Name: Theresa Seipp
Theresa is a PhD candidate at IViR (Institute for Information Law, UvA) and is part of the research team at the AI, Media, Democracy Lab. Her research focuses on governing AI in the media, opinion power and political power of online platforms, and media (concentration) law.
Theresa holds degrees from the University of Groningen (LL.B., LL.M. cum laude) and from Ghent University (LL.M.). She previously worked in the field of data protection law and researched at the Leibniz-Institute for Media Research, Hans-Bredow-Institute, in Hamburg on topics related to EU media law and policy and AI tools in journalism.
| Dodds, T., Helberger, N., Resendez, V., Seipp, T., Vreese, C. de|
Popularity-driven Metrics: Audience Analytics and Shifting Opinion Power to Digital Platforms
In: Journalism Studies, 2023.
As digital technologies have made their way into news production, allowing news organizations to measure audience behaviors and engagement in real-time, click-based and editorial goals have become increasingly intertwined. Ongoing developments in algorithmic technologies allow editors to bring their audience into the newsroom using specialized tools such as Chartbeat or Google Analytics. This article examines how these technologies have affected the composition of the audience and their power to influence news-making processes inside two Chilean newsrooms. Drawing on several months of newsroom ethnography, we identify how the pursuit of “clickable news” impacts editorial processes and journalistic priorities by changing the datafied audience opinion power behind news production. Shifts in opinion power, loss of control, and increased platform dependency may contribute to a concentrated media landscape. Our findings show that opinion power has shifted to a datafied version of the audience, raising new questions about platform dependency and editorial autonomy in media organizations. These results carry significant implications for understanding the chase for traffic in current multiplatform newsrooms and how this phenomenon impacts news production.
| Ausloos, J., Helberger, N., Seipp, T., Vreese, C.H. de|
Dealing with Opinion Power in the Platform World: Why We Really Have to Rethink Media Concentration Law
In: Digital Journalism, 2023.
The platformised news environment affects audiences, challenges the news media’s role, and transforms the media ecosystem. Digital platform companies influence opinion formation and hence wield “opinion power,” a normatively and constitutionally rooted notion that captures the core of media power in democracy and substantiates why that power must be distributed. Media concentration law is the traditional tool to prevent predominant opinion power from emerging but is, in its current form, not applicable to the platform context. We demonstrate how the nature of opinion power is changing and shifting from news media to platforms and distinguish three levels of opinion power: (1) the individual citizen, (2) the institutional newsroom and (3) the media ecosystem. The reconceptualization at the three levels provides a framework to develop future (non-)regulatory responses that address (1) the shifting influence over individual news consumption and exposure, (2) the changing power dynamics within automated, datafied and platform-dependent newsrooms, and (3) the systemic power of platforms and structural dependencies in the media ecosystem. We demonstrate that as the nature of opinion power is changing, so must the tools of control.
| Seipp, T.|
Book review: Media Freedom, by Damian Tambini
In: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 2022.
| Brogi, E., Fahy, R., Idiz, D., Irion, K., Meiring, A., Parcu, P.L., Poort, J., Seipp, T., Verza, S. et. al.|
Study on media plurality and diversity online
2022, ISBN: 978-92-76-51323-0, (Report commissioned by European Commission, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, written by Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), European University Institute, CiTiP (Centre for Information Technology and Intellectual Property) of KU Leuven, Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam (IViR/UvA), Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Studies in Media, Innovation and Technology, VUB- SMIT)).
The Study on Media Plurality and Diversity Online investigates the value of safeguarding media pluralism and diversity online, focusing on (i) the prominence and discoverability of general interest content and services, and on (ii) market plurality and the concentration of economic resources. With a focus on Europe, the project is funded by a tender from the European Commission to produce a study on Media Plurality and Diversity Online and involves four partner universities: CMPF (EUI); CiTiP (Centre for Information Technology and Intellectual Property) of KU Leuven; the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam (IViR/UvA); imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The purpose of the assignment was to describe, analyse and evaluate the existing regulatory and business practices in the two areas mentioned above, and finally to elaborate some policy recommendations. Data were collected from the database of the Media Pluralism Monitor (CMPF) and through desk research, online consultations and interviews with stakeholders. The contractor was able to call on a network of national experts across the Member States to support this work.
| Seipp, T.|
News media’s dependency on big tech: should we be worried?
In: Internet Policy Review, 2021, (Opinion).