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[Commlist] CFP from Nordicom Review: Action Research for Media Development: Intersections and boundaries of social change, innovation, and entrepreneurship
Tue Aug 18 10:33:54 GMT 2020
Call for papers: Nordicom Review Special Issue. Title: 'Action Research
for Media Development: Intersections and boundaries of social change,
innovation, and entrepreneurship'.
Editors: Pernilla Severson (Linnaeus University), Sara Leckner (Malmö
University), Carl-Gustav Lindén (University of Helsinki). For any
inquiries, please contact (pernilla.severson /at/ lnu.se)
<mailto:(pernilla.severson /at/ lnu.se)>.
Deadline November 1, 2020.
Media development as an academic field focuses on research questions
spanning from technical, economic, and political issues to the social
and the cultural spheres. Media development has implications for society
in many ways. Since all media today are more or less digital, research
has approached digital media by exploring “new” methods, like digital
methods (Rogers, 2019) but also as action research methods (Deuze &
Witschge, 2020; Wagemans & Witschge, 2019). Action research in, as well
as for, media development is part of a transformation where media
research is more and more considered to solve societal problems.
Often, action research is practiced in local settings, interacting with
stakeholders within a shared place and space and who have a shared
concern for issues related to this. Both the local and the digital seem
to have stimulated the application and appropriation of more normative
projects characterised by the methods and sometimes also ideological
foundations that action research utilises. In this realm, several
applied projects touch upon research and development and innovation
projects, innovation themes in the creative industries, and social
innovation and social entrepreneurship.
It seems as though local digital media projects – spanning from business
models to technologies like artificial intelligence – aim to create and
solve media organisations’ problems through collaboration between
researchers, media organisations, and audiences. These kinds of projects
exist on other levels too, for example in applied projects from the EU,
Swedish Vinnova, and so forth.
Action research is an ideological approach as much as a set of methods
(Brydon-Miller et al., 2003). It comes with a more or less
interventionist and collaborative goal, like collaborative media
(Löwgren & Reimer, 2013), participatory communication (Tufte, 2014),
alternative journalism (Deuze & Witschge, 2020), and innovation and
journalism (Wagemans & Witschge, 2019).
Participant-oriented action research strives for interaction and joint
knowledge production where the decisive factor is that some form of
social change occurs. The classical theoretical concepts worked with are
those such as empowerment, participation, and the commons. At the same
time, action research methods seem to be an important driver in the
increasing pressure to demonstrate research impact, spurred by
innovation and development using collaborative practices.
What do these intersections and boundaries of social change, innovation,
and entrepreneurship mean for media scholars using action research in
digital media research? And how can scholars meet and deal with the fact
that action research is often criticised for the descriptive nature,
lack of analysis, and low research contribution?
Hence, as with other methodological approaches, action research methods
are developing. It is therefore important to discuss what such
approaches mean and can be in relation to these contemporary media
developments. The aim of this special issue is to invite a broad
discussion of the boundaries of the field: the advantages and challenges
with action research focusing on media development in the intersection
of social change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This special issue
welcomes articles on all matters pertaining to developing what an
action-research approach could and should mean for media development
The purpose of this special issue of Nordicom Review is to define and
understand action-oriented research practices in relation to media
development, where media, communication, and journalism studies have
discipline specificities and cultural contexts that beneficially will
enhance understandings of action research. Nordic media development
shows strong linkages to the welfare state and particular national
culture values. In the commercial field, action research has been
rebranded as design thinking and product development (Lundin & Norbäck,
2015). What does that mean in a context where action research is also
mainly used as applied research, for improving media services and
developing new forms of journalism through experiments and tests? Design
thinking has become the main framework for developing commercial
service, also in media and journalism. And how is the particular
heritage of Scandinavian Participatory Design and participatory action
research explored and utilised in relation to more studies now making
use of action research, more or less with the ideological standpoint of
empowering the weak and making social change?
Contributions to the special issue could address, but are not limited
to, action research examples within media, communication, and journalism
studies from various disciplines and cultural contexts, aiming to define
and describe or critically discuss issues related to this.
Contributions can, for instance, focus on some of the following themes:
• Development of action research methods in
digital media studies
• Collaborative development in media organisations
• New audience approaches and participatory
business media models
• Inclusion and integration of less-resourced
• Contributions to action research theory and
method building, for example, ethics.
• Critique of action research and participatory
approaches in media, communication, and journalism studies.
• Innovation and entrepreneurship for local media
• Conceptual developments on action research
for social change and social innovation.
• Action research as creating “real-life
difference”, not always “creating solution”.
The selection of papers to be published will take place according to the
following three-step procedure:
Step 1: Authors are requested to submit the title and abstract (600
words max. incl. references) of their papers along with five to six
keywords and short bios (150 words max. for each author) to the special
issue editors. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 November
2020, and the authors will be notified of the eventual acceptance by 20
December 2020 at the latest.
Step 2: If an abstract is accepted, the authors will be requested to
submit full papers (7,000 words max. inclusive of any front or end
matter) anonymised for double-blind review and formatted according to
the Nordicom Review guidelines. The deadline for submission of full
anonymised papers is 1 May 2021, after which a double-blind peer review
will take place. Please note that an accepted abstract is not
automatically an accepted article. The special issue editors reserve the
right to reject articles that are not in line with Nordicom Review’s
aims and scope, where the quality is insufficient, or the guidelines
have not been followed.
Feedback from reviewers will be sent to authors by the end of July 2021
at the latest. The deadline for submission of revised manuscripts is
September 2021. Planned publication is January 2022.
No payment from authors will be expected.
We look forward to receiving your submissions!
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