Diffusion of News in an Age of Personal and Portable Interactive Devices

Principal Investigator (PI): Professor Richard Ling

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): Asst Prof Debbie Goh, Asst Prof Edson Tandoc, Asst Prof Andrew Duffy

Collaborators: Assoc Prof Oscar Westlund

Funding Agency: MOE Tier 2

Start Date: Jan 2016

End Date: On-going

Abstract: The project aims to examine the impact of PPIDs in three areas of Singaporean culture. First is how the public are using them. This includes how PPIDs have become domesticated or integrated into everyday routines; how and what kind of news people access on them; and how they share that news to build social capital with family members and beyond.

Second is how PPIDs are changing the way mainstream as well as niche journalists gather, construct and disseminate news stories. This includes how they use web-based analytics for a greater understanding of what the public reads; and how they reconcile the changing tastes for personalized news consumption with the concern of nation-building journalism that is characteristic of the Singapore press.

Third is how the public’s and the media’s adoption of PPIDs are converging to affect civic participation in Singapore. This centres on whether the loss of news as a shared understanding has undermined social cohesion and civic participation, or whether such fragmented news consumption based on personalized interests has in fact led to greater civic participation in smaller, more personally meaningful activities.