Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Next Issues

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 ([email protected]).

Published Thematic Issues are available here.

Upcoming Issues


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Volume 12

Title:
Disconnectivity in a Changing Media and Political Landscape


Editor(s):
Qinfeng Zhu (University of Groningen) and Çiğdem Bozdağ (University of Groningen)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2024
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2024

Information:

Since the dawn of social media, many hoped that the expansion of online networks could strengthen the social fabric and revive citizen engagement in public life. However, the logic of connectivity does not resemble people’s lived experiences. As network expansion brings social uncertainty, information saturation, and unwanted encounters, it is necessary for users to disconnect through means such as unfriending, unfollowing, and disconnecting from a platform. As an essential element of individuals’ networked experience, disconnectivity is fundamental to understanding how people make sense of and (dis)engage in politics in everyday interactions. In a political climate of polarization and radicalization, it may have important democratic repercussions.

This thematic issue focuses on disconnectivity in light of the changing media and political landscapes. Disconnectivity is broadly defined, including tie dissolution (e.g., unfriend, leaving a group), content filtration (e.g., mute, unfollow), disconnecting from a platform, and deplatforming, among others. It is understood as a form of selective avoidance (Zhu et al., 2017), an expression of sovereignty over personal public spheres (John & Gal, 2018), a means to curate safe spaces within an unequal power structure (John & Agbarya, 2021; Zhu & Skoric, 2021), and so on. We aim to collect the latest developments that contribute to a finer-grained understanding of different regimes and practices of disconnectivity, unravel the micro, meso, and macro conditions, theorize beyond the normative framework of the public sphere, and offer cross-platform and cross-culture comparative insights.

We invite submissions that answer questions including but not limited to the following:

  • How and why do people disconnect (and reconnect) socially and technologically across different social media platforms?
  • What are the psychological, affective, topical, relational, institutional, and cultural conditions and contexts of disconnectivity?
  • How does disconnectivity shape and is shaped by citizens’ worldviews and democratic practices?
  • How does disconnectivity influence and is influenced by polarization, marginalization, and radicalization in a society?

References:

John, N., & Agbarya, A. (2021). Punching up or turning away? Palestinians unfriending Jewish Israelis on Facebook. New Media and Society, 23(5), 1063–1079. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820908256

John, N., & Gal, N. (2018). “He’s got his own sea”: Political Facebook unfriending in the personal public sphere. International Journal of Communication, 12, 2971–2988.

Zhu, Q., Skoric, M. M., & Shen, F. (2017). I shield myself from thee: Selective avoidance on social media during political protests. Political Communication, 34(1), 112–131. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2016.1222471

Zhu, Q., & Skoric, M. M. (2021). Political implications of disconnection on social media: A study of politically motivated unfriending. New Media and Society. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444821999994


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Data-Driven Campaigning in a Comparative Context: Toward a 4th Era of Political Communication?


Editor(s):
Katharine Dommett (University of Sheffield), Rachel Gibson (University of Manchester), Sanne Kruikemeier (Wageningen University & Research), Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna), Esmeralda Bon (University of Manchester), and Stephanie Luke (University of Sheffield)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2024
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2024

Information:

The 2012 US Presidential campaign of Barack Obama was seen as a launch point for a new model of electioneering, one that was driven by scientific modelling, big data, and computational analytics. Since then reports of the spread and power of data-driven campaigning (DDC) have escalated, with the victory of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote commonly attributed to the use of these new techniques. Contrasting accounts, however, have emerged that challenge this narrative in several key ways. Notably, questions have been raised about what is the extent of adopting DDC among political parties, particularly outside of the US? How new is it in historical terms? And how effective is it in actually reaching the target audience and delivering the behavioural change required?

This thematic issue will set out and investigate the key debates surrounding the growth of DDC in comparative and historical perspectives. Specifically, we will highlight a series of core questions that the current literature has both raised and is seeking to resolve. Namely:

  1. How widespread is DDC adoption across national party systems, and relatedly, does it look the same across different contexts? Is there a one size fits all version or is it adapted to local conditions, and if so, in what way?
  2. How disruptive is DDC to modern campaigning? Does it represent a new fourth era of “scientific” and/or “subversive” approaches to voter mobilization? Or is it a more “modernizing” force that simply intensifies ongoing trends of professionalization?
  3. Does DDC actually work? How far are the claims for precision in targeting and attitudinal and behavioural change supported by the evidence “on the ground”?
  4. What is to be done? To what extent does DDC warrant scrutiny from governments and closer regulation?
We invite original submissions from authors that address these questions from theoretical and empirical perspectives and from differing disciplinary backgrounds. In addition to political scientists, we encourage scholars from related disciplinary fields such as psychology, law, business and marketing, and data science to contribute. Methodologically, we welcome both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the topic. We are particularly interested to receive papers that advance new methodological approaches to address these questions e.g., studies linking survey and other forms of observational digital and trace data, social media network analysis, and machine learning techniques for visual analysis.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Policy Framing and Branding in Times of Constant Crisis


Editor(s):
Vasiliki Tsagkroni (Leiden University) and George Dikaios (National and Kapodistrian University Athens)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2023
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2024

Information:

There is a profound and pervasive feeling of ongoing crises that spans over almost the last two decades, around the world. The global economic crisis, the refugee crisis, the climate crisis and its broader effects, the rise of populism and democratic erosion, the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU’s legitimacy crisis, the recent invasion of Ukraine, and gun violence, among others, have all contributed to substantial tended settings and environments. And, while crises cast challenges for political actors, they also create opportunities for policy-making, public reflections, rise in popularity, and political competition. In times of crisis, when it comes to communicating policy-making but also framing the crisis itself, issues close to political communication (including political marketing and political branding) become of paramount relevance.

This call for papers invites reflective contributions that bring together communication strategies which have been forged through the specter of crisis in international, European, and national contexts. It aims to delve into the ways of how, among others, international organizations, European institutions, national governments, and other fora utilize and frame crises to make policy or pursue political change. The combined study of communication and crisis provides a critical lens in the endeavor to analyze via the angles of policy-making, branding, framing, governance, representation, and communication processes. Some of the themes this thematic issue is open to consider include: the role of communication processes in framing crises; the role of political marketing and branding in policy-making in times of crises; countering of misinformation with regards to policy-making; campaigning and communicating policies.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
The Many Dimensions of Us: Harnessing Immersive Technologies to Communicate the Complexity of Human Experiences


Editor(s):
Nicholas David Bowman (Syracuse University), Dan Pacheco (Syracuse University), T. Makana Chock (Syracuse University), and Lyndsay Michalik Gratch (Syracuse University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2024
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2024

Information:

Human expression is tethered to and influenced by the tools available to us. From charcoal and berries on dark and cavernous walls to digital pencils and capacitive tablet computers, communication technologies exert profound impact over the stories we tell, both about ourselves and to each other (Schramm, 1988), along with how we tell them. In our expressions, we leverage our tools to create accessible and impactful versions of our experiences and perspectives with each other. Here, the emergence of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies represents a profound-yet-burgeoning potential to enhance the veracity, artistry, and impact of these stories. Such technologies absorb and arrest the natural human senses (Biocca, 1997). In doing so, they enable us to directly place audiences inside our expressive creations—to feel a sense of presence inside and within the messages themselves (Lombard & Ditton, 1997). Milk (2015) argues that immersive technologies (specifically, VR) represent the “ultimate empathy machine[s]” that allow for the simulation and presentation of wholly unique perspectives—seen in the work of digital painters such as Anna Zhilyaeva and Emily Edwards and VR filmmakers such as Lynette Wallworth and Alejandro González Iñárritu, among others. Contrasting these views, research into the psychology of immersive experiences suggests that users can at times struggle to balance the myriad demands of immersive technologies (Bowman, 2021), which can reduce emotional reactions to or distance users from the narratives (Barreda-Ángeles et al., 2021). Additionally, research in media and visual culture studies suggests that VR may foster “false empathy,” as the empathy promoted or assured by VR industries assumes that experiences of immersion and first-person perspectives alone will drive empathetic feeling (Bender & Broderick, 2021; Bloom, 2017). Further, Lisa Nakamura (2020) argues that VR empathy experiences promote “identity tourism,”: when people in online spaces pretend to be members of marginalized groups with which they do not otherwise identify, generally for self-gain and with an exoticizing gaze. Nakamura posits, for example, that placing a white individual into a black body in VR is not a means toward empathy; it is false embodiment which leads to false empathy. Thus, a potential friction exists between the desire to express ourselves through immersive technologies and our audience’s ability to leverage the affordances of such technologies (Gaver, 1991) to meet this desire. As such interactions evolve in the direction of shared, social experience in current and future metaverse implementations, these opportunities and struggles become even more complex. Our thematic issue invites artists and scholars to share essays, research reports, creative digital works, and other forms of scholarship aimed at fostering a better understanding of the unique expressive potential of immersive digital media in various forms.

References

Barreda-Ángeles, M., Aleix-Guillaume, S., & Pereda-Baños, A. (2021). Virtual reality storytelling as a double-edged sword: Immersive presentation of nonfiction 360°-video is associated with impaired cognitive information processing. Communication Monographs, 88(2), 154–173. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2020.1803496

Bender, S. M., & Broderick, M. (2021). Virtual realities: Case studies in Immersion and phenomenology. Palgrave Macmillan.

Biocca, F. (1997). Cyborg’s dilemma; Progressive embodiment in virtual environments. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(2), Article JCMC324. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00070.x

Bloom, P. (2017). Empathy, schmempathy: Response to zaki. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(2), 60–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2016.12.003

Bowman, N. D. (2021). Interactivity as demand: Implications for interactive media entertainment. In C. Klimmt & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Oxford handbook of media entertainment (pp. 647–670). Oxford University Press.

Gaver, W. W. (1991). Technology affordances. In S. P. Robertson, G. M. Olson, & J. S. Olson (Eds.), CHI ‘91: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 79–84). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/108844.108856

Lombard, M., & Ditton, T. (1997). At the heart of it all: The concept of presence. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(2), Article JCMC321. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00072.x

Milk, C. (2015, April). How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine [Video]. TED Conference. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_milk_how_virtual_reality_can_create_the_ultimate_empathy_machine

Nakamura, L. (2020). Feeling good about feeling bad: Virtuous virtual reality and the automation of racial empathy. Journal of Visual Culture, 19(1), 47–64. https://doi.org/10.1177/1470412920906259

Schramm, W. (1988). The story of human communication: Cave painting to microchip. Harper & Row.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Unpacking Innovation: Media and the Locus of Change


Editor(s):
Scott Eldridge (University of Groningen), Frank Harbers (University of Groningen), and Sandra Banjac University of Groningen)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 February 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2023
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2024

Information:

Change, and innovation in particular, have become familiar terms in media and communications research. Journalism is changing, media are innovating, and in efforts to capture an unsettled environment where new technologies, modes of working, and relationships between media and the public continue to evolve, it seems the one constant we can locate in our fields is “change” itself. Yet, despite their prominence within research, the distinctions established around how we understand change as an explanation and innovation as a force have become muddied, often leading to ambiguity at least and confusion at worst.

Innovation is often casually conflated with change without acknowledging the distinctions between each dynamic. Focus in, and change is found everywhere, endemic to the way fields function (Bourdieu, 2005). Step back, and the meaningfulness of change might seem less significant, as a broader view shows where change fits within the continuously evolving landscape of media, and where “forward-looking change gains almost paradigmatic status” (Peters & Carlson, 2018, p. 638). Innovation is no different. It often seems that innovation marks all technological enhancements, but a wider view shows its threads throughout media, problematizing digital novelty (Posetti, 2018). This ambiguity is reflective of a discrepancy between the discourses on and the actual practices of change and innovation.

In this thematic issue, we invite papers that bring dynamics of change and innovation into a central position and which move beyond the focus on changing media platforms or where new technologies serve as de facto exemplars of innovation. We encourage theoretical and empirical work that challenges how we think about what constitutes change, drivers of change, and the locus of change. Beyond exploring how things are changing, this issue calls for studies that unpack concepts of change and innovation, and how these are being viewed and understood within media and media research.

References

Bourdieu, P. (2005). The political field, the social science fied, and the journalistic field. In R. Benson & E. Neveu (Eds.), Bourdieu and the journalistic field (pp. 29–47). Polity.

Peters, C., & Carlson, M. (2018). Conceptualizing change in journalism studies: Why change at all? Journalism, 20(5), 637–641. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884918760674

Posetti, J. (2018). Time to step away from the “bright, shiny things”? Towards a sustainable model of journalism innovation in an era of perpetual change. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/our-research/time-step-away-bright-shiny-things-towards-sustainable-model-journalism-innovation-era


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Fact-Checkers Around the World: Regional, Comparative, and Institutional Perspectives


Editor(s):
Regina Cazzamatta (University of Erfurt), Lucas Graves (University of Wisconsin–Madison), and Laurens Lauer (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Submission of Abstracts: 15-31 January 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 May 2024
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2024

Information:

This thematic issue brings together scholars who study fact-checking organizations, practices, and institutions around the world. Over the last decade, the fact-checking field has grown to include more than 400 organizations active in over 100 countries—about half in the Global South. Fact-checkers have built a cohesive global movement, with its own annual conference, professional standards bodies, and growing ties to major technology companies as well as public institutions. The 10th Annual Global Fact conference drew more than 500 participants to Seoul this summer.

At the same time, the fact-checking field remains strikingly diverse. It spans professional newsrooms as well as community-based groups, private commercial services as well as sites run by student volunteers, and small local outlets as well as global media giants. Crucially, fact-checkers work in a wide variety of media and political systems. Even where practices converge, they understand their own mission—and the wider problem of misinformation—in very different ways. These vital differences remain underexplored and can offer a revealing lens for journalism studies and political communication researchers to investigate changing media systems around the world.

To address this gap, this thematic issue highlights research with a regional or comparative focus, as well as studies of the wider global movement. The last several years have seen growing attention to how fact-checkers work in different environments—particularly across Africa, Asia, and Latin America—and to organizational diversity and change in the field as a whole. Scholars have also focused increasingly on fact-checkers’ relationships with platform companies, policymakers, transnational institutions, and other actors involved in counter-misinformation campaigns. We invite work across methods and theoretical traditions, from ethnographic case studies to large-scale content analysis, with a particular focus on studies that help to deepen our understanding of the specificities or differences in this work in particular kinds of organizations and specific media and political environments.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Reproducibility and Replicability in Communication Research


Editor(s):
Johannes Breuer (GESIS—Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences / Center for Advanced Internet Studies) and Mario Haim (LMU Munich)

Submission of Abstracts: 15-30 April 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2023
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2024

Information:

Reproducibility (i.e., obtaining the same results with the same data and methods) and replicability (i.e., getting the same results using the same methods but different data) are generally considered key criteria for evaluating the reliability and trustworthiness of empirical research. Around 10 years ago, several failed attempts to replicate results from seminal studies in psychology sparked what is now known as the “replication crisis.” Although substantial parts of communication research use similar methods, such as experiments and surveys, the discussions around reproducibility and replicability have not been as far-reaching and consequential as in psychology. Importantly, these differences in dealing with questions of reproducibility and replicability are not due to neglect. Instead, the methods and especially the data commonly used in communication research affect how or to what degree reproducibility and replicability can be achieved and even what they mean for this discipline. For example, it would not be sensible to assume that the results from a content analysis should be fully replicable if repeated at a later point in time (or in a different country). Also, the use of proprietary materials, such as media content, limits the degree to which these can be shared. These specific characteristics require extensive discursive and empirical examination of the role of replicability in communication research. With this thematic issue, we want to provide an arena for this discussion about reproducibility and replicability through conceptual as well as empirical assessments of these two important concepts.

To this end, we invite the following types of submissions:

  • Conceptual papers addressing issues related to reproducibility and/or replicability;
  • Replication studies (ideally via collaborations between original authors of a study with other, especially early-career, scholars who replicate it);
  • Empirical assessments of reproducibility or the prevalence of open-science practices that should enable/facilitate reproducibility and replicability (e.g., for a particular research topic).

Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Sports Journalists as Agents of Change: Shifting Political Goalposts in Nordic Countries


Editor(s):
Anders Graver Knudsen (OsloMet University), Harald Hornmoen (OsloMet University), and Nathalie Hyde-Clarke (OsloMet University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2024
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2024

Information:

The purpose of this thematic issue is to address, discuss, and elaborate on how sports journalism relates to, and narrates, socio-political issues considering the economical, structural, and professional limitations and possibilities that surround the profession. The focal point will be the news media in the Nordic countries and the Nordic media system (Hornmoen & Steensen, 2021) since these have many similarities in terms of media history, sports history, and sports policy. Recent heated debates about human rights, corruption, and politics in connection with the Euro 2021 tournament, the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, players taking a knee before games, and the removal of Roman Abramovich as the owner of Chelsea football club after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, all illustrate that sports are deeply intertwined with issues of political and social change and development. Similarly, sports are used in image- and reputation-building by a variety of political figures and governments. Sports can therefore both challenge and be a driving force for societal change and political awareness. This is particularly prevalent within the Nordic countries, where the Nordic welfare model gives national consciousness and responsibility to ensure equal access and participation in sports, combined with a relatively high level of trust in media and innovative technological media usage. In recent years, there has been a development within Nordic media towards a more critical and investigative take on sports journalism, making this region particularly interesting for investigating the relationship between sports and politics in the journalistic field.

Through the analysis of Nordic case studies from the past five years (2018–2022), the objectives of this thematic issue are to: identity and describe prevalent political narratives in sports journalism; elaborate and discuss the concept of critical sports journalism; as well as discuss tensions between professional autonomy, precarity, and possibilities for sports journalists, and how these affect critical reporting.

References

Hornmoen, H., & Steensen, S. (2021). Journalistikkens filosofi [The philosophy of journalism]. Universitetsforlaget.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Communication Policies and Media Systems: Revisiting Hallin and Mancini’s Model


Editor(s):
Aurora Labio-Bernal (University of Seville), Rainer Rubira-García (Rey Juan Carlos University), and Rasa Poceviciene (Šiauliai State Higher Education Institution)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2023
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2024

Information:

The year 2024 will mark the 20th anniversary of Comparing Media Systems, by Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini, a book that established the existence of three media models in Western world. Subsequently, the same authors published Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World (2011), which extended the proposed analysis to other countries such as Russia, Poland, and China. In both cases, the main goal intended a comparative analysis using a series of variables that allowed to catalogue main media systems.

Twenty years after this Hallin and Mancini’s important analysis, several issues need to be studied to explain whether changes have occurred in global media systems. The emergence of Over the Top Media Service business model, for instance, has led to a boom in online platforms sector and consumption habits because traditional media have been displaced by other digital initiatives. Changes in the sector also show that new developments are taking place in content consumption, establishing an alliance between telecommunications operators and traditional media companies. This situation is also highlighting the need for joint ventures between cable distributors and broadband providers. Meanwhile, in the press sector, there has been a weakening of daily newspapers and, at the same time, the search for paid or subscription business models is still a working process, amid the emergence and consolidation of the online-only press.

All these issues would make necessary a review of media systems all over the world that updates the essential ideas of Hallin and Mancini, including not only the variables proposed by both authors, but also new categories.

In that respect, we propose that authors who submit their papers to the thematic issue focus their analysis on communication media systems in different countries, considering communication policies, the presence of new audiovisual actors, the transformation of the press models, the role of telecommunications companies in the sector, and the future of public media in the new digital context.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Geomedia Futures: Imagining Tomorrow’s Mediatized Places and Place-Based Technologies


Editor(s):
Karin Fast (Karlstad University), Cornelia Brantner (Karlstad University), and Pablo Abend (Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2024
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2024

Information:

Representations of geomedia technologies tend to celebrate convergent, mobile, and location-based technologies as constitutive of tomorrow’s society and life. In other words, they tend to extend the socio-technological regime we have come to know as geomedia into the future (Fast et al., 2018; McQuire, 2016). As a sister project to a themed issue on Geomedia Histories (Fast & Abend, in press; forthcoming in New Media and Society), this thematic issue aims to challenge what has been identified as “geomediatization realism” by investigating multiple geomedia futures. Hartmann and Jansson (2022, p. 5) engage the term geomediatization realism to refer to “processes of acceptance and resignation not only in relation to media use but also to the wider context of the expansion of geomedia businesses and corporations.” Geomediatization realism encompasses both utopian and dystopian outlooks through which our future with geomedia appears in the singular rather than plural, as if there were no alternatives to the visions of tomorrow that surface in hegemonic geomedia representations (cf. Rose, 2018). In seeking to challenge geomediatization realism, this thematic issue effectively bridges Critical Geomedia Studies and Critical Future Studies. Critical geomedia studies scrutinizes the complex relationship between people, technology, and space/place (Fast et al., 2018). Critical future studies “investigates the scope and constraints within public culture for imagining and debating different potential futures” (Goode & Godhe, 2017, p. 109). Both strands challenge what Fisher (2009) calls “capitalist realism,” the idea that the world defined by capitalism constitutes the only realistic alternative. Goode and Godhe (2017, p. 110) argue for critical future studies that explore the repertoire of possible futures available for public consideration, but also “that both utopian and dystopian modes of imagination are vital for reinvigorating a futural public sphere.” We hope that this interdisciplinary thematic issue can challenge capitalist and geomediatization realism by producing insights into hegemonic and counter-hegemonic visions of our future with geomedia.

We will prioritize contributions that refer to literature from critical geomedia studies and critical future studies (and adjacent literature), that engage key concepts appearing in this call for papers (geomedia, geomedia futures, geomediatized realism, etc.), and that critically and empirically explore future-directed geomedia representations. We anticipate that contributions use methods such as (critical) discourse analysis, multimodal discourse analysis, (socio-)semiotics, or the similar, but do not exclude other approaches. We welcome contributions by scholars of fields of research that study the interplay of people, technology, and space/place. 

References

Fast, K., & Abend, P. (in press). Geomedia histories. New Media and Society

Fast, K., Jansson, A., Lindell, J., Bengtsson, L. R., & Tesfahuney, M. (Eds.). (2018). Geomedia studies: Spaces and mobilities in mediatized worlds. Routledge.

Fisher, M. (2009). Capitalist realism: Is there no alternative? John Hunt Publishing.

Goode, L., & Godhe, M. (2017). Beyond capitalist realism: Why we need critical future studies. Culture Unbound9(1), 108–129.

Hartmann, M., & Jansson, A. (2022).  Gentrification and the right to the geomedia city. Space and Culture. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/12063312221090600

McQuire, S. (2016). Geomedia: Networked cities and the future of public space. Polity.

Rose, G. (2018). Look insideTM: Corporate visions of the smart city. In K. Fast, A. Jansson, J. Lindell, L. R. Bengtsson, & M. Tesfahuney (Eds.), Geomedia studies: Spaces and mobilities in mediatized worlds (pp. 97–113). Routledge.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 12

Title:
Practices of Digital In- and Exclusion in Everyday Life


Editor(s):
Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen), Joëlle Swart (University of Groningen), Denise Mensonides (University of Groningen), Alex Smit (University of Groningen), and Maud Rebergen (University of Groningen)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 July 2023
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2024
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2024

Information:

This thematic issue considers citizens’ everyday experiences of digital in- and exclusion, focusing on the practices and tactics through which citizens deal with the increasing digitalization of their everyday life. Governments, employers, schools, and other institutions increasingly expect people to participate digitally. Yet, even in digitally advanced countries, large groups of citizens lack critical and functional digital skills. This thematic issue explicitly takes a user-centric approach to understand the impact of digital in- and exclusion from the perspective of citizens themselves.

Moving beyond conceptual frameworks for digital literacies, as well as theoretical explorations of the various “new” literacies that are necessary for participation in digital societies, we seek to gain insight into the social, civic, and political implications of digital in- and/or exclusion in people’s everyday life. How do citizens develop and translate digital literacies into media practices across their lifespans? How do citizens navigate gaps in digital literacies within the various realms of everyday life? And what are the implications of digital exclusion for everyday practices of digital citizenship?

This thematic issue instigates to gain an in-depth understanding of how citizens of various socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, and with different levels of education develop digital literacies throughout their lives, and under what circumstances these become valuable for their participation and inclusion. Such a user-centric approach helps to advance knowledge about how digital literacies are developed from a young age, the various social contexts in which these processes take place, and how such knowledge is appropriated, shaped, and employed within informal and formal everyday practices and settings. Moreover, emphasizing the development of digital literacies as a situated social practice, gives insights into the social contexts through which people develop digital literacy practices, how they construct and integrate social norms around technologies, and how digital literacies and (digital) citizenship are linked.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Evaluating and Enhancing Media Literacy and Digital Skills


Editor(s):
Leen d’Haenens (KU Leuven) and Willem Joris (KU Leuven / Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 March 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2024
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2025

Information:

Over the past decade, we have witnessed major transformations in access to digital media platforms. However, navigating this digitally mediated world can be challenging as it requires operational, social, and content creation and consumption skills that many citizens lack or insufficiently possess. The importance of media literacy and digital skills has been recognised worldwide. To date, researchers and practitioners are struggling to make solid evidence-based claims about what works for intervention programmes aimed at fostering inclusion and well-being in different life domains by improving media literacy and digital skills. Despite the high number of intervention programmes, there is very little credible causal evidence of successful interventions that yield robust impact. Although there are a number of initiatives that evaluate programmes to improve media literacy and digital skills, evidence that links interventions around different types of media literacy and digital skills to different types of outcomes is severely underdeveloped. There is a real need to understand what the impact of these interventions in the different life domains is in terms of inclusion and well-being as well as to gather knowledge regarding what works best for different target groups.

This thematic issue seeks to contribute to a framework for evidence-based evaluative research of media literacy and digital skills as a crucial step in providing practitioners with the tools needed to support their work and as essential evidence for informing policy-making decisions. We invite papers presenting experimental studies, surveys that evaluate the outcomes of media literacy and digital skills, case studies, or high-quality theoretical approaches, from an interdisciplinary perspective (e.g., media studies, communication sciences, psychology, sociology, educational science).


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
AI, Media, and People: The Changing Landscape of User Experiences and Behaviors


Editor(s):
Jeong-Nam Kim (University of Oklahoma) and Jaemin Jung (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2024 (invited authors only)
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2024
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2025

Information:

This thematic issue delves into the intricate relationship between media, individuals, and AI (Artificial Intelligence), and how this relationship is reshaping existing challenges while introducing new ones. We invite scholarly contributions that investigate the impact of AI-enabled mass and social media platforms on user experiences and behaviors. We aim to explore the potential positive and negative consequences of these transformations on our future society, as well as the strategies required to address challenges arising from the convergence of these three pivotal components: AI, media, and people, in the digital age.

We welcome submissions from a transdisciplinary group of researchers, including media and social researchers, data scientists, AI experts, legal and policy specialists, and futurologists. We encourage an approach rooted in “social data science” and “data social science,” which examines the intersection of data science and social science to describe and navigate the evolving landscape of AI-integrated media platforms and evolving user behaviors.

Contributions are invited on a wide range of topics, including:

  • The data science-driven media business model;
  • AI-driven journalism: Challenges and promises;
  • Issues at the intersection of ICT, AI, and human interaction, such as fake comments and opinion spam;
  • Online networks and novel research methodologies for studying radicalization or polarizing networks;
  • The dynamics of social divisions within digital communities;
  • Data science-driven problem-solving approaches;
  • Emerging legal concerns related to AI-media and human users.

Ultimately, this thematic issue aims to illuminate the trajectory that AI-driven media and adaptable users are embarking upon in the near future. We seek to determine whether this journey will lead us toward a dystopian or utopian future. By fostering a collaborative environment that brings together diverse perspectives and expertise, our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of AI’s impact on media and society, along with the necessary strategies to navigate it.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Digital Games at the Forefront of Change: On the Meaningfulness of Games and Game Studies


Editor(s):
Felix Reer (University of Muenster), Teresa de la Hera (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Salvador Gómez-García (Complutense University of Madrid)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 January 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 May 2024
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2025

Information:

Recently, it was argued that digital games play such an important role in an increasingly convergent media culture that “the future of media studies is game studies” (Chess & Consalvo, 2022). Indeed, games generate more revenue than books and movies and they are more and more recognized as a cultural property that should be preserved. Some games undoubtedly have a high artistic value and can be considered a form of meaningful entertainment that is thought-provoking and provides new insights (Oliver et al., 2016). In fact, research has shown that digital games can have meaningful effects in many different areas of society. For example, it has been shown that meaningful social relationships can develop in the context of online games. Further, games can have positive effects on mental health and are considered useful tools in therapeutic contexts. The learning potentials of games have been examined extensively and the application of games for persuasion and information (newsgames) is becoming growingly important. On the downside, games take such an important role in the lives of some players that usage behaviors can become excessive and problematic. There are also debates on the question of whether some gaming communities are toxic and serve as breeding grounds for sexist or extremist attitudes, representing a severe risk to society.

The thematic issue will focus on the many different facets of the meaningfulness of digital games. Further, we would like to stimulate a dialogue on what constitutes meaningfulness in the context of gaming and what relevance the field of game studies will have in the future.

Contributions may focus on the meaningfulness of games in all areas of society. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The use of games in therapies and rehabilitation;
  • Games for education and learning (serious games, game-based learning);
  • Games’ impact on mental health and well-being;
  • Pathological and excessive forms of game use (gaming disorder);
  • Games as a form of meaningful (eudaimonic) entertainment;
  • Social benefits of online gaming;
  • Toxicity and extremism in gaming cultures;
  • The use of games for information and persuasion;
  • Games as art and cultural heritage/representation of cultural heritage in games;
  • The application of games in museums and exhibitions;
  • The design and production of meaningful games;
  • Theoretical perspectives on what constitutes meaningfulness in gaming contexts;
  • Discussions on the meaningfulness and the future of game studies as a research field.

References

Chess, S., & Consalvo, M. (2022). The future of media studies is game studies. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 39(3), 159–164. https://doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2022.2075025

Oliver, M. B., Bowman, N. D., Woolley, J. K., Rogers, R., Sherrick, B. I., & Chung, M. Y. (2016). Video games as meaningful entertainment experiences. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(4), 390–405. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000066


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Gendered Cultures in Platform Economies: Entertainment, Expertise, and Online Selfhood


Editor(s):
Panos Kompatsiaris (IULM University), Cláudia Álvares (Iscte–University Institute of Lisbon), and Sofie Van Bauwel (Ghent University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 January 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 May 2024
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2025

Information:

Apart from transforming regimes of production and consumption, the rise of gigantic, privately owned, digital platforms has particular effects on selfhood, performance, and identity. This thematic issue looks at the gendered dimensions of platform economies focusing specifically on how entertainment interweaves with expertise in the construction of contemporary femininities and masculinities. Platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook enable a seemingly democratization of expertise, as anyone could become an expert in any matter possible among niche communities, ranging from wine tasters, perfume specialists, life coaches, fitness trainers, dieticians and health consultants to sex therapists, pick up artists, mindfulness gurus, city guides, and gastronomic bloggers.

The entertainification of expert knowledge in the 2000s begins with the proliferation of television talent shows, including song, fashion, and cooking contests, that brought to the public realm the creative celebrity-expert as an arbiter of good taste. To the abundance of visible professional experts, we can add the widespread micro-expertise of amateurs found online and offline on trivial or nontrivial matters, from how to raise a child to how to grow cactuses. Aspirational labour and aspirational consumption in media platforms have a strong gendered dimension. Erin Duffy (2017) argues that the aspirational (unpaid) labour of creative entrepreneurs in platforms is primarily performed by women while aspirational (curated) consumption creates particular fantasies of femininity, masculinity, queerness, and other gender identities. At the same time, while platforms can offer visibility to progressive gender causes in public debate, they can instigate a relation of ‘cruel optimism’ vis-a-vis ideal gender constructions, to use Laurent Berlant’s (2012) term, as the latter becomes a desirable object which at the same time creates anxieties and frustration by being unrealizable. This thematic issue will gather articles that shed light on the multifaceted and often contradictory constructions of gender in platform-based cultural economies.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Protecting Democracy From Fake News: The EU’s Role in Countering Disinformation


Editor(s):
Jorge Tuñón Navarro (Carlos III University of Madrid), Luis Bouza García (Autonomous University of Madrid), and Álvaro Oleart (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2024
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2025

Information:
The process of Europeanisation of the public spheres has been disrupted by political and communication crises that have des-intermediated the public sphere, empowered anti-democratic domestic and foreign actors, demolished the business model of communication industries, disrupted journalistic practices, and substantially affected processes of consensus-seeking in democracies (Bennett & Pfetsch, 2018). This thematic issue aims to critically analyze the deepening effects of the pandemic (Casero-Ripollés, 2020) and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the already disrupted European public spheres, with particular attention to the ongoing policy and academic discussions about the European strategies to protect democratic communication processes from disinformation (Tuñón Navarro et al, 2019). The thematic issue welcomes contributions related to the emerging European policy field of counter-disinformation practices and strategies, both theoretical and empirical. In particular, the thematic issue encourages contributions on policy debates on EU regulatory and self-regulation proposals, EU-inspired national regulatory proposals, and specific plans of action for the upcoming 2024 European elections. Proposals focusing on regulation could address among others the lobbying by specific actors (e.g., online platforms), regulation of technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence), or the effect of regulation upon professional constituencies (e.g., journalists) or practices (e.g., factchecking).

Media and Communication invites scholars interested in contributing to this thematic issue to address questions including but not limited to the following:

  • Emerging European media profiles to counter disinformation;
  • The role of the EU against disinformation;
  • The role of disinformation in European elections;
  • A political theory approach to the relation between democracy and disinformation in the EU context;
  • The pandemic and the Ukraine crisis as key disruptors of the European public sphere;
  • Political communication and journalism fostering or hampering the European project;
  • Impact of social media misinformation and disinformation on the European public sphere;
  • The fragmented approach of EU institutions and European stakeholders against disinformation;
  • Fake news, disinformation, and information disorders affecting the Europeanization process;
  • The geopolitical turn of the EU and the tension between securitization and collaboration approaches to disinformation;
  • Fighting disinformation in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

References

Bennett, W. L., & Pfetsch, B. (2018). Rethinking political communication in a time of disrupted public spheres. Journal of Communication, 68(2), 243–253.

Casero-Ripollés, A. (2020). Impact of Covid-19 on the media system: Communicative and democratic consequences of news consumption during the outbreak. El Profesional de la Información, 29(2), 1–11.

Tuñón, J., Oleart, Á., & Bouza, L. (2019). Actores Europeos y desinformación: La disputa entre el factchecking, las agendas alternativas y la geopolítica [European actors and disinformation: The dispute between factchecking, alternative agendas and geopolitics]. Revista de Comunicación, 18(2), 245–260.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Balancing Intimacy and Trust: Opportunities and Risks in Audio Journalism


Editor(s):
Mia Lindgren (University of Tasmania)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 March 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2024
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2025

Information:

Podcasting is now firmly established as a significant genre in journalism, driving both consumption and revenue of online publishers. Despite news podcasts only making up a relatively small part of all podcasts, they are popular, with The New York Times The Daily podcast a striking example, attracting millions of daily listeners (Newman & Gallo, 2019).

Whereas radio news was previously published by established broadcasters, audio journalism is now produced and distributed as podcasts by a range of professional and amateur media actors. The growth of podcast consumption has also put the searchlight on the benefits and pitfalls of journalism’s audio forms. As a medium freed from broadcasting conventions and schedules, it’s well-placed as a site for journalistic experimentation. It includes subversion of traditional journalistic professional norms and the medium’s ability to build strong parasocial relationships between hosts and listeners (Perks & Turner, 2019). These perceived relationships coupled with the intimacy and closeness of the listening experience can pose the risk of partisan “ideological hijacking of journalism” (Dowling et al., 2022), without the safeguards from traditional broadcast conventions.

Furthermore, journalism presented solely in aural form has its own requirements for effective journalistic storytelling, including simplified language to aid in comprehension—especially when dealing with complex issues. Emerging podcast conventions indicate producers’ and journalists’ preference for building in self-reflexivity as a narrative technique, locating the journalist as a character in the news story.

This thematic issue takes a broad approach to inquiry into changing forms of audio journalism, driven by the popularity of podcasting. Neither radio nor podcasting should be seen as “static objects of analysis” (Lindgren & Loviglio, 2022), as both continue to change and shape each other, influenced by digital disruptions and technological innovations.

References

Dowling, D., Johnson, P. R., & Ekdale, B. (2022). Hijacking journalism: Legitimacy and metajournalistic discourse in right-wing podcasts. Media and Communication, 10(3), 17–27. https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i3.5260

Lindgren, M., & Loviglio, J. (2022). Editors’ introduction. In M. Lindgren & J. Loviglio (Eds.), Routledge companion to radio and podcast studies (p. 1). Routledge.

Newman, N., & Gallo, N. (2019). News podcasts and the opportunities for publishers. Oxford University; Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/publications/2019/news-podcasts-opportunities-publishers

Perks, L. G., & Turner, J. S. (2019). Podcasts and productivity: A qualitative uses and gratifications study. Mass Communication and Society, 22(1), 96–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2018.1490434


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Death Notice/Body Copy: Representations of Death in Global Journalism


Editor(s):
Kristin Skare Orgeret (OsloMet University) and Nechama Brodie (University of the Witwatersrand)

Submission of Abstracts: 15-30 November 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2025
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2025

Information:

The thematic issue seeks to explore the ways in which news media around the world explore, report, and narrate death and the dead, in words, pictures, and even sound, where acts of counting become forms of recounting through which the literal body (a cadaver or corpse), being counted or discounted, becomes a site of incompatible biography: An object that has a history, but which no longer has a life. Accounts of death are unevenly explored across the journalistic landscape and earlier research has shown that images presenting dead bodies are infrequent (Griffin, 2010; Zelizer, 2010). This may however change with the increased importance of digital media and new conditions of production, content, and reception for representations of death in the news. Whereas some earlier research has focused mainly on the mediation of exceptional death (Sumiala, 2022), we see a need to empirically consider a variety of types of deaths, geopolitical perspectives, and whose bodies count in different geographies, societies, and times.

We are interested in singular and interdisciplinary articles and studies that look at current and historical journalistic forms of coverage of death, dying, and the dead, from journalists and photojournalists who are sent to cover combat zones, mass killings, or large-scale natural disasters, to media coverage of deadly pandemics, reporting on ways of assisted dying, or even a close reading of forms of obituaries. A specific focus will be given to emerging trends in the representation of death in digital and social media. Researchers looking at forms of journalism in the global south are encouraged to submit an abstract, and editing support will be given for accepted contributions where the authors are not first-language English speakers.

References

Griffin, M. (2010). Media images of war. Media, War & Conflict, 3(1), 7–41.

Sumiala, J. ( 2022). Mediated death. Polity Press.

Zelizer, B. (2010). About to die: How news images move the public. Oxford University Press.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Journalism in the Hybrid Media System


Editor(s):
Silke Fürst (University of Zurich), Florian Muhle (Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen), and Colin Porlezza (Università della Svizzera italiana)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2025
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2025

Information:

Digitalization has not only changed the ways journalism is produced, disseminated, used, and financed, but it has also challenged the central position of journalism in the public sphere, making it one communicative form competing for attention and authority among others (Carlson et al., 2021). We now live in a complex media ecosystem where human and algorithmic actors, legacy and alternative media, as well as newer and older media observe, compete, influence, and interact with each other (Fürst & Oehmer, 2021; Reese, 2022). This leads to blurred boundaries, raising questions about the societal function, relevance, and value of journalism, how users discern and experience journalism and its actors, and how journalists distinguish themselves, their practices, and their products from non-journalistic modes of content production (Edgerly & Vraga, 2020; Splendore & Iannelli, 2022).

In his seminal book The Hybrid Media System, Chadwick (2017) moved scholars to understand the changing logics of attention and news production, as well as shifting power dynamics within the public sphere, through the lens of a networked media environment (Russell, 2020). This thematic issue takes up this invitation and aims to bring together theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions which reflect on the role of journalism in hybrid media systems. Single-country studies and comparative research using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches are all welcome. Given the prevailing “presentism” (Hallin et al., 2023) in research on hybrid media systems, we also particularly welcome historical and long-term analyses.

Lines of inquiry can include, but are not limited to:

  • Key features and patterns of hybrid media systems and their implications for the role, function, societal importance, and funding of journalism;
  • Changes in the diffusion of power, journalist-source relationships, and news quality;
  • Interactions, competition, and attention dynamics between legacy news media and online platforms;
  • The role of algorithms, (social) bots, and usage data in cross-platform dynamics and news practices;
  • Changing journalistic norms, role conceptions, and practices, as well as changing actor constellations in hybrid media systems;
  • International comparisons, historical studies, and long-term analyses of journalism in hybrid media systems;
  • Trust in news and audience perceptions of journalism in the hybrid media system;
  • Methodological challenges and approaches to studying journalism in the hybrid media system.

References

Carlson, M., Robinson, S., & Lewis, S. C. (2021). News after Trump: Journalism’s crisis of relevance in a changed media culture. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197550342.001.0001

Chadwick, A. (2017). The hybrid media system: Politics and power (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190696726.001.0001

Edgerly, S., & Vraga, E. K. (2020). Deciding what’s news: News-ness as an audience concept for the hybrid media environment. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(2), 416–434. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699020916808

Fürst, S., & Oehmer, F. (2021). Attention for attention hotspots: Exploring the newsworthiness of public response in the metric society. Journalism Studies, 22(6), 799–819. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2021.1889396

Hallin, D. C., Mellado, C., & Mancini, P. (2023). The concept of hybridity in journalism studies. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 28(1), 219–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/19401612211039704

Reese, S. D. (2022). The institution of journalism: Conceptualizing the press in a hybrid media system. Digital Journalism, 10(2), 253–266. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2021.1977669

Russell, A. (2020). Coming to terms with dysfunctional hybridity: A conversation with Andrew Chadwick on the challenges to liberal democracy in the second-wave networked era. Studies in Communication Sciences (SComS), 20(2), 211–225. https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2020.02.005

Splendore, S., & Iannelli, L. (2022). Non-elitist truth? The epistemologies of Italian journalists in the hybrid media system. Social Media + Society, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051221118378


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Electoral Communication: European Elections in Times of (Poly)Crises


Editor(s):
Adriana Ștefănel (University of Bucharest) and Maria Romana Allegri (Sapienza University of Roma)

Submission of Abstracts: 15-30 November 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2025
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2025

Information:

The contemporary landscape in Europe and globally is characterized by a prevailing sense of perpetual crisis and uncertainty, albeit experienced unevenly and in diverse ways. Against the backdrop of the (post) Covid-19 pandemic, previously deferred concerns such as climate change, food insecurity, population aging, and migration are resurfacing with heightened intensity. The repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and escalating inequalities further amplify these challenges. In this tumultuous environment, populist discourses gain traction, favoring nationalism and extremism, primarily facilitated by the simplicity and emotional resonance afforded by the digital informational ecosystem.

In these tumultuous times, the imperative of reliable communication becomes paramount. The propensity of conspiracy theories to attain virality, coupled with the looming threat of exposure to contradictory information and the dissemination of fake news and disinformation, renders individuals more susceptible to vulnerability and confusion. Additionally, this environment may incline individuals towards accepting and proliferating content driven by ideology and polarized information.

This thematic issue aims to scrutinize the risks posed by this new wave of populism to liberal democracy and the European Union project. Employing the 2024 European Parliament elections as a case study, we will delve into the impact of populist discourse on shaping the outcome of these pivotal elections.

Our objective is to present a timely collection of articles delving into subjects associated with the 2024 EU election, utilizing rigorous research methods that scrutinize, question, or suggest modifications to theoretical frameworks within electoral communication studies. Articles that explore the wider implications of the election are encouraged, as well as those focusing on longitudinal and transversal studies.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
Readers across the globe will be able to access, share, and download this issue entirely for free. Corresponding authors affiliated with any of our institutional members (over 90 institutions worldwide) publish free of charge. Otherwise, an article processing fee will be charged to the authors to cover editorial costs. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and encourage them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication costs. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
When All Speak but Few Listen: Asymmetries in Political Conversation


Editor(s):
Hernando Rojas (University of Wisconsin–Madison) and William P. Eveland, Jr. (The Ohio State University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2025
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2025

Information:

The digital environment was heralded as an era of public speaking. Armed with low-cost tools “anyone” had a public they could connect with, making a networked public sphere possible. Trusting that the marketplace of ideas metaphor would hold and that good ideas would rise to the top, Jimi Hendrix’s famous quote “knowledge speaks but wisdom listens” was finally possible at a global scale. With the rise of this new communication ecology, the flourishing of deliberative democracy was anticipated by many worldwide. Instead, and only a few years later, democracy began to backslide in new and stable democracies alike, affective polarization and populism are on the rise in many parts of the globe, and the compromises needed to confront global challenges seem harder and harder to reach. Deliberative theorists including Susan Bickford (1996), Andrew Dobson (2014), and Mary Scudder (2020) have recently highlighted listening as one potential avenue for enhanced deliberation.

This thematic issue looks at political conversation with a focus on political listening and seeks to advance an empirical approach to listening. Listening here means not just exposure in media or co-presence in conversation, but as Benjamin Barber argues in his book Strong Democracy, it means “‘I will put myself in his place, I will try to understand, I will strain to hear what makes us alike, I will listen for a common rhetoric evocative of a common purpose or a common good’” (Barber, 2003, p. 175). We are interested in manuscripts that allow us to explore what we refer to as asymmetries in political conversation, that is conversations in which expression becomes more important than reception.

Some potential questions include:

  • Has the nature of conversation, and listening in particular, changed over time?
  • Is polarization, populism, and/or antidemocratic values related to changes in political listening and conversation?
  • How does mis/disinformation affect the quality of political listening and conversation?
  • How can we promote listening, particularly listening to those who don’t think like us?
  • How do we scale up listening to mass publics?
  • How does social media content relate to asymmetries in political conversation?
  • How do elite conversations affect listening and conversation among the broader public?
  • When do elites listen?

If you don’t see a theme that directly addresses your work but you are convinced it speaks to the core issue of conversation asymmetries, do not hesitate to contact us. We will try to listen.

References

Barber, B. R. (2003). Strong democracy: Participatory politics for a new age. University of California Press.

Bickford, S. (1996). The dissonance of democracy: Listening, conflict, and citizenship. Cornell University Press.

Dobson, A. (2014). Listening for democracy: Recognition, representation, reconciliation. Oxford University Press.

Scudder, M. F. (2020). Beyond empathy and inclusion: The challenge of listening in democratic deliberation. Oxford University Press.


Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.

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Volume 13

Title:
Redefining Televisuality: Programmes, Practices, and Methods


Editor(s):
Lothar Mikos (Free University of Berlin) and Susanne Eichner (Film University Babelsberg)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 March 2024
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 October 2024
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2025

Information:

Televisuality, as theorised by John T. Caldwell in 1995, allows for a holistic view of the unique properties of television as an industrial product, technology, aesthetic form, and object of cultural discourse and audience engagement. The concept of televisuality designates a system of business conditions, styles, ideologies, cultural values, modes of production, programming, and audience practices that make up television as a medium within a specific historical and geographical context.

The concept of televisuality provides a rich and ever-changing prism for the analysis of its objects of study, as well as a constant challenge to our definition of the essence of TV as a medium in the contemporary media landscape, its functions for society, and the question of how we can approach it both theoretically and methodologically.

This thematic issue will discuss how the term can be redefined within the contemporary context, where: broadcast is transformed and complemented by streaming; social networks are increasingly becoming video-based social media; television texts are “unbound” and float as remixed cultural artefacts across channels, platforms, and media; and where the transnational interconnections of the television and audiovisual industry, the conditions of economic and social crisis, and the changing audience practices are thoroughly transforming the medium. New forms of televisuality circulate transnationally in entertainment formats from the UK, the Netherlands, Korea, or Israel as well as in long-running serial fare from Nordic countries, European major continental markets, Turkey, or Latin America. Entertainment, serial fiction, live broadcasts, news, sports, and other televisual events, as well as audiences’ modes of engaging with audiovisual content across geographical and platform borders, all work to redefine the essence of televisuality.

We particularly encourage contributions on the following topics:

  • Televisuality and contemporary practices of television production and distribution;
  • Methodologies for studying televisuality within television and media studies;
  • Televisuality and screen media audience practices;
  • Styles, narratives, and aesthetics of televisual programmes across genres and forms (scripted and unscripted);
  • Live broadcasting, live streaming, and their connections;
  • Scheduling, flow, interfaces, libraries, and programming strategies;
  • Intersections, similarities, and differentiations of television, social media, and social TV;
  • Transformations in the global flows of television and different ideas of televisuality;
  • Ideological paradigms of TV and their resistance in contemporary media systems;
  • Transnational aesthetics, production, distribution, and audience practices.

Instructions for Authors:
Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal's instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Media and Communication is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).


Open Access:
The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join our Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal's open access charges can be found here.