Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies

The Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU) takes a distinctively multi- and interdisciplinary approach, bringing together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds such as linguistics, literary studies, communication studies, political sciences, legal studies, and logopedics, around the heterogeneous subject of journalism.

As such, our research agenda is premised on the multifaceted nature of journalism, with a primary focus on news production and journalism practice, and on the news product or 'text', essentially located within broader socio-historical, political, judicial, technological and economic contexts. Additionally, we look into different sorts of media, both print, broadcast and online journalism, and mainstream as well as alternative news outlets, while accounting for the multimodality of journalistic discourses. In terms of journalism's topical areas, BIJU's multidisciplinary profile covers a broad range of domains, including (international) politics, environment, lifestyle, and culture. 

 

Research projects within BIJU fit one or more of the following main research strands:

Journalism as Public Discourse

Questions and issues related to journalism's role in mediating and shaping public discourse(s) and, so doing, in the representation and social construction of 'reality'. Key topics include gender, national, and cultural identities, and the societal, highly politicized issue of climate change. Methodologically, research in this strand uses (a combination of) linguistic, visual, or critical discourse analysis; conversation analysis; (multimodal) framing analysis; systematic-quantifying and qualitative content analysis; and qualitative (in-depth) interviews or ethnographic fieldwork.

Journalism as Genre

Questions and issues related to the (ever-evolving) codes and conventions defining journalistic genres and styles, and to the forms and implications of hybridity. Examples of research topics are storytelling and the mythological role of journalism, forms and processes of popularization and (genre) hybridization, and infotainment and political satire. These topics are primarily examined through narrative, linguistic discourse, genre or semiotic analyses, often in combination with qualitative (in-depth) interviews. 

Journalism as Practice

Questions and issues related to (developments in) methods of news gathering and news dissemination, and the legal and moral issues involved in the process (professional ethics). Research topics include analyses of the use of social media and user-generated content by mainstream news media and professional journalists; the impact of business models and professional ideology on news production of traditional versus alternative news media; working conditions of (starting) journalists; the ethics of press photography; and case studies of the tension between freedom of speech and the right to privacy. Typically, the methodology consists of (combinations of) in-depth interviews and surveys, ethnographic fieldwork, quantitative and qualitative content analyses, and legal analyses, applied within a (socio)linguistic, (media)sociological or communication studies framework.

 

Members of BIJU have consistently presented their work at conferences of, amongst others, the International Pragmatics Association (IPA), International Communication Association (ICA), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), and the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).

BIJU is also a member of the Brussels Platform for Journalism, which facilitates the mutual exchange of expertise and cooperation between the different partner institutions committed to research and education in journalism and news media. [Read more by clicking the link]

 

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