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[ecrea] call for papers: Is no local news bad news?

Sun Oct 23 12:31:42 GMT 2016

Is no local news bad news?

Local journalism and its future

Call for Papers

Saturday, June 3 – Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ryerson Journalism Research Centre

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The challenges faced by local journalism are often overshadowed by concerns about the state of national news media. Increasingly, however, policy makers, citizens and others are joining journalists in sounding the alarm about local newsroom cutbacks and closures. Is no local news bad news? Local journalism and its future will take place June 3-4, 2017 on the campus of Ryerson University in Toronto, Ont., Canada. The conference, convened by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre, will bring together journalists, citizens, policy makers, journalism educators and Canadian and international scholars with an interest in:

* issues related to the practice of local journalism

* investigating the challenges and opportunities affecting local news organizations in different jurisdictions

* examining the impact of the changing local news landscape on communities

* sharing research methodologies/identifying future research directions and potential research collaborations

* research/experimentation to create more sustainable local news ecosystems

This gathering comes at a time when local news outlets in many jurisdictions are scaling back operations, consolidating or closing altogether, while online news sites often struggle to stay afloat. In Canada, concerns about newspaper closures and challenges faced by the country’s small- and medium-market television stations prompted a House of Commons committee to launch hearings earlier this year on how communities are informed about local and regional experiences through broadcast news, digital and print media. In the United States, charitable foundations concerned that the critical information needs of citizens are not being met are funding experiments to test strategies for creating more sustainable local news operations. In Europe, researchers have pointed to national differences in the number, quality and economic sustainability of digital local news startups.

We invite proposals for local news-related research/presentations on topics that include, but are not limited to:

* the role of digital, social and citizen journalism in the provision of local journalism

* issues related to local journalism practice

* qualitative and quantitative methodologies for measuring/comparing the performance of local news outlets

* the news/information needs of communities and role of local journalism in communities

* solutions including, for instance, alternative business models, the role of foundation funding and public policy/regulatory options

* public broadcasters as providers of local news

* historical perspectives on local journalism

* ethnic media and local news

* journalism schools and local news coverage

Presenters at the conference will be invited to submit papers for inclusion in a peer-reviewed (by editorial committee) online multimedia publication to be published by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre. Multimedia elements such as videos, audio files, infographics and interactive web content will be welcomed but not required.

Conference submission formats

We welcome proposals for:

• individual research papers

• themed panels consisting of three to four presenters

• “lightning talk” discussion sessions where up to six presenters will each deliver 5-minute research briefs. Following the presentations, a facilitator will moderate a discussion among the presenters. The session will conclude with a question-and-answer session with audience members.

• Electronic posters, videos or short slide shows that will be displayed on large screens at a Local News Storytelling and Innovation Bazaar. This updated take on the traditional poster session is an opportunity for journalism schools, news organizations and others to showcase local stories that have made a difference, local news-related curricula, local news advocacy efforts and innovations/experiments related to local news storytelling and business models.

Submission requirements:

All submissions should indicate whether your submission is for a research paper, a panel, a lightning talk discussion session or the Local News Storytelling and Innovation Bazaar.

For panels and lightning talk discussion sessions, please submit:

* the name, affiliation and contact information of the session organizer

* the title and a 150-word description of the session

* the name, affiliation and contact information for each session presenter

* a title and abstract of up to 350 words for each presentation

For individual papers, please submit:

* author name, affiliation and contact information

* presentation title and an abstract of up to 350 words

For submissions to the Local News Storytelling and Innovation Bazaar, please submit:

* author name, affiliation and contact information

* the presentation’s title and an abstract of up to 350 words, including whether you will showcase a single slide, video or a Powerpoint slideshow

Where to send your proposal:

Submissions should be sent to (localnewsconference /at/ <mailto:(localnewsconference /at/> with the subject line: “Submission.” Please include your proposal in the body of the email. Do not send attachments.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts or panel proposals is Jan. 5, 2017.

Attendees will be notified about the decision by Feb. 1, 2017.

If you have questions/need more information, please contact: (april.lindgren /at/ <mailto:(april.lindgren /at/>

Organizing committee:

April Lindgren, Ryerson University

Jaigris Hodson, Royal Roads University

Asmaa Malik, Ryerson University

Geneviève Bonin, University of Ottawa

Randy Boswell, Carleton University

Sheila Hannon, Western University

Susan Harada, Carleton University

Tyler Nagel, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

  Janice Paskey, Mount Royal University

David Secko, Concordia University

About the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre: The Ryerson Journalism Research Centre was established in 2011 by the Ryerson University School of Journalism

to study trends in journalism and what they mean for society, journalism practice and the news business. The centre, located on the university’s campus in downtown Toronto, regularly brings together journalists, scholars and students to explore emerging issues in journalism in the digital age.
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