Academy Colloquium The Audience Turn in Journalism

Academy Colloquium The Audience Turn in Journalism, Amsterdam January 22-25, 2019

From the 22nd until the 25th of January, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Groningen organize the colloquim “The Audience Turn in Journalism”, a focused conference hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The colloquium is the final part of The New News Consumer project (, a collaborative research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and conducted by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Groningen with twelve news industry partners.


The program consists of four focused panels in which the speakers share and discuss key findings and challenges from their work on digital news habits. The panel presentations are followed by a discussion led by selected discussants. These discussants will reflect on the panel presentations based on their own research expertise.

Day 0: Tuesday, January 22

  • 19.00: Registration and opening reception

Day 1: Wednesday, January 23

9.00 – 9.50: Introduction

  • The Audience Turn in Journalism Studies (Irene Costera Meijer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

9.50 – 13.00: Panel 1

  • Capturing and making sense of everyday news use: Heikki Heikkilä (University of Tampere), Ike Picone (Free University Brussels), Stephanie Edgerly (Northwestern University)

14.00 – 17.00: Panel 2

  • Connective news in everyday life: Hallvard Moe (University of Bergen); Kim Schrøder (Roskilde University); Stephen Coleman (Leeds University)

Day 2: Thursday, January 24

8.50 – 12.00: Panel 3

  • How young people understand and engage with news: Lynn Schofield Clarke (University of Denver); Paul Mihailidis (Emerson College); Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics and Political Science); Neil Thurman (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München)

13.00 – 16.00: Panel 4

  • Audiences and journalists: (how) do they know each other?: Steen Steensen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Oscar Westlund (Oslo Metropolitan University), Wiebke Loosen (Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg)

16.00 – 17.30: Panel 5

  • Future of audience research in Journalism Studies: Unpacking current dilemma’s, ambivalences and contradictions in audience research (moderator: Marcel Broersma, University of Groningen)

Day 3: Friday, January 25

9.00 – 12.30: Masterclass news professionals

  • Engagement and Trust: James G. Robinson (Columbia University & The New York Times) and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism)

13.00 – 17.00: Masterclass PhD’s and research master students

  • Measuring changing news use and fragmented audiences: Kim Schrøder (Roskilde University) and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism)


The aim of this focused conference is to further knowledge of how the digitalization of journalism has changed and continues to shape news user practices, experiences and public engagement. As evident from the title, the colloquium takes a user-perspective to gain a better understanding of changing news habits in a digital era. Thus far, the audience perspective has received limited attention within journalism studies. If we want to capture and understand how digitalisation, globalisation and the increasing participatory nature of journalism have shaped people’s engagement with news, new theories, concepts and research methods are needed that put the news user center-stage.

This colloquium will theoretically and methodologically guide future studies on digital news uses and practices by bringing together 50 internationally renowned audience and journalism researchers from the fields of political communication, anthropology, social psychology, media and journalism studies to share, discuss and connect insights from their work. The outcome of this effort will be a research agenda that incorporates the different approaches and research findings brought forward by this conference.

Practical information

The venue for the colloquium will be the Trippenhuis (Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011, JV Amsterdam), seat of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Full registration is €150. This includes reception on Tuesday, dinner on Wednesday and Thursday, daily lunch, and tea and coffee breaks.  Please note that travel to Amsterdam and accommodation are not included. Limited funding might be available for candidates for whom the registration fee is an obstacle. The masterclass for PhD-students is free of charge.

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