Call for papers for the seventh conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics (Virtual, 13-16 September 2021)

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Call for papers
Virtual Conference of the International Journal of Press/Politics
Zoom, 13-16 September 2021
Deadline for abstracts: 5 July 2021

On 13-16 September 2021, the seventh conference of the International Journal of Press/Politics, focused on academic research on the relationship between media and political processes around the world, will be held virtually. Professor Young Mie Kim from the University of Wisconsin will deliver a keynote lecture.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 5 July 2021. Attendees will be notified of acceptance by 12 July 2021. Full papers based on accepted abstracts will be due 1 September 2021. A selection of the best full papers presented at the conference will be published in the journal after peer review.

The conference will be free to attend. There will be a voluntary conference registration fee for presenters of GBP 30. Attendees will need to register to receive the secure link to participate in the conference, and those who want to contribute to the conference budget will be able to make a symbolic donation of GBP 5. The software will be able to host up to 500 participants at any time. Recordings of the conference video feed will be made available to the public shortly after the event.

The virtual conference brings together scholars conducting internationally oriented or comparative research on the intersection between news media and politics around the world. It aims to provide a forum for academics from a wide range of disciplines, countries, and methodological approaches to advance research in this area. The conference will be held on four days, in half-day sessions alternating mornings and afternoons that will include presentations and networking sessions. The program of the 2020 conference, which adopted a similar format, is available here.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, the political implications of changes in media systems; the importance of digital media for engaging with news and politics; analysis of the factors affecting the quality of political information and public discourse; studies of the role of entertainment and popular culture in how people engage with current affairs; studies of relations between political actors and journalists; analyses of the role of visuals and emotion in the production and processing of public information; and research on political communication during and beyond elections by government, political parties, interest groups, and social movements. The journal and the conference have a particular interest in studies that adopt comparative approaches, represent substantial theoretical or methodological advances, or focus on parts of the world that are under-researched in the international English language academic literature.

Titles and abstracts for papers (maximum 300 words) are invited by 5 July 2021. The abstract should clearly describe the key question, the theoretical and methodological approach, the evidence the argument is based on, as well as its wider implications and the extent to which they are of international relevance.

Please send submissions via the online form available at http://bit.ly/IJPP2021.

The conference is organized by Cristian Vaccari (Loughborough University, Editor-in-Chief of IJPP). Please contact Professor Vaccari with questions at c.vaccari@lboro.ac.uk.

More about the journal and the keynote speaker.

The International Journal of Press/Politics

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The International Journal of Press/Politics is an interdisciplinary journal for the analysis and discussion of the role of the media and politics in a globalized world. The journal publishes theoretical and empirical research which analyzes the linkages between the news media and political processes and actors around the world, emphasizes international and comparative work, and links research in the fields of political communication and journalism studies, and the disciplines of political science and media and communication. The journal is published by Sage Publications and is ranked 16th by Scopus (SJR) and 17th by Journal Citation Reports in Communication.

Professor Young Mie Wim, University of Wisconsin

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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.

US election 2020: A toolkit for ‘democracy-worthy’ coverage for journalists and readers

Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate to work with the Election Coverage and Democracy Network, a group of more than 60 international experts who have developed a set of practical, evidence-based recommendations for how journalists should cover the next US Presidential election in a way that strengthens rather than weaken the democratic process.

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I have written a short article for The Conversation UK where I outline the reasons why we need news coverage to be responsible and act in the public interest, and in the interest of democracy, amidst what might be difficult circumstances if the electoral process is threatened before the vote, if the results are contested or one candidate fails to concede even if results are clear, and if civil unrest ensues after the vote.

As well as summarizing the key recommendations we make (download a copy here), I make two arguments.

First, that this is not only a job for US journalists, but for journalists all around the world, as international media — and British ones in particular — have sizable audiences overseas.

British media are very popular and influential in the US and they can play an important role in shaping how the American public will interpret the election and its aftermath. The BBC could well play a big role. Research has shown that 58% of Americans say they trust the broadcaster and 12% get at least some of their news from it each week. UK newspapers also have the potential to be influential players: in March 2020 the Guardian US recorded more than 114 million unique visits while the Daily Mail online attracts an estimated 73 million monthly unique visits in the US. Meanwhile, most readers of The Economist are in North America. And the influence won’t stop there – given their international prestige and recognition, British media are likely to shape news coverage of the US election all around the world.

Second, that readers can play an important role, by carefully choosing the kind of coverage we click on, read, and share online.

Readers and viewers have important roles to play as well. More than three-quarters of the UK population get their news online and nearly 40% on social media. The news that people choose to read on websites and news apps shapes the rankings that journalists and news executives use as indicators of what the public wants. The news they choose to share on social media influences the content that others discover on these platforms.

Please take a look at our website and follow our Twitter account, where we highlight many examples of news coverage that affirms what we call “democracy-worthy” values.