Videos of the 2020 International Journal of Press/Politics Virtual Conference

On September 21-24, 2020, I organized the 2020 conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics. For the first time, the conference was held virtually. I am now pleased to share videos of the proceedings. This page will be updated periodically as new videos become available. A playlist with all the videos is also available.

Monday 21 September

Opening remarks
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Press-Politics)

Honoring the winner of the IJPP 2020 Best Book Award

Thomas Hanitzsch (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich), Folker Hanusch (University of Vienna), Jyotika Ramaprasad (University of Miami), and Arnold S. de Beer (Stellenbosch University), authors of Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures Around the Globe

News coverage of public affairs

Reporting the digital election campaign: Digital Platforms Companies and their Democratic Responsibilities
Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield)

Narratives of Terrorism: a study of terrorism reporting by CNN and Al-Arabiya in their English and Arabic websites
Waad Arif (University of Leeds)

Uneven Parts, An Even Whole? Political Parties’ Access to Radio and Television in Contemporary Poland (2015-2019)
Radosław Sojak, Andrzej Meler, and Beata Królicka (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

Structure and dynamics of contemporary news ecosystems

The anatomy of European political information environments
Laia Castro (University of Zurich), Toril Aalberg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Ana Sofia Cardenal (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Nicoleta Corbu (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration), Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam), Frank Esser (University of Zurich), David Nicolas Hopmann (University of Southern Denmark), Karolina Koc-Michalska (Audencia Business School), Jörg Matthes (University of Vienna), Christian Schemer (Johannes Gutenberg University), Tamir Sheafer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Sergio Splendore (Università degli Studi di Milano), James Stanyer (Loughborough University), Agnieszka Stępińska (Adam Mickiewicz University), Jesper Strömbäck (University of Gothenburg), Václav Štětka (Loughborough University), Yannis Theocharis (University of Bremen), Peter Van Aelst (University of Antwerp)

The logic of media-government conflict: Finding equilibrium in news, press freedom and public trust
Francisco Brandão (University of Brasilia and Chamber of Deputies of Brazil)

Imitating the news: Political communication, parasitic news formats and the decline of journalistic authority
Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm (Stockholm University)

Digital media and political engagement

Social media use and collective action: Detailing the mediating role of injustice in the social identity model of collective action in China’s coronavirus pandemic mitigation
Xin Zhao (Bournemouth University), Mengfei Guan (University of Arkansas), Xinya Liang (University of Arkansas)

“Yes I can” in the digital era? A meta-analysis of political efficacy, online participation and offline participation
Jennifer Oser (Ben-Gurion University), Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University), Amit Levinson (Ben-Gurion University)

Platform matters: political expression on social media
Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés), Pablo J. Boczkowski (Northwestern University), Camila Giuliano (Universidad de San Andrés)

Tuesday 22 September

Media, voice, and inequality
Chair: Kari Steen-Johnsen (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

Women’s perceptions of female politicians in the UAE: An intersectional approach
Leysan Khakimova Storie (Lund University), Sarah Marschlich (University of Fribourg)

Is mediactivism a kind of poor journalism?
Ana Cristina Suzina (Loughborough University London)

Humbug and outrage: The perils of invoking the memory of Jo Cox MP and what it reveals about the emotional political atmosphere of the UK Parliament
Katy Parry, Beth Johnson (University of Leeds)

Political disinformation: Dynamics and remedies
Chair: David Smith (University of Leicester, Managing Editor of IJPP)

‘Online strategic lying’ and ‘permission to lie’: The case of Brexit and the 2019 UK election
Ivor Gaber (University of Sussex), Caroline Fisher (University of Canberra)

Losing Friends Over Politics: Understanding Social Sanctions on Facebook in the US and in Brazil
Patricia Rossini (University of Liverpool), Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse University), Erica Anita Baptista (Federal University of Minas Gerais), Vanessa Veiga de Oliveira (Federal University of Minas Gerais)

Resilience to Disinformation: A Comparative Analysis of Engagement with Disinformation on Social Media
Anna Staender (University of Zurich), Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich), Sophie Morosoli (University of Antwerp), Frank Esser (University of Zurich), Peter Van Aelst (University of Antwerp)

Politics in unusual places: Fragmentation and reconfiguration of politics in contemporary media
Chair: Sabina Mihelj (Loughborough University)

A Silent Arm: A Study of the Path and Forms of Online Political Participation of Chinese Fan Groups
Yu Ruikai, Jiang Longqing, Shi Qi, Guo Jinqi, Cao Ruiling (Communication University of China)

Endangering the Common Core? Personalized Information and the Fragmentation of the Public Agenda
Melanie Magin (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Stefan Geiß (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Birgit Stark (Johannes Gutenberg University), Pascal Jürgens (Johannes Gutenberg University)

Avenues to News and Diverse News Exposure Online: Comparing Direct Navigation, Social Media, News Aggregators, Search Queries, and Article Hyperlinks
Magdalena Wojcieszak (University of California at Davis), Ericka Menchen-Trevino (American University), Brian Weeks (University of Michigan)

Political fragmentation in the online domain: Evidence from a structural topic modelling approach in France, Germany, and the UK
Raphael Heiberger (University of Bremen), Silvia Majó-Vázquez (University of Oxford), Laia Castro (University of Zurich), Rasmus K. Nielsen (University of Oxford), Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

Wednesday 23 September

Media and the many facets of the State
Chair: Chris Anderson (University of Leeds, Associate Editor of IJPP)

Censorship Circumvention Tool Use in Iran: An Individual-Level Analysis
Aysenur Dal (Bilkent University, Turkey), Erik Nisbet (Northwestern University)

From Jacob Zuma to Cyril Ramaphosa: Changing media/state relationship in South Africa, 2019 – 2020
Khanyile Mlotshwa (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Media pluralism and democratic consolidation: a recipe for success?
Fatima el Issawi (University of Essex/London School of Economics)

Alternative news in the Russian public diplomacy strategy
Aleksandra Raspopina (City University of London)

The spread and correction of political disinformation
Chair: Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University)

Do issue attitudes drive the spread of disinformation? An experimental study on the interaction with disinformation on social media
Sophie Morosoli (University of Antwerp), Peter Van Aeslt (University of Antwerp), Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich), Anna Staender (University of Zurich), Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

Countering disinformation by fact-checking journalism: An analysis of news output and editorial judgements during the 2019 UK general election campaign
Nikki Soo, Marina Morani, Maria Kyriakidou, Stephen Cushion (Cardiff University)

Exposure to low-quality news on WhatsApp: A study of six countries
Simge Andı, Richard Fletcher (University of Oxford)

Determinants and effects of media exposure
Chair: Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University)

Populist and pessimistic? The role of populist attitudes in election projections
Naama Weiss-Yaniv (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Tali Aharoni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Sina Blassnig (University of Zürich), Christian Baden (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

News Literacy and the Use of Social Media for News in 5 Countries
Anne Schulz, Richard Fletcher, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)

Embedding, quoting, or paraphrasing? Investigating the effects of political leaders’ tweets in online news articles: The case of Donald Trump
Delia Dumitrescu (University of East Anglia), Andrew R.N. Ross (Loughborough University)

The Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Attitudes and Emotions toward Refugees
Yossi David (Johannes Gutenberg University)

Thursday 24 September

Roundtable: The challenges of publishing research from and about the Global South and what we can do about it
Chair: Janet Steele (George Washington University)

Participants: Tanja Bosch (University of Cape Town), Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés), Taberez Neyazi (National University of Singapore), Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University), Gayathry Venkiteswaran (University of Nottingham Malaysia), Silvio Waisbord (George Washington University)

Moderator: Ana Langer (University of Glasgow)

Insult, Scandals, and Attacks: Exploring the dark side of political communication
Chair: Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield)

Politics of Insults: A Threat to Constitutional Democracy in Ghana
Mohammed Marzuq Abubakari (University of Applied Management)

Holding the Fallible to Account: A Comparison of Media Scandal Coverage in the US and UK
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University), Paul D’Angelo (The College of New Jersey)

Self-Defense or Self-Censorship? How Journalists Respond to Populist Attacks on the Media
Ayala Panievsky (University of Cambridge)

Media and the fabric of democracy
Chair: Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna, Associate Editor of IJPP)

Democratization and Civic Communication: Examining the Communication Mediation Model Under Various Trajectories of Democratization
Porismita Borah (Washington State University), Matthew Barnidge (The University of Alabama), Hernando Rojas (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Understanding the ‘Logic of the Public’ in Contemporary Political Affairs Coverage
Sina Blassnig, Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

How social media use promotes political cynicism
Ariel Hasell, Brian Weeks (University of Michigan)

Concluding remarks
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Press-Politics)

A Note of Gratitude and Hope after #ijpp20

Hosting the first virtual edition of the annual conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics has been a great challenge that yielded even greater rewards. Like many other organizations, we strove to adapt to the very difficult circumstances that COVID-19 imposed on everyone’s personal and professional lives. We first changed the conference dates from June to September 2020, in hopes that the situation would improve by then, but when it became clear that this was not going to be the case, we decided to hold #ijpp20 as an online, synchronous conference.

As a result, the sixth edition of the journal’s conference was way more inclusive than in the past. It brought together nearly 600 people, coming from 75 different countries, many of whom may not have been able to travel to the United Kingdom to participate in a physical event. Thanks to generous voluntary contributions from more than 80 participants, we raised nearly £1,000, which meant we could make the conference free for everyone, as well as creating a small surplus that will enable us to offer fee waivers to scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds next year.

In 2019, when we hosted our last face-to-face conference in Loughborough, we had a total of 64 participants. During this year’s virtual conference, there was hardly any moment when we had fewer than 80 people connected live at the same time. The number of participants who logged on for at least a few minutes was 254 on the first day, 208 on the second, 203 on the third, and 174 on the fourth and final day. Moreover, video recordings of the whole conference will soon be available on YouTube, so that we can engage an even broader community and for a longer period of time.

I am very grateful for, and awed by, the interest our conference has attracted from all corners of the world. For a journal whose title starts with the word “International”, and whose mission is to expand our understanding of the relationships between media and politics in a global perspective, the impressive breadth of this community is definitely a step forward, and one that we will try to build on in future editions of the conference.

To start putting some flesh on the bones of this commitment to global inclusion, the conference featured a roundtable on what we can do to increase the international visibility of research on media and politics from the “Global South” (a term that has its own problems, to be sure, as we discussed during the panel). Organized by Ana Langer (University of Glasgow) and chaired by Janet Steele (University of Washington), the roundtable included Tanja Bosch (University of Cape Town), Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés), Taberez Neyazi (National University of Singapore), Gayathry Venkiteswaran (University of Nottingham Malaysia), Silvio Waisbord (George Washington University), and myself.

To get the conversation started, I presented some data on the geographic distribution of the research and scholars IJPP has published over the nearly 25 years of its existence. You can download my presentation here. And here is the full video of the roundtable, where panelists and attendees offered many compelling insights on the causes and possible solutions to the structural inequalities that still make our knowledge of media and politics too partial and limited, especially at a time when the institutions and normative assumptions of liberal democracy are weakening even in the “Global North”.

Right before the conference, we also launched an edited collection titled “Media and Politics in the Global South and in Global Perspective, which includes 29 excellent articles published in the journal over the past few years, free to download until 31 October 2020. Very many thanks to SAGE Publications for supporting this and other initiatives that help make our research more accessible.

I am very grateful to everyone who has contributed to making this virtual conference a success: presenters, chairs, participants, and supporters. I am also grateful to my predecessor as Editor-in-Chief of IJPP, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, for creating this conference and making it a unique space for lively discussions on media and politics in a global world. And I am hopeful that the next time we meet again, in September 2021, we will all be healthy, safe, and sane, and we will have gone through and overcome the many challenges that await us in the next months. Take care everyone!

Program of the 2020 International Journal of Press/Politics Virtual Conference (21-24 September 2020)

I am delighted to share the program of the 2020 conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics. For the first time, the conference will be held virtually. The online videoconferencing system will be able to host up to 500 attendees at any time. The video feed of the proceedings will be recorded and made publicly available shortly after the conference.

Last updated 14 September 2020.

Logistics
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 paper presentation and live discussion. Presentation of each paper will be immediately followed by discussion of the paper.
Each day will end with a networking meeting, participation in which is entirely voluntary.

Registration
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 21 September. The link will be shared only with conference presenters and those who signed up to attend. It will not be published anywhere. Registration fees can be paid here. The fees are £25 for presenters and £5 for attendees. Payment of the registration fees is entirely voluntary for both presenters and attendees.

*****

Monday 21 September, 1pm-6pm

1:00-1:05pm Opening remarks
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Press-Politics)

1:05-1:30pm Honoring the winner of the IJPP 2020 Best Book Award
Chair: Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

Thomas Hanitzsch (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich), Folker Hanusch (University of Vienna), Jyotika Ramaprasad (University of Miami), and Arnold S. de Beer (Stellenbosch University), authors of Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures Around the Globe

1:30-2:45pm News coverage of public affairs
Chair: Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

Reporting the digital election campaign: Digital Platforms Companies and their Democratic Responsibilities
Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield)

Narratives of Terrorism: a study of terrorism reporting by CNN and Al-Arabiya in their English and Arabic websites
Waad Arif (University of Leeds)

Uneven Parts, An Even Whole? Political Parties’ Access to Radio and Television in Contemporary Poland (2015-2019)
Radosław Sojak, Andrzej Meler, and Beata Królicka (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

2:45-4:00pm Structure and dynamics of contemporary news ecosystems
Chair: Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon (University of Pennsylvania, Associate Editor of IJPP)

The anatomy of European political information environments
Laia Castro (University of Zurich), Toril Aalberg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Ana Sofia Cardenal (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Nicoleta Corbu (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration), Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam), Frank Esser (University of Zurich), David Nicolas Hopmann (University of Southern Denmark), Karolina Koc-Michalska (Audencia Business School), Jörg Matthes (University of Vienna), Christian Schemer (Johannes Gutenberg University), Tamir Sheafer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Sergio Splendore (Università degli Studi di Milano), James Stanyer (Loughborough University), Agnieszka Stępińska (Adam Mickiewicz University), Jesper Strömbäck (University of Gothenburg), Václav Štětka (Loughborough University), Yannis Theocharis (University of Bremen), Peter Van Aelst (University of Antwerp)

The logic of media-government conflict: Finding equilibrium in news, press freedom and public trust
Francisco Brandão (University of Brasilia and Chamber of Deputies of Brazil)

Imitating the news: Political communication, parasitic news formats and the decline of journalistic authority
Mattias Ekman, Andreas Widholm (Stockholm University)

4:00-5:15pm Digital media and political engagement
Chair: Yannis Theocharis (University of Bremen, book reviews editor of IJPP)

Social media use and collective action: Detailing the mediating role of injustice in the social identity model of collective action in China’s coronavirus pandemic mitigation
Xin Zhao (Bournemouth University), Mengfei Guan (University of Arkansas), Xinya Liang (University of Arkansas)

“Yes I can” in the digital era? A meta-analysis of political efficacy, online participation and offline participation
Jennifer Oser (Ben-Gurion University), Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University), Amit Levinson (Ben-Gurion University)

Platform matters: political expression on social media
Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés), Pablo J. Boczkowski (Northwestern University), Camila Giuliano (Universidad de San Andrés)

5:15-6:00pm Networking Meeting

*****

Tuesday 22 September, 9am-2pm

9:00-10:15am Media, voice, and inequality
Chair: Kari Steen-Johnsen (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)

Women’s perceptions of female politicians in the UAE: An intersectional approach
Leysan Khakimova Storie (Lund University), Sarah Marschlich (University of Fribourg)

Is mediactivism a kind of poor journalism?
Ana Cristina Suzina (Loughborough University London)

Humbug and outrage: The perils of invoking the memory of Jo Cox MP and what it reveals about the emotional political atmosphere of the UK Parliament
Katy Parry, Beth Johnson (University of Leeds)

10:15–11:30am Political disinformation: Dynamics and remedies
Chair: David Smith (University of Leicester, Managing Editor of IJPP)

‘Online strategic lying’ and ‘permission to lie’: The case of Brexit and the 2019 UK election
Ivor Gaber (University of Sussex), Caroline Fisher (University of Canberra)

Losing Friends Over Politics: Understanding Social Sanctions on Facebook and WhatsApp in the US and in Brazil
Patricia Rossini (University of Liverpool), Jennifer Stromer-Galley (Syracuse University), Erica Anita Baptista (Federal University of Minas Gerais), Vanessa Veiga de Oliveira (Federal University of Minas Gerais)

Resilience to Disinformation: A Comparative Analysis of Engagement with Disinformation on Social Media
Anna Staender (University of Zurich), Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich), Sophie Morosoli (University of Antwerp), Frank Esser (University of Zurich), Peter Van Aelst (University of Antwerp)

11:30-1:10pm Politics in unusual places: Fragmentation and reconfiguration of politics in contemporary media
Chair: Sabina Mihelj (Loughborough University)

A Silent Arm: A Study of the Path and Forms of Online Political Participation of Chinese Fan Groups
Yu Ruikai, Jiang Longqing, Shi Qi, Guo Jinqi, Cao Ruiling (Communication University of China)

Endangering the Common Core? Personalized Information and the Fragmentation of the Public Agenda
Melanie Magin (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Stefan Geiß (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Birgit Stark (Johannes Gutenberg University), Pascal Jürgens (Johannes Gutenberg University)

Avenues to News and Diverse News Exposure Online: Comparing Direct Navigation, Social Media, News Aggregators, Search Queries, and Article Hyperlinks
Magdalena Wojcieszak (University of California at Davis), Ericka Menchen-Trevino (American University), Brian Weeks (University of Michigan)

Political fragmentation in the online domain: Evidence from a structural topic modelling approach in France, Germany, and the UK
Raphael Heiberger (University of Bremen), Silvia Majó-Vázquez (University of Oxford), Laia Castro (University of Zurich), Rasmus K. Nielsen (University of Oxford), Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

1:10-2pm Networking Meeting

*****

Wednesday 23 September, 9am-2pm

9:00-10:40am Media and the many facets of the State
Chair: Chris Anderson (University of Leeds, Associate Editor of IJPP)

Censorship Circumvention Tool Use in Iran: An Individual-Level Analysis
Aysenur Dal (Bilkent University, Turkey), Erik Nisbet (Northwestern University)

From Jacob Zuma to Cyril Ramaphosa: Changing media/state relationship in South Africa, 2019 – 2020
Khanyile Mlotshwa (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Media pluralism and democratic consolidation: a recipe for success?
Fatima el Issawi (University of Essex/London School of Economics)

Alternative news in the Russian public diplomacy strategy
Aleksandra Raspopina (City University of London)

10:40-11:55am The spread and correction of political disinformation
Chair: Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University)

Do issue attitudes drive the spread of disinformation? An experimental study on the interaction with disinformation on social media
Sophie Morosoli (University of Antwerp), Peter Van Aeslt (University of Antwerp), Edda Humprecht (University of Zurich), Anna Staender (University of Zurich), Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

Countering disinformation by fact-checking journalism: An analysis of news output and editorial judgements during the 2019 UK general election campaign
Nikki Soo, Marina Morani, Maria Kyriakidou, Stephen Cushion (Cardiff University)

Exposure to low-quality news on WhatsApp: A study of six countries
Simge Andı, Richard Fletcher (University of Oxford)

11:55am-1:35pm Determinants and effects of media exposure
Chair: Shelley Boulianne (MacEwan University)

Populist and pessimistic? The role of populist attitudes in election projections
Naama Weiss-Yaniv (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Tali Aharoni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Sina Blassnig (University of Zürich), Christian Baden (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

News Literacy and the Use of Social Media for News in 5 Countries
Anne Schulz, Richard Fletcher, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)

Embedding, quoting, or paraphrasing? Investigating the effects of political leaders’ tweets in online news articles: The case of Donald Trump
Delia Dumitrescu (University of East Anglia), Andrew R.N. Ross (Loughborough University)

The Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Attitudes and Emotions toward Refugees
Yossi David (Johannes Gutenberg University)

1:35-2:00pm Networking Meeting

*****

Thursday 24 September, 1pm-6pm

1:00-2-30pm Roundtable: The challenges of publishing research from and about the Global South and what we can do about it
Chair: Janet Steele (George Washington University)

Participants: Tanja Bosch (University of Cape Town), Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés), Taberez Neyazi (National University of Singapore), Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University), Gayathry Venkiteswaran (University of Nottingham Malaysia), Silvio Waisbord (George Washington University)

Moderator: Ana Langer (University of Glasgow)

2:30-3:45pm Insult, Scandals, and Attacks: Exploring the dark side of political communication
Chair: Kate Dommett (University of Sheffield)

Politics of Insults: A Threat to Constitutional Democracy in Ghana
Mohammed Marzuq Abubakari (University of Applied Management)

Holding the Fallible to Account: A Comparison of Media Scandal Coverage in the US and UK
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University), Paul D’Angelo (The College of New Jersey)

Self-Defense or Self-Censorship? How Journalists Respond to Populist Attacks on the Media
Ayala Panievsky (University of Cambridge)

3:45-5:00pm Media and the fabric of democracy
Chair: Sophie Lecheler (University of Vienna, Associate Editor of IJPP)

Democratization and Civic Communication: Examining the Communication Mediation Model Under Various Trajectories of Democratization
Porismita Borah (Washington State University), Matthew Barnidge (The University of Alabama), Hernando Rojas (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Understanding the ‘Logic of the Public’ in Contemporary Political Affairs Coverage
Sina Blassnig, Frank Esser (University of Zurich)

How social media use promotes political cynicism
Ariel Hasell, Brian Weeks (University of Michigan)

5:00pm Conclusions and farewell
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Press-Politics)

5:15-6:00pm Networking Meeting

*****

New Special Issue of IJPP: “Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”

Issue 3-2020 of The International Journal of Press/Politics is now out in print and it is a special issue on “Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies”, which I guest-edited with Mike Miller from the Social Science Research Council.

This has been a long and enlightening journey, starting from a call for papers for a research workshop held at the SSRC in New York in June 2019, continuing with a second call for papers for journal manuscripts open to both workshop participants and other authors, and then through to various rounds of peer review and refinements to what was already a very strong pool of articles. The special issue includes eight research articles covering 23 countries in 4 different continents.

In our Introduction, Mike Miller and I chronicle the different ways in which scholars have thought and researched the role of the internet in democratic promotion, consolidation, and governance and reflect upon some of the challenges for future research in this area. We also introduce the contribution to the special issue as follows:

“The eight contributions collected in this Special Issue advance our understanding of some potential sources of digital threats to democracy, of how citizens are affected by and may contribute to these threats, and of some possible solutions to these problems. These studies combine a variety of disciplinary perspectives—political science, media and communication, and sociology—and employ a variety of methods—computational analysis, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, analysis of secondary data, and policy analysis—often combining multiple approaches and comparing different countries. The articles cover twenty-three countries in four different continents, including established Western democracies (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States), a younger, and arguably backsliding, Eastern European democracy (Poland), an East Asian democracy (Taiwan), and two authoritarian regimes (Myanmar and Russia).”

The table of contents of the special issue is below. All articles will be accessible for free until the end of September 2020.

Introduction
Digital Threats to Democracy: Comparative Lessons and Possible Remedies
Michael L. Miller and Cristian Vaccari

Articles
Cross-Platform State Propaganda: Russian Trolls on Twitter and YouTube during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Yevgeniy Golovchenko, Cody Buntain, Gregory Eady, Megan A. Brown, and Joshua A. Tucker

Relatively Democratic: How Perceived Internet Interference Shapes Attitudes about Democracy
Elizabeth Stoycheff

Poison If You Don’t Know How to Use It: Facebook, Democracy, and Human Rights in Myanmar
Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, Mona S. Kleinberg, Ardeth Thawnghmung, and Myat The Thitsar

Populist Attitudes and Selective Exposure to Online News: A Cross-Country Analysis Combining Web Tracking and Surveys
Sebastian Stier, Nora Kirkizh, Caterina Froio, and Ralph Schroeder

Public Beliefs about Falsehoods in News
Karolina Koc-Michalska, Bruce Bimber, Daniel Gomez, Matthew Jenkins, and Shelley Boulianne

How Politics Shape Views Toward Fact-Checking: Evidence from Six European Countries
Ben Lyons, Vittorio Mérola, Jason Reifler, and Florian Stoeckel

Resilience to Online Disinformation: A Framework for Cross-National Comparative Research
Edda Humprecht, Frank Esser, and Peter Van Aelst

Protecting Democracy from Disinformation: Normative Threats and Policy Responses
Chris Tenove

Book Reviews
Book Review: The Revolution That Wasn’t: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives
David Karpf

Book Review: Automating the News: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Media
Cornelius Puschmann

Book Review: Social Evolution, Political Psychology, and the Media in Democracy: The Invisible Hand in the U.S. Marketplace of Ideas
Sharon Coen

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of The International Journal of Press/Politics: “Youth, News, and Democratic Engagement” (workshop deadline: 1/9/2020 – manuscript deadline: 1/2/2021)

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of The International Journal of Press/Politics

”Youth, News, and Democratic Engagement”

Guest editors:
Kim Andersen, University of Southern Denmark and University of Gothenburg
Jakob Ohme, University of Amsterdam
Erik Albæk, University of Southern Denmark
Claes H. de Vreese, University of Amsterdam

Also available on the journal website.

Citizens’ political engagement is essential for the well-functioning of democracies. From boycotting products and signing petitions to discussing politics, attending demonstrations, and voting, citizens’ political engagement shapes our societies. In order for such engagement to take place, people need information that can mobilize them. For a long time, the news media was the key source in this regard. As a natural consequence exposure to news and political information in the media is a well-known forerunner for democratic engagement.

The relationship between news exposure and democratic engagement is constantly evolving, however. In today’s hybrid media system, people get information about politics and society from various sources and on many different platforms. In the contemporary media environment an endless list of information sources, including legacy news outlets, alternative news sites, politicians, and interest organizations, are therefore competing for people’s attention. Exposure to political information can take place on traditional platforms, like television or newspapers, or on new digital platforms, such as social media sites or other private online platforms. Not all information is equally reliable, and mis- and disinformation is part of the information ecosystem. At the same time, new forms of political participation are also emerging, especially online where people, for example, can discuss politics or contact politicians without much investment.

When examining the consequences of such changes it is relevant to focus on young people. Young people grow up with and get socialized into a political world full of new information and engagement possibilities. As such, young people are to an increasing extent turning their backs to traditional legacy news outlets and getting political information on social media sites. At the same time, they are engaging in new forms of political participation. Young people can thus be seen as first movers—both when it comes to news ways of getting political information and new ways of engaging in politics.

In parallel, broader societal tendencies make young people especially interesting to study in this regard. Across Western societies, as seen with examples like the election of President Trump, Brexit, and the battle against climate change, the combination of changing demography and differential levels of political participation across age groups mean that younger generations are experiencing that older generations are deciding their future. Often these decisions are characterized by increasing support for authoritarian populists and redistributive policies that massively disadvantage the youth.

The developments described above call for new research examining young people’s exposure to news and their democratic engagement. Despite the high relevance of this relationship in contemporary societies, we know relatively little of how changes in the media and political environments are affecting the relationship between news exposure and democratic engagement for young people. How do young people engage with news and politics, and is their democratic engagement able to generate the change they hope for and in which way?

Against this backdrop, this special issue invites original research that fits the theme “Youth, News, and Democratic Engagement”. The invitation is open for any methodological tradition, seeks international contributions from across the globe, and is especially welcoming comparative work drawing attention to how contextual differences influence the relationships under consideration.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Comparative differences and similaritires in young people’s news consumption patterns across the world
  • What kind of political information are young people engaging with and with what democratic consequences?
  • Young people’s news avoidance and news snacking
  • Young people’s exposure to news on social media sites and its consequences for political knowledge and participation
  • Political socialization in a new and hybrid media environment
  • How does young people’s (digital) media literacy enable them to engage with news in today’s media environment with varying quality of political information?
  • Young people’s political discussions in networked (online) settings
  • How young people’s democratic engagement is affecting and affected by the norms of political discussion (civility, trolling, etc) and the quality of news?
  • Whether and how generational conflict between younger and older citizens is articulated on digital media
  • Novel news products and their relation with young people’s democratic engagement

Submission Information

Manuscript submissions for this special issue are due on 1 February 2021.

Please submit your work through our online submission portal (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijpp) and ensure that the first line of the cover letter states: “Manuscript to be considered for the special issue on Youth, News, and Democratic Engagement”. Manuscripts should follow the IJPP submission guidelines (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journal/international-journal-presspolitics#submission-guidelines). Submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review process and must not have been published, accepted for publication, or under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Please note that, to ensure consistency, submissions will only be considered for peer review after the 1 February 2021 deadline has passed. 

Authors interested in submitting their work are encouraged to contact Kim Andersen (kand@journalism.sdu.dk) with questions.

Timeline and Workshop information

As part of the process towards this special issue, we will hold an online international workshop with the possibility to opt-in for physical attendance at the University of Southern Denmark, the current situation permitting. The workshop will be held 19-20 November 2020 and will be a venue for feedback and discussion prior to formal paper submissions. The workshop is fully funded. We will reserve funding to work with scholars whose first language is not English.

  • Abstract submission for workshop: 1 September 2020 – send an abstract of maximum 500 words by email to Kim Andersen (kand@journalism.sdu.dk)
  • Notification of workshop acceptance: 8 September 2020
  • Workshop (with draft papers): 19-20 November 2020
  • Submission of full papers to IJPP Special Issue: 1 February 2021 (also open to papers not presented at the workshop)
  • Revisions and resubmission: August 2021
  • Online publication: January 2022
  • Print publication: April 2022 (issue 2-2022)

APSA Information Technology and Politics Section Statement of Support and Action Plan on Racial Justice and Equality

The Executive Board of the Information Technology and Politics section of the American Political Science Association, which I am honored to chair this year, has released a statement of support and action plan on racial justice and equality in response to, and as a contribution to addressing, the ongoing debate on racial injustice in the United States and around the world.

This statement was a genuine team effort for which the whole executive board deserves credit. While we have a long way to go, as a section and a discipline, to ensure we begin to diminish the presence and effects of systemic racism, we also have a clear shared purpose that this statement enshrines and commits us to implement, and be held accountable for.

You can read the full statement here.

Videos of the ICA Virtual Preconference “Visual Politics: Image Production, Perception, and Influence” (20 May 2020)

ica_full_wordmarkI am pleased to share the video recordings of the whole ICA preconference “Visual Politics: Image Production, Perception, and Influence”, that I co-organized with Professor Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University) on the 20th of May.

Session 1.1

Introduction
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University) and Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

Lo-fi Politics: Images of the Leader, Tactical Movements and Counter-Participative Cultures (Sardine versus Salvini)
Nello Barile (IULM University, Milan)

French Contemporary Populism: The Building of a Specific Aesthetic and Mode of Representation? An Analysis of Campaign Posters
Morgane Belhadi (Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University)

Trump’s transgressive debate style and the televised performance of populism
Dhavan Shah (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Keynote Address — Visual Politics: Potentials and Challenges for Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Roland Bleiker (University of Queensland)

Session 1.2

Visual Misinformation in Comparative Perspective
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

‘I Spy with My Eye’: Influences of Camera Shots and Voters’ Party Affiliation on Candidate Evaluation in Televised Debates
Isabella Glogger (Technical University of Dortmund)

Factors Influencing the Journalistic Circulation of Traumatic Images: The Case of Alan Kurdi
Maria Kamal (University of Melbourne)

Session 2.1

@Everydayclimatechange and Three US Daily Newspapers: Comparing the Visual Representation of Climate Change
Alison Stieven-Taylor (Monash University, Melbourne)

The Strategic Visual Communication of Protests: Citizen Diplomacy? The Romanian Protests from 2017
Alina Dolea (Bournemouth University)

Kek’s Memes War on Instagram
Ahmed Al-Rawi (Simon Fraser University)

The Dictator’s ‘Screenplay’: Photographs of the Leader and Political Legitimation in East Asia’s Communist Regimes
Olli Hellman (University of Waikato)

Session 2.2

Visual framing of coronavirus coverage: The frame construction process
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University)

Memetic Protest: The Visual Political Aesthetics of Death, Injustice and Resistance in Digital Activist Cultures
Kelly Lewis (Queensland University of Technology)

Comparing Two Unsupervised Approaches of Clustering Political Visuals
Yilang Peng (University of Georgia)

The Visual Strategy of National Identity Appeal in Election Campaign Videos: Taiwan’s 2020 Experience (via YouTube)
Chung Jung-Chun (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Concluding Remarks
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University) and Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

Program of the ICA Virtual Preconference “Visual Politics: Image Production, Perception, and Influence” (20 May 2020)

ica_full_wordmarkI am pleased to share the program of the ICA preconference “Visual Politics: Image Production, Perception, and Influence”, that I am co-organizing with Professor Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University). The event will take place on the 20th of May on Zoom and will be divided into two sessions to ensure that all presenters can attend. It will feature fourteen talks by scholars from four different continents and a keynote speech by Roland Bleiker, director of a cross-disciplinary program on visual politics at the University of Queensland and editor of the book Visual Global Politics (Routledge 2018).

The preconference is open to anyone who is interested. Please register on https://bit.ly/ICAVisual to receive a secure link.

Visual Politics: Image Production, Perception, and Influence – #icavisualpolitics
ICA Preconference Schedule

20 May 2020

Morning session

Note: All times are GMT time (UK time). Times for the talks are inclusive of Q&A.

8:00am Introduction
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University) and Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

Chair: Cristian Vaccari

8:10am Lo-fi Politics: Images of the Leader, Tactical Movements and Counter-Participative Cultures (Sardine versus Salvini)
Nello Barile (IULM University, Milan)

8:30am French Contemporary Populism: The Building of a Specific Aesthetic and Mode of Representation? An Analysis of Campaign Posters
Morgane Belhadi (Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University)

8:50am Trump’s transgressive debate style and the televised performance of populism
Dhavan Shah (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

9:10am Keynote Address — Visual Politics: Potentials and Challenges for Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Roland Bleiker (University of Queensland)

9:50am BREAK

Chair: Erik Bucy

10:00am Visual Misinformation in Comparative Perspective
Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

10:20am ‘I Spy with My Eye’: Influences of Camera Shots and Voters’ Party Affiliation on Candidate Evaluation in Televised Debates
Isabella Glogger (Technical University of Dortmund)

10:40am Factors Influencing the Journalistic Circulation of Traumatic Images: The Case of Alan Kurdi
Maria Kamal (University of Melbourne)

11:00am COFFEE HOUR OR HAPPY HOUR

Evening session

Note: All times are GMT time (UK time). Times for the talks are inclusive of Q&A.

Chair: Erik Bucy

10:00pm @Everydayclimatechange and Three US Daily Newspapers: Comparing the Visual Representation of Climate Change
Alison Stieven-Taylor (Monash University, Melbourne)

10:20pm The Strategic Visual Communication of Protests: Citizen Diplomacy? The Romanian Protests from 2017
Alina Dolea (Bournemouth University)

10:40pm Kek’s Memes War on Instagram
Ahmed Al-Rawi (Simon Fraser University)

11:00pm The Dictator’s ‘Screenplay’: Photographs of the Leader and Political Legitimation in East Asia’s Communist Regimes
Olli Hellman (University of Waikato)

11:20 BREAK

Chair: Cristian Vaccari

11:30 Visual framing of coronavirus coverage: The frame construction process
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University)

11:50pm Memetic Protest: The Visual Political Aesthetics of Death, Injustice and Resistance in Digital Activist Cultures
Kelly Lewis (Queensland University of Technology)

12:10am Comparing Two Unsupervised Approaches of Clustering Political Visuals
Yilang Peng (University of Georgia)

12:30am The Visual Strategy of National Identity Appeal in Election Campaign Videos: Taiwan’s 2020 Experience (via YouTube)
Chung Jung-Chun (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

12:50am Concluding Remarks
Erik Bucy (Texas Tech University) and Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University)

1:00am HAPPY HOUR OR COFFEE HOUR

New Special Issue for the 20th anniversary of ComPol: “Political Communication in Changing Media Environments: Interdisciplinary Viewpoints”

Copertina-Compol-1-20-2For twenty years ComPol, shorthand for Comunicazione Politica (“Political Communication”), has been the key scholarly forum for Italian scholars interested in the relationship between media, politics, and citizenship. This is the journal where, as an undergraduate and PhD student, I read about all the advances that our discipline was making as it grappled with issues such as the rise of Silvio Berlusconi as a political-media tycoon, the increasing personalization and spectacularization of politics, and the emergence of the internet as a technology for political information and mobilization. It is also the journal where I started to “cut my teeth” in publishing peer-reviewed articles at the beginning of my career.

This is why I was hugely honored when Gianpietro Mazzoleni, the founder of ComPol and one of the many great mentors I was fortunate to have in my career (a true “passeur“, a term I borrow from Daniel Pennac), asked me to work with him as the guest editor of the special issue of the journal celebrating its twentieth anniversary. You can now read the full special issue, titled “Political Communication in Changing Media Environments: Interdisciplinary Viewpoints” on the website of the Italian Association of Political Communication. It includes contributions from nine Italian and international scholars, to whom I am very grateful for participating in this initiative, and an Introduction by Gianpietro and myself, where we reflect on the development of the discipline of political communication in Italy, present the contributions collected in the special issue, and highlight some challenges for political communication research in the future. Here is an excerpt that presents the articles:

To mark the fundamentally international and inter-disciplinary nature of the journal, we have invited contributions from nine of the leading national and international scholars in the areas of political science (Hanspeter Kriesi), media and communication (Silvio Waisbord), journalism studies (C. W. Anderson), computational social science (Fabio Giglietto), political psychology (Patrizia Catellani), linguistics (Stefano Ondelli), semiotics (Giovanna Cosenza), cultural studies and discourse analysis (Lidia De Michelis), and popular culture (John Street). We have asked this diverse group of scholars, some of whom are members of the scientific board of the journal, to answer a simple question: What does it mean, from their respective disciplinary viewpoint, to study political communication today?

And here is how we conclude our reflections:

The first twenty years of Comunicazione Politica have accompanied and helped the consolidation of the discipline in Italy, as well as facilitating a fruitful dialogue with the international scholarly community. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, it is crucial that Italian scholars continue contributing to the global debates highlighted in this Introduction and in the contributions that follow. We trust that Comunicazione Politica will continue to play a useful role in this enterprise by offering a relevant, open, pluralistic, and innovative forum where scholars from different disciplines and approaches can come together as equals and share their contributions to knowledge around some of the most pressing questions of our time.

Sixth conference of the International Journal of Press/Politics POSTPONED to 21-22 September 2020

ijppIn light of the ongoing concerns for the global spread of COVID-19 and the increasing restrictions that are necessary to combat it, we have decided to postpone the sixth conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics to 21-22 September 2020.

Colleagues who have submitted a proposal in the previous call for papers do not need to submit their proposal again if they are interested in attending the conference on 21-22 September 2020. We will contact all these colleagues shortly before the 12 June deadline to ask them to confirm whether they still want their proposals to be considered for the new conference dates. If you already know, feel free to reach out now, but there is no immediate need to do this.

The call for papers for the conference will now be re-opened until 12 June 2020. Attendees will be notified of acceptance by 19 June 2020.

We hope that, in three months’ time, we will be able to assess the situation and decide that we can safely meet our colleagues again and renew the unique spirit of the community that gathers around The International Journal of Press/Politics and its conference. However, if by that time the situation in the UK and around the world has not shown enough signs of improvement that make us confident that we can run the conference without any risks for individual and public health, and that colleagues can safely travel to Loughborough without any concerns for their health, safety, and finances, we will cancel the 2020 edition of the conference altogether.

The call for papers for the sixth conference of IJPP closed on 13 March 2020 and we received a large number of promising submissions. However, it has become clear that the need to combat the spread of COVID-19 requires restrictions to travel and gatherings that would severely hamper our ability to organize the conference, and of colleagues to attend it, on the original dates of 29-30 June 2020. The UK government’s estimation that the COVID-19 epidemic should reach its peak in three months’ time, roughly coinciding with the conference dates, further suggested that the risks to colleagues’ health, as well as to public health, would be too severe, as would be the likelihood that the event be later canceled due to further government restrictions.

While we could have provisionally confirmed the original conference dates and waited to see how the situation develops, we are very concerned that any activities we conduct may have negative implications for public health, in the UK and elsewhere. We are also not comfortable asking colleagues to pay registration fees for an event that may not take place and book travel and accommodation that had a high likelihood of being canceled.

We take this opportunity to reassure colleagues that we are processing manuscripts as usual during this period. As our Editorial Team and reviewers are coping with the adjustments required by this unique situation, some manuscripts may experience some delays, which we will try to manage and reduce as much as possible. We trust that authors waiting for a decision will understand this. We are also committed to supporting authors who are revising their manuscripts and reviewers who have generously agreed to assess them. If you need more time to complete your work in a way that meets your aspirations and the standards of the journal, please get in touch with us. More importantly, we hope colleagues will not feel that any of their generous contributions to the journal take an excessive toll on them during these difficult times, but if that were the case, we wholeheartedly encourage you to prioritize your and your loved ones’ health and wellbeing.

Our conference is a relatively young event but the community our journal brings together is strong, inclusive, and supportive. We are committed to serving this community in the best way we can, and we hope we can count on your continuing support as we navigate these difficult times.

The Editorial Team of The International Journal of Press/Politics