The scientific team from the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, is led by Extraordinary Professor Nico Carpentier. ICSJ is involved in research Work Packages 1, 2, 3, 4, and we are leaders of research Work Package 5.
Europeanisation: Lessons from Media History (WP 1)
Our team will help WP1 with the theoretical framework and operational definition for Europeanisation. In WP1, we will collect data related to the transformation of European media systems, with respect to both production and consumption, in 1990-2019. The main goal is to identify economic and geo-cultural patterns to understand the degree to which different identities – local, national, European or global – have been shaped by the media. A further goal is to equip policy-makers with new knowledge about media landscapes.
Fake News: Platformization of Journalism (WP2)
WP2 is intended to analyze the evolution of news production in digital environments. We will focus on the analysis of fake news concerning the spread of anti-EU disinformation. This will include the investigation of contemporary information system with the use of complex algorithmic solutions. One of the main changes affecting the media ecosystem is the recent evolution in news production and consumption, usually referred to as “platform journalism” or “networked journalism”. With this respect, platformization of news triggered a real revolution, leading to both positive and negative externalities – on the one hand, civic participation and the widening of the communication arena; on the other hand, the spread of fake news, polarization, radicalization and hate speech.
Hegemony: Video Platformization (WP3)
The goal of WP3 is to understand to what degree video streaming platforms – when compared to traditional TV and movie market, studied in WP1 – are making European culture more European or even more dependent on national contents and global agencies. For instance, in the case of Netflix, a specific pattern has emerged, which is based on the two opposite poles of American control of distribution and territorial and national nature of both regulation and taste (Lobato, Netflix Nations, 2019). In a parallel way with WP2 and WP4, we will analyze how platformization – in the fundamental sector of video production and consumption – is impacting European markets, to come out with both a catalogue of best practices and a list of main obstacles to Europeanisation.
Exclusion: Platformization of Media Representation (WP4)
How are media representations of major European political and cultural issues (like refugees, migration, religions, common history, geopolitical and economic crisis, terrorism, sport, elections, etc.) affected by new modes of production, consumption, and by new trends of ownership and control over media content? Immigration and gender will be two main topics in this work package. We will analyze the representation of these topics on blogs, forums, comments and social media.
Power: People and Platforms (WP5)
“Reliable forecast” about the evolution of some critical issues will be part of the WP, which, in so doing, is expected to equip policy-makers “with knowledge and effective tools for understanding the impact” of platformization. The synthesis of all previous results and the indication of future trends require a theoretical effort, which, in our case, will be inspired by a “grounded” methodology. With respect to this paradigm in social sciences, we identified four main clusters – related to Surveillance and Resistance; Choice and Algorithms; Toxic Debate and Pluralistic Values; Destructive Technologies.