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

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

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

Published Thematic Issues

Published issues are available here.

Upcoming Issues


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Volume 10, Issue 4

Title:
Inclusive Media Literacy Education for Diverse Societies


Editor(s):
Çiğdem Bozdağ (University of Groningen / University of Bremen), Annamária Neag (Charles University), and Koen Leurs (Utrecht University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2021
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2022
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2022

Information:

The definition of the term “media literacy” has evolved and alternative concepts such as network literacy, information literacy, digital literacy among others have been suggested to capture the dynamics of the changing media environments. Although the terminologies and definitions have changed over time and the different approaches incorporate a variety of perspectives (Koltay, 2011), issues related to diversity, inclusion and intercultural dialogue were not central to media literacy until very recently. To develop a more inclusive approach to media literacy education in our increasingly super-diverse societies and strengthen the diversity of voices and intercultural dialogue in the public arena, inclusive media literacy education should revolve around reflective tools in order to learn how to live with difference. Drawing on black feminist theory, we argue that a critical approach to media literacy education needs to address diversity and differences through an intersectional lens. To promote media justice, inclusive media literacy should acknowledge and provide means to transform how identities and power are shaped through the mediation of intersecting axes of difference including nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability and socioeconomic class.

This thematic issue aims to bring together papers that develop a critical perspective and focus on issues related to media literacy education, differences and diversity. We aim to include conceptual papers as well as empirical studies from different contexts that provide a critical reflection of existing media education practices. The papers can focus on the following topics among others:

  • Media literacy education for intercultural dialogue;
  • Media literacy education for marginalized groups;
  • Critical approaches to media literacy education with a focus on diversity;
  • Media literacy education for migrants and refugees;
  • Decolonizing media literacy education;
  • Media literacy and social inclusion;
  • Participatory methods within media literacy education and research.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 1

Title:
Science Communication in the Digital Age: New Actors, Environments, and Practices


Editor(s):
Julia Metag (University of Münster), Florian Wintterlin (University of Münster), and Kira Klinger (University of Münster)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 April 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2022
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2023

Information:

The growing importance of online channels in the dissemination of information has not only affected the political sphere, but also science communication. Science communication online has pluralized and multiplied the amount of scientific information available and the voices who express themselves about scientific issues. The press release by an established institution such as a university is no longer the main communication channel of the scientific system, but at best represents a supplement to the flow of information about science. Online communication offers a platform for a variety of (Pseudo-)scientific communicators due to the low entry barriers. As a result, new actors are entering the stage to talk about science on new channels such as social media. Science journalists communicating via YouTube videos, people with questionable expertise talking about scientific evidence, scientists offering a podcast or projects offering citizens possibilities to experience ‘science in the making’—recent developments made the diversity of science communication online visible and placed it at the center of societal discourse.

The way science communication changed is also reflected in the amount of data that is created for science communication in digital environments. Not only does online science communication create large amounts of data itself (e.g., tweets about climate change) but science communication itself uses data provided by platforms. Science journalists cooperate with data journalists for aggregating data on scientific issues and presenting scientific information in new ways.

Not only actors, channels, and presentation practices have changed and diversified for science communication in the digital world but also the discourses and debates about science. Inaccurate information about scientific topics spreading online, whether distributed strategically or inadvertently, constitutes a problem for science communication even though strategies for inoculation against scientific disinformation have been developed. Hate speech and uncivil discourses may keep scientists from engaging in online debates about their research. At the same time, online debates can be of deliberative nature and the inclusion of different voices can develop scientific research such as in citizen science contexts.

This thematic issue deals with the opportunities and challenges digital environments offer for science communication. It will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of how online environments and practices are shaped by established as well as new actors in science communication.

Contributions may focus on issues including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Access to and participation in science communication online (new (pseudo-)scientific actors in science communication, consequences of online communication for established scientific communicators, new forms of participation in science online, role of infrastructure and governance of platforms);
  • Presentation of science online (visualization, use of data);
  • Debates and discourses about science in digital environments (reliability of information, disinformation, deliberation, algorithmization).

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 1

Title:
Referendum Campaigns in the Digital Age


Editor(s):
Linards Udris (University of Zurich) and Mark Eisenegger (University of Zurich)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 March 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2022
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2023

Information:

This thematic issue addresses patterns of referendum campaigns in public communication, which increasingly take place in digital and “hybrid” media environments where political actors conduct campaigns through various media channels and citizens receive a large share of political information from traditional and digital media. National referendum campaigns happen in many countries across the world, quite recently for instance in Great Britain, Guinea, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Slovenia or Switzerland; sub-national referenda are frequent as well (e.g., in the US). At times, referendum campaigns even constitute critical incidents which shape not only policies but also the polity (e.g., independence).

Despite their frequent occurrence and their importance, referendum campaigns—unlike elections—and the role of digital media in particular are understudied phenomena. We currently do not know, for instance, if digital media provide lower entry barriers for political actors and thus award challengers, rather than status-quo actors, better chances than before to launch direct-democratic proposals and shape debates in the run-up to the votes. We do not know either to what extent journalists, when covering referendum campaigns, increasingly rely on social media as sources or proxies of public opinion rather than on direct campaign material from political actors, such as press releases or staged (pseudo-)events, or on public opinion polls. Finally, we do not know enough if digital media environments as such facilitate or rather inhibit referendum campaign debates which can overall be considered substantial, balanced and based on the rational exchange of arguments.

The thematic issue invites scholars to contribute case studies which directly speak to these and related questions, and it welcomes contributions in particular which take a comparative perspective—across traditional and digital channels, across time, across campaigns or across country cases—and provide explanations which factors old and new shape referendum campaigns in the digital age.


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 1

Title:
Global Inequalities in the Wake of Covid-19: Gender, Pandemic, and Media Gaps


Editor(s):
Margreth Lünenborg (Freie Universität Berlin), Miriam Siemon (Freie Universität Berlin), and Wolfgang Reißmann (Freie Universität Berlin)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 January 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 July 2022
Publication of the Issue: January/March 2023

Information:

The current Covid-19 pandemic reveals and exacerbates inequalities in various ways. Gender inequalities—intertwined with intersectional differences along class, ethnicity or origin—are highly visible. Women, especially those with lower income often working in already precarious conditions, are more affected by job losses. They shoulder the main burden of childcare and homeschooling. Domestic violence is rising during lockdowns. Particularly care work—whether it is frontline medical care work or unpaid care work at home—is highly gendered and thus exacerbates inequalities in this crisis, which are manifested globally in very different forms and intensities.

Legacy and social media around the world cover and perform these issues as much as they conceal them. On the one hand, media have the ability to give those affected a voice and to intervene in public discourse. On the other hand, they reproduce gender stereotypes and imbalances and rely on gendered (infra)structures themselves. We are especially interested in the entanglement between empowering and restricting forms of mediated discourse. As a result and one example, women as experts are heard less in legacy media covering Covid-19.

The thematic issue aims to carve out the entanglements between media and gender imbalances in the wake of Covid-19 in four ways. First, by providing national research and international comparisons which point to global inequalities due to varying trajectories of the pandemic, differing political and media systems, and media cultures. Second, the thematic issue comprises empirical findings both on gendered representations in legacy (news) media as well as on gendered discourse structures and topics in social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube or Instagram and their interdependent emergence. Thirdly, gender is not only investigated as a stand-alone variable, but intersections with precarious working conditions, migration and racial minorities are taken into account as well. Finally, a variety of methods including content analyses as well as computational methods such as network and sentiment analyses are being used and combined in order to meet the challenges that arise through huge social media datasets in hybrid media environments.

Going beyond the commonly addressed question of gender imbalances concerning the representation of experts in legacy media, the thematic issue focuses on how hybrid media systems construct, manage and amplify gender inequalities in the global crisis.


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

The Academic Editors will cover the article publication fees for three submissions. Authors affiliated with institutions that provide no financial support can then make their submissions under a waiver fee request, and preference will be given to researchers from the Global South.


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Volume 11, Issue 2

Title:
Political Communication in Times of Spectacularisation: Digital Narratives, Engagement, and Politainment


Editor(s):
Salvador Gómez-García (University of Valladolid), Rocío Zamora (University of Murcia), and Salomé Berrocal (University of Valladolid)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2022
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2023

Information:

The thematic issue aims to put forward an approach to political communication under new features that define it: interactive digital narratives, media fragmentation, informative disintermediation, engagement strategies, or ideological polarization, among others. Some of these issues, like the new narratives, could reconnect the electorate with leaders and institutions but these technologies are defiant because they offer as many opportunities as challenges. Changes in the media ecosystem and its evolution over the last few years have confirmed its popularity among the different actors in political communication, but they have also raised concerns about the devaluation of political information, which leads to a loss of democratic quality. Moreover, the direct impact of politainment content on public opinion and citizen participation is not generalisable and requires a deeper analysis linking messages to their reception.

For this thematic issue, we invite theoretical and empirical papers that study how the spectacularisation of political communication affects and is affected by these processes. We want to explore a wide range of topics that have political communication, entertainment, digital engagement, and alternative forms of communication as their central themes.

Submissions may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Audiovisual content platforms with politainment formats, selective consumption, and social audience.
  • Viral political content disseminated through social media and platforms.
  • Gamification, politicking, and digital games with political content.
  • Ideological polarization through the reception of information social networks.
  • Political spectacularisation, ideological polarisation, and hate speeches.
  • Social algorithms involved in personalised information dissemination of spectacularised political content.
  • Complexity and political discourses in entertainment contexts.
  • Ideological polarisation: mobilisation and democracy constraints in the new digital ecosystem.
  • Strategic uses of entertainment on social networks for campaigning online and political engagement.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 2

Title:
A Datafied Society: Data Power, Infrastructures, and Regulations


Editor(s):
Raul Ferrer-Conill (University of Stavanger / Karlstad University) and Helle Sjøvaag (University of Stavanger)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2022
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2023

Information:

Digital infrastructures are technological structures with multiple owners, actors and stakeholders that serve as the backbone for data flows and datafication processes (Parks & Starosielski, 2015). As the power and functions provided by platforms (such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft) continue to pervade most aspects of everyday life, governments and advocacy groups have raised concerns about privacy and surveillance fears, threats to freedom of expression, and technological and infrastructure capture (Gillespie, 2018). The datafication and platformization of the digital infrastructure shifts the open, public internet towards the private realm, creating power asymmetries between those who provide data and those who own, trade, and control data, while embracing the logics of aggregation and automation that increasingly negotiate transactions between markets and social entities, informing governance systems, institutions, and public discourse (Kennedy et al., 2015; Van Dijk, et al, 2018). This thematic issue focuses on a) digital media infrastructures and its actors, data structures, markets, and regulations; b) public access to information, data privacy, and the protections of citizens in a datafied society; and c) the policies and regulations for effective, independent media institutions and data sovereignty.

We aim to attract a diverse group of scholars to put together a thematic issue that presents knowledge based on varied theoretical frameworks, broad methodological choices, and diverse empirical cases. We encourage approaches rooted in different disciplines such as: media and communication; telecommunications, infrastructures and materiality; political science; governance and policy; critical studies; gender and cultural studies, etc. This thematic issue welcomes papers that deal with the following topics:

  • Data infrastructures and digital communications ecology;
  • Data power, governance, and sovereignty;
  • The impact of datafication on society;
  • Effects of platforms on media diversity;
  • Regulatory frameworks and data policy;
  • Data ethics, biases, and censorship in freedom of speech;
  • Digital citizenship, data patterns of inclusion and exclusion;
  • Data economy, data sovereignty, and public vs private ownership.

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).


Open Access:
This thematic issue of Media and Communication is sponsored by the Anne-Marie & Gustaf Anders Foundation through project funding. The Foundation will cover the journal’s article Open Access publication fees so that the articles in the thematic issue can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation.

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Volume 11, Issue 2

Title:
Fakespotting: (Dis)information Literacy as Key Tool to Defend Democracy


Editor(s):
José Antonio Muñiz-Velázquez (Universidad Loyola Andalucía) and Claudio Paolucci (University of Bologna)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 June 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 October 2022
Publication of the Issue: April/June 2023

Information:

Since what was once called “the audience” is currently able to produce, share, and broadcast information, multiple voices insist that nowadays news literacy is more important than ever. In regard of this, the general label of “fake news”—that usually jumps in when this reality is tackled—hides heterogeneous phenomena such as disinformation, mendacity, mistakes, manipulation, biases, etc.

In this sense, in democratic societies, different institutions must converge in building effective information literacy strategies, even if schools and the formal education system should be the first to act. Regarding the adult population, universities should flag the fight against disinformation, combining its teaching and researching mission with a crucial work of research dissemination, especially from schools of journalism and communication studies. On the other hand, beyond educational or research institutions, also social communication agents (media, social media, advertising, brands communication, entertainment industries, etc.) participate in the shaping of our skills and attitudes.

We invite papers with experimental studies, qualitative and quantitative researches, case studies, or original and high quality theoretical approaches, focused on this broad issue from an interdisciplinary perspective (journalism and communication studies, semiotics, psychology, philosophy, sociology, international relationships, politics, ethics, etc.). Papers can analyze, including but not limited to, the following topics:

  • “Fake news”: definitions and problems;
  • Digital media and information literacy in front of post-truthism, populism, and social polarization;
  • The role of Higher Education against (dis)information disorder and in favor of democracy’s resilience and security;
  • Long Life Learning (LLL) and disinformation skills;
  • Counter disinformation skills in journalism and communication studies;
  • Counter disinformation literacy from positive psychology and communication;
  • The edges of false and post-truth from a semiotics and philosophical perspective;
  • Scientific and critical thinking versus post-truth, pseudoscience, and pseudohistory;
  • Cognitive biases, ethics, moral thinking, and disinformation;
  • The role of media, social media, brands, advertising, and public relations in counter disinformation literacy;
  • Fiction and entertainment as weapons of disinformation and/or counter disinformation.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 3

Title:
Social Media’s Role in Political and Societal Mobilization


Editor(s):
Jörg Haßler (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich), Melanie Magin (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Uta Russmann (University of Innsbruck)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 December 2022
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2023

Information:

Driven by digitalization, the way political parties and social movements mobilize partisans and stakeholders has changed substantially. Social media have become one of the main channels to inform, interact with, and mobilize citizens. As a result, the use of communication channels, communication styles, and contents as well as organizational structures of parties and movements themselves have changed. Visual content—like memes or videos—has become more important. New political actors like populist parties, social movements, or so-called new civics have entered the political stage in many countries around the world. Micro-targeting, inauthentic user behavior, and the automation of the distribution of political messages influence how citizens perceive politics. Our thematic issue closes research gaps by inviting studies focusing on the role of social media in political and societal mobilization by established political actors such as parties and politicians but also social movements and new civics. Therefore, it focuses on the goal-directed use of platforms, contents, and mechanisms of distribution, including the strengths and possibilities of digital campaigns. However, it does not ignore the risks and dangers by also inviting works on mobilization by means of the intentional spreading of false information, conspiracy narratives, or the dysfunctionalities of algorithms and mismanagement by platforms. The thematic issue aims at contributing to a broader scientific understanding of the political implications of digitalization for political and societal mobilization and insights into how digital instruments could promote or hinder democratic development. Submissions might address (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • Which mobilization strategies do different political actors and/or movements use, and which differences and similarities can be identified between different countries and political strands?
  • (How) do mobilization efforts of social movements and political parties complement or substitute each other?
  • How do left- and right-wing online activism differ (from other forms of online activism, e.g., that of centrist actors and/or green parties and movements)?
  • How does (micro-targeted) online advertising influence citizens’ willingness to participate in political processes?
  • Under which circumstances does “hashtag activism” become impactful?
  • Under which circumstances does online activism lead to “slacktivism” and when and how is it more impactful?

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 3

Title:
Communication for Seniors’ Inclusion in Today’s Society


Editor(s):
Leopoldo Abad Alcalá (CEU San Pablo University), Carmen Llorente Barroso (Complutense University of Madrid), and Fausto Colombo (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2023
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2023

Information:

Aging in developed societies implies the need to implement programs that guarantee the well-being of their seniors (United Nations, 2019). The vulnerability of this group reaches social areas that must be considered. In the specific field of communication, some dynamics put at risk the inclusion of the elderly in today’s societies. The internet and, especially, its expansion has benefited the social development of many groups of citizens, but has excluded others such as the elderly (Llorente-Barroso et al., 2018), whose rights have been limited (Abad-Alcalá et al., 2017). Currently, the digitalization of societies has limited some civic participation to some technological skills, acerbating the social exclusion of those who do not have such skills—such is the case for many seniors (Holgersson et al., 2019)—and restricting their educational and relational possibilities (Fuente-Cobo, 2017).

Furthermore, there are digital gaps within the aged generation because of structural and individual differences, which are increased by the internet (Borgaminck-De-La-Torre & Baquerin-De-Riccitelli, 2003). However, several studies have emphasized the positive effect the internet and ICTs have on autonomous, active, and inclusive aging (Aalbers et al., 2011; Colombo et al., 2015; Shapira et al., 2007; Slegers et al., 2007). The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the importance of the emotional and humanizing role of ICTs for older people (Llorente-Barroso et al., 2021), as it has brought them closer to their relatives (Liddle et al., 2020; Taipale, 2019), providing them with a connection that has prevented affective disorders (Santini et al., 2020).

This thematic issue aims to study and reflect on the possibilities of the internet and ICTs to improve the quality of life of older people and contribute to their social inclusion, considering that they are a growing group with a great social contribution.

References

Aalbers, T., Baars, M. A. E., & Olde-Rikkert, M. G. M. (2011). Characteristics of effective Internet-mediated interventions to change lifestyle in people aged 50 and older: A systematic review. Ageing Research Reviews, 10(4), 487–497. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2011.05.001

Abad-Alcalá, L., Llorente-Barroso, C., Sánchez-Valle, M., Viñarás-Abad, M., & Pretel-Jiménez, M. (2017). Electronic government and online tasks: Towards the autonomy and empowerment of senior citizens. El Profesional de la Información, 26(1), 34–42. https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2017.ene.04 

Borgaminck-De-La-Torre, L., & Baquerin-de-Riccitelli, M. T. (2003). Internet: A means for sociability or exclusion? Communication & Society, 16(2), 95–118. https://revistas.unav.edu/index.php/communication-and-society/article/view/36349

Colombo, F., Aroldi, P., & Carlo, S. (2015). New elders, old divides: ICTs, inequalities and well being amongst young elderly Italians. Comunicar, XXIII(45), 47–55. https://doi.org/10.3916/C45-2015-05

Fuente-Cobo, C. (2017). Públicos vulnerables y empoderamiento digital: El reto de una sociedad e-inclusiva [Vulnerable publics and digital empowerment: The challenge of an e-inclusive society]. El Profesional de la Información, 26(1), 5–12. https://doi.org/10.3145/epi.2017.ene.01

Holgersson, J., Söderström, E., & Rose, J. (2019). Digital inclusion of elderly citizens for a sustainable society. In P. Johannesson, P. Ågerfalk, & R. Helms (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th european conference on information systems (ECIS) (Article 7). Association for Information Systems. http://www.diva-portal.se/smash/get/diva2:1317503/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Liddle, J., Pitcher, N., Montague, K., Hanratty, B., Standing, H., & Scharf, T. (2020). Connecting at local level: Exploring opportunities for future design of technology to support social connections in age-friendly communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(15), Article 5544. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155544

Llorente-Barroso, C., Kolotouchkina, O., & Mañas-Viniegra, L. (2021). The enabling role of ICT to mitigate the negative effects of emotional and social loneliness of the elderly during Covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8), Article 3923. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083923  

Llorente-Barroso, C., Pretel-Jiménez, M., Abad-Alcalá, L., Sánchez-Valle, M., & Viñarás-Abad, M. (2018). Administración electrónica y comercio electrónico como instrumentos para un envejecimiento activo [E-administration and e-commerce as tools for active aging]. Aula Abierta, 47(1), 87–96. https://doi.org/10.17811/rifie.47.1.2018.87-96

Santini, Z. I., Jose, P. E., Cornwell, E. Y., Koyanagi, A., Nielsen, L., Hinrichsen, C., Meilstrup, C., Madsen, C. R., & Koushede, V. (2020). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and symptoms of depression and anxiety among older Americans (NSHAP): A longitudinal mediation analysis. Lancet Public Health, 5(1), e62–e70. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30230-0

Shapira, N., Barak, A., & Gal, I. (2007). Promoting older adults’ well-being through internet training and use. Aging y Mental Health, 11(5), 477–484. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607860601086546 

Slegers, K., van-Boxtel, M. P., & Jolles, J. (2007). Effects of computer training and internet usage on the well-being and quality of life of older adults: A randomized, controlled study. Educational Gerontology, 33(2), 91–110. https://doi.org/10.1080/03601270600846733

Taipale, S. (2019). Intergenerational connections in digital families. Springer.

United Nations. (2019). World population prospects: The 2019 revision. United Nations. https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2019_Highlights.pdf


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 3

Title:
News Deserts: Places and Spaces Without News


Editor(s):
Agnes Gulyas (Canterbury Christ Church University), Joy Jenkins (The University of Tennessee), and Annika Bergstrom (University of Gothenburg)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-31 January 2023
Publication of the Issue: July/September 2023

Information:

Scholarly interests in “news deserts”—places and/or spaces without news—have increased in recent years, often focusing on and driven by the decline of local newspapers in the digital era. The perception is that more communities have little or diminished access to news relevant to them because of the changes related to the production, distribution, economics, and consumption of local news. This is a concern as news deserts are judged to lead to a decline in local democracy and undermine cohesion, civic engagement, and the quality of life for that community. However, definitions, interpretations, and terminology vary in the literature about the phenomenon, and so do the approaches and methodologies adopted to study it. This thematic issue aims to bring together the latest in empirical research on news deserts in different international settings. It will also contribute to our understanding of the concept and examining “news desert” in a broader sense beyond local newspapers considering places and spaces without news more widely, such as in larger news ecosystems and in relation to different media forms.

We invite scholars to explore theoretically, conceptually, and empirically news deserts. Both single-country and comparative research are welcome, as well as both theoretical and empirical manuscripts. The latter may involve quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches. The issue particularly welcomes cross-national comparative analyses and non-Western and Global South perspectives. Lines of inquiry can include, but are not limited to:

  • Definitions and interpretations of news deserts.
  • Key features and patterns of news deserts.
  • Communities living in news deserts.
  • Disadvantaged communities and news deserts.
  • News deserts in historical perspectives.
  • Methodological approaches to studying news deserts.
  • Analyses of interventions to address news deserts.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 4

Title:
Trust, Social Cohesion, and Information Quality in Digital Journalism


Editor(s):
Thomas B. Ksiazek (Villanova University), Jacob L. Nelson (Arizona State University), and Anita Varma (University of Texas at Austin)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2023
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2023

Information:

Across the globe, trust in news is declining and has been for some time (Ipsos, 2019). This crisis in the field of journalism has been exacerbated in the context of a global pandemic, recent elections, and social and political unrest. While trust levels vary by country, overall public trust in journalism remains low (44% globally), according to the 2021 Reuters Institute Digital News Report (Newman et al., 2021).

The Knight Foundation recently found that 69% of respondents who reported losing trust in the news media believed that their trust could be restored (Knight Foundation, 2018), and news publishers and intermediaries (e.g., social platforms, news aggregators and portals, fact-checkers) across the globe continue to pursue a variety of initiatives intended to improve journalism’s credibility among the public.

Research suggests that concerns about information quality (Knight Foundation, 2018; Korea Press Foundation, 2019), confirmation bias (Tandoc, 2019), social identity threat (Nyhan & Reifler, 2019), and selective perception/exposure contribute to distrust in the news media. Furthermore, low trust in news to accurately and fairly report has been a longstanding issue for marginalized communities, whose experience of being subjects of news stories has included legacies of dehumanizing portrayals, criminalization, and distortions. Since 2020, many news organizations have made public promises to improve their coverage of historically marginalized people, without consistently accounting for how they will address legacies of harm to restore trust.

With these challenges in mind, the overarching question of this thematic issue is: What practices, interventions, and norms might help enrich and advance attempts to improve trust in news? Our hope is that, in exploring this question, this thematic issue will also address several others, such as:

  • How do audiences determine what is—and is not—trustworthy when it comes to the news media environment?
  • How does public trust or distrust in journalism shape how citizens ultimately approach, participate in creating, and consume news?
  • How do journalists attempt to improve their standing among the public, how do they assess the impact of these efforts, and who do they define as part of the public they seek to serve?

This thematic issue seeks to bring together research that contributes to a comprehensive understanding of trust, social cohesion, and information quality in digital journalism. We welcome contributions from a variety of perspectives (audiences, journalists, news intermediaries), contexts, and methodologies.

References

Ipsos. (2019). Trust in the media. https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2019-06/global-advisor-trust-in-media-2019.pdf

Knight Foundation. (2018). Indicators of news media trust. https://knightfoundation.org/reports/indicators-of-news-media-trust

Korea Press Foundation. (2019). Media users in Korea 2019. https://www.kpf.or.kr/synap/skin/doc.html?fn=BASE_202001301015244791.pdf&rs=/synap/result/upload/mediapds

Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Schulz, A., Andi, S., Robertson, C. T., & Nielsen, R. K. (2021). Reuters institute digital news report 2021, 10th Edition. Reuters Institute; University of Oxford. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2021-06/Digital_News_Report_2021_FINAL.pdf 

Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2019). The roles of information deficits and identity threat in the prevalence of misperceptions. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties29(2), 222–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2018.1465061  

Tandoc, E. C. (2019). The facts of fake news: A research review. Sociology Compass, 13(9), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12724


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 4

Title:
Mediatized Discourses on Europeanization: Information, Disinformation, and Polarization


Editor(s):
Ana Pérez Escoda (University Antonio de Nebrija) and Tetyana Lokot (Dublin City University)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2023
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2023

Information:

The over-exposure to information facilitated by social networks is a key factor contributing to the increasing polarization of public opinions on central political issues. The European integration project is one of the major political processes affected by information disorders, i.e., by disinformation, post-truth, and fake news. Media discourses are nowadays so diversified to the point of generating confusion among consumers. In this regard, social networks have become loudspeakers and powerful tools for nurturing “filter bubbles” or “echo chambers,” influencing people’s perceptions of major political issues, in a manner that could have a destabilizing effect on democratic processes and democratic institutions. In this context, cybersecurity has become particularly relevant, leading states to adopt different measures and policy changes to respond to the threats stemming from information disorders, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This thematic issue will focus on the following: a) how media discourses are created in order to promote or, alternatively, to denounce the European integration project and how these discourses are perceived by the public; b) the evolving framework of cybersecurity in relation to digital media and its impact on the communication landscape.

Media and Communication invites scholars interested in contributing to this special issue to examine the media discourses, both in traditional and in digital formats alike, focusing on the following topics:

  • Media discourses fostering Europeanization or Euroscepticism among public opinion;
  • Polarization processes among public opinion in Europe;
  • Cybersecurity in digital media: changes and challenges regarding disinformation;
  • Political communication and journalism fostering or hampering the European project;
  • Public perception and Europeanization processes: pro-Europeanization versus Euroscepticism;
  • Fake news, disinformation, and information disorders affecting political processes;
  • Social networks as shapers of public opinion;
  • Impact of social media misinformation and disinformation on social perceptions;
  • Cybersecurity policies in the communication landscape;
  • Digital literacy as a countermeasure to combat fake news, disinformation, and polarization discourses.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 11, Issue 4

Title:
Digital Media and Younger Audiences: Communication Targeted at Children and Adolescents


Editor(s):
Olga Kolotouchkina (Complutense University of Madrid), Celia Rangel (Complutense University of Madrid), and Patricia Núñez Gómez (Complutense University of Madrid)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 December 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 15-30 April 2023
Publication of the Issue: October/December 2023

Information:

The purpose of this thematic issue is an in-depth analysis of the complexities, challenges, and best practices of the current media and communication ecosystem whose main protagonists are children and adolescents (Coulter, 2020; Haddon et al., 2020; Livingstone et al., 2021; Tur-Viñes et al., 2018). The thematic issue invites scholars and practitioners to examine the role of brands, media, regulators, communication agencies, and other players in developing a collaborative, responsible, and committed attitude towards issues of diversity, equality, privacy protection, and sustainability in commercial and social communication targeted at children and adolescents (Chan, 2021; de La Ville & Nicol, 2019; Kees & Andrews, 2019; Rome et al., 2020).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Inclusive branding: branding strategies fostering universal accessibility, inclusive narratives, and a sustainable and responsible approach to the engagement of younger audiences in brand experience.
  • Digital literacy and digital divide: key principles and best practices of corporate strategies addressing issues of digital barriers and inequalities in access to knowledge, information, and education of the younger generation.
  • Ethics and responsible narratives in communication and advertising targeted at children and adolescents.
  • Heroes and idols of kids and teens in the digital world: new references and influencers of consumption, behavior, and communication for children and adolescents.
  • Digital media consumption by children and adolescents: multi-tasking, immediacy, visibility, and interactions in the digital world.
  • Content creation of children and adolescents in the digital world: typology of content (personal vs commercial), dynamics of interaction with brands, online communities.
  • Regulation and legal challenges for the protection of children and adolescents in digital media: normative framework for regulating content production and consumption.

References

Chan, K. (2021). Children’s perception of YouTube videos with product endorsements: An exploratory study. Asian Journal of Business Research, 11(1), 103–119. https://doi.org/10.14707/ajbr.210101

Coulter, N. (2020). Child studies meets digital media: Rethinking the paradigms. In L. Green, D. Holloway, K. Stevenson, T. Leaver, & L. Haddon (Eds.), The Routledge companion to digital media and children (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351004107

de La Ville, V.-I., & Nicol, N. (2019). Shopping from a child’s perspective: An anxiety-generating experience? International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 47(6), 680–698. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-09-2017-0210

Haddon, L., Livingstone, S., Mascheroni, G., Stoilova, M., & Cino, D. (2020, October 27–31). Youth in the digital age: Antecedents and consequences of digital skills [Paper presentation]. AoIR 2020: The 21st annual conference of the association of internet researchers, virtual event. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2020i0.11225

Kees, J., & Andrews, J. C. (2019). Research issues and needs at the intersection of advertising and public policy. Journal of Advertising, 48(1), 126–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/00913367.2019.1599747

Livingstone, S., Mascheroni, G., & Stoilova, M. (2021). The outcomes of gaining digital skills for young people’s lives and wellbeing: A systematic evidence review. New Media & Society. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211043189

Rome, A. S., O’Donohoe, S., & Dunnett, S. (2020). Problematizing the postfeminist gaze: A critical exploration of young women’s readings of gendered power relations in advertising. Journal of Macromarketing, 40(4), 546–562. https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146720950765

Tur-Viñes, V., Núñez-Gómez, P., & González-Río, M. (2018). Kid influencers on YouTube: A space for responsibility. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 73, 1211–1230. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2018-1303en


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 1

Title:
Examining New Models in Journalism Funding


Editor(s):
Merja Myllylahti (Auckland University of Technology) and James Meese (RMIT University)

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

Information:

For well over a decade, the news media sector has been struggling through a series of financial crises. As a result, news companies have modified their revenue models, and they continue to do so. More recently, governments in some markets have launched new funds to support journalism, offering cash payments. Additionally, Google and Facebook are increasingly paying for news content.

These emerging funding models raise questions about how commercial media should be supported by the public and platforms. A recent report, commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage, argues that “there is no need for ongoing public funding for commercial news content,” (Loan et al., 2021) and that government funding presents risks around interference with editorial content.

In the past, scholars have investigated business models of journalism based on subscriptions, memberships, and donations, but there is a need to update our understanding of these models and any other emerging models of funding journalism in this decade.

Therefore, we invite scholars to submit theoretical, conceptual, innovative, and empirical scholarship that explores how these developments shape the news media sector and its relationship to democracy. We welcome qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research from across the globe.

The questions we are aiming to address include:

  • Which theoretical frameworks and approaches are essential in investigating contemporary business models of journalism?
  • How effective/sustainable are the emerging revenue models that rely on support from governments and/or platforms?
  • How can we critically evaluate revenue models supported by the government and/or platforms?
  • What kind of empirical evidence can be used to evaluate contemporary revenue models of journalism?
  • What kind of paradoxes rise from the public/platform funding of private media?
  • What are the democratic and societal impacts associated with the governmental and/or platform funding of the media?
  • Are there case studies that exemplify sustainable revenue models of digital journalism?

References

Loan, J., Murray, K., Pauls, R., & Woock, K. (2021). The implications of competition and market trends for media plurality in New Zealand: A report for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Sapere. https://mch.govt.nz/sites/default/files/projects/sapere-report-media-plurality-nz-feb22.pdf


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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 1

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 1

Title:
Democracy and Media Transformations in the 21st Century: Analysing Knowledge and Expertise


Editor(s):
Epp Lauk (University of Tartu / Vytautas Magnus University) and Peter Berglez (Jönköping University)

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

Information:

Research has continuously been trying to map and grasp the enormous changes in the media and communication field of the 21st century. Scholars are also depicting dangerous tendencies of ICT and media development that undermine democracy (disinformation, news avoidance, hate speech, etc.). It is time to ask: Are democratic societies equipped with sufficient knowledge and expertise about these transformations to avoid unexpected backlashes? Is the lack of such knowledge becoming a specific risk factor for democracy?

This thematic issue departs from these questions, moving the issue of the capability of European countries to monitor and analyse media and communication development in the 21st century to the centre of the inquiry. The existing knowledge is voluminous, but even a cursory review reveals that it is dispersed and fragmented (geographically, linguistically, by the scope and volume of covered areas and issues, etc.). This issue seeks meta-analyses of existing studies and databases dealing with media transformations in the 21st century that (may) produce risks to democratic public deliberation.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The scope and quality of existing research on the recent changes in the fields of freedom of expression and information, media usage and related skills and attitudes, and the conditions of sustainability of journalism and the journalistic profession. Which gaps can be identified?
  • Emerging issues that need scholarly attention, and the availability of relevant data.
  • What kinds of data and by whom are being collected about media and journalism? Who owns this data? Are the databases freely available? Is the analysis based on collected data taken into consideration for making media-political decisions?
  • Research organisation and expertise: the level of institutionalisation of research, structural support and financing schemes, and scholars and their qualifications.
  • Risks for deliberative communication and democracy emanating from the 21st century’s media development.
  • International comparison of media monitoring capabilities.

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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 2

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


Editor(s):
Aurora Labio-Bernal (University of Seville), Rainer Rubira García (University King Juan Carlos), and Rasa Poceviciene (Siauliai State University of Applied Sciences)

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 2

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 2

Title:
Policy Branding in Times of (Constant) Crisis in National and International Contexts


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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 3

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 4

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), and Esmeralda Bon (University of Manchester)

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 4

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.

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Volume 12, Issue 4

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:
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 Cogitatio's 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 and institutional members can be found here.