PhD in Communication Sciences

"Aggregating applications of journalistic information for mobile devices: An exploration by the Actor-Network Theory" (“Aplicativos agregadores de informação jornalística para dispositivos móveis: Uma exploração pela Teoria Ator-Rede”)was the theme of the PhD thesis in Communication Sciences presented by Ivan Satuf, on July 15th, at the University of Beira Interior (UBI). The author explains that "the investigation is centered on mobile apps that filter and organize journalistic content adapted to the smartphones and tablets’ interfaces. Some quite popular applications, such as Flipboard, are part of the research, but also some apps with high innovative potential and which didn’t resist to the strong competition in the sector, as the Circa News case ". The goal of the research was to detect the changes in the notion of journalistic information in these emerging products developed exclusively for mobile devices. 

The study is carried out from 28 aggregating applications. The methodological path develops three successive steps described by the Actor-Network Theory: "unfolding", "stabilization" and "composition". According to Ivan Satuf "the first two describe thoroughly the entities existing in the object of study and identify tendencies that confirm the change in the concept of journalistic information in the aggregating applications from three vectors: the algorithms, the interface with social networking and curatorship.

The third step organizes applications into a taxonomic framework created from four categories: API, curatorship, aggregation system and personalization system ".

The jury of the thesis presentation was formed by Hélder Bastos, Assistant Professor of the New University of Porto, António Granado, Assistant Professor of the New University of Lisbon, Luís Santos, Assistant Professor of the University of Minho, João Canavilhas, Associate Professor of UBI (thesis supervisor) Anabela Gradim and Nuno Francisco, Assistant Professors of UBI. Hélder Bastos and António Granado were the arguers of the thesis presented.

 

From Belo Horizonte to Covilhã

Ivan Satuf, originally from Belo Horizonte, in Brazil, has a degree in Journalism from the Catholic Pontifical University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas) and master in Social Communication from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). "I've come to Covilhã in 2012 with a lot of expectations and today, four years later, I can say that those initial expectations were largely exceeded. In addition to being very well received by professors and colleagues, the UBI provides an enviable infrastructure that allows the student to develop his investigation with tranquility", he said.

The most positive aspects for Ivan Satuf are the library collection and facilities, as well as the support provided by the LabCom.IFP to develop activities related to the investigation, such as participation in congresses and the production of scientific papers. "In this sense, it was so gratifying to be supervised by professor John Canavilhas, which is admittedly one of the most respected researchers in the recent investigations on journalism and mobile devices," he adds.

Support:
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
União Europeia
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional
Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade
Universidade da Beira Interior