JOLT is a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network, which aims to harness digital and data technologies for journalism by providing a framework for the training and career development of 15 Early Stage Researchers. JOLT researchers will provide empirical answers to important questions regarding the future of journalism by forging multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral research into the digital and data-driven tools, practices, and values shaping journalism.
The internet and digital technologies brought profound disruption to journalism and news media. The relationship between journalism and digital media is often antagonistic as social media platforms and their algorithms usurp traditional editorial roles and newsrooms experience a clash of cultures between technology and editorial teams. Responses to these challenges – by the media industry, by researchers, and by journalism educators – have been sporadic, uncoordinated, and lacking in broader critical reflection. As the discipline of journalism becomes more dependent on data and technology, it requires a new breed of journalism specialist who is grounded in the skills and values of traditional journalism, conscious of changing business environments, and equally adept at working with the principles and methods of computer science and data analytics, which are foundational to new and emerging media forms.
JOLT addresses the global lack of a systematic, rigorous and innovative approach to digital and data journalism research and training by uniquely combining insights from computer science, data analytics, business, sociology, communication theory, journalism studies, and political science. The project will deliver new insights and solutions for the news media industry by pursuing five interlinked goals
- Investigate the practices, business strategies, and ethical values shaping new journalism;
- Deliver a high quality research and training programme for 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) to deliver the industry and academic leaders of the future;
- Develop new tools, policy recommendations, and best practice frameworks to advance the practice of socially valuable journalism;
- Produce high quality academic publications to advance the state of the art in journalism studies; and
- Inaugurate and coordinate a Working Group – comprised of journalists, news industry representatives, and interdisciplinary academics – to address the interconnections and synergies between academic knowledge and the practice and business of the news industry.