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[Commlist] CfP: Strategic Communication and the Future of Journalism

Tue Jan 21 09:26:58 GMT 2020

Call for Papers: Strategic Communication and the Future of Journalism

Dr Giuliana Tiripelli and Professor Stuart Price, of the Media Discourse Centre, are organising a panel submission for the conference "Journalism 2020: the (ir)relevance of journalism and the future of journalism studies", September 11-13, 2020 Vienna, Austria (

The theme of the panel is "Strategic Communication and the Future of Journalism".

This panel aims to bring together a set of multidisciplinary contributions on the role of journalism, as it attempts to intervene in debates shaped by strategic communication. Strategic communication is a powerful mode of 'information-based' operations designed to exploit attitudes and manipulate behaviours among audiences (Schmid 2014). The research questions set by the panel are:

1 - can journalism still achieve its 'moral' aims vis-a-vis the intense, multilevel applications of strategic, self-serving information operations conducted by state, commercial, and political actors?

2 - how can journalism change and adapt, in order to achieve these moral aims in these strategically managed contexts?

3 - following newer definitions of strategic communication, should journalism itself become "strategic" by producing purposeful communication in order to achieve its legitimate institutional goals (Zerfass et al 2018)?

The organisers welcome innovative analyses of those 'polarised' public debates, in which strategic communication efforts are usually more intense (e.g. social and political conflicts, elections, terrorism, international relations, technology, health and lifestyle, religion, crime, climate, racism, peace building, migration), which can reveal how journalism is, or is not adapting to strategic challenges, while adhering to its traditional duty to inform the public and promote democratic life. Papers highlighting approaches being used by journalists to counter the strategic exploitation of the web's structural affordances and dynamics (algorithms, personalisation, etc.) by partisan entities, are particularly welcome. Innovative approaches to ideas of strategic communication, which highlight its potential contribution to enhancing the relevance of journalism, are also acceptable. Papers exploring this question could include studies of partnerships between journalism and organisations/institutions adopting purposive communication strategies (e.g. the police, local and governmental authorities), which have worked well for both partners in achieving their respective goals. Finally, papers could offer critical analyses of cases in which such collaborations have failed, and evaluations of cases in which journalism has been an obstacle in institutional and organisational efforts to manage crises and promote social progress through strategic communication.

Please send a short abstract (300 words) by the 7th of February to (giulianatiripelli /at/ If you are interested in discussing your idea for a paper before this deadline, please get in touch with Dr Tiripelli.

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