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Second place for dr. Joëlle Swart in Science Awards Campus Fryslân

14 December 2021

Joëlle Swart, assistant professor of Journalism Studies at the Faculty of Arts, has won second place in the Science Awards Campus Fryslân and a cash prize of €3000.

Swart won the prize with her research on the changing news consumption habits, media literacy and digital literacy. She investigates, among other things, how citizens develop new habits, skills, and attitudes around digital media. In her research, Swart collaborates with different partners such as the news media, schools, and libraries.

Research from the citizen's perspective

The jury of the Science Awards called Swart's research innovative because of the approach to news use habits and media literacy from the perspective of the citizen she uses. Instead of assuming, as is common in Journalism Studies, that regularly consuming news is important for citizens, Swart investigates empirically to what extent, how and why news is relevant to them: What role do news, media, and journalism play in their daily lives?

Impact on society

An estimated 2.5 million Dutch people still lack basic skills in the field of digital media. They therefore run the risk of being increasingly excluded from the fast-growing digital society. The Northern Netherlands is at the forefront of finding solutions to stimulate digital literacy and media literacy. Swart's research results provide schools, libraries, and other educational organisations with starting points to develop strategies to improve and stimulate media literacy, digital literacy, and informed citizenship among different target groups.

About Joelle Swart

Swart obtained her doctorate at the Faculty of Arts in 2018 with a dissertation on the societal relevance of news within the NWO project The New News Consumer, a collaboration between the University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam and twelve Dutch news organisations, including NOS, the daily newspapers De Persgroep and the northern daily newspapers of NDC. Since then, Swart has been working at the Research Center for Media and Journalism Studies (UG), initially as a postdoc in the VSNU research programme De Digitale Samenleving, and since 1 October as an assistant professor. Last year, together with prof. dr. Marcel Boersma and dr. Anna Van Cauwenberge, Swart received an NWO Digital Society grant to finance two PhD programs on digital literacy, inclusion, and citizenship, aimed at the target groups of 8-12 year old children and adults with low literacy.

Winner Science Awards and Third

The first place went to dr. Mirjam Günther-van der Meijden (NHL/Stenden University of Applied Sciences) for her research on good language teaching practices in classes in which different languages ​​are increasingly spoken. Dr. Ronald Plantinga (Fryske Akademy) won third place for his PhD research on transitions in the dairy sector. Read more about the winning research project.

About the Science Awards Campus Fryslân 2021

With the Science Awards, the University of Groningen/Campus Fryslân wants to stimulate and reward scientific research talent. The Municipality of Leeuwarden finances the Science Awards: First place relieves a cash prize of €6000, the second €3000, and the third €1000.

Left: Dr. Ronald Plantinga, midle: dr. Mirjam Günther-van der Meij, right: dr. Joëlle Swart
Left: Dr. Ronald Plantinga, midle: dr. Mirjam Günther-van der Meij, right: dr. Joëlle Swart
Last modified:10 January 2024 10.55 a.m.
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