Long-form Journalism and Archives in the Digital Landscape

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This work investigates the role and common traits of long-form journalism and news archives within the contemporary digital landscape. The research questions at the centre of this work regard the nature of long-form journalism and news archives within the contemporary digital landscape and the possible common traits between these two entities.

In order to answer the research questions, this work envisions the evolution of digital news media production within the broader relationships within the contemporary digital experience which is defined as digital landscape based on three main actors, individuals, crowds and platforms. This work focuses especially on platforms and their practices as influence factors regarding long-form journalism and archives production, distribution and consumption. Within this frame, this work establishes flux and disruption as two of main features of the digital landscape.

Through two case studies regarding two different long-form journalism stories, it also establishes an analysis framework based on the combination of multiple methods, such as digital methods, text analysis as part of critical discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews. The combination of these methods allows further insight on the structure, production and reception of long-form journalism and archives. Moreover, this work provides a quantitative evaluation of long-form journalism in the digital landscape by focusing on two different databases of this type of journalistic production as case studies.

This work identifies three common traits between long-form journalism and digital news archives, such as relevance over time, the unstructured nature of content and curation and distribution practices. Moreover, it envisions long-form journalism and archives as entities affected by processes such as digitisation and datafication, thus envisioning new possible forms of aggregation and curation and recombination of these artefacts, specifically as practices influenced by the role platforms within the digital landscape.

Finally, this work focuses on the role of artificial intelligence in contemporary news production, curation and validation processes. Moreover, it identifies the ethical challenges posed by the implementation of artificial intelligence within the digital public sphere.
Date of Award1 Mar 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorTobias Blanke (Supervisor) & Mark Coté (Supervisor)

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