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Call for Papers

Call for Papers

International Conference

Journalism across Borders

The Production and “Produsage” of News in the Era of Transnationalization, Destabilization and Algorithmization

September 26th – 28th, 2018 | Ilmenau, Germany

Joint Conference of the Journalism Studies Division and the International and Intercultural Communication Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)

Hosted by the Institute of Media and Communication Science, Technische Universität Ilmenau, in collaboration with the Media School, Indiana University Bloomington

Conference chairs: Martin LÖFFELHOLZ, Liane ROTHENBERGER, and David H. WEAVER

Chairs, International and Intercultural Communication Division: Carola RICHTER and Indira DUPUIS

Chairs, Journalism Studies Division: Annika SEHL, Klaus MEIER, and Nina SPRINGER

“The media, politicians, social actors, business leaders, and decision makers continue to talk about the information society or the network society or whatever they want to call it, in terms that are those of futurology and uninformed journalism, as if the transformations were still in the future.” (Castells 2005, 6)

Conference theme
Journalism is crossing borders since mass media and nation-states co-emerged in the 17th century. Both news agencies and the professional role of the “foreign correspondent” first appeared in the 19th century contributing to the institutionalization of “foreign news coverage”. Since cross-border journalism stems from the “increasing connectedness, boundarylessness and mobility in the world” (Berglez 2008, 855), the era of the internet has further advanced and expanded the border-transcending production, dissemination and reception of news. Transnational co-operations like the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Eurosport, 3sat, or BBC World News demonstrate different kinds of cross-border journalism.

According to Castells, the “network society diffuses in the entire world, but does not include all people. In fact, in this early 21st century, it excludes most of humankind, although all of humankind is affected by its logic, and by the power relationships that interact in the global networks of social organization.” (Castells 2005, 5) Likewise, we may argue that the global networks of communication, including cross-border journalism, do not reach out to everyone; however, directly or indirectly all news producers and news consumers alike are affected by the opportunities, obstacles and outcomes of transnational journalism.

Against this background, the conference “Journalism across Borders” intends to critically analyze both cross-border news production and “transnational journalism cultures” (Hellmueller 2017) challenged by technological advances, the wide-ranging transformation of traditional media, innovative forms of news production (Jallow 2015) and the ongoing economic globalization despite political instabilities related to the success of parties and politicians claiming to re-nationalize politics and policies. The various forms of social media, for instance, encourage the development of “news networks” (Domingo & Wiard 2016) comprising actors beyond classical newsrooms.

More than a decade ago, scholars from across the globe discussed various aspects of transnational news production at Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany. The conference paved the way for the publication of an overview on the theories, methods, findings, and future of global journalism research (Löffelholz & Weaver 2008). Now, almost ten years after publishing this volume, it is time to follow up on the state of globalization and transnationalization of journalism taking into consideration recent changes and current developments particularly relating to the new digital media environment.

Thus, we are inviting a broad range of papers analyzing cross-border journalism from conceptual as well as empirical angles. Papers can include various perspectives such as the systemic contexts of cross-border journalism, its structures and routines, changes in production processes, or the shifting roles of actors in digital environments. Furthermore, we are encouraging submissions dealing with theoretical and or methodological challenges of cross-border journalism research as well as submissions addressing new trends and developments. Hence, your contribution might answer one or several of the following questions, among others:

1. Conceptualization of cross-border journalism How do we define cross-border / transnational journalism in the early 21st century?
Which dimensions characterize cross-border / transnational journalism regarding the micro-level (e.g. journalistic role, practices, routines), meso-level (e.g. transnational organizations), or macro/systems-level (e.g. influence of culture / ideology)? How does the understanding of cross-border journalism change over the course of time or in different regions / cultures? How does cross-border journalism relate to journalism cultures in nation-states? If cross-border journalism is conceptualized as the collaboration between individuals or organizations from different journalistic cultures, how does this collaboration work, and who collaborates with whom? Which factors stand against such collaborations, e.g. differences regarding professional standards and ethics, role perceptions, etc.?

2. Political, legal, economic, and normative context of cross-border journalism
How do developments in the economic sector influence cross-border journalism? How do political or legal realignments set the frame of reference for advances, or regressions in cross-border journalism? Who sets the (legal) boundaries for journalism across borders? How transnational are the audiences of transnational journalism? Are there interconnections between cross-border journalism and emerging populism, and political as well as social destabilization? Of which value is cross-border journalism, and to whom (audiences, politics, economy, etc.)? Does it come at a cost, such as an information overload or eroding trust in supranational organizations?

3. Organizations, structures and routines of cross-border journalism
What are the limitations and opportunities of cross-border journalism on the organizational level? Which structures and routines do enable or constrain cross-border journalism? How do foreign news coverage, international news agencies, foreign correspondents or international broadcasting change in the digital age? How does cross-border journalism adjust to structures such as online journalism, blogs, SNS?

4. Production, produsage and products of cross-border journalism
How do we define “transnational products” of journalism? How did production processes of cross-border journalism develop in the era of digitalization? How does the “produsage” of news via social media affect transnational journalism? How do cross-border media projects benefit from their transnational audience? What are the quality criteria of cross-border journalism?

5. Actors and networks of cross-border journalism
Who are the (new) actors in cross-border journalism? How do production networks of cross-border journalism change? How do transnational journalists collaborate with each other and in automated production environments? Which qualifications and education do journalists working in transnational environments require? Which social and cultural milieus do influence journalists working in the transnational arena?

6. Trends and future of cross-border journalism
How does cross-border journalism cope with automation and algorithmic journalism? Does computational journalism influence actors’ roles, routines, and structures of cross-border journalism? How do cross-border journalists handle the Internet of Things and Services? What further effects do globalization and digitalization have on cross-border journalism? Does virtual and immersive journalism contribute to an expansion of cross-border journalism? Which role do platforms and search engines play in cross-border journalism, shaping journalistic coverage and the awareness, availability, and reception of this coverage by means of algorithms? How do cross-border journalists deal with social bots and fake news?

7. Methodological and theoretical challenges of cross-border journalism research
How can we incorporate phenomena like social media, algorithmization, and produsage into models of cross-border journalism? What are the methodological challenges, opportunities and pitfalls of transnational journalism research? Which models and contributions to empirical studies and theoretical impulses are initiated by scholars who do not belong to the “Western” spectrum? Do we still have a bias in our scientific community and publishing system that inhibits a De-Westernization and real transnationalization of cross-border journalism research?

Submission of proposals Please upload your proposal for a presentation of 20 minutes (max.) at conference no later than April 15th, 2018. Your proposal should contain 8.000 characters maximum (including spaces, references, tables, figures). The proposal must relate to the conference topic and elaborate on the subject’s relevance and originality. Please add a title page to the abstract containing the name(s) and address(es) of the presenter(s) and the title of the presentation.

By submitting the proposal, you agree to present your paper at the conference. Suggestions for innovative presentation formats such as roundtables or others are welcome. Please contact us as soon as possible if you would like to suggest other presentation formats.

Submissions will go through an anonymous peer-review process taking into account the originality, relevance, distinctiveness, and conciseness of the proposal as well as its theoretical foundation and the adequateness of research methods. The general fit with the conference topic will be considered, too. You will be informed about the acceptance or rejection of your proposal no later than May 30th, 2018.

PhD Workshop
Prior to the conference, we will organize a workshop for PhD candidates on Wednesday, September 26th. The number of participants is limited. Proposals must be forwarded to the organizing committee no later than May 30th, 2018. For further information, please consult the separate call which is also available at the conference homepage.

The conference language will be English. We strongly encourage submissions of non-Western scholars. Travel and accommodation expenses cannot be reimbursed. The conference fee will be calculated as low as possible.

Conference chairs:
Professor Dr. Martin Löffelholz, Dr. Liane Rothenberger, Professor em. David H. Weaver, PhD
Head of Organizing Committee: Dr. Liane Rothenberger
Committee assistance: Ines Birnschein

Technische Universität Ilmenau,
Institut für Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft,
D-98694 Ilmenau, Germany


+49 (0) 3677- 69 4669 (Organization)
+49 (0) 3677- 69 4703 (Conference assistance)
Fax +49 (0) 3677- 69 4645

Berglez, P. (2008). What is Global Journalism? Journalism Studies 9(6), 845-858.

Castells, M. (2005). The Network Society: from Knowledge to Policy. Castells, M. & Cardoso, G. (eds.). The Network Society: From Knowledge to Policy. Washington, DC: Johns Hopkins Center for Transatlantic Relations, 3–22.

Domingo, D. & Wiard, V. (2016). News Networks. Witschge, T., Anderson, C. W., Domingo, D., Hermida, A. (eds.): The SAGE Handbook of Digital Journalism. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage, 397–409.

Hellmueller, L. (2017). Gatekeeping beyond geographical borders: Developing an analytical model of transnational journalism cultures. International Communication Gazette, 79(1), 3–25.

Jallow, A. Y. (2015). The Emerging of Global Journalism and Social Media. Global Media Journal: American Edition, 13(25), 1–10.

Löffelholz, M. & Weaver, D. H. (2008) (eds.). Global journalism research. Theories, methods, findings, future. Malden (USA), Oxford (UK), Victoria (Australia): Blackwell-Wiley.