As a social scientist, I spend much of my working life sorting out spurious claims about cause and effect. In any social science, particularly when it is impossible to adequately control many variables such as through an experimental design, the analysis and attribution of causality is inherently problematic. Too often, that is not the case … Continue reading Causality Journalism: Can Academics Help?
Chris Anderson’s Inaugural Lecture, University of Leeds
I had the pleasure of attending Professor Chris Anderson's Inaugural Lecture at Leeds University on 24 October 2018. I won't attempt to summarise what was a wide-ranging, historically rich, and engaging lecture on journalism in our contemporary political context. However, I would like to provide a few points that most resonated with me. The title … Continue reading Chris Anderson’s Inaugural Lecture, University of Leeds
Pack Journalism – Digitally Networked
Digitally Networked Pack Journalism Pack journalism is not only alive and well in the digital age, it is arguably more prominent than it could ever be in the analogue era of print journalism. There is clearly a need for multi-disciplinary research on the sociology and politics of digitally enabled pack journalism. The concept of pack … Continue reading Pack Journalism – Digitally Networked
Simplify and Then Exaggerate, Big League
I was taken back years ago when the editor of a major news magazine told me that she told her editors to 'simplify and then exaggerate'. That was the secret formula for writing a good news story. To me it is increasingly clear that all the news media have moved in this direction, and to … Continue reading Simplify and Then Exaggerate, Big League
Russian Hacking and the Certainty Trough
Views on Russian Hacking: In a Certainty Trough? I have been amazed by the level of consensus, among politicians, the press and the directors of security agencies, over the origins and motivations behind the Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election. Seldom are security agencies willing to confirm or deny security allegations, much less promote … Continue reading Russian Hacking and the Certainty Trough
Surrogate News: The End of Journalism?
Surrogate News: The End of Journalism? News coverage of the 2016 US presidential election vividly illustrated a worrying trend. It goes well beyond the decline of the newspaper to the decline of quality journalistic reporting in favor of entertaining news commentary. Perhaps I have a romantic view of the past. Perhaps journalism may be better … Continue reading Surrogate News: The End of Journalism?
The Rise of Scholarship in the Study of Online News
I participated in a symposium that marked the first quarter century of research on digital journalism. It was organized by Pablo Boczkowski and Chris Anderson and held at Northwestern University on April 11, 2015. Titled “Remaking (Digital) News”, the symposium led me to look back on my career in communication and the progress I’ve observed … Continue reading The Rise of Scholarship in the Study of Online News