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Erik Knudsen is a researcher at the MediaFutures Research Centre for Responsible Media Technology and Innovation and PI of the project NEWSREC – The Double-edged Sword of News Recommenders’ Impact on Democracy (awarded by the the highly competitive program Research projects for young talents by the Research Council of Norway). He did his postdoc at the Digital Social Science Core Facility (DIGSSCORE) and hold a PhD from the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Much of his research innvolves methodological innovation and explores patterns and effects of news and political communication, trust in journalism, and exposure to like-minded information, and polarization and fragmentation. He is founder and PI of the Norwegian Journalism Panel and the interdisciplinary Research Group for Political Behaviour, Democracy and Communication (PADKOM) at DIGSSCORE. His work has appeared in Political Communication, Journalism, Digital Journalism, Scandinavian Political Studies, and other peer-reviewed journals.
Qualifications: Journalism, political communication, selective exposure, affective polarization, news recommender systems, framing, agenda setting, media effects, news values, media logics and mediatisation of politics, quantitative content analysis, experimental research design, public opinion and survey research.
Master level course:
2013: Course leader, supervisor, and teacher for MEVI317: News media, agenda, framing, scandals, sources and media effects
Bachelor level course:
2013 and 2014: Supervisor and teacher in MEVI102: Media, audience, media use and opinion formation
2012: Teacher for MEVI100: Introduction to media and communication
For an updated list of my publications please see my Google scholar profile.
- 2021. How the public understands news media trust: An open-ended approach. Journalism - Theory, Practice & Criticism.
- 2020. The visual boundaries of journalism: Native advertising and the convergence of editorial and commercial content. Digital Journalism. 1-23.
- 2020. Disentangling the Influence of Recommender Attributes and News-Story Attributes: A Conjoint Experiment on Exposure and Sharing Decisions on Social Networking Sites. Digital Journalism.
- 2020. Affective Polarization in Multiparty Systems? Comparing Affective Polarization Towards Voters and Parties in Norway and the United States. Scandinavian Political Studies.
- 2018. Mistillit til den andre siden : ideologisk selektiv eksponering og tillit til røde og blå medier . Norsk Medietidsskrift. 1 pages.
- 2018. Beyond the Limits of Survey Experiments: How Conjoint Designs Advance Causal Inference in Political Communication Research. Political Communication. 1-13.
- 2016. When politicians go native: The consequences of political native advertising for citizens’ trust in news. Journalism - Theory, Practice & Criticism. 961-978.
- 2016. Når nyhetsrammer og medialisering møtes : hvordan og hvorfor ramme- og medialiseringsteori bør integreres tettere. Norsk Medietidsskrift. 1-19.
- 2016. Journalistikkens fremstillingsmakt. Nyhetsrammer, meningsdanning og medialisering.
- 2013. Simulation of a suite of generic long-pulse neutron instruments to optimize the time structure of the European Spallation Source. Review of Scientific Instruments. 9 pages.
NEWSREC – The Double-edged Sword of News Recommenders’ Impact on Democracy (project number 324835)
The NEWSREC project was awarded by the highly competitive program Research projects for young talents by the Research Council of Norway.
NEWSREC deals directly with one of the most pressing questions facing the news media today: What are the precise conditions under which news recommender technology are for the better or the worse for the democratic role of the news media? We focus on one of the most heavily debated consequences of news recommenders: individuals' exposure to and sharing of like-minded news (selective exposure and sharing).
Evidence of news recommenders’ dystopian democratic threats (e.g., Filter Bubbles) and of their opportunities to counter such threats remain largely anecdotal. Despite an increasing scholarly attention to news recommender systems, the precise conditions under which they are a threat to or an opportunity for democracy remain a puzzle. NEWSREC addresses this puzzle head-on by offering a radically new perspective: We aim to shift the scholarly attention from the dominant perspective of uncovering and describing whether the current news recommender systems (such as those used by Facebook and Twitter) lead to Filter Bubbles to understanding the conditions under which news recommender systems do so, given that they are designed for that purpose. By focusing on this counterfactual (i.e., what has not happened but could or might under differing conditions), we radically shift the responsibility for the democratic implications of recommender systems from the technology itself to the decisions surrounding the implementation and design of the technology. We mobilize this novel perspective by developing the first news recommender that is tailor-made to pioneer research on the conditions under which news recommenders amplify or reduce selective exposure and sharing.
The NEWSREC project will: (A) develop a framework for understanding when and how news recommenders can increase or decrease selective exposure and sharing, and delineate the ethical considerations pertaining to designing recommenders to do so; (B) develop the first news recommender equipped with factors that increase or decrease selective exposure and sharing; (C) use a randomized field experiment to test this recommender to gain a precise understanding of when and how news recommenders increase or decrease selective exposure and sharing.
NEWREC is lead by Erik Knudsen (University of Bergen). The research team conists of Damian Trilling (University of Amsterdam) and Christoph Trattner (University of Bergen, Director of MediaFutures Research Centre for Responsible Media Technology & Innovation). NEWSREC's scientific advisory board consists of Natali Helberger (University of Amsterdam), Magdalena Wojcieszak (University of California, Davis), and Wouter van Atteveld (Vrie University of Amsterdam).
Journalism, political communication, framing, agenda setting, media effects, news values, mediatisation of politics, quantitative content analysis, survey experiment, public opinion.