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[ecrea] CFP: Online Journalism and its Publics
Thu Feb 07 06:27:54 GMT 2013
Online journalism and its publics
December 5-6, 2013, Brussels
Official languages of the conference: English, French, Spanish, and
This international and interdisciplinary conference aims at fostering
the debate on audience consumption, production and participation in the
journalistic sphere. Discussion forums, comment spaces, fact checking,
crowdsourcing, blogs and social networks have expanded the opportunities
for the participation of Internet users in the news production process.
The relationship between journalism and its publics has become more
complex, with multiple levels of interaction that are not always easy to
fit into professional practices.
In the last decade we have heard utopian discourses announcing a
revolution in journalism and the end of one-way mass communication. But
we have also lived through the normalisation of audience participation
on online news media, with gatekeeping criteria and isolation from news
production as key strategies. The moment calls for an in-depth analysis
of the circumstances, motivations and habits of the production and
consumption of news in a digital context. We know well the professional
practices in the newsrooms, but we lack empirical evidence on their
publics, how do they select the information they consume and why do they
decide to contribute information through any of the available means.
The audience was until recently an imaginary figure in the minds of
journalists, editors in chief, marketing or advertising managers, and
consulting agencies. It has now materialised online under the shape of
contributions, nicknames, arguments and conversations through the
diverse socio-technical artefacts of online news media. While in the
past the participation of the reader was circumscribed to the letters to
the editor in the newspapers (later adopted through the audience
ombudsperson in broadcasting media), citizen discourses are now
legitimated by news producers. As the category of the “public-user”
becomes more visible, we can formulate hypotheses about their
consumption and production practices, their representations of
journalism and its role in society. We can gather empirical evidence of
the evolution of news flows and overcome the sterile cries about the end
of journalism and resituate it within the context of the emerging
practices in digital environments.
These changes in the journalistic landscape call for analyses from
multiple backgrounds: sociology of journalism and news, reception
studies, history of communication, discourse analysis, cultural studies,
anthropology. Contributions to the conference can focus on the following
The public as:
· An actor present in the newsroom: the public lives in the mental and
discursive representations of the journalists, but also in a more
concrete way in the contributions of the users and the data generated by
the monitoring of audience activity on news websites. It also involves
the creation of new professional practices (such as the role of the
community manager to deal with active audience participation). How do
media companies adapt to this configuration (automated treatment of
comments, new moderation tasks, outsourcing of moderation).
· An economic actor: news media try to monetise online audiences through
support diversification of their products, recording increasingly
complete consumer data, or developing production strategies that allow
news consumption anywhere and anytime.
· An information producer, an expert: the public becomes an information
source through comments in news and on the blogs embedded on the news
websites. It is as well used by the media to legitimise some
· A discourse producer: what are the features of the discourses of the
publics? How do they engage in debates? What are their representations
of the news products? To what extent do they challenge their reader's
· A referee of social discourses: the new configuration enables the
citizens to challenge the established distribution of knowledge in the
public sphere and allows them to collectively monitor the journalistic
discourse and propose rectifications.
Call for papers
Contributions to the conference can be sent in English, French, Spanish
or Portuguese (max. of 500 words) to (publics2013 /at/ gmail.com) before May 5,
Diffusion: February 5, 2013.
Deadline for abstracts: May 5, 2013.
Acceptance communication: June 1, 2013.
Deadline for full papers: October 5, 2013.
ReSIC: Centre de Recherche en Information et Communication (Université
Libre de Bruxelles) & PReCoM : Pôle de Recherches sur la Communication
et les Médias (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles).
Presented in partnership with:
Action COST IS0906 Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies
DigiLab, Facultat de Comunicació Blanquerna (Universitat Ramon Lull,
Organising committee: Laura Calabrese (Université Libre de Bruxelles),
Juliette De Maeyer (Université Libre de Bruxelles), David Domingo
(Université Libre de Bruxelles), Marie-Soleil Frère (Université Libre de
Bruxelles), Tomke Lask (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Florence Le Cam
(Université Libre de Bruxelles), Geoffroy Patriarche (Université
Saint-Louis – Bruxelles).
Axel Bruns (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Laura Calabrese (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
João Canavilhas (Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal)
David Domingo (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Marie-Soleil Frère (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
François Heinderyckx (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Alfred Hermida (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Ari Heinonen (University of Tampere, Finland)
María Elena Hernández (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico)
Josianne Jouët (Université Paris II, France)
Florence Le Cam (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Salvador de León (Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico)
Pere Masip (Universitat Ramon Lull, Catalonia)
Cécile Méadel (École des mines de Paris – ParisTech, France)
Geoffroy Patriarche (Université Saint-Louis, Belgium)
Steve Paulussen (Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium)
Fabio Henrique Pereira (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil)
Ike Pikone (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University, UK)
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Université Libre de Bruxelles
c/o Dept. of Information and Communication Sciences
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