Program of the 2021 International Journal of Press/Politics Virtual Conference (13-16 September 2021)

I am delighted to share the program of the 2021 conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics. As we did last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the conference will be held virtually. The online videoconferencing system will be able to host up to 300 attendees at any time. The video feed of the proceedings will be recorded and made publicly available shortly after the conference.

To celebrate the conference, we have updated our special collection on Media and Politics in the Global South and in Global Perspective, which now features 46 articles free to download until the 1st of October 2021.

Last updated 9 September 2021.


The conference will be held via a secure Zoom link shared only with participants and attendees.

All times are British Summer Time (BST), or UTC+1 (see Time Zone Converter).

For each paper, participants will have a total of 25 minutes, which includes both the paper presentation and the live discussion. Presentation of each paper will be immediately followed by discussion of the paper.


Registration fees can be paid here. The fees are £30 for presenters and attendees £5. Payment of the registration fees is entirely voluntary for both presenters and attendees.

Those who would like to attend the conference need to sign up here. Those who sign up will receive the conference Zoom link in the morning of 13 September. The link will be shared only with conference presenters and those who signed up to attend. It will not be published anywhere.


Monday 13 September, 12:30-5:45pm  

12:30-12:35pm Welcome and Opening remarks 

Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University), Editor-in-Chief of IJPP

12:35-1:50pm News and the Pandemic
Chair: Alexandra Segerberg (Uppsala University)

The Psychological Empowerment of Solutions Journalism: Perspectives from Pandemic News Users in the UK
Xin Zhao (Bournemouth University), Daniel Jackson (Bournemouth University), An Nguyen (Bournemouth University), Antje Glück (Bournemouth University)

Framing migration during the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa: a 12-month media monitoring project
Thea de Gruchy (University of the Witwatersrand), Thulie Zikhali (University of the Witwatersrand), Jo Vearey (University of the Witwatersrand), Johanna Hanefeld (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

YouTube as a source of information about unproven drugs for Covid-19: The role of the mainstream media and recommendation algorithms in promoting misinformation
Felipe Bonow Soares (UFPEL/UFRGS), Igor Salgueiro (UFPEL), Carolina Bonoto (UFRGS), Otávio Vinhas (University College Dublin)

1:50-3:05pm Media and Politics around the World
Chair: Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich)

The public performance of ANC political demagoguery: The case of Jacob Zuma’s ‘Arms Deal’ court appearances
Lefa Afrika (University of Cape Town)

Populism Influence on Media Content: Polarization and Professionalization in Ecuador before and during Correa’s era
Manel Palos Pons (University of California, San Diego)

Risks of COVID-19 reporting in (semi-)authoritarian states: Perceived pressures on journalists in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
Svetlana S. Bodrunova (St. Petersburg State University), Nikita Argylov, (Far Eastern Federal University), Aliaksandr Hradziushka (Belarusian State University), Galiya Ibrayeva, (Al-Farabi Kazakh National University)

3:05-4:45pm New Perspectives on Misinformation and Disinformation
Chair: C.W. Anderson (University of Leeds, Associate Editor of IJPP)

Misinformation and Trust in Institutions in Four Countries in 2019 and 2021
Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University), Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich)

Social media and political misinformation in the 2021 Mexico elections: Maximal panic, minimal effects
Sebastián Valenzuela (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Marcelo Santos (Universidad Finis Terrae), Carlos Muñiz (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León)

Marking the boundaries between visual and textual disinformation in a digital world: A literature synthesis and research agenda
Teresa Elena Weikmann (University of Vienna), Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna)

Setting the agenda through misinformation: Analyzing the vote-by-mail coverage during the 2020 US elections
Jonas Kaiser (Suffolk University), Carolyn Schmitt (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Kathryn Stapleton (Suffolk University)

4:45-5:45pm Keynote Speech

Follow the Ad: Understanding Election Disinformation in the Digital Age
Young Mie Kim (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Young Mie Kim is a Professor of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Faculty Affiliate of the Department of Political Science. Kim is a 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Kim’s research concerns data-driven, algorithm-based, digitally mediated political communication. Kim’s recent research project, Project DATA (Digital Ad Tracking & Analysis), empirically investigates the sponsors, content, and targets of digital political campaigns across multiple platforms with a user-based, real-time, ad tracking tool that reverse engineers the algorithms of political campaigns. Kim and her team’s research, “The Stealth Media? Groups and Targets behind Divisive Issue Campaigns on Facebook,” identified “suspicious groups,” including Russian groups on Facebook. The work received the Kaid-Sanders Best Article of the Year in Political Communication (2018), awarded by the International Communication Association. Kim testified at the Federal Election Commission‘s hearings on the rulemaking of internet communication disclaimers and presented her research at the Congressional briefings on foreign interference in elections. Kim also spoke at the European Parliament on her research on data-driven political advertising and inequality in political involvement.


Tuesday 14 September, 9:30am-2:30pm

9-30:10:45am Hearing or Ignoring the other side: Causes and Consequences
Chair: Jason Reifler (University of Exeter)

Why read news from the other side? How people’s selection and avoidance of news articles on social media increases polarization
Jakob Boggild (European University Institute)

Selective Exposure and New Political Cleavages: Political Media Use and Ideological Reinforcement Over Time
Adam Shehata (University of Gothenburg), Mats Ekström (University of Gothenburg), Per Oleskog-Tryggvasson (University of Gothenburg)

Curating political animosity? The relation of algorithmic news curation to ideological extremity and social and political intolerance
Linda Bos (University of Amsterdam), Jakob Ohme (University of Amsterdam), Artemis Tsoulos-Malakoudi (University of Amsterdam)

10:45am-12:00pm Debating the Normative Foundations of the News
Chair: Thea de Gruchy (University of the Witwatersrand)

“Fair and balanced”: What news audiences in four countries mean when they say they prefer impartial news
Camila Mont’Alverne (University of Oxford), Sumitra Badrinathan (University of Oxford), Amy Ross Arguedas (University of Oxford), Benjamin Toff (University of Oxford), Richard Fletcher (University of Oxford), Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)

Fake News and Value Pluralism: A Liberal Response to Post-Truth Politics
Nick Anstead (London School of Economics)

“Polite Watchdog”: Kompas and Watchdog Journalism in the Post Authoritarian Indonesia
Wijayanto (Universitas Diponegoro)

12:00-1:15pm Social Media and Politics
Chair: Duncan McCargo (University of Copenhagen)

(In)Civility of Campaign Videos and User Comments in Facebook: Affective Polarization and Mobilization
Taberez Ahmed Neyazi (National University of Singapore), Ozan Kuru (National University of Singapore), Subhayan Mukerjee (National University of Singapore)

The role of Facebook influencers in shaping the narratives of the Rodrigo Duterte era
Renee Karunungan (Loughborough University)

Politicians and journalists – interactive communication in social media?
Kinga Adamczewska (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)

1:15-2:30pm Communicating Covid-19
Chair: David Smith (University of Leicester, Managing Editor of IJPP)

Pandemic Nationalism: How Exposure to Government Social Media Affects People’s Belief in COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories in China
Anfan Chen (University of Science and Technology of China), Yingdan Lu (Stanford University), Kaiping Chen (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Aaron Ng (National University of Singapore)

Understanding the Agenda of Alternative and Online Political Media Post-Corbyn and through the Covid-19 Pandemic
Declan McDowell-Naylor (Cardiff University), Stephen Cushion (Cardiff University), Richard Thomas (Swansea University)

The role of political partisanship for the relationship between trust in the news and trust in the government as sources for coronavirus information: Findings from two cross-sectional online survey studies in six countries
Anne Schulz (University of Zurich), Richard Fletcher (University of Oxford), Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)


Wednesday 15 September, 12:30-5:30pm 

12:30-1:45pm Media Policy between Old and New Challenges
Chair: Joyce Y.M. Nip (University of Sydney)

Content Moderation in the Digital Democracy: What’s the Problem?
Nahema Marchal (University of Zurich), Fabrizio Gilardi (University of Zurich), Emma Hoes (University of Zurich), Jonathan Kluser (University of Zurich), Meysam Alizadeh (University of Zurich), Mael Kubli (University of Zurich)

Funding Democracy: Public Media and Democratic Health in 33 Countries
Timothy Neff (University of Pennsylvania), Victor Pickard (University of Pennsylvania)

Good Journalism or Good Business? The politics of press support and news production in Taiwan
Hsiao-wen Lee (SOAS, University of London)

1:45-3:00pm International Perspectives on Social Media and Political Communication
Chair: Danielle K. Brown (University of Minnesota, incoming Associate Editor of IJPP)

Exploring Digital Campaign Competence: The Role of Voter Knowledge on Data-Driven Election Campaigns
Sophie Minihold (University of Vienna and University of Amsterdam), Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna), Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam), Sanne Kruikemeier (University of Amsterdam)

The gendered use of social media among political candidates in transition contexts: evidence from Tunisia
Malin Holm (Uppsala University), Yasmine Naila Skhiri (Uppsala University), Pär Zetterberg (Uppsala University)

Pandemic Politics: Microtargeting Strategies on Facebook India
Kiran Arabaghatta Basavaraj (University of Exeter), Holli A. Semetko (Emory University), Anup Kumar (Cleveland State University)

3:00-4:15pm Digital Media and Politics: Dynamics and Influences
Chair: Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University)

Incumbency, corruption, and the politics of online content regulation
Kyong Mazzaro (City University of New York)

Trolling with the Punches: How Journalists Navigate Online Harassment
Elizabeth Dubois (University of Ottawa), Chris Tenove (University of British Columbia), Sabrina Wilkinson (University of Ottawa), Trevor Deley (University of Ottawa) 

News We Can Use: Local news and civic engagement in neighbourhood chat groups online
Laszlo Horvath (Birkbeck, University of London), Joshua Blamire (University of Exeter)

4-15-5:30pm Virtual reception


Thursday 16 September, 9:30am-2:30pm 

9:30:10-45am Understanding Patterns of News Consumption, Avoidance, and Sharing
Chair: Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna, Associate Editor of IJPP)

I Do Not (Want to) Know! An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Unintentional and Intentional News Avoidance and Their Predictors
Dominika Betakova (University of Vienna), Hajo Boomgaarden (University of Vienna), Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna), Svenja Schäfer (University of Vienna), Loes Aaldering (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Neither absent nor ambient: A more holistic view of incidental exposure to news in the digital age
Ruth Palmer (IE University), Benjamin Toff (University of Minnesota and University of Oxford)

To convince, to provoke or to entertain? A study on individual motivations behind online misinformation sharing in six Western democracies
Sophie Morosoli (University of Antwerp), Peter Van Aelst (University of Antwerp), Patrick van Erkel (University of Antwerp)

10:45am-12:00pm Contentious Politics and Information Flows
Chair: Taberez Ahmed Neyazi (National University of Singapore)

Now is the time to protest: the eternal sunshine of a spotless polity
Ricardo Fabrino Mendonça (UFMG/INCT.DD), Nina Santos (INCT.DD)

Conventional vs. Contentious: Exploring the relationship between participation in the social movement and voting intention in Hong Kong
Pei Zhi (City University of Hong Kong)

Tale of Two Internets: How Information Flows from the US to Chinese Social Media
Yingdan Lu (Stanford University), Jack Schaefer (University of California Los Angeles), Jungseock Joo (University of California Los Angeles), Kunwoo Park (Soongsil University), Jennifer Pan (Stanford University)

12:00-1:15pm Perspectives on Media Effects
Chair: Laszlo Horvath (Birkbeck, University of London)

The Other 98%: Exposure to and Effects of Political Content Beyond News: Evidence from browsing data in three countries
Magdalena Wojcieszak (University of California Davis and University of Amsterdam), Sjifra de Leeuw (University of Amsterdam), Bernhard Clemm (University of Amsterdam), Ericka Menchen-Trevino (American University)

Does corruption corrupt? The behavioral effects of mediated exposure to corruption
Israel Waismel-Manor (University of Haifa), Patricia Moy (University of Washington), Rico Neumann (University of Washington), Moran Shechnick (University of Haifa)

Does Identity Matter? Ethnicity, Religion and Effects of Negative Campaigning on the Perception of Candidates
Kelechi Amakoh (University of Amsterdam)

1-15:2:30pm Digital Innovation in News: Challenges and Strategies
Chair: Declan McDowell-Naylor (Cardiff University)

The creation of algorithmic publics in authoritarian regimes: Explaining digital innovation uptake in Russian news media
Olga Dovbysh (University of Helsinki), Mariëlle Wijermars (Maastricht University and University of Helsinki)

Does political position matter? Affective engagement strategies of news providers on Facebook in post-handover Hong Kong
Joyce Y.M. Nip (University of Sydney), Benoit Berthelier (University of Sydney)

Uneasy Bedfellows: AI in the News, Platform Companies and the Issue of Journalistic Autonomy 
Felix M. Simon (University of Oxford and Columbia University)

2:30-2:45pm Conclusions and farewell 

Cristian Vaccari Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of IJPP

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