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Journalism Studies


Prof. Dr. Mark Deuze

Members of the research group

Main FGW Participants: Thomas Poell, Peter Vasterman, Mirjam Prenger, Erik Borra, Vincent Kuitenbrouwer, Tjeerd Schiphof.

Other participants: Bas Mesters of the Expertisecentrum Journalistiek at the University of Amsterdam, RMA students, and journalists, as well as colleagues from Political Communication and Journalism Studies at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research.

Description of the research programme of the research group

Journalism, as an object of study, cuts across a wide variety of academic disciplines. The field of journalism studies has always been an interdisciplinary one, bringing together insights from sociology, communication and new media research, social psychology, media anthropology, history, as well as management studies and economics. The home of journalism at the University of Amsterdam is co-located at the Faculty of Humanities - with a strong focus on journalism as a storytelling and meaning-giving craft – and the Faculty of Social Sciences – emphasizing changes in the legal, financial, and technological context of journalism. As the journalistic profession currently experiences a high degree of dynamism, and the field of journalism is rapidly transforming, this research group aims to bundle various efforts across academic disciplines to study journalism, offering a space for collaboration and discussion.

Envisaged results

First of all, the research group creates a platform for discussion and collaboration, both for scholars and graduate students at the University of Amsterdam as well as affiliated researchers and educators at universities and professional schools of journalism in The Netherlands and Belgium. The results of this research group will feed back into the conceptualization and teaching of journalism at the university.

Work plan and time schedule

The research group was formed during the Summer of 2013. During the 2013-2015 academic years the group organized several themed discussion sessions and a networking seminar. From the 2015/2016 academic year onward, the group participates in national conferences and debates regarding journalism studies and has a strong presence at international gatherings such as ECREA and ICA.

Societal relevance

Journalism is the cornerstone of democratic societies. Investing and maintaining a diverse press (including print, radio, television, and online news media) is paramount for the functioning of society. In recent decades, the profession of journalism has been gradually hollowed out. From the outside, this process accelerates due to commercial pressures, rising production costs, and declining news audiences. From the inside, amplification occurs due to an aging population of journalists, few (if any) new job openings, declining budgets for news gathering and production, and increasing use of freelancers and other types of temporary workers. This raises significant concerns about the structure of the industry, its future insofar opportunities for innovation is involved, its role in democracy and public life, and the quality of life for its workers. Our programme aims to engage these important questions in ful cooperation with the profession, translating outcomes to public debates, reports and the curriculum.

This research group is active in the following constellations: