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What is News? Understanding news perceptions and practices among young adults

4 December, 2023 @ 13:15 - 15:00

Digital media has fundamentally changed what news is: how it is produced, distributed, practiced and understood, particularly among young audiences, across the world. The concept of news is changing, as well as the information repertoires of young adults. These processes of transformation have had fundamental consequences not only for news industries, but also for news research, and journalism studies. How can we study news if we do not know what it is?

This seminar presents “What is News?”, a research project approaching news as a concept in flux, using phenomenological theory and an open methodology aiming at understanding the experience of news, rather than news as a fixed concept. It discusses how the phenomenological approach may gain new insights into what news is, and what information means to young people today.

By presenting the work with the forthcoming book Navigating the News: Young people, Digital Culture and Everyday Life building on an extensive ethnography of news practices and perceptions among a broad range of youth in Sweden, the seminar will discuss how the digitisation of news has shaped young people’s understanding of what news is, how it is relevant, trusted and used in the temporalities and spatialities of everyday life. The presentation pays attention to the blurring boundaries between news and social media, highlighting how new media categories such as influencers, memes and hybrid information can take on the status of news for young audiences.

Speaker: Stina Bengtsson, professor, Södertörn University, Stockholm.

Stina Bengtsson is professor in Media and Communication Studies. She is currently doing research about media and everyday life, digital media morality and ethics, youth culture, taste and power. She teaches the course Media and Everyday Life at the masters programme Media, Communication and Everyday Life and are involved in courses also at the bachelor programmes second and third year.

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Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen