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Project: Information, Desinformation and Media System Change

This research project aim to analyze and describe present changes in media and journalism. Given the diversity of the field, the researchers have chosen three object to focus on: the rise of anti-system media in Europe, the use of music in news and the changing media landscape after the Arab Spring.

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Our research focuses on present changes in media and journalism. "News" is no longer a format that is bound exclusively to classical mass media like tv, radio and print but has become more difficult to grasp. News spread in new ways that have a backlash on its content. The mediality and intermediality of the new environment for news have created an ecosystem of technical tools – partly deriving from fictional genres like computer games or movies – and information channels in which the borders between the traditional mass media become blurred and new media types emerge. Today, the presentation of news employs texts, (moving) pictures and often also music. Information is often no longer gained and spread through the traditional channels but through individual networks as perhaps embodied best by social media groups in the internet. News spread often quicker through new media channels and become more and more emotionalized and aestheticized. What becomes blurred is the border between facts and opinions of individuals, the origin of information and the definition of professionalism in journalism.

To describe and analyze these dramatic changes in mass media is the aim of our research. Given the immense diversity and circumference of this research object many approaches are possible. We have chosen the following:

a) The rise of anti-system media in Europe (Kristoffer Holt)
b) The use of music in news (Martin Knust)
c) The changing media landscape after the Arab Spring (Renaud de la Brosse)

Some of our overarching research questions are:
In which respect does the web serve as a base for intended disinformation? How does music work in non-fictional contexts? Which recent changes of politics have been triggered by the new media landscape? What are legitimate tools of journalism and what has to be considered manipulative in the context of the new media ecosystem?