Aarhus Universitets segl

Ph.d.-projekter i afdelingen

Supplement or substitution? User motivations for seeking out and their negotiations of partisan and legacy news

February 2021 - January 2024

Digitalization has made it possible for anyone with a decent internet connection to create their own news sites. This, in turn, has resulted in a mushrooming of partisan online news outlets, disseminating ideologically biased news content and launching frequent attacks on the credibility of legacy news media.

This development has been linked to concerns over possible fragmentation of the public sphere. However, we still have sparse knowledge about why people seek out partisan news and how they negotiate news content from partisan and legacy news outlets.

This ph.d.-project aims to fill that knowledge gap. By doing so, the project can also contribute to the ongoing debate on the possible democratic implications of the emergence of partisan news media online and the transformations of the public sphere brought on by digitalization. 

Personalising in service of the public: How personalised news recommendation reconciles with the ideological values of journalism

2020 - 2023

This project examines how tensions between personalisation and the ideological norms and ideals of the newsroom are negotiated, when Scandinavian news media implement algorithmic news recommender systems to automate and personalise their website. While these technologies can potentially reignite age-old debates about the impact of commercial pressures on editorial integrity and challenge journalism’s public service by creating ‘filter bubbles’, their impact on the newsroom is currently under researched. This project addresses an important gap in literature by investigating the growing role of personalisation in journalism through the prism of journalism’s ideology. How journalists give meaning to their work through a shared ideology is a necessary notion to revisit in an increasingly technology-driven media environment, illuminating how technologies reproduce, renegotiate or alter the norms and beliefs in journalism and vice versa.   

Peace journalism revisited: a qualitative study towards a nuanced re-conceptualisation

2020 - 2023

This PhD project aims to rethink peace journalism (PJ) into a more complex conceptualisation that aligns better with the diversity of present-day journalism. While being a global profession, journalism practice varies in each country and circumstance, so PJ cannot be regarded as a one-size-fits-all model. Empirically, it focuses on the newspaper coverage of the 2017 electoral violence and terrorism in Kenya. The overarching research question is: How do journalistic roles, practices and work routines in Kenya inform and further the notion of peace journalism? The project proposes a qualitative multi-methods approach in order to focus not only on journalistic content but also the production of news. It combines a textual analysis of newspaper articles and tweets, reconstruction interviews with reporters, and participant observation of their work routines.

‘Being out of one’s mind’ - a study of the use and perception of the mediated phenomenon ASMR

2018 - 2021

This PhD project investigates the technologically-mediated phenomenon ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), a physiological sensory reaction most commonly described as “a tingling, static-like sensation”. ASMR is also the name of a socially embedded and digital phenomenon on YouTube dedicated to creating videos with auditory (and visual) stimuli in order to make the viewer-listeners ‘tingle’, relax and feel at ease. As a media scholar, I am interested in how the intended bodily intertwinement with technology serves certain goals in regard to ASMR; enabling telepresence, digital intimacy, and para-sociality.

Helle Breth Klausen

Forskningskonsulent, ph.d.

Trust & Algorithms – Developing Machine Learning Algorithms for Danish Healthcare

September 2018 - August 2021

This interdisciplinary study examines sociological and psychological concepts of ‘trust’ and investigates which dimensions of these concepts are crucial to trust in the context of machine learning algorithms developed for Danish healthcare. Here, special attention is paid to how trust may be linked up with values such as accountability, transparency and privacy. The aim is to understand what is crucial to trust in algorithms and predictions and how to support trust at different levels already in the development and design process during which the algorithm and the overall predictive system are configured and shaped. In this way, the project is engaged with exploring trust-enhancing algorithmic practices that can prompt sustainable digitization.

Tracking the female body – the impact of self-tracking with a smartphone

September 2016 - August 2019

How is surveilling and quantifying our bodies affecting us? We develop unconscious algorithms that can drive cars and diagnose better than we can, and we tend to trust data over embodied knowledge. With self-tracking applications for smartphones, we generously share sensitive data – both in terms of algorithmic processing (sharing with the service) and to a social media interface through which we can visualize and share our results. In my Ph.D. I focus on how self-tracking practices are embedded in women’s everyday lives and potentially affects their embodied experience.

Exploring the influence of British Television Dramas on Contemporary Chinese Audiences

Marts 2016 - Februar 2020

My current research is concerned with the exploration of the influence of foreign television dramas, particularly British ones, on primarily online Chinese viewers, a recent development that reflects a burgeoning and potentially (socially and politically) contentious trend not only in Mainland China but also in the neighbouring Asian countries.

Creativity in Television Production - DR3's Channel Strategy

Februar 2016 - Januar 2019

The project consists of a production analysis of the influence of systemic production conditions on creativity in television production. The project uses the Danish public service television institution DR’s new channel for a younger audience (age 15-39) DR3 as a case study that embodies this transition from linear flow television to the purely digital television channel.

US remakes of Danish TV-series: Why and how?

August 2014 - December 2017

When Danish TV-series travel to the US: This project explores why and how Danish TV-series were remade in the US 2010-15 to learn about Denmark’s role in an international TV-market and small nation’s export of TV-drama in general. It aims to do this by conducting a theoretically grounded production analysis, complimented by a text analysis and audience study.  

What are podcasts used for? A study of the selection, situation and motives behind podcast listening

Februar 2014 - September 2018

The everyday experience of audio podcasts: My PhD project is an inquiry into the different uses and experiences of audio podcasts in everyday life. Working with logbooks and interviews drawing on various creative methods, I study the selection, the situation and the motives behind podcast listening. To gain insight into a new kind of listening practice but also to investigate on demand media usage in a broader sense: With all the world’s content available with a touch of a finger, how do we navigate?

Self-directed health online - social media as a means for coping with longterm health-issues

September 2013 - August 2018

In my PhD I inquire how laypeople, who struggle with long-term health-issues, employ social media as a means of seeking information about their illnesses and coping with their situation. As part of my fieldwork I study how people discuss their symptoms, challenges and opportunities for treatment with fellow sufferers online, for example in Facebook-based communities. I do also study how people relate to and employ in their daily lives the knowledge that these online communities convey. This relates to the questions of how (patient) identity is co-constructed/negotiated digitally and how digital media users interact with (or refrain from interacting with) the healthcare system. Put differently, in my research I seek to draw a picture of digital health culture and ways of patienting in the digital age.