I am an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Haifa, Israel. I research how organizations and individuals use media technologies and their attendant rhetoric to promise and provide solutions for social problems. I also study mediated representations and understandings of economic life. I teach courses on the culture industries, media institutions, economic communication and content analysis methods. I support Arsenal and the University of Michigan football and basketball teams (I like to suffer), and listen to podcasts on my commute and when I wash the dishes. I also subscribe to a bunch of newsletters I find efficiently useful for research. Sometimes, I read books. Social media both attracts and repels me. Nevertheless, I’m proud of our department’s Facebook group which hosts an ongoing conversation (mostly in Hebrew) on media and social science.
You can find my Google Scholar profile with an updated list of publications here.
Current research projects
I have returned to an old stomping ground together with my colleague Prof. Oren Meyers to re-interview Israeli journalists we last interviewed about a decade ago. We’re doing this as part of a Neaman Institute-funded research group on independent journalism (עיתונות עצמאית). Our study focuses on how journalists perceive the pressures exerted upon them and considers the private uses of public journalism. We will consider how journalists occupational perceptions evolve over time.
I am co-PI with Dr. Eran Tamir (Tel Aviv University) of a 3 year ISF (Israel Science Foundation) funded project titled “Reproducing ‘start-up nation’? The Israeli technology sector’s interventions in the field of education”. In this project, we study the activities of technology firms and workers in Israeli public education. Our first published article (free access) examined the perspective of volunteering tech workers and executives.
I am co-PI with Dr. Nir Grinberg (Ben-Gurion University) of a 3 year Ministry of Science and Technology funded project examining how assistive artificial intelligence technologies (such as the automated reply suggestions many internet platforms now provide) impact interpersonal communication.
For the past few years, I have been studying whether crowdfunding attenuates, replicates or intensifies social hierarchies (in collaboration with Dr. Nat Poor and Prof. Yariv Tsfati). The latest publication in this line of research examines the crowdfunding of scientific research.
I am interested in how entrepreneurship influences media production. I have studied for some years the entrepreneurial careers of journalists (with Prof. Oren Meyers). I am now studying with Dr. Sharon Ringel what journalists delete from their Twitter account and why (initial report) linking labor conditions to journalists’ deletion practices. A first academic article from this line of research was published (open-access) in New Media & Society. This is an ongoing project, and we hope to publish more on this subject in 2021-22.
Davidson, R. (2019). The Role of Platforms in Fulfilling the Potential of Crowdfunding as an Alternative Decentralized Arena for Cultural Financing. Law & Ethics of Human Rights, 13(1), 115-140. https://doi.org/10.1515/lehr-2019-0005
Davidson, R., & Poor, N. D. (2019). Location, location, location: How digital platforms reinforce the importance of spatial proximity. Information, Communication & Society. 22(10), 1464-1478. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1444075
Davidson, R., & Tsfati, Y. (2019). The contribution of supply and demand factors to the reproduction of hierarchies online: The case of crowdfunding of scientific research. Public Understanding of Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662519876535
Tamir, E., & Davidson, R. (2019). The good despot: Technology firms’ interventions in the public sphere. Public Understanding of Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662519879368
Tamir, E., & Davidson, R. (2019). INSPIRATION IN SURPRISING PLACES: SEARCHING FOR A CIVIC DIMENSION IN FINANCIAL LITERACY. British Journal of Educational Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2019.1642444
Ringel, S., & Davidson, R. (2020). Proactive ephemerality: How journalists use automated and manual tweet deletion to minimize risk and its consequences for social media as a public archive. New Media & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820972389 (open-access)
In the Professional Press
In 2019, I published with my colleague, Dr. Sharon Ringel, a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review regarding some early findings from a project Sharon initiated on how journalists preserve and delete the tweets they publish. This work is ongoing. We would love to hear what you think!
If you have any questions about my research or would like a copy of any of my publications feel free to email me.