After nearly fifteen years in the IT industry Sofia Larsson saw an advertisement. PhD student. She took the chance and one and a half years later we meet over coffee to discuss research and education.
Sofia Larsson is now good on her way into her PhD project, the main topic is Media and Communication Studies and she has begun to explore individual’s use of new media to participate in public debate. She has, in the first stage, interviewed a number of active Web commentators about the opportunities, but also the barriers they encounter
– It is a kind of opinion citizen journalism, many think that their opinions are not represented in in traditional media and therefore they are looking at various sites, blogs and other online forums to spread their thoughts, says Sofia.
Sofia Larsson has two bachelor's degrees behind her; Systems Science, which she studied at Luleå University of Technology and Media and Communication Studies, which she studied at a distance from Linné University of Kalmar.
– It really is great fun, interesting and relevant to me now, I get the chance to devote myself to issues that I have a passion for exploring and I think that research is better if you really are passionate, says Sofia Larsson
Sofia describes orientation "New media" as a challenge in itself, the subject is constantly changing. It is a fusion between traditional media and what we now call social media, with journalists and editors who blogs employer's website and the standard with comment functions on articles. The distance between the private and public sector is shrinking
– The changing media landscape on the Internet have contributed to a new openness in which blogs, discussion forums, commentary box and debate pages created opportunity for the individual to participate and also to shape public opinion. There is both hope for revitalized publicity through the net and fears of a continued decline. It is this that in my research I want to qualify by highlighting debater 'experience, says Sofia