Consumer or co-producer? New multidisciplinary media research

For the next five years, two of the schools at Jönköping University will work together to study the meaning of user-generated content for readers and producers of newspapers.

It is the Department of Media and Communications Studies of the School of Education and Communication and the Media Management and Transformation Centre (MMTC) of Jönköping International Business School, who have received an 8.14 m SEK grant from the Carl-Olof and Jenz Hamrin Foundation for this project.

The multidisciplinary project will combine communications studies and business perspectives and will thereby be able to increase the understanding of the meaning of user generated content both for readers of news and for those newspaper companies that have to cope with increasingly active audiences.

“In five years, we will know much more about how media organizations work with user-generated content like comments, letters and images. We will also have a better understanding of the contributing users. We really look forward to working with this research project. The next five years will be very exciting,” says professor Tobias Olsson, research director at the Department of Media and Communication Studies.

“The impact of digital technologies and the kinds of interaction they permit between traditional content providers and consumers is an increasingly important issue that news organizations all over the world are trying to understand and leverage in order to build relationships with their audiences,” says associate professor Dan Shaver, director of the MMTC.

The funding will support the employment of two doctoral students, one in each school, and will enable a variety of coordinated teaching, research and publishing over the course of the project. The project will strengthen the quality of media education at both schools by involving undergraduate and graduate students from relevant courses and programmes and teaching from PhD candidates and senior researchers from both schools. The successful application was written by professor Tobias Olsson at the Department of Media and Communications Studies in collaboration with associate professor Patrik Wikström at MMTC.

For more information, please contact Tobias Olsson: +46 73 350 88 83 or