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  • 201.
    Fast, Karin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Selling (the idea of) mediatization: Contemporary technology discourse and the indispensability of mobile media in work/life2017In: NordMedia: Mediated Realities – Global Challenges, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hitherto, and mainly by way of ethnographic studies, mediatization research has informed us about the relevance, influence, and role of media in various spheres of social life. Less is known, however, about how mediatization is discursively constructed. The relevance of constructivist approaches to mediatization has been explicated e.g. by Krotz (2017), who calls for critical mediatization studies that consider the economic interests of mediatization stakeholders, including the ICT industry. Against this backdrop, this paper scrutinizes what the alleged ‘mobility revolution’ entails according to some of those who would benefit the most from such a revolution. More concretely, the paper studies the discursive practices of three leading corporations in the mobile communications sector: IBM, Huawei, and Ericsson. Stimulated by critical mediatization theory as well as related accounts of the (technology) discourse-reality relationship, the paper asks: if mobile media changes ‘everything’ in life – whose lives are being changed? If mobile media are ‘indispensable’ to modern ways of living – what are they supposed to do? Ultimately, the paper speaks to the theme of this special issue by interrogating how contemporary mobile technology discourse contributes to the (re-)production of social space. Findings suggest that mediatization is constructed as the response to an internal human drive for connectivity and as an inexorable natural force. Three sub-discourses on mobile technology are identified: ‘technologies of cosmos’, ‘technologies of self’, and, ultimately, ‘technologies of life’. Altogether, these sub-discourses disclose and reinforce the hegemonic nature of mediatization by communicating the indispensability of mobile media in modern – notably, urban and privileged – lives. In addition to providing answers to the study’s empirical questions, the paper includes a discussion about the potential implications of existing discourse overlaps between ICT companies and mediatization theorists, as well as a sketch for an agenda for the ‘discursive turn’ in mediatization studies.

  • 202.
    Fast, Karin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    The Longue Durée of Transmedia Work2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with the transformation of work under the pressures of mediatization. Mediatization is here understood as a historical process of media-induced change that establishes tensions between emancipating forces and increasing socio-technological dependence. The paper seeks to make sense of mediatized work and its implications by covering forms of work that has either been reconfigured through changes in the media system or developed as a direct response to mediatization and the accompanying post-Fordist regime of work.

  • 203.
    Fast, Karin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    There is no place like work: The mediatization of international labor2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the last decade, mobile media technologies have come to transform the ways in which we organize life and work. Inventions like the smartphone and the spreading of free Wi-Fi networks – technologies which allow us to “stay connected” while on the move – affect how we plan and perform our everyday activities as well as how we handle relationships. Employing a theoretical framework centered on the notion of ‘the mediatization of labor’, my conference contribution focuses on the overarching question of how mobile media technologies impact on working life itself and on work/life balance. For the specific category of people who work partly internationally, access to new media can be assumed to be particularly crucial for the organization of personal- as well as working life. The empirical data upon which my contribution is based consist of 10-15 qualitative interviews, conducted with international business elites working in the private sector. For this group of workers, the time spent away from both workplace and home seems to become a time of self-negotiation; a time when questions of who to stay in touch with, when, and to what extent need to be answered in ways that please all parties involved. My preliminary results indicate that expectations of connectivity are set by both employers and family members, and that the connectivity enabled by mobile media technologies is understood by the respondents as a precondition for an international high-level career.

  • 204.
    Fast, Karin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    World-Building vs. Brand-Building: Transformers as a Marvel Outcast and Hollywood Star2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Durable media franchises are inevitably sites of change. For creative or commercial purposes, they tend to change both in terms of what commodities they hold and what stories they contain. This paper analyses Hasbro’s Transformers by way of a combined theoretical framework that considers franchise changes in relation to both ‘world-building’ and ‘brand-building’. While each concept has gained increased scholarly attention recently, they are rarely or only superficially combined in the existent literature on media franchising. The paper argues that this combination of theory allows us to, on the one hand, understand how franchises like Transformers are constituted both as ‘story-worlds’ and ‘brand-worlds’, and, on the other hand, detect potential power asymmetries in the industry/fan relationship. The Transformers case study makes evident that the processes of world-building and brand-building are not always easy to combine in ways that satisfy both companies and audiences.

  • 205.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Jansson, André
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Transmedia work: Privilege and precariousness in digital modernity2019 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Transmedia Work Karin Fast and André Jansson explore several key questions that frame the study of the social and cultural implications of a digital, connected workforce. How might we understand 'privilege' and 'precariousness' in today's digitalized work market? What does it mean to be a privileged worker under the so-called connectivity imperative? What are the social and cultural forces that normalize the appropriation of new media in, and beyond, the workplace? These key questions come together in the notion of transmedia work - a term through which a social critique of work under digital modernity can be formulated. Transmedia work refers to the rise of a new social condition that saturates many different types of work, with various outcomes. In some social groups, and in certain professions, transmedia work is wholeheartedly embraced, while it is questioned and resisted elsewhere. There are also variations in terms of control; who can maintain a sense of mastery over transmedia work and who cannot? Through interviews with cultural workers, expatriates, and mobile business workers, and ancillary empirical data such as corporate technology and coworking discourse, Transmedia Work is an important addition to the study of mediatization and digital culture.

  • 206.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Jansson, AndréKarlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).Lindell, JohanKarlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).Ryan Bengtsson, LindaKarlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).Tesfahuney, MekonnenKarlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Geomedia Studies: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds2018Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This book introduces and develops the concept of geomedia studies as the name of a particular subfield of communication geography. Despite the accelerating societal relevance of 'geomedia' technologies for the production of various spaces, mobilities, and power-relations, and the unquestionable emergence of a vibrant research field that deals with questions pertaining to such topics, the term geomedia studies remains surprisingly unestablished. By addressing imperative questions about the implications of geomedia technologies for organizations, social groups and individuals (e.g. businesses profiting from geo-surveillance, refugees or migrants moving across national borders, or artists claiming their rights to public space) the book also aims to contribute to ongoing academic and societal debates in our increasingly mediatized world.

  • 207.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Jansson, André
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Tesfahuney, Mekonnen
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Lindell, Johan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Introducing geomedia studies2017In: Geomedia Studies: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds / [ed] Karin Fast, André Jansson, Johan Lindell, Linda Ryan Bengtsson, Mekonnen Tesfahuney, Routledge, 2017, p. 1-18Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 208.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Jansson, André
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Tesfahuney, Mekonnen
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Lindell, Johan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Introduction to Geomedia Studies2018In: Geomedia Studies: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds / [ed] Fast, Karin; Jansson, André; Lindell, Johan; Ryan-Bengtsson, Linda; Tesfahuney, mekonnen, Routledge, 2018, p. 1-18Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 209.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Lindell, Johan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Elastic mobility: Negotiating the ’home’ and ’away’ continuum2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study sets out provide an understanding of internationally mobile life-conducts from a perspective that takes into account social costs that come with being away from localized, everyday life. We show that mobile elites are oftentimes reluctant travellers. A way of coping with the existential dilemmas of being away is to stay connected with family and friends with technologies of communication, which are deployed by the mobile elite under the regime of what Tomlinson calls “technologies of the hearth”. Furthermore, few informants ascribe any value to travelling in itself. Cosmopolitanism can here be understood as a form capital rather than a way of immersing the self into the culture of the other. We arrive at the concept of elastic mobility, which highlights central push-and-pull processes within mobile life-conducts. The concept forwards a perspective on the social consequences of globalization that goes beyond contemporary “flow speak”.

  • 210.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Lindell, Johan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    On the Reluctant Cosmopolitanism of Kinetic Élites2015In: 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association, August 25-28, 2015, Prague, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 211.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Lindell, Johan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    The elastic mobility of business elites: Negotiating the 'home' and 'away' continuum2016In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, ISSN 1367-5494, E-ISSN 1460-3551, Vol. 19, no 5, p. 435-449Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study sets out to provide an understanding of internationally mobile elites from a perspective that takes into account the social costs that come with being away from localized, everyday life. We show that mobile elites are often reluctant travellers and employ Bude and Dürrschmidt’s notion of ‘transclusion’ to understand the often-unrecognized ambivalence of mobile lifestyles. One way of coping with

    the existential dilemma of being away is to stay connected with family and friends through technologies of communication, which are deployed by the mobile elite under the regime of what Tomlinson calls ‘technologies of the hearth’. We arrive at the concept of ‘elastic mobility’, which highlights central push-and-pull processes in mobile lifestyles. The concept forwards a perspective on the social consequences of globalization that goes beyond contemporary ‘flow speak’.

  • 212.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ljungberg, Emilia
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Braunerhielm, Lotta
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    On the social construction of geomedia technologies2019In: Communication and the public, ISSN 2057-0473, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 89-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Geomedia technologies represent an advanced set of digital media devices, hardwares, and softwares. Previous research indicates that these place contingent technologies are currently gaining significant social relevance, and contribute to the shaping of contemporary public lives and spaces. However, research has yet to empirically examine how, and for whom, geomedia technologies are made relevant, as well as the role of these technologies in wider processes of social and spatial (re-)production. This special issue contributes valuable knowledge to existing research in the realm of communication geography, by viewing the current “geomediascape” through the lens of social constructivist perspectives, and by interrogating the reciprocal shaping of technology, the social, and space/place. Scrutinizing the social construction of geomedia technologies in various empirical contexts and in relation to different social groups, the essays deal with important questions of power and control, and ultimately challenge the notion of (geo)mediatization as a neutral process.

  • 213.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    A spatial approach to fan labor: Conceptualizing fan mobilization in transmedia marketing2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When Swedish artist Tove Styrke released her album Kiddo (2015) on Spotify, she mobilized her fans through an immersive marketing campaign that stretched across and beyond media platforms: an 8-bit game, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Dreamhack, and a major Swedish music festival were key campaign platforms. The campaign construction was hardly unique, but rather illustrative of current trends in cultural production, including transmedia marketing and the increasing reliance on fan labor.This paper argues that informed spatial approaches to fan labor, and business strategies aimed to cultivate such labor, are missing in the existing research on cultural production. While descriptions of our transmediatized culture often-times do include spatial metaphors, such as “flow”, “stream”, “fluid”, and “liquid”, our conviction is that a more serious engagement with geography is vital for understanding, mapping, and ultimately critiquing industry practices that potentially are exploitive, unethical, and even harmful.Therefore, this paper suggests a theoretical framework for exploring the geographies of fan labor and presents exemplifying cartographies of authentic music marketing campaigns. The framework is influenced by two recent ‘turns’ in media and communication studies: the labor turn and the spatial turn. From labor theory, we borrow the idea that consumer engagement can be read as labor that is typically unpaid, affective, and voluntarily given. Spatial theory, next, provides us with a conceptual toolbox to disentangle the spatiality of transmedia marketing, including the relationship between physical and virtual elements.The notion of ‘transmediascape’ is brought in to describe the embodiment of transmedia marketing – in mediated and non-mediated spaces and flows. Such transmediascapes, the paper argues, can be read as the perfect soil for fan labor since they mobilize consumers in more than one respect: they assemble fan affect and, at the same time, encourage physical as well as virtual fan movement. Due to its multifaceted connotation – pointing towards both affectivity and mobility – the term ‘mobilization’ fruitfully bridges labor theory and spatial theory and serves, ultimately, as a key concept for analyzing contemporary forms of cultural production.

  • 214.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    A spatial approach to fan labour: Conceptualizing fan mobilization in transmedia marketing2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When Swedish artist Tove Styrke released her album Kiddo (2015) on Spotify, she mobilized her fans through an immersive marketing campaign that stretched across and beyond media platforms: an 8-bit game, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Dreamhack, and a major Swedish music festival were key campaign platforms. The campaign construction was hardly unique, but rather illustrative of current trends in cultural production, including transmedia marketing and the increasing reliance on fan labor.This paper argues that informed spatial approaches to fan labor, and business strategies aimed to cultivate such labor, are missing in the existing research on cultural production. While descriptions of our transmediatized culture often-times do include spatial metaphors, such as “flow”, “stream”, “fluid”, and “liquid”, our conviction is that a more serious engagement with geography is vital for understanding, mapping, and ultimately critiquing industry practices that potentially are exploitive, unethical, and even harmful.Therefore, this paper suggests a theoretical framework for exploring the geographies of fan labor and presents exemplifying cartographies of authentic music marketing campaigns. The framework is influenced by two recent ‘turns’ in media and communication studies: the labor turn and the spatial turn. From labor theory, we borrow the idea that consumer engagement can be read as labor that is typically unpaid, affective, and voluntarily given. Spatial theory, next, provides us with a conceptual toolbox to disentangle the spatiality of transmedia marketing, including the relationship between physical and virtual elements.The notion of ‘transmediascape’ is brought in to describe the embodiment of transmedia marketing – in mediated and non-mediated spaces and flows. Such transmediascapes, the paper argues, can be read as the perfect soil for fan labor since they mobilize consumers in more than one respect: they assemble fan affect and, at the same time, encourage physical as well as virtual fan movement. Due to its multifaceted connotation – pointing towards both affectivity and mobility – the term ‘mobilization’ fruitfully bridges labor theory and spatial theory and serves, ultimately, as a key concept for analyzing contemporary forms of cultural production

  • 215.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Geographies of free labor: Conceptualizing and Analyzing the 'Transmediascape'2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 216.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ryan Bengtsson, Linda
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Geographies of free labor: Mobilizing consumers across immersive transmediascapes2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When Swedish artist Tove Styrke released her album Kiddo on Spotify in 2015, she simultaneously released an 8-bit game for her fans to play on kiddogame.com. By sharing high scores, users could win merchandise especially put together by the artist. The game was also promoted by one of the most well-known Swedish gaming streamers, posting his own Kiddo Game competition to his followers. A week after the release, Tove performed at Dreamhack, which also shared the game on their website and on Twitter. Later that summer, a live version of the game was staged at a major Swedish music festival, where Tove also performed. The game was easily shared via Facebook and twitter, and while playing the game the album played via Spotify.Worldwide, the music industry struggles to come to terms with how to make profit in times of illegal downloading, streaming, and Spotifyication. One apparent strategy is to rely on consumer engagement. The Tove Styrke campaign could be read as a contemporary example of so called transmedia marketing; that is, as a “holistic content creation approach” (Zeiser, 2015: xv) that simultaneously involves multiple content platforms. The attraction of transmedia marketing lies in its potential to foster engaged consumers who are ready to “haunt” a brand experience across several content platforms. In this paper, we join with the burgeoning critical scholarship that interprets consumer “engagement” as a form of labor. Since much of this labor gets paid in affect rather than money, such labor has rightfully been recognized as a form of free labor.While both transmedia marketing and free labor has been subjected to many studies over the last decade, there is a lack of research initiatives that explicitly address the spatiality of both of these phenomena (though see e.g. Stork’s [2014] engagement with the “transmedia geography” of the Glee franchise). What is more; if it is rare to talk about the geographies of transmediality in the first place, it is equally rare to talk about transmediality, at all, in relation to music. Perhaps not so surprisingly but all the more inaccurately, there seems to be a prevailing perception that transmedia productions are exclusive to, at least traditionally, more narrative-bound franchises such as television, film, game, or comic books. However, storytelling is becoming all the more important also to music brands. Consequently, we identify a need for studies that acknowledge that 1) the notion of transmediality is applicable also to music, and 2) that the spatiality of transmedia endeavors is worthy scholarly review. Our conviction is that just as work-places constitute obvious research objects in relation to other kinds of labor, so do the transmedia “social factories” warrant scholarly attention.As to compensate for the identified research lack then, this paper investigates several actual cases of transmedia marketing in the music industry – and the free labor that such marketing potentially engenders – by way of qualitative content analyses that employ a cross-disciplinary conceptual framework. The framework combines theoretical perspectives from the ‘spatial turn’ and the ‘labor turn’ in media studies and allows us to approach, and visually present, transmedia marketing as a landscape – what we call a transmediascape. Such transmediascapes, our results indicate, can be read as the perfect soil for free labor since they mobilize consumers in more than one respect: they assemble consumer affect and, at the same time, encourage physical as well as virtual fan movement. Thus, due to its multifaceted connotation, pointing towards both affectivity and mobility, we find that the term ‘mobilization’ serves as a fruitful link between spatial theory and labor theory and a key concept for analyzing the geographies of free labor.

    The era of transmediatization is marked by increased reliance, in all the more societal spheres, on content that transcend singular media platforms and, accordingly, by new modes of media consumption. Much research has recognized, confirmed, and explored this transformation, and ‘transmediality’ has hitherto been subjected to relatively extensive theorization. Nonetheless, the spatiality of transmediality remains largely undertheorized. As to correct for this shortage, this paper proposes transmediascape as an analytical tool for discerning the complex topographies of media ownership, technologies, texts, meanings, and practices that constitute today’s transmediatized culture. With inspiration from work in both the ‘spatial turn’ and ‘labor turn’ in media studies, we recognize the transmediascape as an arena of labour, where both paid and unpaid forms of work are carried out. Ultimately, we argue, the concept of transmediascape works as a tool for mapping geographies of free labour across institutional, technological, and textual levels. The present study illuminates current modes of ‘transmediascaping’ – or the practice of cultivating good “soil” for profitable consumer engagement – by focusing the transmedia marketing campaign that launched British/Irish boyband One Direction’s album ‘Made in the A.M’, in 2015.

  • 217.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Örnebring, Henrik
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Transmedia world-building: The Shadow (1931–present) and Transformers (1984–present)2017In: International journal of cultural studies, ISSN 1367-8779, E-ISSN 1460-356X, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 636-652Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study of transmedia storytelling has in recent years turned towards a more historicized understanding of its object of study, and also shifted to a wider perspective on narrative and narrative elements, focusing more on the transmediality of story-worlds and world-building rather than just narratives (‘plots’) in the stricter sense. This article combines these interrelated perspectival shifts in an analysis of story-worlds/world-building in two transmedia franchises: The Shadow (1931–present) and Transformers (1984–present), with a focus on the mechanics and processes of world-building in relation to transmedial change (i.e. how world elements are transformed over time as well as when story-worlds move across media platforms).

  • 218.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Örnebring, Henrik
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Karlsson, Michael
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Metaphors of free labor: A typology of unpaid work in the media sector2016In: Media Culture and Society, ISSN 0163-4437, E-ISSN 1460-3675, Vol. 38, no 7, p. 963-978Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the last decade, free labor has emerged as a key analytical tool for understanding new or semi-new forms of labor in the contemporary digital economy. This article critiques and develops this concept, with specific reference to work in the media industries, by presenting a historically grounded typology of free labor that also highlights some of the analytical problems with the current use of the concept. Our typology presents seven metaphors of free labor based on historical instances of roles people have taken on when performing unpaid labor: those of The Slave, The Carer, The Apprentice, The Prospector, The Hobbyist, The Volunteer, and The Patsy. A key conclusion is that free labor is performed by different actors at either end of increasingly complex and temporally stretched out value chains. This necessitates a more fine-grained and historicized use of the concept of free labor.

  • 219.
    Fast, Karin
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Örnebring, Henrik
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).
    Karlsson, Michael
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for HumanIT. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Metaphors of Free Labor: A Typology of Unpaid Work in the Media Sector2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the last decade, free labor has emerged as a key analytical tool for understanding new or semi-new forms of labor in the contemporary digital economy. This paper critiques and develops this concept, with specific reference to work in the media industries, by presenting a historically grounded typology of free labor that also highlights some of the analytical problems with the current use of the concept. Our typology presents eight metaphors of free labor based on historical instances of roles people have taken on when performing unpaid labor: those of The Slave, The Carer, The Apprentice, The Prospector, The Hobbyist, The Volunteer, The Agent and The Patsy. A key conclusion is that free labor is performed by different actors at either end of increasingly complex and temporally stretched out value chains. This should motivate, or so we argue, a more fine-grained scholarly use of the concept of free labor.

  • 220.
    Fejzi, Flakrim
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Nilsson, Gabriel
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Strategi för mindre kommuners markförvärv ur ett hållbarhetsperspektiv: En studie som syftar till att inventera och diskutera vid markförvärv har för betydelse för kommuner och hur de på bästa sätt bör arbeta med det i sin kommunala strategi2019Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 221.
    Fernström, Hanna
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Olander, Jessica
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Bornstedt, Sandra
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    April, april din dumma sill, har media lurat dig dit dom vill?: En kvalitativ textanalys av aprilskämtet Nylonstrumpan från 19622018Student paper other, 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The first of April, the day of the year everyone go on needles and wondering who will fool you today. Every year at least the mass media try to create an inventive, or less inventive news about something that may became a topic that everyone talks about. Sometimes an April joke becomes a classic one and something that will be remembered a long time after. Therefore, this study will contain a qualitative text analysis on the famous Swedish April joke from 1962, which was about to pull over a nylon stocking over the television to create color TV. A classic, that even the younger generation knows about and is the second-best April joke in the world. We, in this study group belongs to the younger generation which has become a challenge to analyze this April joke which is 56 years old and were before our time. That's why the context of the 60’s has been an important part of this study to have an opportunity to get in to that situation and understand the context.

    This study is going to analyze which rhetorical means in conjunction with the context that has affected this April joke in the way it did, and with help of rhetorical analysis, study how the theory was used and had an impact on the successful joke. The rhetorical analysis will mainly focus on the arguments used in the April joke, and also the visual language such as body language and the way of talking. The study will make observations in the context, how society and the population looked up to the media and its responsibility for the people. A central part of the context will be the new media, television, that quickly developed during the current decade. Public service with power over the television gave together an important position and a big part in the April joke’s significant context.

    Our analysis shows good reasons to believe that rhetoric and its arguments are a prerequisite for succeeding in reaching such type of message, and that the position of public service and television at that time had a major role in how April jokes became a general topic and perhaps gave color TV a chance earlier than was meant in Sweden. All those elements together will prove to be a major part of the successful April joke, and through our analyze we find the answer to our question. Discussion and conclusion explain the positive and negative aspects of the analysis and what it has come to, and put it in relation to the context. The study presents interesting topics and suggestions on future research that have emerged after the work has been completed. 

  • 222.
    Fernström, Linnéa
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Thunberg Aureliusson, Erika
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Iskalla maffiasvek: En kvantitativ innehållsanalys om hur organiserad brottslighet gestaltas i svensk nyhetsmedia2018Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Crime is an area that meets the requirements for being highly valued as a news topic and is often something that attracts the readers. When media is reporting about what’s going on in the world is especially violent crimes getting much publicity. Previous research shows that medias frequent way to report about crimes creates an uncalled-for fear among the population.

    There is a lot of national and international research about crime in media, but this study will focus on a special type of crime and the place it has in media, namely organized crime. We look at how organized crime is portrayed in Swedish news media, which differences it is compared to other crimes, and also if morning press and tabloid press reports in different ways and in that case how. The study was done by a quantitative content analysis on 200 articles. Half of these were published in Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet which is morning press while the other half is from Aftonbladet and Expressen which represents the tabloid press. The articles is also divided in to 100 articles about organized crimes and the remaining 100 about other crimes. The study shows that the reporting about the two types of crimes has differences. Organized crime gets more physical space in the papers due to the fact that these crimes more often has pictures in the articles. This type of crime is portrayed like a bigger threat and risk compared to other crimes, it is often written in a magnified way and the pictures is used to increase the sense of threat/risk. Organized crime is portrayed as much more dangerous than other crimes. We also saw differences in the two types of newspaper. Tabloid press is writing in a more magnified way than morning press, which in this study means that they more often use words that is only there in the purpose of increasing the sense of threat. Tabloid press is also using more pictures to fortify the feeling that the article is supposed to mediate.

    With the support of the agenda setting theory, valuation and selection of news, framing theory and court journalism did we along our results analyze and discuss the research question. We understand why organized crime is getting as much publicity as it does, due to the fact that it fulfills the criterias to create media dramaturgi, but we also see it as a problem as media with its portraying can create an uncalled-for fear and concern among the crowd. It does not just affect the person but also the society since the image of the criminal world that people has disagree with the reality. Since this can affect the entire society we mean that this study is relevant for rulers of the country and the police.

    During the study has it been stated that research about organized crime is limited. There is not much statistics and facts about this type of crime, so we would like to see more research in this field overall. Build up on this there is not much research to find about organized crime in relation to media either. Above all it is the swedish research that’s lacking in this field and we would like to see future swedish researchers immerse themselves into this field. For example, through a study like this, but with a bigger empirical data, to get a better understanding of the relationship between organized crime and media. 

  • 223.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, practices and participation2016In: Digital Journalism, ISSN 2167-0811, E-ISSN 2167-082X, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 401-403Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 224.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Camouflaging church as state: A study of journalism’s native advertising2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The conflicting powers that drive journalism are entangled within tensions between commercial and professional logics, trying to dictate the future of the trade. The professional logic, which regards audiences as citizens, is the driving force that nurtures the civic and ideal-typical values properties of journalism. The commercial logic, which regards audiences as consumers, addresses the fact that most news outlets are subjected to commercial urges in order to sustain the organization. Traditionally, the journalistic ideals have aimed to keeping editorial lines independent from commercial influences. This has been historically known as the separation of church and state.This paper examines the increasing trend of adopting native advertising in the digital fronts of traditional news media outlets. Native advertising defined here as a form of paid media where the commercial content is delivered within the design and form of editorial content with the attempt to recreate the user experience of reading news instead of advertising content. Methodologically, this study looks at news websites of 12 legacy newspapers from Sweden, Spain, the UK, and the USA, and analyses the adoption of native advertising during the span of a month. Subsequently, these advertisements are analyzed in terms of content, format, and the degree of transparency when linking each piece to the marketer who pays for the ad.Native advertising delivers commercial advertising as if it was real news. If this practice proves to be a lucrative one in the long term, the new commercial journalism might be based on camouflaging church as state.

  • 225.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Camouflaging Church as State: An exploratory study of journalism’s native advertising2016In: Journalism Studies, ISSN 1461-670X, E-ISSN 1469-9699, Vol. 17, no 7, p. 1-13, article id SIArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the increasing trend of adopting native advertising in the digital editions of traditional news media outlets. Native advertising is defined here as a form of paid media where the commercial content is delivered within the design and form of editorial content, as an attempt to recreate the user experience of reading news instead of advertising content. Methodologically, this study examines 12 news websites of legacy newspapers from Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and analyzes the adoption of native advertising during the span of January 2015. Subsequently, these advertisements are analyzed in terms of type, form, function, integration, measurement, disclosure, and authorship. The results show that while the degree of implementation is still modest, the way in which it is implemented is uneven across countries.

  • 226.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Feeding the RedCritter: The gamification of project management software2016In: The Business of Gamification: A critical analysis / [ed] Dymek, Mikolaj & Zackariasson, Peter, New York: Routledge, 2016, p. 21-39Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The narrative of this chapter focuses on the intersecting points between motivation and productivity, of fun and work, and the potential benefits and dangers of gamifying project management software. Since gamification is a new trend, a thorough look at the case study of Red Critter and their choice of gamification techniques to enhance employee engagement and motivation can bring a better and nuanced understanding of gamification of project management to academics, researchers, and industry practitioners.

  • 227.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Gamification in Virtual Organizations: Engaging with fun and play2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a multiplicity of factors that can explain the ever-growing adoption of virtual organizations in the current international workplace. These factors are interwoven in a way that feeds each other in an ebb and flow of the trends of virtualization.

    Virtual teams, as groups that are geographically and organizationally dispersed, tend to feel alienated from the rest of the organization and team members. Organizations that used to depend on the synergies of team dynamics can no longer rely on the social aspects of work life. Accordingly, a new approach needs to be applied to effectively motivate teams that work in virtual environments. Managers must rely on a new set of tools and technologies to reach their teams. The rich and varied examples of applications of gamification techniques in various industries ask for further research the application of gamification within the framework of virtual organization management software.

    Gamification is loosely defined as a process that incorporates game design elements in non-game contexts. Applied to virtual organization management software, there is a vast opportunity to provide game elements in the systems that not only engage the team members, but also crystallizes a sense of progress, helping the members create the habit of using the software regularly. In addition, gamification provides the tools for other members to motivate their team members, or even applying automatized features where human-computer interaction (HCI) features motivate members automatically. This is particularly important, as it widens the sources from which an individual receives motivational inputs.

    This study aims to explore the role of gamification and gamified software as an outlet to re-route motivating strategies for virtual environments, as well as the characteristics of motivation in such project configurations, and its contribution to enhance the organization´s outcomes.

    The methodology follows a three-pronged. First, a in-depth literature review that lays out the major characteristics of gamification as a motivator, as well as the characteristics of virtual project management. Second, a qualitative study of gamified systems in real life virtual organization, with semi-structured interviews to a group of eight experienced virtual project managers. Third, a quantitative study of current software features aimed to manage virtual projects.

    There is an undeniable theoretical benefit from applying gamification into virtual team management software. It would automatically lift some of the responsibility of motivating a team off the manager's shoulders, and redirect it to the software and the interactions of the team, making it a much more tight and engaged team. It offers the potential to generate the stimuli to amplify small wins generating engagement, user habit, and enhanced motivation.

    This study shows the importance of motivation in new organizational settings as well as the special challenges that it poses when translated to virtual environments. It shows that managers can no longer rely on the traditional motivational strategies. It shows the lack of gamified features in the current software for manage virtual projects. Finally, the study explores the possibilities of gamification as an approach to bridge the gap of motivation within project software. 

  • 228.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Gamification in Virtual Project Management: a mixture of curiosity and reluctance2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a multiplicity of factors that can explain the ever-growing adoption of virtual project management in the current international workplace. These factors are interweaved in a way that feeds each other in a ebb and flow of the trends of virtualization. This current increase of virtual projects and their economic importance has led to a new set of challenges that project managers need to overcome. The lack of face-to-face interaction has distorted the traditional ways in which motivation was fostered within project teams.

    Virtual teams, as groups that are geographically and organizationally dispersed, tend to feel alienated from the rest of the organization and team members. Projects that used to heavily depend on the synergies of team dynamics, can no longer rely on the social aspects of work life. With that in mind, a new approach needs to be applied to effectively motive teams that work in virtual environments. The current theories of motivation lead the way to a new paradigm where progress and inner work life are the major drivers of motivation. Project managers must rely on a new set of tools and technologies to reach their teams. The software industry has evolved to provide solutions to remotely manage and coordinate teams and projects, but it is still far from being a solution to the challenge of motivating a virtual project team. The rich and varied examples of applications of gamification techniques in various industries ask for further research the application of gamification techniques within the framework of virtual project management software.

    Gamification is loosely defined as a process that incorporates game design elements in non-game contexts, to improve the user experience.

    In other words, a gamified system is a system that has been adapted with the aid of components, mechanics and dynamics in order to engage and motivate users. There are several elements that can be used to gamify a system and the approaches are endless. Applied to virtual project management software, there is a vast opportunity to provide game elements in the systems that not only engage the team members, but also crystallizes a sense of progress, helping the members create the habit of using the software regularly without it being a tedious task. In addition, gamification provides the tools for other members to motivate their team members, or even applying automatized features where human-computer interaction (HCI) features motivate members automatically from the software.This is particularly important, as it widens the sources from which an individual receives motivational inputs. The potential of gamification is still new, but offers a promising alternative to actively engage and motivate virtual teams.

    However, adopting gamification blindly in order to boost workers motivation and engage them in particular routines can produce an effect completely opposite to the desired one. The suitability for a gamified experience within the realms of labor is still under scrutiny, as themes like reluctance, misrepresentations of the organizations goals, and enhanced motivation and engagement for extended periods of time, are still widely unclear.

    Departing from my master’s thesis Motivation in Virtual Project Management: On the Challenges of Engaging Virtual Teams and the Features of Project Software, this study aims to explore the role of gamification and gamified software as an outlet to re-route motivating strategies for virtual project environments, as well as the characteristics of motivation in such project configurations, and its contribution to enhance virtual project outcomes.

    This article follows a three-pronged approach with the aim of answering its research questions. First, a in-depth literature review that lays out the major characteristics of gamification as a motivator, as well as the characteristics of virtual project management. Second, a qualitative study of the expectations of gamified systems in real life virtual projects, done through semi-structured interviews to a group of eight experienced project managers. Third, a quantitative study of the features of current software aimed to manage virtual projects, by benchmarking their features and analyzing the motivational aspects in them.

    There is an undeniable theoretical benefit from applying gamification into virtual project software. It would automatically lift some of the responsibility of motivating a team off the manager's shoulders, and redirect it to the software and the interactions of the team, making it a much more tight and engaged team. It offers the potential to generate the stimuli to amplify small wins generating engagement, user habit, and finally feeding a progress loop that leads to enhanced motivation. However, there is risk, there is skepticism, and there is a whole lot to learn. These may be the key issues for such a low number of motivation features in projectware packages.

    The response of the interviewees is one of curiosity, anticipation, and veiled skepticism. Through the interviews, respondents argued in favor of the need of motivating teams, the importance of doing so, but also the challenge that it poses. There is a more than apparent difficulty to apply gamification or motivation techniques to a software that tackles such a broad topic as “virtual projects”. The implementation of successful strategies and techniques that could directly address the problems of motivation in virtual environments is not to be underestimated, but it could also cause serious repercussions to an organization. Thus, taking this approach is sensitive issue, and it is addressed with certain reluctance, while acknowledging that the positive effects of those features might be worth the try.

    This study shows the importance of motivation in project settings as well as the special challenges that it poses when translated to virtual environments. It shows that project managers can no longer rely on the traditional motivational strategies, due to the lack of physical interaction. The benchmarking of project software shows the lack of gamified features in the current software for manage virtual projects. Finally, the study explores the possibilities of gamification as an approach to bridge the gap of motivation within project software, providing an image of mixed feelings. Curiosity and reluctance towards gamification from the very same people that could benefit from it, the virtual project managers.

  • 229.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Gamified social media: User engagement and the individualization of online communities2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A decade after the launch of Facebook, social media has expanded and established itself as one of the everyday life arenas for communication for millions of users. However, the standardized services such as communities without thematic approaches (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) have started to see a dip in user engagement.

    This paper examines the introduction of gamification techniques within new theme-oriented social media. Gamification, defined here as the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-gaming environments, adds a layer of game elements primarily in order to improving user engagement. Methodologically, this paper uses three gamified social media communities as case studies to analyze some of their functionalities and how they are implemented in order to promote user engagement. This paper deconstructs gamification into elements that can be implemented into an online community system. These elements are placed in three different categories: dynamics, which relate to the narrative and purpose of the gamified layer, providing the system with a sense of direction; mechanics, which relate to the processes aimed to create engagement and the strategies aimed to provide the system with momentum; and components, which relate to the visible game elements embedded in the system aimed to create flows of interaction with the users. These elements are then evaluated in terms of level of playfulness and the underlying intention of implementation, whether it is to motivate engagement, participation, or to promote social change.

    Gamification has shown to be an effective method to attract the attention and engagement of users in various domains, and it has been widely implemented in digital communities as an attempt to increase user engagement, by individualizing social media and placing the user at the center of the service and providing tools for self-reflection and interactions with users that share similar interests. Theoretically, this paper focuses on the motivational aspects of games and discusses the approaches on which they can be incorporated in social media systems.

    With the aim of contributing to a fairly under researched topic in academia, but with large implications for the industry, this paper ends with a discussion on the potentialities of this new approach of social media in terms of positive ideals and dangerous abuses, as well as the shift of focus from the social aspect of communities to an individualized user-centric view, and what it represents for the digital public sphere.

  • 230.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Gamifying the news: Exploring the introduction of game elements into digital journalism2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    For over a century, crosswords, puzzles, and quizzes have been present in newspapers. Digital journalism has only increased the trend of integrating game elements in news media, often blurring the traditional boundaries between news and games.

    This dissertation aims to explore and understand how and why news organizations and newsworkers use gamification in digital news websites and to analyze the objectives behind its implementation in news production. The importance of trying to understand this development stems from the different roles that digital games and news have in contemporary democratic societies. While journalism is often regarded as the main source of information for the public to act as citizens, digital games predominantly remain considered as entertainment media.

    Drawing from media sociology and new institutionalism, this study engages with the literature on converging processes of popularization and professionalization of journalism, and how different institutional logics of gamification and journalism interact. Methodologically, this qualitative multiple case study analyzes four diverse news organizations (the Guardian, Bleacher Report, the Times of India, and Al Jazeera), interviewing 56 newsworkers, and conducting game-system analysis of their respective gamified systems.

    The findings suggest that while news organizations often frame their motivations within the celebratory rhetoric of gamification, a deeper look into the material manifestations of gamified news systems tend to problematize the empowering claims of gamification. Instead, a complex interplay between the professional and commercial logics of journalism and the hedonic and utilitarian logics of gamification shapes how news organizations and newsworkers implement gamified systems. This dissertation contributes to a larger debate on the friction professionalism and the market, on institutional interaction, and the increasing transgression of journalistic institutional borders.

  • 231.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Going Mobile: Gamifying Digital News in Mobile Devices2014In: Persuasive Technology: Persuasive, motivating, empowering videogames. Adjunct proceedings. / [ed] Gamberini, L., Spagnolli, A., Chittaro, L., & Zamboni, L., Padova, Italy, 2014, p. 86-89Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    My PhD research examines the application of gamification techniques in the distribution and consumption of news in the emerging mobile society. The focus is placed on persuasive design and game mechanics in order to motivate, engage, and create new habits of news consumption in the mobile audiences.

    New efforts are needed in order to capture the emerging individual structures of the self, through the engagement with technological personalized systems that turn life towards short term, fragmented information, on-the-go life styles. New techniques designed to overcome the challenges of going mobile and to empower and engage audiences that are arising, such as persuasive design and gamification.

  • 232.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Hierarchical channels: Conflicts of communication in crisis environments in Ghana2013In: Why should I trust you? Challenges for communication in times of crisis, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of trust is of vital importance in crisis environments. In developing countries, where vulnerabilities, threats, and risks are higher, establishing proper channels of communication that can generate trust in the population are even more important. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the channels of communication during a crisis situation in Ghana, and to assess the degree of trust generated while transmitting the information. To address this call, this study examines the role of trust in citizens in the social structures and hierarchical settings through a series of interviews with crisis managers from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO). The results of this study show that while government officials convey information to the public through all means possible, a large amount of the population decide not to follow the recommendations, and large communities need to be addressed through their chiefs, and not individually. The trust in the local chief as communities feel reluctant to follow a distant governmental agency, makes the relationship with the chiefs of outmost importance, as they become the sole channel of communication with communities and settlements in some developing countries.

  • 233.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Incorporating native advertising: Assessing journalism’s new trend of camouflaging church as state2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Journalism has several gears for motivating its existence, alongside with information, entertainment, and advertisement (McQuail, 1994). The conflicting powers that drive journalism are entangled within tensions between commercial logics and professional logics (Altheide & Snow, 1991; Karlsson & Clerwall, 2013), trying to dictate the future of the trade.The professional logic, which regards audiences as citizens, is the driving force that nurtures the civic and democratic properties of journalism (Bennet, 1993; McNair, 2009; Merrill, 2011) and establishes the ideal-typical values of journalism as public service, objectivity, autonomy, immediacy, and ethics (Kovack & Rosenstiel, 2001). The commercial logic, which regards audiences as consumers, addresses the fact that most news outlets are subjected to commercial urges in the need for funding that help sustain the organization. This logic is widely regarded as the responsible for the decline within several fronts of the journalist profession such as work practices, output quality, and norms, leading to tabloidization, popularization, and commodification of news (Lewis, Williams, & Franklin, 2008; Bird, 2009; Örnebring & Jönsson, 2011, Reese and Lee, 2012).Traditionally, even within the confines of commercial-oriented news outlets, journalists adopt the ideals of what journalism is supposed to be with more ease than the institutions they work for (Stensaas, 2005) calling for autonomy, keeping editorial lines independent from commercial influences. This has been historically named as the separation of church and state. While the general trend has been of keeping advertising and other forms of revenue separate from journalism, the attempt to keep these concepts on separate lanes has suffered a fluctuating degree of success, influenced by the conflicts outlined above. These tensions intensify within the current context of media convergence, digital and new journalism formats, audience reconfigurations, and sets the context on which legacy news media address the balance between editorial autonomy and funding sources (Deuze, 2004).This paper examines the increasing trend of adopting native advertising in the digital fronts of traditional news media outlets. Methodologically, this study looks at news websites that are digital counter parts of 12 legacy newspapers from Sweden, Spain, the UK, and the USA, and analyses the adoption of native advertising during the span of a month. Consequently, these advertisements are analyzed in terms of content, format, and the degree of transparency when linking each piece to the marketer who pays for the ad. The study finishes with a brief comparison of the results in terms of country, specifically, in light of Hallin and Mancini’s (2004) media systems composition.For the purpose of this study, native advertising is defined as a form of paid media where the commercial content is delivered within the design and form of editorial content with the attemptto recreate the user experience of reading news instead of advertising content. In terms of form native advertising matches the visual design of the main outlet they are placed in, and are meant to look and feel like natural content. In terms of function, it behaves consistently within the native modes of consumption while addressing themes and issues that are related to the paying advertiser. In other words, native advertising camouflages commercial advertising content as real news and editorial content in order to entice the user to read the news without becoming apparent that this is indeed a paid for commercial.As regular digital advertising revenues plummet, and drawing from new configurations of digital journalism, where popularized news services and aggregators have found viable sources of revenue in in-feed and recommended content features within the frame of native advertising, legacy media started adopting paid inclusion of commercials within their own formats. One of the first cases, the inclusion in the news site of the Atlantic a native ad feature the Church of Scientology, raised controversy and concerns about placing advertising formatted and distributed in the same fashion as regular news (Carlson, 2014). Since then, several other major legacy media outlets such as The Washington Post and The New York Times have adopted similar strategies that blur the boundaries between advertising and editorial content.Digital revenue has been growing steadily during the last years, and these new forms of advertising formats are in part responsible for this rise, especially because they are created by marketers, aiming to persuade consumers, but disguised as legitimate content (Tutaj & Van Reijmersdal, 2012; Cole II & Greer, 2013). Thus, the communicative ethos of journalism is immersed in a constant formative process similarly affected by technological configurations, institutional and organizational dispositions, professional practices, and economic and societal contexts (Ekström & Djerf-Pierre, 2013). A single factor cannot explain the meanderings of journalism practice. This constant re-conceptualization of journalism is what limits the formation of a common idea of what journalism is, and what journalism is supposed to be (Conboy, 2010).It is clear that since the beginning of commercial journalism, news media have a dual goal to serve and satisfy both citizens and the entrepreneurs who own the media (Schudson, 1997). However, the preliminary results of this study show a steady increase of native advertising, tipping the scales towards a re-formulation of journalism that adopts commercial actors and marketers within the arena that used to be run by journalists. The unique economic and technological context of online news could lead to a compromised autonomy, independence and credibility for journalistic practice as the economic urges to attract revenue transcend the editorial lines incorporating advertising that looks just like news. If this practice proves to be a lucrative one in the long term, the new commercial journalism might be based on camouflaging church as state.

  • 234.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Locative and augmented journalism: Towards a new framework to researching the use of geoposition to deliver space-bound news2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As digital technology has been embedded in journalism practice, the notion of space seemed to transcend physical barriers. However, during the last years, mobile technology and augmented reality (AR) have allowed reformulating the bind between news and space. Locative journalism has emerged as a novel source of news services delivering news according to the users’ geolocation, providing hyper-local and context-aware news. When combined with AR, locative news transforms the digital storytelling virtually merging media and place.

    This paper discusses the intersecting points between mobile technology, geolocation, and AR in order to provide hyper-local news. By benchmarking a large series of locative and augmented news apps and websites, and by doing a content analysis of their features and storytelling techniques, this paper introduces a new framework to researching space-bound journalism.  

  • 235.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Native advertising in digital journalism: An explorative study of the blurring boundaries between editorial and commercial content2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 236.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Playbour and the gamification of work: Liminal spaces of empowerment and exploitation2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, the trend of incorporating playful thinking and game elements within working processes has gained popularity among organizations and businesses. The rhetoric behind this phenomenon is anchored in newfound sources of worker empowerment, self-realization for employees and turning labour into a fun and enjoyable experience. This paper aims to critically analyze the practical and theoretical outcomes of gamifying labour by contextualizing such celebratory claims vis à vis technological opaque assemblages grounded in exploitation, surveillance and control.

    While the appropriation of play for working and commercial purposes is nothing new, the rise of networked technologies used to automatically track, quantify and analyze worker behavior bring to the fore concerns about increasingly blurring of work and play, and the way in which productivity, motivation and labour politics are understood. But the instrumentatlization of play and games disrupts their “proper place” in society, generating liminal spaces that pack logics of empowerment and exploitation at the same time. By using several practical cases, this paper exemplifies the balance between the utilitarian and hedonic logics of gamification and the contradictory tensions between the empowering and exploitative motives behind its use. 

  • 237.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Points, badges, and news: A study of the introduction of gamification into journalism practice2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the use of mobile phones spreads through society, traditional news consumption is steadily being substituted by innovative environments and behaviors, sparking new ritual forms of media consumption. Additionally, video games have become a pervasive type of media that attracts the big majority of youth, sometimes displacing news consumption. For this reason, several news platforms have started to introduce game mechanics into their web-based systems or mobile apps creating a new storytelling format for news consumption. Since habit strength is the most powerful predictor of news consumption, the goal is to not only engage news consumers, but also provide a personalized news experience, a sense of relatedness, and persuade users to foster the habit of consuming news regularly.

     

    While digital news media outlets have already started using gamification techniques within their services, there is a large research gap in the intersection of journalism and news, and gamification and persuasive technologies.

     

    This paper aims to discern how digital news media have introduced gamification within their online platforms in order to re-invent several fronts of the journalistic practice. This assessment is primarily done through four case studies of gamified news: The Guardian, The Times of India, the Bleacher Report, and Al-Jazeera.

     

    These case studies provide the room for discussion on the potential use of game mechanics within journalism, and gamification of news can potentially re-invent journalism, with an ambivalent set of results. On the one hand a gamified news service has the potential to engage users to read news and most importantly, to foster an intrinsic motivation to consume news while creating a habit out of it. Additionally, introducing game mechanics to news websites could introduce a profitable business model, by increasing readership, making it a service much more attractive to advertisers. On the other hand news outlets could use a gamified experience to exploit their users, either by manipulating their reading choices through game mechanics, or by monetizing the content and data they generate while they interact with the system. This could become a serious privacy risk involved with tracking the users’ every move and owning such data. It is at least ethically dubious. Furthermore, the interface and storytelling format could become the central aspect, relegating news to a secondary role, or delivering only the news that fit the narratives shaping the gamified system.

     

    Theoretically, the gamification process is meant to deliver a new format of storytelling creating a news experience with relevant, targeted news, embedded in a social environment, while keeping the quality of the news intact, and always aiming for a broadening of views, avoiding selective exposure, and emphasizing improvement of the users’ knowledge. Ultimately, the goal is to generate a feeling of competence, autonomy, and relatedness to generate the intrinsic motivation of consuming news in the user through persuasive design and game mechanics. However, as this paper will demonstrate, the current way of implementing gamification within journalism points to ambivalent results, where the driving forces of the implementation process are a mixture of an attempt to engage users and a set of commercial motivations.

  • 238.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Points, badges, and news: A study of the introduction of gamification into journalism practice2016In: Comunicació: Revista de Recerca i d’Anàlisi [Societat Catalana de Comunicació], ISSN 2014-0304, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 45-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several news media have started to introduce gamification techniques into their digital platforms as a new storytelling format for news consumption. Since habit strength is the most powerful predictor of news consumption, the goal is to not only engage news consumers, but also to provide a personalized news experience and to persuade users to foster the habit of consuming news regularly. However, there is a large research gap in the intersection of journalism and gamification. This article aims to discern how digital news media have introduced game mechanics into their online platforms, and the logic which it serves. This assessment is primarily based on four case studies of gamified news: The Guardian, The Times of India, Bleacher Report, and Al Jazeera. The results are ambivalent since the driving forces of the implementation process combine an attempt to engage users and a set of commercial motivations.

  • 239.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Quantifying journalism: A critical study of big data within journalism practice2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The irruption of digital journalism introduced several opportunities and challenges to journalism. Roughly two decades after the introduction of the internet, big data has started to transform the way we understand information and how to use it. The quantification of visitors, readers, and users’ interactions has become the de facto analytic tool for digital newspapers analysis. Accordingly, robot journalism and new storytelling techniques, such as gamification, have started to use and apply the data in order to create a personalized news experience, to suggest specific content, and to enhance interpersonal interactions within the system.

    But what happens when big data is targeted to the journalists themselves? How is the quantification of journalistic output received by journalists when the data is used to assess their own quality? This paper aims to answer these questions by looking at the case of the sports news website Bleacher Report. B/R turns journalists into users by awarding them with points according to their writing career statistics regarding their contribution to the site. Number of reads, number of comments, number of lead stories, and other metrics keep adding points defining each author’s reputation level. This quantification becomes an important factor to assess the journalist capacities.

    When data is used to turn work into play and quantity into quality the values and norms upon which traditional journalism is built seem to be under threat. This case study provides the room for a critical discussion on the potential use of big data through game mechanics targeting news-workers.

  • 240.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Quantifying Journalism?: A Study on the Use of Data and Gamification to Motivate Journalists2017In: Television and New Media, ISSN 1527-4764, E-ISSN 1552-8316, Vol. 18, no 8, p. 706-720Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to previous research, contemporary journalism is undergoing a quantitative turn. The uses of data and metrics have started to permeate digital news websites in various ways. However, there is a lack of research on how gamification is applied to journalism practice. This article examines how the quantification of news production, readers’ interactions, and use of game mechanics have started to permeate journalism practice in digital outlets. Methodologically, this article focuses on the sports news website Bleacher Report as case study, drawing data from an analysis of the gamified system in which journalists are quantified and rewarded with points and badges according to their writing metrics, and a set of interviews with journalists who work for Bleacher Report. The results show that while data and metrics become the main component to assess journalists’ capacities, the process of automated quantification and the competitive playfulness of leaderboards are perceived as motivating affordances.

  • 241.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    The datafication of newswork: The use metrics and gamification to motivate journalists2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 242.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    The Gamification of Mobile News: Adapting Traditional Journalism to the Challenges and Opportunities of Mobile Devices2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 243.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    The metricated news media: Journalistic intuition meets informed decisions2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 244.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    The users formerly known as the audience: Revisiting the participatory culture in the era of convergence2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2006 Jay Rosen penned an article in which the shift of power relations between the audience and the media is addressed as a ground breaking change that would lead to an emancipated status for the people formerly known as the audience. Rosen’s article would spark a long-standing debate on audience participation, favoring an understanding of audiences as active and empowered, rather than passive and subjected.

    Ten years later, the media landscape offers a much less optimistic panorama, calling for revisiting Rosen’s argument. In an age of information hyper-saturation, dichotomous terms like audiences and publics, producers and consumers, professionals and amateurs have been blurred into indistinguishable roles that often coexist. Terms like prosumer, produser, and pro-am flood the media debates as scholars try to make sense of the tensions between the new roles of traditional actors: consumers and producers. The celebratory rhetoric of participation has been met with reluctance from scholars who denounce issues of surveillance, free labor, and exploitation of user generated data.

    This paper revisits and analyzes the current state of the participation literature drawing from the terminology that several authors in the fields of media, information systems, and interaction design, use to name the people who ultimately consume and produce media. Departing from the polarized continuum of technological approach this paper analyzes the relations within the new media landscape where several overlapping audience-oriented fields have started to adopt the term user as a predominant alternative for the people formerly known as the audience. The agency provided by affordances of technological convergence allows for widespread participatory action. However the so-called democratization of the new digital masses, as well as the enslavement of media literate citizens, are extremes that hardly depict reality. This paper argues that the only reality on the new media landscape is that the interaction between humans and algorithmic entities bases its roots on the interaction of both actor-types. Whether exploited or liberated, active or passive, users and interfaces are the main topic of discussion within the literature. The issues of living with technologies that enable every user to participate in both local and global debates as an everyday life activity leads to a crisis of traditional models of public engagement.  

    With the aim to map the current expansion and diffusion of academic terminology, this paper concludes that new media, by acknowledging the public as a user, provide alternative models of public engagement by continuously re-patterning interaction design between the systems and the users, thus redefining and reshaping the public sphere into new digital social environments.  

  • 245.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Cheruiyot, David
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    De-Westernizing Data Journalism: Mapping the use of data in African news media2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to conceptualize the ways in which data is permeating journalism practice, practitioners and researchers often focus on the instrumental value of data and its incorporation in existing journalistic processes. Data journalism and its many manifestations attempt to make use of databases – usually open data but also large sets of leaked documents – as a form of reporting by applying data analysis and new forms of data visualization as a storytelling technique. However, while the need for more 'scholarly narratives' of data journalism is being acknowledged, literature on the subject still focuses on models and examples in the West.

    Indeed the focus on data-driven practices in North America and Europe are valid and illuminating on the new developments in journalism today, but they confine this emerging area to the old problematic of Western-centricism. Accordingly, the role of cross-cultural research, especially in the neglected Global South, is increasingly being acknowledged. We therefore argue here that there is need to integrate fresher perspectives and a broader overview of the wide range of uses of data by news organizations in journalistic cultures beyond the West.

    This paper aims to map emerging data-driven practices and evaluate how they are shaping news journalism in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Departing from the theoretical epistemological and emotional implications of the datafication and affective turn of journalism, we conceptualize the context-specific underpinnings of data journalism while mapping the use of data in African nations. To do so this paper draws its empirical data from two case studies of 'continent-wide' data-driven projects: Code for Africa and Africa Check; as well as several ‘country-specific’ examples of data journalism. Here we study the instrumental uses of data, the actors that participate in the process of acquiring and selecting data, as well as the interactions and output within the media systems in Africa.

    Our preliminary results show that while data journalism in African nations is still at its infancy, there are examples of sophisticated and widespread use of data journalism in some English-speaking countries in Africa. Additionally, we see a salient participation of Western third-party organizations offering data services to news media organizations, heralding a celebratory rhetoric of data as an empowering tool to hold to account those in power. Hence, apart from the visualization of data and the storytelling techniques, the most prominent use of data in journalism is that of a “watchdog” function. An activist approach to data, serving as a fact-checking tool against governments and other media organizations, seems to be context-specific. Data however are seldom problematized in terms of origin, quality, or degrees of openness.

    This paper contributes to the existing body of literature on data journalism by expanding the study of data journalism beyond the Western perspective. We do so by mapping how data journalism manifests in Sub-Saharan African countries while taking into account the context-specific socio-cultural media system. Furthermore we conceptualize the notion of activist data journalism that advocates for the use of data as a fact-checking device and an empowering tool against the ruling power structures.

  • 246.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Cheruiyot, David
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Fact-checking Africa: Searching for truth through data journalism2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 247.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Handler, Reinhard
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Open data, crowdsourcing and game mechanics: A case study on civic participation in the digital age2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 248.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Handler, Reinhard
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    The Gamification of Society: The use of game mechanics as an expression of mediatization2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 249.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    Karlsson, Michael
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
    The Gamification of Journalism2015In: Emerging Research and Trends in Gamification / [ed] Harsha Gangadharbatla & Donna Z. Davis, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2015, p. 356-383Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditional news outlets are on the decline and journalism has embraced digital media in its struggle tosurvive. New models of delivering news to the public are being explored in order to increase the levelsof readership and user engagement.The narrative of this chapter focuses on the future of journalismand media, and the potential benefits and dangers of gamifying journalism. Since gamification is a newtrend, a thorough look at the intersection between the enhancements of public mobility, the digitalizationof news services, and the engagement of gamified systems can bring better understanding of futurechannels of reading news to the users, to researchers, and to the industry. This chapter aims to bridgethe gap between gamification as an emerging practice in news distribution and yet a vastly unchartedarea or research.

  • 250.
    Ferrer Conill, Raul
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
    Tandoc, Edson C., Jr.
    The Audience-Oriented Editor: Making sense of the audience in the newsroom2018In: Digital Journalism, ISSN 2167-0811, E-ISSN 2167-082X, Vol. 6, no 4, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spurred by the increasingly central role of audience metrics in the editorial process, a new set of roles is being introduced in the newsroom primarily focused on navigating audience data. This paper aims to understand these emerging audience-oriented roles and to what extent considerations of the audience figures in editorial choices. This paper draws from a set of 15 in-depth interviews with engagement editors, social media editors and audience editors from different media systems around the world. Three major findings emerge: First, the definition of engagement is almost entirely centered on different types of metrics. Second, while audience-oriented editors take part in the editorial process, their role is to help journalists negotiate between the information obtained by their metrics and their journalistic intuition to make editorial decisions. Third, there is a lack of cohesiveness regarding what these newsroom positions are and how they operate. The paper contributes to the growing literature on the pervasiveness of metrics and quantification of journalistic processes by offering a more nuanced understanding of a new set of editorial roles.

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