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Media researcher Jenny Wiik joins Medier & demokrati

Medier & demokrati is boosted by the addition of media researcher Jenny Wiik. For the past two years, she has been contributing to Lindholmen Science Park as a Flexit researcher. - Lindholmen Science Park is an exciting environment in which different participants can interact around new ideas, says Jenny Wiik. I think that academics and the media industry need to collaborate more in order to be able to develop journalism in the best possible way.

Jenny Wiik is a lecturer in media and communication studies. She works both at University of Gothenburg's Department of Journalism, Media and Communication and Malmö University's School of Arts and Communication. Starting next March, she will be employed for two years at Lindholmen Science Park as a so-called Flexit researcher. In her new role, Wiik will contribute to Medier & demokrati and AI Innovation of Sweden, the country's centre for applications within AI innovation and research.
A Flexit researcher is a doctoral researcher within humanities and social sciences. Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) provided partial financing for the job position whose purpose is to stimulate increased collaboration between academics and the commercial sector. In this role, the researcher spends 75% of their time leading a relevant research project and 25% working for the relevant companies.

- As a researcher, I can provide a new approach to the work and a new line of thinking, which should be beneficial and refreshing. It will afford me the benefit of developing new knowledge together with the parties who are influenced by it, which is a real pleasure, says Wiik.

The project that Wiik will lead is called 'The automation of journalism. Innovation, collaboration and knowledge management with implementation of AI in news media companies'. 
The goal is to gain an understanding of how news media handle different areas of expertise, work flows and - sometimes - conflicting goals associated with the automation of journalistic production and publication. The project also includes the identification of the democratic driving forces that exist within news media's development and innovation processes. In addition to Medier & demokrati and AI Innovation of Sweden, Wiik will also work externally for various media companies.

- It's essential to find methods of innovation that reinvigorate the work and at the same time preserve journalism's editorial values.

The introduction of new technology manifests itself differently within different editorial staffs and we need to learn more about how these processes work. It is essential to find methods of innovation that modernise activities while preserving journalism's editorial values. My hope is that the project will contribute concrete insights into how this can be achieved,” says Wiik.
 For the 25% allotted to Lindholmen Science Park, Wiik will work with project management.

- We're really happy to have Jenny with us for two years and we think that this initiative will generate a great deal of valuable knowledge, says Martin Holmberg, Programme Manager at Medier & demokrati. 

Jenny Wiik and Flexit at a glance

  • Research background: Journalism as a profession and democratic institution revolving around challenges that face journalism as a consequence of technological, economic and political changes. Doctoral thesis 'Journalism in Transition' in 2010.
  • Lives: In Gothenburg and Malmö.
  • Reading: “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover, which we will discuss in my book circle.
  • Dream project: “Collaboration and development are key words for me, so right now my upcoming project feels like a dream.”
  • Flexit: Three-year project in which the researcher is employed by relevant companies for the first two years and returns to their academic career for the third year. Riksbankens Jubileumsfond is financing 75% of the researcher's salary, while companies and universities are financing the remaining 25% during their relevant years.