Higher Seminar in Statecraft and Strategic Communication | Richard Wahlund
Richard Wahlund is the Bonnier Family Professor in Business Administration, focusing on media, at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). He is also heading the Centre for Media and Economic Psychology at SIR. His research mostly concerns human behaviour related to media (e.g., news consumption, news evaluations, and algorithmic biases), marketing (e.g., branding, AI-based marketing communications, cognitive biases/nudging, and pricing), or sustainability (e.g., green housing and gender equality) grounded in economic psychology.
It has been argued that news journalism is a prerequisite for the functionality and survival of democratic societies, also benefiting people’s everyday decision making as well as satisfying other needs based on its journalistic qualities. As the world is getting digitalized, news journalism is challenged by an increased exposure and consumption of other types of news, especially in social media, which may have affected consumers’ evaluations of journalistic news. A problem thus facing the journalistic news media industry and the society is if news journalism still has a unique value – a unique selling proposition (USP) – in the eyes of news consumers, distinguishing it from other types of news, thus making them more valuable to citizens than other kinds of news.
The speech will present results from an experimental study carried out to test how journalistic and private news (the latter created by non-journalist citizens, related to the private sphere and found in social media), respectively, are evaluated as to journalistic qualities, and whether type of medium or a journalist as sources have any influence on the evaluation of journalistic news. The experiment was carried out with 1,516 Swedish consumers, aged 20-40, sampled from a representative Swedish panel, and randomly assigned the experimental variations. The study also includes analyses of structural equation models to explain the perceived usefulness of (interest in) journalistic and private news consumed, respectively.