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Journalism studies meets practice

  • 03.03.2022
  • 04.03.2022
  • Utrecht, Netherlands

ECREA Journalism studies Section Conference “Journalism studies meets practice”

Utrecht, the Netherlands – March 3-4, 2022

Hosted by Research Centre Quality Journalism in Digital Transition at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Deadline for abstract submissions: September 24, 2021

The 2022 Section Conference of the Journalism Studies Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on March 3-4, 2022.

If the Covid-19 situation worsens by October, we will host an alternative online program

In that case we will create an online environment for online submissions and presentations. In addition, we will select several overarching themes on journalism in digital transition and organize seminars to create an active and fruitful debate among journalism scholars and journalistic practitioners.

We welcome submissions focusing on journalism in digital transition. Over the past century, journalism as a profession has professionalized and is widely recognized by its principles, norms and routines. However, the process of digitalization has challenged the journalism profession in how it is organized as well as in how stories are produced, sold, and consumed.

For instance, while the newsroom is still often the core space of journalism where the news beat is felt, a transition to freelance practices and the collaboration with other professions in the creative industry has challenged the organizations and identity of journalism. Also, moving away from traditional forms of using journalistic production, the public is now offered information and entertainment via a multitude of channels online. Concerns have been voiced that these changes may, for example, aid a fragmentation and polarization of deliberative spaces, and the spread of disinformation. However, technological innovation has also been connected to a range of opportunities for journalists and media organizations. Algorithmic tools are increasingly used to uncover data and gather information.  At the same time, Artificial Intelligence can provide a more personalized and tailor-made news experience for the public. New technologies have also provided opportunities for new storytelling techniques where the role of the user is more prominent, including interactive stories, immersive productions and podcasts.

What is particularly fascinating here is the question of how to study technological innovation in journalism. While the field of journalism studies is booming, the debate on the advancement of methodological thinking is still surprisingly limited. Therefore, we also encourage submissions focusing on adapted or new methods used within journalism studies.   

Lastly, the scholarly field of journalism studies has developed into a sophisticated field of research. The question often remains how much of this scholarly knowledge is translated into changes in journalism practice. This conference therefore also invites journalism scholars that work together with practitioners or can show us how their research has had impact in the field. Co-creative sessions will be organized where we will invite prominent journalists to join the discussion with scholars on a specific issue.

The journalism industry has always been dependent on the available technology. However, as scholars, we need to heighten our focus on the socio-cultural consequences of digital technological dependence, simply because this dependence is increasing exponentially, bringing with it new theoretical, methodological, and ethical questions.

In sum, we thus encourage submissions in three main areas:

Research on how the field of journalism is challenged in the way it is produced, sold and consumed.

Methodological submission, discussing and challenging current scholarly methods n journalisms studies or proposing innovative methods into the field to be able to research this field in transition.

Best practices on how scholarly research is embedded into journalistic practice.

The conference will feature traditional paper presentations and co-creative sessions between academics and media professionals.

Traditional paper presentations: Traditional paper presentations will take place in panels consisting of four to five papers. Each panel will be moderated by a respondent

‘Scholars meet practitioners’ sessions: A limited number of slots will be available for co-creative sessions where one topic is addressed in four short presentations, followed by an organized debate between academics and invited media professionals with an expertise on the topic.

For more information on the conference, venue and key-note speakers we will update the conference website coming months:

More information on the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and the research group can be found here.

Submissions can be sent to no later than 17 September 2021.

Please include in the email (1) the title of your paper, (2) an abstract of approximately 500 words, (3) names and affiliations of the authors.

To submit a proposal for a ‘Scholars meet practitioners’ session, a 300 words rationale should be sent alongside a 150 words explanation per presentation, as well as the names and affiliations of presenters and respondent. We will then look for a suitable expertise in the field.

Submission will undergo scholarly peer-review.

Only one proposal per first author can be accepted.

Notifications of acceptance will be issued end of October 2021.



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