What is Digital Journalism Studies? [open book]

Click to go to editorial information

[From book introductory pages] What is Digital Journalism Studies? delves into the technologies, platforms, and audience relations that constitute digital journalism studies’ central objects of study, outlining its principal theories, the research methods being developed, its normative underpinnings, and possible futures for the academic field. The book argues that digital journalism studies is much more than the study of journalism produced, distributed, and consumed with the aid of digital technologies.

Rather, the scholarly field of digital journalism studies is built on questions that disrupt much of what previously was taken for granted concerning media, journalism, and public spheres, asking questions like: What is a news organisation? To what degree has news become separated from journalism? What roles do platform companies and emerging technologies play in the production, distribution, and consumption of news and journalism? The book reviews the research into these questions and argues that digital journalism studies constitutes a cross-disciplinary field that does not focus on journalism solely from the traditions of journalism studies, but is open to research from and conversations with related fields.

This is a timely overview of an increasingly prominent field of media studies that will be of particular interest to academics, researchers, and students of journalism and communication.

Steen Steensen is Professor of Journalism and former (2016–2020) Head of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Oslo Metropolitan University. He currently leads the international research project Source Criticism and Mediated Disinformation (2020–2024). He is associate editor of Journalism Practice and has a background as a journalist.

Oscar Westlund (PhD) is Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Oslo Metropolitan University, where he leads the OsloMet Digital Journalism Research Group. He holds secondary appointments at Volda University College and the University of Gothenburg. He is the editor-in-chief of Digital Journalism. He leads The Epistemologies of Digital News Production research project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.


This book is intended for researchers, PhD students, and possibly also post-graduate students interested in the emerging field of digital journalism studies. The book would not have materialised without the aid of many people, to whom we would like to extend our warmest gratitude.

First, we would like to thank series editor Bob Franklin for reaching out to us with the idea for this book. Without his encouragement and enthusiasm the book would not have been written. Then we would like to thank our employer, Oslo Metropolitan University, not only for allowing us to spend time on this book, but also for granting funding for making this book Open Access.

We are truly excited about the fact that this book can be accessed by anyone from everywhere without any costs other than those related to having internet access and a screen to read on. We would also like to thank the publisher, Routledge, for making this opportunity available at a reasonable cost, and for all the work put into the production of the book.In the final stages of developing this book we have approached a handful of exceptionally qualified peers for feedback on one or several chapters.

Each chapter has benefited substantially from constructive feedback on both bigger and smaller issues. In alphabetical order we would like to extend our most sincere appreciation and thanks to Laura Ahva, Sherwin Chua, Mark Deuze, Scott Eldridge II, Tine U. Figenschou, Alfred Hermida, Kristy Hess, Avery Holton, Karoline A. Ihlebæk, Maria Konow Lund, Merja Myllylathi, Ragnhild K. Olsen, Chris Peters, Jane B. Singer, Helle Sjøvaag, and Edson Tandoc Jr. We will forever be grateful for your collegial support.The book is written as a cooperative exercise between the two of us.

Even though all eight chapters are coauthored, we have divided the work so that Steensen had the main responsibility for chapters 1, 5, 6, and 7 while Westlund did the heavy lifting in chapters 2, 3, 4, and 8. However, all chapters have been revised by both authors in many rounds, so the book is really the result of what we have experienced as a fruitful cooperation.

Our final acknowledgement therefore goes to ourselves: Steen would like to thank Oscar and Oscar would like to thank Steen. We have enjoyed the experience of working with each other and integrating our explicit knowledge about digital journalism and digital journalism studies in coauthoring this book. It’s been a challenge, but it has been fun.

[Source of the precedents fragments: the referenced book]


Editorial information and access

1st Edition
What is Digital Journalism Studies?
By Steen Steensen, Oscar Westlund ISBN 9780367200909
Published July 22, 2020 by Routledge
136 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations


We list below a few key references mentioned in the preceding text. For the full bibliography of this book, please visit the online eResource at www.routledge.com/9780367200909.

  • Ahva, L., & Steensen, S. (2017). Deconstructing digital journalism studies. In S. A. Eldridge II & B. Franklin (Eds.), The Routledge companion to digital journalism studies. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Al-Rawi, A. (2019). Viral news on social media. Digital Journalism, 7(1), 63–79. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1387062
  • Bechmann, A., & Nielbo, K. L. (2018). Are we exposed to the same “News” in the news feed? An empirical analysis of filter bubbles as information similarity for Danish Facebook users. Digital Journalism, 6(8), 990–1002. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1510741
  • Belair-Gagnon, V., & Holton, A. E. (2018). Boundary work, interloper media, and analytics in newsrooms. Digital Journalism, 6(4), 492–508. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1445001
  • Boczkowski, P. J. (2004). Digitizing the news: Innovation in online newspapers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Boczkowski, P. J. (2010). News at work: Imitation in an age of information abundance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from http://files/5332/books.html
  • Burgess, J., & Hurcombe, E. (2019). Digital journalism as symptom, response, and agent of change in the platformed media environment. Digital Journalism, 7(3), 359–367. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1556313
  • Bygdås, A. L., Clegg, S., & Hagen, A. L. (Eds.). (2019). Media management and digital transformation. Oxon, UK and New York: Routledge.
  • Carlson, M. (2018a). Confronting measurable journalism. Digital Journalism, 6(4), 406–417. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1445003
  • Carlson, M., Robinson, S., Lewis, S. C., & Berkowitz, D. A. (2018). Journalism studies and its core commitments: The making of a communication field. Journal of Communication, 68(1), 6–25. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqx006
  • Chua, S., & Westlund, O. (2019). Audience-centric engagement, collaboration culture and platform counterbalancing: A longitudinal study of ongoing sensemaking of emerging technologies. Media and Communication, 7(1), 153. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i1.1760
  • Coddington, M. (2015). Clarifying journalism’s quantitative turn. Digital Journalism,
    3(3), 331–348. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2014.976400
  • Deuze, M., & Witschge, T. (2020). Beyond journalism. Cambridge, UK and Medford,
    MA: Polity Press.
  • Diakopoulos, N. (2015). Algorithmic accountability. Digital Journalism, 3(3), 398–415 https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2014.976411
  • Domingo, D., & Paterson, C. (Eds.). (2011). Making online news (volume 2). Newsroom
    ethnographies in the second decade of internet journalism. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Ekström, M., & Westlund, O. (2019b). The dislocation of news journalism: A conceptual
    framework for the study of epistemologies of digital journalism. Media and Communication, 7(1), 259–270. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i1.1763
  • Eldridge II, S. A., & Franklin, B. (Eds.). (2019). The Routledge handbook of developments
    in digital journalism studies. London: Routledge.
  • Eldridge II, S. A., Hess, K., Tandoc, E. C., & Westlund, O. (2019). Navigating the
    scholarly Terrain: Introducing the digital journalism studies compass. Digital Journalism,
    7(3), 386–403. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2019.1599724
  • Franklin, B., & Eldridge II, S. A. (Eds.). (2017). The Routledge companion to digital
    journalism studies. Oxon and New York: Routledge.
  • Helberger, N. (2019). On the democratic role of news recommenders. Digital Journalism,
    1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2019.1623700
  • Hermida, A. (2010). Twittering the news. Journalism Practice, 4(3), 297–308.
  • Lewis, S. C., & Molyneux, L. (2018). A decade of research on social media and journalism:
    Assumptions, blind spots, and a way forward. Media and Communication,
    6(4), 11. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v6i4.1562
  • Lewis, S. C., & Westlund, O. (2015a). Actors, actants, audiences, and activities in
    cross-media news work. Digital Journalism, 3(1), 19–37.
  • Moyo, D., Mare, A., & Matsilele, T. (2019). Analytics-driven journalism? Editorial
    metrics and the reconfiguration of online news production practices in African
    newsrooms”. Digital Journalism, 7(4), 490–506.
  • Paterson, C., & Domingo, D. (Eds.). (2008). Making online news. The ethnography of
    new media production. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking journalism. Trust and participation
    in a transformed news landscape. London: Routledge.
  • Peters, C., & Carlson, M. (2019). Conceptualizing change in journalism studies:
    Why change at all? Journalism, 20(5), 637–641.
  • Singer, J. B., Hermida, A., Domingo, D., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Quandt, T., . . .
    Vujnovic, M. (2011). Participatory journalism. Guarding open gates at online newspapers.
    Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Steensen, S. (2011). Online journalism and the promises of new technology. Journalism
    Studies, 12(3), 311–327. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2010.501151
  • Steensen, S., Grøndahl Larsen, A. M., Hågvar, Y. B., & Fonn, B. K. (2019). What
    does digital journalism studies look like? Digital Journalism, 7(3), 320–342.
  • Storsul, T., & Krumsvik, A. H. (2013b). What is media Innovation? In T. Storsul &
    A. H. Krumsvik (Eds.), Media Innovations. A Multidiciplinary Study of Change (pp. 13–26).
    Gothenburg: Nordicom.
  • Tandoc, E. C. (2019a). Analyzing analytics. Disrupting journalism one click at a time. London:
  • Usher, N. (2016). Interactive journalism: Hackers, data, and code. Urbana: University of
    Illinois Press.
  • Waisbord, S. (2019). The 5Ws and 1H of digital journalism. Digital Journalism, 7(3),
    351–358. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1545592
  • Witschge, T., Anderson, C. W., Domingo, D., & Hermida, A. (Eds.). (2016a). The
    SAGE handbook of digital journalism. London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi: Sage.
  • Zamith, R. (2018). Quantified audiences in news production. Digital Journalism, 6(4),
    418–435. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1444999
  • Zelizer, B. (2019a). Why journalism is about more than digital technology. Digital
    Journalism, 7(3), 343–350. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2019.1571932