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[ecrea] Call for papers “European public space. Towards integration of information arenas?” in "Problemi dell'informazione"

Wed Jun 06 09:27:51 GMT 2018

Call for papers “European public space. Towards integration of information arenas?”

"Problemi dell'Informazione”, the Italian journal of journalism and communication studies, looks for paper about

“European public space. Towards integration of information arenas?”, edited by Marinella Belluati, University of Turin, Rolando Marini, University for Foreigners of Perugia.

Europe in the national public space is a perspective that is becoming more and more complicated to understand in terms of institutional globalization and the interconnection of communication environments. While Member States are reluctant to lose sovereignty and are therefore defending their internal interests, the convergence of global phenomena is obliging institutions to rethink about the public sphere and the relationship with citizens.

The European integration process often clashes with the difficulty of Member States to react dynamically to the new context and therefore does not encourage the growth of a common European identity. An emergent distrust towards the European integration process is weakening the unity project and making increasingly fragile the idea of a shared identity and of a common space for decision making. The European integration issue and the growing perception of its concreteness seem to collide with the difficulty of letting the people understand its complexity, also because of the adoption of languages not able to construct meaning and then support by the citizens. The recent economic crisis has gradually increased feelings of mistrust towards the European model, which has become too rigid and has produced internal discord, as the recent immigration crisis confirms.

Despite the fact that the European integration crisis is having a direct effect on the everyday life of European citizens, the groups involved in public opinion building (politicians, intellectuals and experts) do not consider the European public space as a priority. European institutions continue to invest in integration efforts and communication strategies. Nevertheless, they appear detached and unable to create European frames and produce a European identity. National institutions and their information systems, which should be creating connections between citizens and the European Union, are, on the contrary, fostering scepticism and cognitive distances.

The European integration process continues to be of great importance from a geo-political point of view. Nevertheless, there is widespread disengagement starting from the political institutional level and information system to public opinion. European institutions are unable to stop this trend and the academia appears to be more and more disinterested in dealing with this question.

The aim of this special issue is to collect contributions that focus on the role of communication in the European common space.

The three main areas dealt with will be:

a) public communication (and its implicit link with political communication);

b) changes in the European Journalistic field (in terms of professional skills, agenda-building and newsmaking);

c) the promotion of European Identity and Cultural heritage through celebrations and public events (communication campaigns, social advertising and events).

*a) Public communication (and its implicit link with political communication)*

In this context, the idea of public communication is considered in two different ways. Firstly, the institutions ability to create cognitive capital, to reinforce common values and to produce good (or bad) narrative will be appreciated. Secondly, there will be improvement in the public communication sector, deliberative democracy and public engagement practices. Particular attention will be given to cohesion policy strategies and communication of European structural funds, European social advertising on strategic issues such as health, energy, food etc., and European Digital Agenda for open policy and open data as examples of transparency between institutions and citizens. All these factors may contribute to an effective strategy to reinforce common values at a national and local level.

Another aspect to be considered is the production of data driven policies and the correct use of technical information in public debate. Europe has been promoting the use of these skills for many years and is encouraging national public institutions and citizens to collect and use data in order to improve the quality of public decisions and civic engagement.

The European Union has made efforts to reduce democratic deficit by investing in communication strategies, such as White Paper of communication, Green paper and other more recent documentation. Unfortunately, the evaluation of European public communication strategies has not been analysed enough as public policy. On the contrary, there is a lot of research that confirms that European communication is too cold, boring and normative and is unable to understand the complexity of the contemporary situation in the Union. Moreover, the question whether European communication strategies should be centralized (as Junker decided) is still not a question of debate.

*b) Changes in the European Journalistic field (in terms of professional skills, agenda-building and newsmaking)*

The second area we would like to focus on is European Journalism (from Europe and towards Europe) because, excluding election time and the economic crisis, this question is not crucial in public debate. This is in contrast with the fact that European communication is continuously changing and new projects are becoming more and more relevant. Recently, experiences of press releases and services (e.g., and so on) have shown that the European communication environment is changing. The growth of disintermediation in the field of communication has made the figure of the correspondent from Brussels less important and has changed its style and working methods of journalism (the so-called Brussels bubble). On the other hand, the flow of information from Europe and towards Europe is, more than ever before, increasing its impact on countries and citizens. This means that new skills and experiences in the media sector are changing and also in the European information field, international news-values and discursive frames are transforming. As a consequence, this is having an impact on agenda building logics. Finally, data journalism opportunities could offer the European Union a resource to contrast misinformation and fake news.

Europe is therefore no longer a simple issue in the public debate, but rather a focal point for new media skills and agencies. Priming and framing effects are changing the news information process but often this is not so evident for the operators in the media sectors. Today the new media tendency is to work towards the creation of a professional figure able to move into varied media environments and use different language styles and discursive approaches. Europe is investing in this. The journalistic field is radically transforming and the European lens could be the litmus test of this.

*c) The promotion of European Identity and Cultural heritage through celebrations and public events (communication campaigns, social advertising and events)*

The third area in which Europe is investing in communication strategies regards celebrations, anniversaries and festivities. All these events are part of a strategy that contribute to promote European cultural heritage and European identity, for example the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome or Europe day on the 9th of May and other meetings and events with European public figures. The organisation of events or social campaigns are promotional strategies with which Europe and Member States are trying to reduce empathetic and symbolic distances. These strategies are trying to improve the European image and aim at legitimizing European institution actions. It is a well-known fact that Europe is investing in various projects that promote European cultural heritage and European common memory.

*Submission of proposals *

Deadline for abstract submission is June 30, 2018

Abstract:250 words maximum (references not included)

Full papers will be due October 15, 2018 and will undergo a double-blind peer review procedure.

Papers: length between max 8000 words maximum (including notes and references)

Papers in English and Italian are accepted.

Submissions should be sent to: (probleminformazione /at/ <mailto:(probleminformazione /at/>.

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