Home again after two days in primarily Aarhus. My good friend and former colleague Camilla Dindler had invited me to give a guest lecture on online journalism on her MA course “Politisk kommunikation” [Political Communication] at Media Studies, Aarhus University. It was a good opportunity to take a step back and consider the fundamental questions in connection with my research; accordingly, I called the lecture “Hvad er egentlig det nye ved online nyheder?” [So what’s actually new about online news?] and tried to answer that over my two hours with circa 25 students and Camilla. My take on it was – and is – that the novelty about web-based news (which is my slightly more focused area of interest) is four medium-specific potentials, namely instantaneity, interactivity, multimodality, and hypertextuality. I explained these potentials and presented examples of their use on Danish news websites, and in the end I argued that the news organizations’ attention to these potentials could represent a mediatization of journalism, i.e. an institutional adaptation of journalism to the formats and logics of the medium. This perspective is a new one in my research project but I think I will incorporate it futher from here on as it makes good sense and opens a more theoretical framework for understanding what’s new about web-based news and journalism.
When in Aarhus, I had the chance to meet with associate professor Niels Brügger who shared some of his experience and extensive knowledge of the practicalities of website analysis. His inputs and insights will definitely prove useful in connection with my large-scale content analysis of Danish news websites next February (more on that in a later post). I also interviewed an editor from Aarhus Stiftstidende and got to see family members again. All in all, the trip to Aarhus was fruitful.