On June 15, researcher Kristin Van Damme successfully defended her dissertation..

Promoters: Sarah Van Leuven (CJS-UGent) and Lieven De Marez (imec-mict-UGent)

 

Keywords: news use, audience studies, journalism studies, mixed-methods research

 

In her dissertation “Transforming journalism, transforming audiences. Audience-centered research on news practices in the Digital Age” Kristin examines how news use has evolved in these digital times. “The rise of the mobile phone and social media has drastically changed the way we consume news. The user is no longer a mass consumer, people consume news in a tailor made way (they visit different channels, in different formats and on different devices") according to Kristin Van Damme.

Abstract

The initiating point of this dissertation is the omnipresence of news characterizing the current complex news media landscape. Digitization has influenced not only journalism as a profession, its production process, distribution strategies and content, but has inevitably also changed how audiences consume, or use, news.
This is the focus of the current dissertation: understanding how audiences consume news when news is everywhere. To do so, we take a radical audience-centered approach, where audiences themselves shape our understanding of, and approaches to, news use. As such, the main research question of this thesis was: How can we study news audiences in the omnipresent news landscape from a radical audience-centered approach?

A summary can be found on Twitter
Interview with dr. Van Damme (in Dutch)