News devices: how digital objects participate in news and research

Liliana Bounegru

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    952 Downloads (Pure)


    News work is increasingly taking place in and through a variety of intersecting digital devices, from websites, to search engines, online platforms, apps, bots, web analytics, data analysis and visualisation tools. These devices are also increasingly used as resources in digital research, and their implications are yet to be fully understood. This thesis examines how digital objects participate in news work and research. To this end, I propose an orientation towards the news device as a research topic and approach. The news device approach calls attention to the ways in which practices and relations are co-produced with digital objects involved in news work. It also attends to how such digital devices may afford modes of studying these practices. To make the case for this approach, I examine the participation of three types of devices in three aspects of news work: (1) the role of the network graph in journalistic storytelling, (2) the role of the online platform in journalism coding, and (3) the role of the web tracker in news audience commodification. In all, the thesis contributes to understanding the digital transformations of news in two ways. First, it develops a rich, nuanced, multidisciplinary, collaborative and reflexive approach to news research with digital methods. Secondly, it provides novel insights into how digital devices shape both news processes and relations with the online advertising and marketing industries, commercial online platforms, digital visual culture, and other digital content producers.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Broersma, Marcel, Supervisor
    • Raeymaeckers, K., Supervisor, External person
    Award date27-Jun-2019
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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