Media and Communication is an international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to a wide variety of basic and applied research in communication and its related fields.

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

With our plurithematic issues we intended to draw the attention of researchers, policy-makers, scientists and the general public to some of the topics of highest relevance. Scholars interested in guest editing a thematic issue of Media and Communication are kindly invited to contact the Editorial Office of the journal (mac@cogitatiopress.com).

Published Thematic Issues

Published issues are available here.

Upcoming Issues

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Volume 5, Issue 3

Title: Acting on Media: Influencing, Shaping and (Re)Configuring the Fabric of Everyday Life

Editors: Sigrid Kannengießer and Sebastian Kubitschko (University of Bremen, Germany)

Deadline for Submissions: 31 March 2017
Publication of the Issue: July 2017

Information: Media—understood as organizations, infrastructures and technologies—are inseparably connected with and embedded in the way social, cultural, economic and political life is experienced and practiced today. To separate “media” on the one hand and “society” on the other hand appears to be an almost impossible endeavor today. Yet, looking at current processes of computerization, digitalization and datafication one has to acknowledge that these are by far no neutral or autonomous occurrences, but are to a large degree co-determined by actors who reflect about, influence and shape media. Going beyond frameworks that explore what people do with media, this thematic issue puts the focus on how and why civil society initiatives, corporations, interest and lobby groups or social movements act on media. Acting on media denotes the efforts of a wide range of actors to take an active part in the molding of the media organizations, infrastructures and technologies that are part of the fabric of everyday life.

It is understood that such actors materialize in all kinds of formations—individual and collective; scattered and organized; civic, corporate and governmental; as well as hybrids thereof. Consequently, acting on media entails insider and outsider tactics, contentious and institutionalized undertakings, direct and indirect action, and many mixed forms that exist amongst these occurrences. Contributions in this thematic issue might follow key questions like: Who are the (established and emerging) actors that thematize, influence and shape contemporary media? What are the concrete strategies and practices of actors who act on media? Which discourses do they counter or fuel? What political implications do their actions have and which political aims do these actors follow?

The phenomenon of taking an active part in the molding of media is not exclusively linked to current processes of digitalization and datafication nor can it only be found in (post)industrialized societies. In fact, historical contextualization or transcultural perspectives can provide revealing insights in the way media organizations, infrastructures and technologies are (re)configured. More generally speaking, actors involved in the (re)configuration of media are both embedded in and produce power structures (related, amongst others, to gender, class, age and education). Their practices and aims might be contradictory and might, for example, nourish or challenge ideals of so-called participatory culture.

Therefore, this thematic issue seeks to tackle a number of critical aspects that remain largely unresolved so far: Who has the capacity, resources, expertise and interest to act on the media that are part of the fabric of everyday life? How do established and emerging forms of shaping media organizations, infrastructures and technologies merge, collide or drift apart? Finding answers to these (and similar) questions becomes ever more imperative for more adequate recognitions of power structures as well as for gaining a better understanding of the cultural, social and political implications of acting on media and its relevance for concrete societal transformations. To advance this field of investigation the thematic issue seeks theory-driven, empirical or methodological contributions from different disciplines related (but not limited) to the following themes and issues: advocacy, algorithmic culture, alternative media, artistic interventions, data activism, feminist media activism, governance, hackers and makers, lobbying, policy-making, protest, and regulation.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send their abstracts (about 200–250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the journal’s editorial office (mac@cogitatiopress.com) by 15 December 2016.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 5, Issue 3

Title: Histories of Collaboration and Dissent: Journalists’ Associations Squeezed by Political System Changes

Editors: Epp Lauk (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and Kaarle Nordenstreng (University of Tampere, Finland)

Deadline for Submissions: 30 April 2017
Publication of the Issue: October 2017

Information: Media and journalists—with their professional associations—have everywhere had a delicate relationship to political regimes, ranging from total collaboration to extreme opposition. The Western ideal has been an autonomous and slightly oppositional relationship to the existing powers, although in practice there has been a shared approach to “democratic values”, including capitalism as opposite to socialism. The existence and strength of journalists’ associations is also a dimension of professionalization. History has demonstrated that relatively stable political, economic and societal conditions support sustainability and continuity of journalistic professionalism. By contrast, political crises or upheavals interrupt the continuous development of the field of journalism and bring about a more or less complete negation or/and reconsideration of earlier experiences, professional knowledge, values, identities and loyalties. In the 20th century, the most dramatic societal and political changes relate to the World War II (WWII) and the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. During about 45 post-WWII years journalism in these countries was officially regarded as a part of political ideology and controlled by the communist authorities. The same applies to journalists’ associations. However, oppositional voices did exist, although often only in a whisper. Various discourses of dissent developed even in the official media, and an atmosphere of non-compliance was rather strong in journalists’ associations of many countries. After the “collapse of communism” in the 1990s, journalists and their associations were faced with many challenges not only politically but also financially and organizationally.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send an expression of interest by email to the journal’s editorial office (mac@cogitatiopress.com).

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 5, Issue 4

Title: Visual Communication in the Age of Social Media: Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodological Challenges (and Possible Solutions)

Editors: Uta Russmann (FHWien of WKW University of Applied Sciences of Management & Communication, Austria) and Jakob Svensson (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Deadline for Submissions: 31 May 2017
Publication of the Issue: December 2017

Information: With the rise of YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat there has been a visual shift in the social media ecology. Some of the most popular social media platforms in terms of usage primarily focus on visuals such as pictures and videos. Visual communication is also becoming more significant on ubiquitous social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The sharing of visual is becoming an integral part of the social media experience, and given that social media platforms are the prime locus for sociability—at least among the young in the West—this visual shift arguably transforms how we relate to, perceive ourselves, each other and the world around us.

The image is a unique object. Images are understood as an additional source of communication complementing written or spoken text. Images suggest reality and create causal relationships. Images help the viewer to achieve coherence faster; they create meaning and foster interaction. Yet, to view this shift to visual social media as merely the return of visual communication would miss the point, because todays social media platforms are multimodal as they allow for the interplay of pictures, videos, hashtags, emoticons as well as text.

In this thematic issue we are particularly interested in the visual shift in social media as well as the transformation of visual communication when brought to the social media ecosystem. This raises conceptual, theoretical and methodological challenges for researchers. For example, is an image on Instagram or Snapchat a static photography or a locus of interaction? How does the social media context change visual communication and in which contexts is it especially interesting to study online visual communication? And how do we conceive and study visual social media platforms?

This thematic issue invites contributions on visual communication in social media that focus on developing a conceptual apparatus and precise definitions of objects/practices of study as well as contributions that address and discuss methodological challenges and (possible) solutions. We are open to theoretical and empirical contributions as well as methodological approaches, which develop and discuss new tools for gathering and analyzing visual communication on social media platforms.

The aim is to bring together contributions on visual social media from a wide variety of communication-related disciplines including media and communication studies, computer-mediated communication, human computer interaction, informatics, sociology, public relations, organizational communication, political communication, new technology, and relating fields to synergize their research on this new topic.

Instructions for AuthorsAuthors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s editorial policies. Further information and expressions of interest should be send to mac@cogitatiopress.com

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 1

Title: Media History and Democracy

Editor: David Park (Lake Forest College, USA)

Deadline for Abstracts: 30 June 2017
Deadline for Submissions: 30 September 2017
Publication of the Issue: March 2018

Information: The journal Media and Communication hereby announces a thematic issue (to be published in 2018) dedicated to the topic of media history and democracy. Democracy, in its many guises, has long been an influential concern for media historians. The emphasis on democracy in this thematic issue is intended to link up with media histories that take on the intersection of democracy and media as understood through any one of a number of lenses. The issue of democracy brings this thematic issue in contact with numerous approaches to media history. Authors will find connections to be made between democracy and concerns for: history of technology, social history, cultural history, political history, the history of social networks, intellectual history, and more. Democracy need not be conceptualized as a formal political system for this thematic issue, and many authors may find it fruitful to consider the multifarious aspects and meanings of democracy as they reflect on how they might draft a submission to this thematic issue. Media and Communication is an international journal, and we are particularly interested in programming a thematic issue that features historical scholarship from around the world, including manuscripts that address transnational communication flows. This thematic issue of Media and Communication would be a good match for articles addressing the following topics:

  • The history of democratic ideals in the development of media technology;
  • Considerations of democratic formations as they relate to journalism history and historical understandings of the role of journalism;
  • Histories of media as they relate to political activism;
  • The history of alternative and independent media outlets as they relate to democratic processes;
  • The history of public service broadcasting and its applications worldwide or transnationally;
  • Histories of media reform movements;
  • Treatments of the history of literacy and its political meanings;
  • Internet histories as they relate to citizenship or democracy;
  • The historical roles of interpersonal communication and social networks as they relate to democracy;
  • The history of media policies and regulation designed to arrange for (or thwart) democratic communication;
  • Historical themes concerning the relationship between capitalism and democracy.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send their abstracts (about 200–250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Guest Editor by 30 June 2017.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 2

Title: Media and Social Space: Analyzing Mediation and Power

Editors: André Jansson and Johan Lindell (Karlstad University, Sweden)

Deadline for Abstracts: 30 September 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
31 December 2017
Publication of the Issue: June 2018

Information: The media-social space nexus can be approached from a manifold of angles. Examples include Bourdieusian studies of the dispersion of media repertoires in a class structure; Lefebvrian analyses of the significance of media for the social production of spaces and places and their symbolic-material textures; social constructivist interpretations of mediation as a form of world making (following Berger and Luckmann) and mediatization as a form of structuration (following Giddens), as well as numerous other ways of conceptualizing the relationships between social and symbolic power. While differently attuned these views come together in that they allow for the analysis of how media contribute to the reproduction of social space. In our digital age this ensues in complex ways and on different levels. Firstly, it occurs through the classified and classifying media uses of different social groups. Secondly, it occurs through discursive constructions of social and spatial relations. It occurs, thirdly, through a growing number of techno-social machineries that in various (increasingly automated) ways premediate the cultural preferences and socio-spatial practices of different groups. The expansion of locative media, interactive surveillance and, ultimately, what Striphas calls an “algorithmic culture”, goes hand in hand with intensified processes of individualization and globalization that altogether make social power relations at once more fluid and technologically dependent. Still, the term social space per se has not been sufficiently problematized and theorized within the field of media and communication studies. Against this backdrop this thematic issue of Media and Communication brings together leading scholars to shed light on the relationship between media and social space—both theoretically and empirically. The articles assess the relevance of various conceptual frameworks and explore the changing modes of social reproduction characterizing our technologically mediated culture and society.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send their abstracts (about 200–250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Guest Editor by 30 September 2017.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 2

Title: Games Matter? Current Theories and Studies on Digital Games

Editors: Julia Kneer and Ruud Jacobs (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Deadline for Abstracts: 15 July 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
31 December 2017
Publication of the Issue: June 2018

Information: Digital games are gaining more and more importance in everyday life. The gaming community is growing each day; games became far more than a basement entertainment for teenagers. Due to this growing interest, academic and public debates go beyond the negative image games once had and are focusing increasingly on positive effects of games such as learning and relaxation. This thematic issue is targeting submissions written for scientists inside and outside the field as well as a broader audience interested in games research. We want to contribute to a deeper understanding about what games researchers were and are investigating, which general scientific results concerning games’ effects are established, and why games research is still important for science as well as for society.

This thematic issue welcomes submissions on topics involving:

  • The social and psychological uses and effects of video games;
  • The cultural affordances, uses, and meanings of games;
  • Serious games;
  • The perception of games;
  • Design research in the context of games;
  • Users’ motivations and emotional, cognitive, and psychophysiological experiences in games.

This content list is far from exhaustive and is provided only as an indication of the scope of inquiry welcomed by this thematic issue on Games Research. Submissions we consider for review:

  • Theoretical and empirical overviews: which have to be anonymous which means all identifying information has to be removed from the paper and at a maximum of 6,000 words, inclusive of figures, tables, and references.
  • Methodological ideas: which have to be anonymous which means all identifying information has to be removed from the paper and at a maximum of 2,000 words, inclusive of figures, tables, and references. A study should accompany the suggested method(s).

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send their abstracts (about 400–500 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Guest Editors by 15 July 2017. The decision for an invitation for a full paper submission will be given by 31 August 2017 latest. Deadline for full submissions will be 31 December 2017.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 3

Title: Multidisciplinary Studies in Media and Communication

Editors: Epp Lauk (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and Raul Reis (Emerson College, USA)

Deadline for Submissions: 31 March 2018
Publication of the Issue: September 2018

Information: Media and Communication is accepting submissions for a multidisciplinary issue to be released in September 2018. This issue focus on the social development and contemporary transformation of media and communication, and critically reflects on their interdependence with global, individual, media, digital, economic and visual processes of change and innovation. Potential contributions should ponder the social, ethical, and cultural conditions, meanings and consequences of media, the public sphere and organizational as well as interpersonal communication and their complex interrelationships. The journal focuses on the application and advancement of qualitative and quantitative methods of media and communication research, but also encourages scholars to submit manuscripts that introduce innovative and alternative theoretical perspectives.

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s editorial policies. An expression of interest, if possible with an abstract, must be sent to the journal’s staff at mac@cogitatiopress.com by no later than 31 January 2018.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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Volume 6, Issue 4

Title: News and Participation through and beyond Proprietary Platforms in an Age of Social Media

Editors: Oscar Westlund and Mats Ekström (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Deadline for Abstracts: 1 November 2017
Deadline for Submissions:
7 March 2018
Publication of the Issue: November/December 2018

Information: Since the 1990s, prominent scholars have discussed the rise of participation through a variety of concepts, such as collective intelligence, mass self-communication, convergence culture, and produsage—altogether emphasizing the blending of production and consumption. A networked society has emerged in which a plethora of technologies, media and platforms facilitate different kinds of communication and news publishing. In so-called participatory journalism, citizens more readily take part in, and possibly even influence, the news production process. Citizens participate in diverse ways, through mobile, social, and digital media platforms, whether on their own and or in coordination with journalists. By ceding control over some aspects of news production and circulation, journalists thus open up their traditional gatekeeping purview over what’s classified as news. Importantly, the epistemology of participatory journalism may develop in a significantly different way than traditional news journalism, if journalists let go of their professional control and develop new relationships with their audiences.

To date, researchers have typically focused on participatory journalism taking place through news media’s proprietary platforms (e.g., their own websites and applications). Throughout the 2000s many news publishers experimented with, and developed, functionalities for participatory journalism. These mainly involved providing journalists with source material such as photos and videos, as well as possibilities for interpretation through comment functions. Very few have allowed the citizens to participate in other stages of the news production process. Many news publishers have ceased to offer the latter, with reference to difficulties in maintaining a good tone. Others keep on working towards fostering public participation, but are more strategic in the ways they involve the audiences. At the same time, during the past decade, participation in news through social media has become increasingly important and common. Importantly, from the perspective of news media, social media constitute non-proprietary platforms. They have less or no influence over how audiences access and engage with the news via these platforms. Notwithstanding this, citizens engage with the news in new ways. Also, social media have created new opportunities for journalists to broaden their networks of sources.

Research has yet to clarify how citizens (might) shape news products—via both proprietary and non-proprietary platforms—and thereby contribute to the epistemology of (participatory) journalism. For this thematic issue, the guest editors welcome both empirical articles with sound theoretical frameworks as well as conceptual/review articles. More specifically, this thematic issue invites articles focusing on how social actors in news organizations (journalists, technologists, businesspeople), their audiences, as well as citizens and other independent actors mutually influence processes of access/observation, selection/filtering, processing/editing, and publishing in the news. Contributors may address issues including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • In what ways have journalists appropriated digital-oriented methods that offer new and/or improved ways for scrutinizing material together with citizens?
  • What methods, if any, do journalists use to extract knowledge and inspiration from comments, blogs, and tweets in the first stage of the news production process?
  • Studies into the potential widening of the network of sources journalists turn to, possibly involving citizens more?
  • What processes are followed to evaluate “facts” originating from sources encountered via social media, as opposed to source verification in traditional news journalism?
  • Does participatory journalism articulate knowledge claims differently than traditional news journalism?
  • What are the knowledge-oriented norms, values, and practices applied when publishing and distributing news in participatory journalism?
  • What are the journalists’ perceptions and practices relating to publishing amateur footage, including issues of authenticity and authority?
  • What are the motives and modes of participation through comment fields, walls, tweets etc., in proprietary digital platforms and non-proprietary social media platforms?
  • In what ways, if any, do technologists and businesspeople participate in news production processes?
  • How do news media firms approach audience metrics and audience analytics? (what sorts of analytics are being used, and do these transform the relationshipt to the audience and/or epistemological news production processes?).

The thematic issue will include three invited commentaries:

  • James Katz (Professor, Boston University, USA);
  • Matt Carlsson (Associate Professor, Saint Louis University, USA) & Nikki Usher (Associate Professor, The George Washington University, USA);
  • Anette Novak (CEO Interactive Institute, Sweden, and former special investigator the Media Inquiry in Sweden).

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors. If interested in participating, please send to the Guest Editors an extended abstract (500–750 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue), and an abbreviated bio that describes previous and current research that relates to the issue by 1 November. The decision for an invitation to make a full-paper submission will be given by 21 November 2017. Deadline for full submissions will be 7 March 2018.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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