The technological and economic changes of the media industry represent far-reaching challenges also for the Nordic media system and journalism as a societal institution. One vital element is the increasing dominance of free market economics, combined with media concentration and transnational cross media corporations.
These changes are parallel to the dramatic transformations connected with digitalisation, convergence, and the growth of the Internet and of publication platforms. Free papers, new social media and new forms of interactivity have led to new media habits and ideas concerning journalism and civic engagement.
The development directly concerns areas such as editorial responsibilities, ethical questions, professional roles and source relations. It also questions the traditional ideas about the functions of journalism and news media in society. For journalism studies and communication research this development is a great challenge, especially since the new conditions for journalism and political communication also concerns important questions for democracy.
Comparative research and coordinated research efforts are necessary, but Nordic research on journalism and news cultures lacks comparative studies across national borders. Most research is still based on national media systems and experiences.
This is a situation that the Nordic Research Network in Journalism Studies definitely will contribute to change. To inspire such research activities there is an increased need for contact and cooperation between senior researchers, post-doctoral fellows and PhD-students. The Nordic Research Network in Journalism Studies attempts to establish such a forum, especially directed to develop contacts between senior and younger researchers and to serve the research training needs of PhD-students.