Maria Grafström, Associate professor

SCORE, Stockholm University and The Stockholm School of Economics

Summary of research project

This research project examines the changed conditions of business journalism and how the digitalization of the media landscape renegotiates who is a journalist and what is turned into news. Although business journalism has experienced a strong expansion in recent decades, has a central position in today’s society, and is credited with considerable power to influence organizations, there is limited research on the producers of business news and their conditions. The study has a particular focus on the producers of business news: Who are they, how do they view their own task and how do they act in relation to each other? Increased knowledge about the producers’ organizations and how they view each other lays the foundation to finding answers to questions about who is in position to decide what tomorrow’s headlines will be. This will also provide the scope for analysis and discussion of how changes in the media landscape change the view of what is considered to be business news content and redefine the playing field for the public debate.  

Institutional organization theory is used to understand news production and distribution as an institutionalized practice in which the work of journalists is well-structured and governed by established routines. This means that business news journalism is defined as an organizational field where norms and ideas, social structures and relationships between actors in the field and their respective status and position both challenge and define who is considered to be a journalist and what is included in the role of a news producer. We can understand the situation today as one where field boundaries for the journalistic practice are being set in motion, and that established field actors, such as traditional media organizations, are changing their positions and relations. Also, novel actors, such as content producers and ordinary companies and other organizations, are stepping in and challenging existing practices. The study includes different types of field actors with various positions, such as both traditional and new forms of business media, content distributors, and companies and other organizations that are currently developing roles as  news producers.

The three-year project starts during spring 2018, and is funded by Handelsbanken’s forskningsstiftelser.

Find Maria’s Score-report about business journalism here: http://www.score.su.se/polopoly_fs/1.178268.1400749922!/menu/standard/file/Scorerapport%202014_1.pdf

and a book chapter about business journalism in Michael Karlsson’s and Jesper Strömbäck’s edited volume Handbok om journalistikforskning (Studentlitteratur) here: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?dswid=6349&pid=diva2%3A814631&c=11&searchType=SIMPLE&language=sv&query=maria+grafstr%C3%B6m&af=%5B%5D&aq=%5B%5B%5D%5D&aq2=%5B%5B%5D%5D&aqe=%5B%5D&noOfRows=250&sortOrder=dateIssued_sort_desc&sortOrder2=title_sort_asc&onlyFullText=false&sf=all