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  • 1.
    Al-Saqaf, Walid
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Could blockchain save journalism? : An explorative study of blockchain’s potential to make journalism a more sustainable business2019In: Blockchain and Web 3.0: Social, Economic, and Technological Challenges / [ed] Massimo Ragnedda & Giuseppe Destefanis, London: Routledge, 2019, 1, p. 97-113Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ever since the Bitcoin phenomenon gained momentum in recent years, much has been written about blockchain applications and prospects in the FinTech industry, business and healthcare. Yet, very little if any scholarly work has been done to study how the peer-to-peer, decentralized and highly disruptive blockchain technology may impact or be used by news media and journalists. This article is an effort to contribute to the body of scholarship on journalism as well as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) by exploring blockchain’s potential applications and challenges when dealing with journalism's most fundamental pillars such as fact checking, data gathering and analysis.

    The study explores two case studies demonstrating distinct uses of permissionless blockchains. The first revolves around blockchains as a source of information that could be used by data journalists to extract valuable insights regarding payment transactions and network formation as illustrated by the investigative reporting done on the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack.

    The second case study is around the use of the technology as a basis for revolutionizing journalism as an industry by leveraging the technology’s core characteristics, namely decentralisation, immutability and transparency. The latter case study will look into two ongoing journalistic projects namely the Distributed News Network and Civil, which promise allowing the creation and management of content without centralized control or even a centralized newsroom in ways that could effectively limit the spread of fake news and propaganda.

    The paper analyses the objectives, methods and limitations of the case studies and uses interviews and content analysis of empirical data obtained from primary sources. By reflecting on Rogers’ theory of the diffusion of innovation, the study assesses the impact of blockchains in comparison to other earlier technologies such as the diffusion of the Internet.

    It is hoped that the conclusions drawn from this study could help inform journalists and media about the potential uses and limitations of blockchain technology in journalism as well as initiate a scholarly curiosity with a futuristic outlook to understanding the role of cutting edge and disruptive technologies on society.

  • 2.
    Hultén, Gunilla
    et al.
    Stockholm University.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    KTH.
    Storylab Lessons: A Collaborative Project Between Coursesin Journalism and Media Technology2018In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 3-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines Storylab, a collaborative learning project between the journalism programme at Stockholm University and the engineering programme in media technology at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, designed to combine journalistic storytelling with pervasive media technology. The aim of the study is to identify and reflect on the challenges associated with the approach. The methods used are a survey and semi-structured interviews with the students. The analyses draw on research concerning the current main challenges for the news industry and journalism educators. The results show that Storylab was highly appreciated, and provided students with useful skills for their professional lives. However, not all groups worked well together, and some students wished that the collaboration had been more extensive. Differences in motivations and priorities were mentioned as restraining factors. Therefore, it is argued that for a sustainable media landscape, journalists and engineers must collaborate, and that this cooperation can be brought about during professional training.

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  • 3.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Automating the search and selection of news in municipal registries: Experiences from a Swedish participatory action research project2024In: Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, ISSN 2001-0818, E-ISSN 2049-9531, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 93-113Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article describes a Swedish case study with a focus on how to enhance journalists’ professional autonomy, local news coverage and local democracy with the help of an automated search tool. The aim was to involve journalists in the development project using the theory of participatory action research and tailor a search tool to their specific needs to search for news stories in documents from municipalities. We conclude that user-centred design is a viable methodology when developing a new tool, but not necessarily when it comes to implementing the tool in journalists’ everyday practice, as the implementation is dependent on other factors connected to management and organizational structures. It became clear that the journalists were optimistic about the automated search tool as long as it made their work more efficient in terms of time and money and offered better possibilities for independent news discovery. We also noticed that some of the journalists’ professional knowledge about a certain geographical area or municipality became subordinate to the knowledge of how to best use available search tools.

  • 4.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Medierna och tekniken: en komplicerad historia2020In: Mellan det hyperlokala och globala: Journalistikens förändringar och utmaningar i en digital tid: Vänbok till Gunnar Nygren / [ed] Ester Appelgren & Andreas Widholm, Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2020, p. 163-167Chapter in book (Other academic)
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    Medierna och tekniken – en komplicerad historia
  • 5.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Al-Saqaf, Walid
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Drivers and Barriers for Using Blockchain Technology to Create a Global Fact-Checking Database2022In: Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, E-ISSN 1986-3497, Vol. 12, no 4, article id e202228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A core concept within journalism is the demand for correctness and the ability to double-check news and its sources (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2014). In this paper, we reflect on the development of a prototype to study the possible use of blockchain technology to create a global secure database of fact-checks that is open to the public. The prototype utilized Hyperledger fabric to create a permissioned blockchain that stores fact-checks created by its users. Through automated processes using smart contracts (chain code applications), we aimed to create a solution that would improve the reliability of fact-checking and keep track of each fact-checking process for digital content, including pictures and videos.

    Our conclusion is that it is indeed possible to create a blockchain-based system that allows the establishment of a network of fact-checkers that could collectively build and maintain a globally accessible fact-checking database. However, based on technical developments and the evaluation performed by the professional fact-checkers and data journalists in our study, we conclude that the cost, complexity, and rapid technological changes required in this domain indicate that blockchain technology is not yet ready to be directly applied to fact-checking processes in a real-world scenario.

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    fulltext
  • 6.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Al-Saqaf, Walid
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Journalistiken i framtiden – trender och spaningar2020In: Vad är journalistik?: En antologi av journalistiklärare på Södertörns högskola / [ed] Elin Gardeström & Hanna Sofia Rehnberg, Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2020, p. 125-131Chapter in book (Other academic)
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    Journalistiken i framtiden – trender och spaningar
  • 7.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Al-Saqaf, Walid
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Nygren, Gunnar
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Verification of Digital Sources in Swedish Newsrooms — A Technical Issue or a Question of Newsroom Culture?2023In: Journalism Practice, ISSN 1751-2786, E-ISSN 1751-2794, Vol. 17, no 8, p. 1678-1695Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyses and discusses attitudes and practices concerning verification among Swedish journalists. The research results are based on a survey of more than 800 Swedish journalists about their attitudes towards verification (Journalist 2018) and a design project where a prototype for verification in newsrooms – the Fact Check Assistant (FCA) – was developed and evaluated. The results of the survey show a lack of routines when it comes to verifying content from social media and blogs and considerable uncertainty among journalists about whether this kind of verification is possible.

    The development of the prototype initially created reactions of interest and curiosity from the newsroom staff. Gradually, however, the degree of scepticism about its usability increased. A lack of time and a lack of knowledge were two of the obstacles to introducing new verification routines. It is not enough to introduce new digital tools, according to the journalists. Management must also allocate time for training. The paper’s ultimate conclusion is that changing journalists’ and editors’ attitudes towards verification in this digital age appears to be guided by newsroom culture rather than technical solutions.

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    fulltext
  • 8.
    Picha Edwardsson, Malin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Zuiderveld, Maria
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    The return of Place: When local media collaborates with public libraries2024In: Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, ISSN 2001-0818, E-ISSN 2049-9531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Generally speaking, public libraries and local media are quite different, but at the same time, they share similarities when it comes to promoting local democratic processes. So, what happens when they collaborate with a common goal? What are their actual similarities and differences? Can they collaborate in order to strengthen each other? How does this collaboration relate to the scientific discussion about public space and place, participatory journalism and civic engagement? These are some of the questions explored in this article. Our research draws empirically on semi-structured interviews with Swedish journalists and librarians in an unusual project with the aim to explore how new forms of collaboration between libraries and local newspapers could strengthen the information and media literacy leading up to the general elections in September 2022. The collaboration resulted in an increased awareness about the importance of place, as local media companies discovered how important place is for connecting with their readers. Furthermore, we draw the conclusion that both local media companies and public libraries could be more active when creating an arena for democratic discussions since there is great potential for more collaboration in the future. Even though they face different conditions, Swedish media could continue to explore this particular road to increased relevance in order to enhance civic engagement.

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