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Democratic Implications of Coopetition in Digital Ecosystems: The Case of Danish News Media

The introduction of digital technologies, AI, and social media platforms have changed a vital pillar for a healthy democracy and enlightened public: the news media ecosystem. The distribution channels of news stories have changed, the pace of news has shifted, and the news organizations’ production strategies have been altered. In response to these changes, many news organizations came to adopt practices of “churnalism,” relying increasingly on information from news agencies and competitors. We conceptualize these interdependencies in the framework of ‘coopetition’, as news organizations come to simultaneously compete and collaborate. By doing so, we uncover novel dynamics in the news ecosystem.

In the project ‘Democratic Implications of Coopetition in Digital Ecosystems:  The Case of Danish News Media’ we ask whether coopetition processes accelerated in the wake of digitalization, and which implications such a tendency would pose for 1) the competitive structure of the news ecosystem, 2) the diversity in the news coverage, and 3) the well-being of democracy. This is investigated using mixed methods research designs. We conduct qualitative interviews with journalists and management, collect big datasets and use computational social science methods (network analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing).

The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Strategic Organization Design and the Digital Democracy Centre at SDU.

Emil Bakkensen Johansen, Ph.D. student (

Main supervisor:
Oliver Baumann (

David Hopmann (

Project participants:
Michael Christensen (
Pantelis Analytis Papergias (
Thorbjørn Knudsen (


Last Updated 21.11.2022