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Journalistic Use of Algorithmic Information Environments

Journalistic Use of Algorithmic Information Environments

In cooperation with the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, we are investigating the media use of journalists. We are interested in how exactly people who work journalistically receive content in personalised information environments and what role these information environments play in their media repertoires, for example also in their media monitoring (keyword: leading media).

Using methods from computational social science, we want to develop and test a mixed-methods approach that automatically records the share and type of algorithmically personalised information offers in a journalistic work process and validate it in dialogue with journalists.

Photo by Maxwell Nelson on Unsplash
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Project Description

The main research questions of the project include the following: Which journalists are willing to donate data under which conditions? Which personalised information environments have what share in the total volume of professional online use? And how do journalists reflect and explain the relevance of these information environments in their work? In the project, we supplement the statements of the interview partners with donated browser usage data by using the browser plug-in WebHistorian. This allows us to address not only the difficulty of detailed recall in ubiquitous media environments, but also the problem of social desirability and professional socialisation.

WebHistorian is an open-source university project of the American University in Washington. By installing a browser plug-in, participants can access their browser history of the past 90 days (URLs and time stamps) easily and graphically on their own devices. They can "clean up" this information individually before passing it on to a server of the HBI.

Project Information


Duration: 2024-2024

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Dr. Lisa Merten
Postdoc Researcher Media Use & Digital Communication

Dr. Lisa Merten

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg
Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 87

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