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The Digital Transformation of Journalism During The Covid-19 Pandemic
The emergence and growth of information and communication technologies “revolutionised” the process of collection, production, storage and distribution of journalistic content. Journalism is in the process of “transformation” with outcomes still uncertain. Digital journalism is, however, underrepresented in European context despite the need to create rich content, online channels and interactive platforms such as “podcasts”. The pressure for digitization has been felt especially during the time of the current pandemic. Besides its economic impact, COVID-19 pandemic has blurred the role and identity of journalism in the shared information space while at the same time accelerating its digital transformation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the challenges and potential transformation of journalism. This was achieved through: 1) exploring the current situation (strengths, limitations, opportunities and challenges) in digital journalism by evaluating specific examples of such content, 2) exploring the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital transformation of journalism and 3) exploring the desired forms of its transformation. These objectives were achieved by conducting semi-structured interviews on a purposive sample of journalists, interested in the topic trough their professional experience. The preliminary data suggest that digital transformation of journalism is a necessary but also a long-term process. It also shows that the pandemic, despite its negative impacts, initiated and accelerated the process of digitization. Finally, from the data obtained, we derive recommendations that can serve as a starting point for future development of journalism.