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ICA Preconference. Young People & News in a Digital World: Local and Global Perspectives

Call for Abstracts
Deadline for abstracts: 25 February 2022
Email 250 word abstract with 100 word bio to:

Full day conference, 09:00 -- 17:00
Offsite location: ISCOM Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster. Paris (Cite de Londres, Paris, near the Trinite d’Estienne d’Ovres metro - 25 mins by metro or a 45 min walk from the ICA conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Etoile)

Division affiliation: Journalism Studies AND Children, Adolescents & Media

Organizers: Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver (USA); Stina Bengtsson and Sofia Johansson, Sodertorn University (Sweden)

Call for Papers:
For a long time, news was considered a distinct commodity produced by journalists and shared with audiences by established media organisations. Today, news is considered a concept in flux, marked by a growing hybridization of journalistic cultures around the world, and shared across a host of differing platforms via a dizzying range of genres, styles, personalities, and alliances with both human and artificial intelligence. People increasingly come upon news when immersed in social media environments, meaning that news from recognized sources is encountered before and after encounters with entertainment, with influencer updates, and with postings from family and friends in a highly personalised yet ‘shareable’ stream of information. The current media environment seems to make the very concept of news more fluid; news, when it is encountered at all, is to be found in multiple spaces, formats, and locations.

Transformations in the production, distribution, consumption, and meaning of news, coupled with concerns of climate change, questions of intelligent machines, and heightened patterns of dislocation and disposession, have birthed renewed interest in questions of how “news” is related to democratic participation, trust, community bonds, and engagement in the public sphere. Such questions are of global magnitude, and have become increasingly urgent as democratic systems are increasingly under threat.

Of particular interest in such discussions are questions of how young people under the age of 25 first develop an awareness of themselves as members of the public, or of multiple publics. Young people, who hail from incredibly varied contexts across and within countries and who nevertheless are part of a global commercial youth culture, are often misrepresented, misunderstood, feared, or ignored in existing political systems. How, then, do young people, many of whom are newcomers to politics, make sense of what they encounter and understand to be news? How do educational systems - and in particular media education programs - help in this endeavor of opening publics and political action to young people, if they do? And how are scholars to make sense of the fact that rather than Walter Cronkite, perhaps the most recognizable news commentator among this generation might be Greta Thunberg, or Malala Yousafzai?

We believe that the transformed media landscape seems to necessitate a further re-thinking of the features and functions of news for youth and young people today, in relation not only to technological developments and digitization, but also with regards to different kinds of societies and geo-cultural contexts for news.

The overall aim of this preconference, then, is to enable scholarly debates and discussions about young people, news, and democracy in digitized society, from a range of analytical and geo-cultural perspectives. The preconference aims to bring together researchers from across the world, broadening the discussion about news and youth and adding new perspectives to this traditionally Western field of news research. We hope that the day will not only advance the research agendas of individual participants, but will also support and promote a robust dialogue about young people and news that will inform a collective interdisciplinary and comparative research agenda that can inform policy and practice in the future.

Papers may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Considerations of news as a concept for young people, in relation to theoretical or empirical areas of investigation, and in connection to news production, content or audiences
• Young people, news and civic engagement
• Young people’s news consumption in relation to different cultural and geographical contexts, as well as to global, local and hyperlocal news contexts
• The role of social media as platforms for young news audiences
• Issues of trust in news among the young
• Questions around fake news, propaganda and disinformation
• Alternative and populist news sites and their role to young people
• Micro-celebrities and ‘influencers’ as disseminators and sources of news

The conference will entail a combination of keynote speakers, roundtable discussions/research dialogues and parallel papers sessions.

Keynote speaker: Professor Pablo Boczkowski , Northwestern School of Communication.

Confirmed members of keynote panel: Professor Maria Bakardjieva, University of Calgary; Professor Shobha Avadhani, National University of Singapore; Dr. Winston Mano, Westminster University.

Other speakers will be drawn from submitted papers and/or invitations in order to ensure inclusion of perspectives from areas of the world that have been traditionally underrepresented in journalism scholarship

Tid och plats

26 maj 2022, 09:00-17:00



Arrangeras av

Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver; Stina Bengtsson and Sofia Johansson, Sodertorn University (Sweden); CBEES, Sodertorn University



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