My research touches the frontiers of media development in a time where many media organizations – old as well as new ones – struggle to make sense of their contingencies and figure out which direction to go. For this reason, actors in the field I research often ask for advice, feedback, and input. This can, obviously, challenge the position from which I conduct my research as it, potentially, brings my arms-length distance to the objects of study and the “objective” approach into question (to the extent that I accept the requests).
In order ensure maximum transparency on this issue, I use this page to outline the principles I work from.
- My work is financed by the IT University of Copenhagen; that is, in the final instance, by the Danish tax payers. I consider public dissemination of research-based knowledge a duty (and one I most often enjoy) as long as it does not obstruct my primary tasks: researching and teaching at the university.
- I own a consultancy firm, which has had media organizations as its clients (back in 2013). It has not made me rich. I am currently in the process of shutting down the firm.
- I sometimes apply for – and, in rarer instances, I actually receive – funding from foundations within the field I research. When this is the case, I state it explicitly in the resulting publications and here on my website. The source of the funding does not interfere with the independence of the research.
- I do not advice media firms or other actors in the field of journalism and news media on what to do and what not to. But I often discuss developments, initiatives, policies, products, tendencies, etc., with all sorts of people in the field.
- I own stocks in a number of companies that relate to my field of research (Alphabet, Amazon, Axel Springer, Facebook, Modern Times Group, New York Times Company, Tesla, and Twitter), primarily in order to get access to stockholder information. Should conflicts of interest arise, the stock will be sold.
- I am loosely affiliated with the news company Publia. I discuss their product, new research within the field, and general developments with their leadership team on an informal basis two or three times a year. I do not advice Publia on their business model and strategy, and I do not receive payment from Publia.