CfP: Rethinking Journalism II - The Societal Role & Relevance of Journalism in a Digital Age

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at
Fri Sep 13 08:36:55 UTC 2013

(With apologies for cross-posting)

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Call for Papers – Expert Workshop
Rethinking Journalism II: The Societal Role & Relevance of Journalism
in a Digital Age
Centre for Media and Journalism Studies, University of Groningen
January 23/24, 2014.

Keynote Speakers:

Pablo Boczkowski (Northwestern University)
Nick Couldry (LSE)
Jane Singer (City)

Confirmed Expert Invitees:

Stuart Allan (Bournemouth),
Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff)

It’s easy to make a rhetorical case for the value of journalism.
Because, it is a necessary precondition for democracy; it speaks to
the people and for the people; it informs them and enables them to
take rational decisions; and it functions as their watchdog on
government and other powers that be….

All true! But does rehashing such familiar rationales bring Journalism
Studies forward? Does it contribute to ongoing discussions on
journalism’s viability?

This expert workshop aims to discuss what journalism is beyond the
established rhetoric among scholars and practitioners. For all their
seeming self-evidence, what bearing do these platitudes have in terms
of the actual social relevance of journalism in the digital age? How
much affinity does this talk share with the concrete roles journalism
performs? And what about journalism as a cultural form itself? Is
there a singular journalism that has one well-defined role in society?

This expert workshop will explore journalism(s)’ roles in terms of
actual social value, relevance and use as opposed to established
discourses. Specifically, we invite contributions that consider:

- Innovations, successful or otherwise, that challenge traditional
conceptions of journalism

- Audience-related studies that look at actual everyday use and the
function of journalism in people’s daily life

- Studies of changing newsroom practices and, perhaps more
importantly, shifting organizational strategies, anticipating shifts
in societal function

- The ongoing (re)definition of journalism

- Comparative socio-cultural studies of the place of news in society

- Theoretical explorations of the conceptions of news and journalism

While the keynote addresses will be public, this event is a closed
expert workshop, limited to 15-25 invited participants to encourage
collaborative engagement and discussion on this theme. It is the
second Rethinking Journalism conference hosted by the Centre for Media
and Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen. It builds upon
themes raised in Rethinking Journalism (Routledge, 2012), a collection
generated out of a similar workshop organised in 2009. This new
workshop is the next event hosted by the research network, Capturing
Change in Journalism: Shifting Role Perceptions at the Turn of the
20th and 21st Centuries. This network is funded by the British AHRC
and the Dutch NWO, and is run by the journalism departments of the
universities of Groningen and Sheffield.

- Abstracts (maximum 500 words) are invited for consideration as
contributions to this workshop.

- Deadline for submission: Oct. 15, 2013

- For more information, please contact: Chris Peters
(c.j.peters at or Marcel Broersma (m.j.broersma at
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