Selection of 2015 Reuters Institute Digital News Report coverage from around the world

Our new Digital News Report is out. All data, from 2015 and back to the first study in 2012, is freely available, as is the report itself and essays by James Harding, Emily Bell, and others, at digitalnewsreport.org.

Below a selection of the news coverage from around the world, including news organizations from countries with a combined population of more than 3.5 billion (thanks to China and India in large part)-

BBC: “News outlets need ‘more inventive’ business model.”

Reuters: “Surge in smartphones’ popularity, social media threaten online news providers” (this was widely published all over the world, like Indonesia), it was published also in Spanish “Aumento en uso de celulares y redes sociales amenaza a proveedores de noticias en internet.” (this too was republished in various places).

Financial Times: “Young people switch off television news in increasing numbers.”

Guardian: “News outlets face losing control to Apple, Facebook and Google.”

Huffington Post: “For Newspapers Swimming in Rough Currents of Digital Era, More Bad News.”

BuzzFeed: “Apple’s Mobile Ad-Blocking Move May Be Good News For Facebook.”

Indian Express: “Why surge of smartphones, social media threatens ad-revenue for news sites.”

The Hindustan Times: “How surge in smartphones, social media could threaten online news providers.”

South China Morning Post: “Apple hiring spree for iPhone News curators sparks censorship fears.”

Tencent (China): “智能手机兴起 社交媒体威胁在线新闻”

Liberation: “Infos en ligne : plus de mobile, mais toujours personne pour payer.”

Corriere della Sera: “Reuters: niente carta, gli italiani preferiscono ancora la tv.”

Die Welt: “Wie wir uns informieren werden – die zehn wichtigsten Thesen des “Reuters Digital News Report” and “Für Online-News will kaum jemand wirklich zahlen.”

Berlingske: “Nyheder læser man da på Facebook.”

De Telegraaf: “Sociale media verdrijven nieuwsapps.”

Financni Noviny: “Popularita smartphonů je prý hrozbou pro zpravodajské organizace.”

Irish Times: “Irish half as likely to pay for online news as Finns and Danes.”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “Facebook, Google set to crowd out competitors in digital news.”

Politico.eu: “Brits and Germans reluctant to pay for online news.”

Various trade publications have also picked up on the report–

Nieman Lab: “Smartphones and Facebook continue to grow as gateways to online news around the world.”

Columbia Journalism Review: “Digital news consumers unlikely to pay for content and increasingly block ads.”

Journalism.co.uk: “Study: Smartphone is ‘defining device’ in digital news.”

Meedia: “Digital News Report: der unaufhaltsame Aufstieg von Smartphones und Social Media.”

Poynter Institute: “One-third of readers disappointed or deceived by sponsored content.”

2015 Reuters Institute Digital News Report

2015 DNRThe 2015 Reuters Institute Digital News Report is now out. We are launching it in London and will discuss it around the hashtag #risj15 on Twitter.

Three main takeaways from the report across the 12 countries covered–

1) An accelerating move to mobile web use, with desktop use (for news) down and tablet use stagnant in many countries.

2) The increasing importance of digital intermediaries like search engines and social media, more than anything Facebook, in how people find news online.

3) Mounting commercial challenges for news media in terms of the move to mobile (where advertising is even more difficult), the rise of ad-blocking software, and no significant increase in the number of people paying for digital news.

The main report, written by Nic Newman with input from David Levy and myself and research support from Richard Fletcher is available on our dedicated website digitalnewsreport.org.

There, you can also find supplementary essays by BBC Heads of News James Harding, Director of the Two Center for Digital Journalism Emily Bell and others, as well as interactive graphics with the data and data from previous years.

Nic, with his usual energy, insight, and talent for communication, has also made a video covering the main points in a 100 seconds. (That’s less than 1 second per page.)

Everything is also freely available for download. Thanks to all our partners for supporting this project. We hope it will be of use to journalists, media professionals, researchers, and anyone else interested in the future of news.

4 x come work with me!

From 2016 onwards we at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism are expanding our Digital News Report with a much wider range of research on developments in the media business, in media policy, and in news media start-ups across Europe.

We will be hiring four post doctoral research fellows to work with David Levy, Nic Newman and myself on what will be an exceptionally exciting comparative news media research project. This is a great chance to come to Oxford and be part of a strong, interdisciplinary, and growing research team with strong connections to practicing journalists, the news media, and various digital media.

Deadline for application is July 3. Links below to each of the positions.

RISJ seeks 4 new researchers for project on Digital News Media

We are seeking to appoint four Research Fellows to work on a 3 year project aimed at analysing media developments in more than 20 European countries, with a particular emphasis on digital media, news, and politics.

Each post has a different focus, though it is expected that they will work closely together on this exciting new project.  For further details please visit the individual job pages on the Department of Politics website:

New edited book on local journalism out

Local journalismLocal Journalism: the decline of newspapers and the rise of digital media, has just been published by I.B. Tauris. It contains a range of analysis of local news media ecosystems, relations between local journalists and various other actors  in local communities, and of hyperlocal news sites across a range of high income democracies in the Western Europe and North America.

I edited this book because local journalism is important, because it is often overlooked by academics as well as in discussions around the future of journalism, and because the contributors to the book had some really interesting things to say about how local journalism is developing, including in terms of differences and similarities across various countries.

The first chapter is available for free download here, and the book can be purchased through the usual routes including the publisher or Amazon.

Full description, nice words of praise from Bob Franklin and David Ryfe, as well as the list of contributors and the table of contents all below.

Local Journalism: the decline of newspapers and the rise of digital media

Edited by: Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

For more than a century, local journalism has been taken almost for granted. But the twenty-first century has brought major challenges. The newspaper industry that has historically provided most local coverage is in decline and it is not yet clear whether digital media will sustain new forms of local journalism.

This book provides an international overview of the challenges facing changing forms of local journalism today. It identifies the central role that diminished newspapers still play in local media ecosystems, analyses relations between local journalists and politicians, government officials, community activists and ordinary citizens, and examines the uneven rise of new forms of digital local journalism. Together, the chapters present a multi-faceted portrait of the precarious present and uncertain future of local journalism in the Western world.

“This is a detailed, research-based and comparative account of developments in local news and journalism at a time of structural change and transition in local news ecosystems. It reasserts the significance of local news and journalism for local communities and their economic, political, social and cultural life and sets a benchmark for future studies of local news and journalism during a period of change and uncertainty.”

Bob Franklin, Professor of Journalism Studies, Cardiff University

“Journalism is changing, nowhere more rapidly than in locally produced news.  This book provides an on-the-ground glimpse of these changes as they are taking place across Europe, the UK, and the United States.  An invaluable snapshot of a fast-moving process…and an important touchstone for research yet to be done!”

David Ryfe, Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa

The contributors to the book are Andrew Williams (Cardiff University), Bengt Engan (University of Nordland), C. W. Anderson (CUNY-CSI), Dave Hart (Birmingham City University), David Domingo (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Emmanuel Marty (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis), Florence Le Cam (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Franck Bousquet (University of Toulouse), Jerome Turner (Birmingham City University), Julie Firmstone (University of Leeds), Marco van Kerkhoven (Utrecht University of Applied Sciences), Matthew Powers (University of Washington), Nancy Thumim (University of Leeds), Nikos Smyrnaios (University of Toulouse), Oliver Baisnee (Sciences Po, Toulouse), Piet Bakker (Utrecht University of Applied Sciences), Sandra Vera Zambrano (Sciences Po, Toulouse), and Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds).

Table of contents

  1. The Uncertain Future of Local Journalism (Rasmus Kleis Nielsen)

PART I – Local media ecosystems

  1. The News Crisis Compared: The Impact of the Journalism Crisis on Local News Ecosystems in Toulouse, France and Seattle, USA (Matthew Powers, Sandra Vera Zambrano, and Olivier Baisnée)
  2. Local newspapers as keystone media: the increased importance of diminished newspapers for local political information environments (Rasmus Kleis Nielsen)
  3. How News Travels: A Comparative Study of Local Media Ecosystems in Leeds (UK) and Philadelphia (US) (C.W. Anderson, Stephen Coleman, and Nancy Thumim)

PART II – Local journalism and its interlocutors

  1. The plurality of journalistic identities in local controversies (Florence Le Cam and David Domingo)
  2. Rethinking local communicative spaces: reflecting on the implications of digital media and citizen journalism for the role of local journalism in engaging citizens in local democracies (Julie Firmstone and Stephen Coleman)
  3. Perceived relevance of and trust in local media (Bengt Engan)

PART III – New forms of local media

  1. Between journalistic diversity and economic constraints: local pure players in Southern France (Nikos Smyrnaios, Emmanuel Marty, and Franck Bousquet)
  2. Hyperlocal with a Mission? Motivation, strategy, engagement (Marco van Kerkhoven and Piet Bakker)
  3. Filling the News Hole? UK community news and the crisis in local journalism (Andy Williams, Dave Harte, and Jerome Turner)

Special section of IJoC on qualitative political communication research published

IJoCThe International Journal of Communication has just published a special section on qualitative political communication research based on an ICA preconference last year in Seattle on the theme that Daniel Kreiss, Dave Karpf, Matt Powers, and I organized.

In our opening article framing the special section (as well as the preconference itself), we make the case for a new era of qualitative research to contribute to the study of political communication at a time of rapid media change.

Going back to pioneering work by Gladys Lang and Kurt Lang (see their essays collected in Television and Politics) as well as by Paul Lazarsfeld–far more known for his quantitative work, but actually deeply committed to the integral role of qualitative methods in good social science, as is clear from his methodological writings as well as from for example The People’s Choice–we detail the history of a tradition of mixed-methods research in the United States from the 1920s to the 1960s, and show how a new and far more quantitatively-oriented methodological consensus formed from the 1970s onward, facilitating great advances in some areas while marginalizing qualitative inquiry in political communication research.

We conclude our opening article with a discussion of the ways qualitative research, including the articles in this special section, can complement quantitative work and advance the field of political communication–there are many, many opportunities out there for scholars willing to invest the time and effort in learning qualitative methods and in using them to complement quantitative methods and contribute to our collective understanding of political communication.

The many excellent articles in the special section itself are examples of what can be accomplished by political communication research based in whole or in part on qualitative methods. You can see the whole table of contents with link to articles here.

It was a real pleasure to work on this project, from its origins in a paper Daniel, Dave, and I first presented at ICA in London 2013, over the process of organizing the preconference itself (which so many people helped make an extraordinarily interesting event), and finally to the process of editing the special section to ensure we captured and published some of the best work presented along the way.

2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award to Rodney Benson

I’m happy to announce that Rodney Benson (NYU) is the recipient of the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award for his book Shaping Immigration News: a French-American Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Below is the official announcement of the award from the full award committee, which included Jesper Strömback, Matt Carlson, and myself.

2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award to Rodney Benson

It is one thing to say how you think media and politics should be researched, theoretically and methodologically. It is another to do it.

Rodney Benson has for years excelled at writing both theoretical, methodological, and empirical pieces laying out his vision—and his practice—of what political communication research and journalism studies can be like and what it can accomplish.

His 2013 book Shaping Immigration News: a French-American Comparison is an outstanding example of this, and I’m proud to honor it with the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award on behalf of the journal and the award committee, which this year consisted of Jesper Strömback, Matt Carlson, and myself.

This is the first year we give the IJPP Book Award, which we have instituted to honor “internationally-oriented books that advance our theoretical and empiric al understanding of the linkages between news media and politics in a globalized world in a significant way.”

Books published within the last ten years are eligible for the award, and we had a very strong field of candidates. This is a real testament to the theoretical creativity, methodological rigor, and growing internationalization of this field of research.

The award committee agreed that Rod’s book stood out as carefully written and researched work with a clear and strong link between theory, method, and data, and with an impressive comparative research design comparing immigration news in France and the US not only cross-nationally, but also over time, and linking a detailed, large-scale content analysis with historical evidence, interviews, and a wider analysis of the journalistic fields in each country.

As Matt Carlson said early in our discussions: “Lot’s of people have talked and thought for a long time about this, and about how to do it. Rod really does it.” And as Jesper Strömback put it in our final conversation: “This is the kind of book we always say we want to see, but don’t often see.” I agree with them.

This is a terrific book, an inspiring book, and one that is important far beyond the study of immigration news or indeed the study of French and American journalism. This is a mixed-method, historically-informed, comparative analysis of news regimes that not only tells us how to do good research, but shows it, unfolding the theoretical, empirical, and normative implications of its findings.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Rod for writing this book. The award is simply a way for the community to recognize and highlight his contribution to the field.

As pessoas curtem os políticos no Facebook? Não mesmo!

My article “Do People “Like” Politicians on Facebook? Not really. Large-Scale Direct Candidate-to-Voter Online Communication as an Outlier Phenomenon” is now out in a Portuguese translation in the Revista Eletrônica de Ciência Política (thanks to the hard work of Márcio Cunha Carlomagno and Sérgio Braga).

I wrote the article with Cristian Vaccari and we first published it in English in the International Journal of Communication in 2013. It is based on data from the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections and shows how though a few candidates have very large online followings, most do not.

On that basis (and existing research showing the limited reach of candidate websites), we suggest that large-scale direct online communication between politicians and ordinary people via social media platforms is a rare, outlier phenomenon—even in the case of high-stakes, well-resourced campaigns—and suggest that the most relevant political implications of social media take the form of (a) new forums for indirect communication about politics and (b) institutional changes in political communication processes.

Since then, (a) campaigns have begun to invest more in online advertising and social media advertising to get below their (often low) “organic” reach so it would be well-worth revisiting the issue, and (b) social media especially Facebook have changed their algorithms and grown in importance as gateways to news (as shown in the Reuters Institute Digital News Report and elsewhere), so it would be well worth revisiting the issue.

My hypothesis would remain that the majority of candidates, even in high-stakes elections, with well-resourced campaigns, and running in countries with high levels of internet use and high levels of social media use, attract very limited attention from the broader population online.

Below for basic information about the new Portuguese translation.

As pessoas curtem os políticos no Facebook? Não mesmo! A comunicação direta em larga escala entre candidatos e eleitores como um fenômeno outlier

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Cristian Vaccari

Resumo

A popularidade online de alguns poucos candidatos tem levado muitos analistas a sugerir que as mídias sociais têm dado aos políticos novas e poderosas formas de se comunicar diretamente com os eleitores. Examinando se isso está acontecendo em uma escala significativa com base na análise de 224 candidatos dos maiores partidos concorrendo em distritos competitivos para a Câmara dos Deputados dos Estados Unidos durante as eleições parlamentares de 2010, descobrimos que a maioria dos políticos online é, de fato, largamente ignorada pelo eleitorado. A atenção dada pelos cidadãos aos candidatos online se aproxima das distribuições de lei de potência, com alguns candidatos obtendo muitos seguidores e a maioria definhando na obscuridade. Como a comunicação direta online em larga escala entre os políticos e as pessoas comuns nestas plataformas é um fenômeno raro e outlier – mesmo no caso de campanhas eleitorais altamente competitivas e com candidatos com amplo acesso a recursos financeiros – sugerimos, neste texto, que as implicações políticas mais relevantes das mídias sociais assumem a forma de (a) novos fóruns para comunicação indireta sobre política e (b) mudanças institucionais nos processos de comunicação política.

Palavras-chave: mídias sociais; Facebook; candidatos; eleições