International Conference: New Perspectives on News: Theoretical and Empirical Challenges to Contemporary News Research
This conference aims to make a contribution to ongoing scholarly debates about news and democracy in digitized society, by providing a rethinking of the concept and societal role of news, from a range of analytical and geo-cultural perspectives.
News, for a long time considered a distinct commodity produced by journalists and established media organisations, is currently often considered a concept in flux. This is prompted by changes in news production, including altering practices of journalists and the opportunities for media users to produce and share their own content, but it is equally a result of novel forms of news distribution, where social media platforms, micro-celebrities and alternative and viral news sites have gained a prominent role in news dissemination.
Alongside transformations in the production and distribution of news have followed changing use patterns, leading to renewed questions about participation, trust and civic engagement in the public sphere. It is arguable, furthermore, that the altered context for news consumption interlinks not only with new behaviours around news, but also with more varied understandings of the concept itself – with a range of different sources of information competing for what is to be considered ‘news’.
While these developments have been widely discussed as impacting on democracy and the public sphere, they seem to necessitate a further re-thinking of the features and functions of news today, in relation not only to technological developments and the digitized media landscape, but also with regard to different kinds of societies and geo-cultural contexts for news.
The overall aim of this conference is to make a contribution to ongoing scholarly debates about news and democracy in digitized society, by providing a rethinking of the concept and societal role of news, from a range of analytical and geo-cultural perspectives. The conference aims to bring together researchers from different academic disciplines and geographical areas, with expertise that could bring new perspectives to the inherently Western field of news research, as well as advancing the research agenda around news both theoretically and empirically.
Papers may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Considerations of news as a concept, in relation to theoretical or empirical areas of investigation, and in connection to news production, content or audiences.
- Empirical studies of news outside of the Western world.
- The role of social media, viral news sites and apps as platforms for news.
- Algorithmic news selection.
- The relationship between journalism and social media.
- Alternative and populist news sites and their role in the public sphere.
- Transforming news audiences and emerging practices around news.
- Micro-celebrities and ‘influencers’ as disseminators and sources of news.
- Global, local and hyperlocal news contexts.
- News in relation to different cultural and geographical contexts.
- Current developments around journalism and journalists.
- Historical perspectives on news.
- Issues of truth and trust in news.
The conference will entail a combination of keynote speakers, research dialogues with invited speakers and parallel papers sessions. Confirmed speakers include:
Tamara Witschge, University of Groningen. Co-author of Beyond Journalism (2020).
Natalia Roudakova, McGill University. Author of Losing Pravda: Ethics and the Press in Post-Truth Russia (2017).
Thomas Pettitt, University of Southern Denmark. Author of “The Parenthical Turn in Journalism Studies: The Role of the News Ballads” (2015).
Jonathan Mair, University of Kent. Author of “Post-Truth Eras” (2018).
Abstracts for conference presentations are to be submitted by the deadline of the 15th of March, for the selection of conference contributions to be confirmed by the 27th of March. Abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words, submitted alongside a short presenter’s bio of no more than 100 words.
Submit abstracts to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference registration will be open between the 30th of March to the 15th of April. Registration is free.