Monthly Archives: January 2017

Call for Papers: ICA Preconference: Media Performance & Democracy – the Debate Continues

Sponsored by the Journalism Studies Division & the Political Communication Division

Organizers: Josef Seethaler, Linards Udris
Time: May 25, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Conference hotel)

Keynote Speakers:
Gianpietro Mazzoleni, Professor at the Università degli Studi di Milano
Silvia Pellegrini, Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Deadline for submissions: January 20, 2017

According to many programs and initiatives launched by supranational institutions like UNECSO and the European Commission in recent years, the definition of “quality indicators for journalism is a way to strengthen democratic functions of the media” (as it is stated in a 2010 UNESCO report on Brazilian media). Nevertheless, opinion is divided on whether there is a fixed set of principles across countries that would allow measuring and evaluating the quality of democracy and media performance in an etic way, or whether the extraordinary diversity of democratic configurations throughout the world as well as the diversity of media types call for a more culture- and media-specific, emic approach. Connected to this, scholars working on media performance are particularly concerned with the main question of the 2017 ICA Annual Conference of how research could (or should) contribute to the “good life” and how scholars could (or should) make “communication interventions” in public.

After the great success of last year’s ICA preconference on “Media Performance and Democracy”, the 2017 preconference aims at intensifying the discussion by focusing on the two aforementioned challenging dimensions:
(1) Do different concepts and practices of democracy in various parts of the world or different perceptions of democracy within a society call for different conceptualizations of the role of journalism, and thus for different principles of media quality, or do we need an internationally valid framework to assess media performance in a comparative way?
(2) Do different types of media fulfill different functions within a democratic society, thus facing different quality demands, or are there normative claims to be made about the democratic quality of public communication across all media types?

  • The preconference therefore places special emphasis on
    contributions from countries around the world, particularly from countries or areas that have been insufficiently represented in international literature until now,
  • studies dealing not only with mainstream “legacy” media, but also with all kinds of social and “alternative” media and their role in the overall media environment,
  • concepts that focus on the relationships between the various levels quality should be measured (policy and regulatory frameworks, media system structures, newsroom investment, organizational standards, journalists’ role perceptions, content characteristics, and user preferences), and
  • reflections and practical examples of why scholars should seek, or not seek, to “intervene” in public debate with their research findings in order to support good practice in journalism.

The preconference would like to bring together researchers from different backgrounds, including theoretically, methodologically, and practically oriented researchers both inside and outside academia, in order to exchange innovative ideas for the further development of research on democratic media performance.
Abstracts of 500 words (without any identifying information) must be uploaded to (“MPD 2017”) by January 20, 2017. All submissions will undergo blind peer review and acceptance notifications will be sent out on February 15, 2017.

The preconference is open both to presenters and non-presenters, but authors of accepted abstracts are expected to attend the preconference and present their work. Registration opens on January 15, 2017 ( The participation fee (including lunch and coffee break) is $50 USD.

Contact: Josef Seethaler, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (josef.seethaler [at]; Linards Udris, University of Zurich, Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society (linards.udris [at]

Conference Call: ECREA’s Political Communication Section Interim Conference 22-23 November 2017 in Zurich

‘Political Communication in Times of Crisis: New Challenges, Trends & Possibilities’

Extended Deadline for abstract submissions: 10 March 2017

PLEASE NOTE: The correct email address for submissions is Unfortunately, there was a wrong email address on our blog first. If you used any other email address for your submissions, we kindly ask you to submit it again to We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Political Communication Section of ECREA welcomes the submission of abstracts for presentation at the next Interim Conference to be held in Zurich on 22 to 23 November 2017. The program schedule will allow participants to arrive on Wednesday morning and leave again on Thursday evening – should they wish to do so. Local host will be Frank Esser from the University Zurich.

The organizers call for proposals in all sub-fields of political communication research, but particularly invite conceptual, empirical, and methodological proposals on new challenges and trends in media, politics and society that we are witnessing at the moment in Europe and beyond and that political communication research can provide new insights on. We not only see the emergence of new forms and modes of political communication but also a crisis of political institutions in and across countries. Public debate has become more polarized, populist parties are on the rise, as are media skepticism and uncivil comments on social media, and new trends such as fake news have become a widespread matter of public concern in no time. What are the answers that political communication research can provide to make sense of these new trends and challenges? And what are the new possibilities and innovative approaches for political communication research to inform public debate regarding these ongoing developments? Do we need new methods and new approaches to answer new questions, and which are these – or how much (dis)continuity is there really in the developments we are witnessing at the moment? In which respects does the current situation differ from former crises, and which similarities can be found with former crises that might help to identify solution possibilities?

The conference will feature traditional papers and thematic panels. Paper submissions will be grouped in sessions of 4-5 papers by the conference program chair. A limited number of slots will be available for coherent panels where one topic is addressed in four to five presentations, followed by a respondent. Preference will be given to panels with presenters from diverse backgrounds and affiliations.


  • Submissions should be sent to no later than 10 March 2017
  • Paper submissions: Please include in the email (a) the title of your paper, (b) an abstract of no more than 400 words, and (c) names and affiliations of the authors.
  • Panel submissions: To submit a panel proposal, a 300 words rationale should be sent alongside a 150 words explanation per presentation, as well as the names and affiliations of presenters and respondent.

Submission will undergo scholarly peer-review. Only one proposal per first author can be accepted. Notifications of acceptance will be issued at the earliest appropriate time.