For a planned thematic issue of our journal "Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft [Media & Communication Studies]" (M&K)
we are looking for contributions that deal with forms of interdisciplinary journalism research, interdisciplinary questions about journalism as well as with the increasing interdisciplinary nature of the field in theoretical, methodological, subject-related and practical terms.
This call is aimed not only at communication scientists, but also explicitly at colleagues from other disciplines who deal with journalism in one form or another, e.g. sociology, political science, computer science, cultural studies or law.
Download the Call for Papers as a pdf-file
editors: Wiebke Loosen, Daniel Nölleke & Nina Springer
Interdisciplinary Journalism Research - Journalism Interdisciplinary
The current change in the media over the last twenty years has entailed that journalism research is increasingly broadening its field of vision and is also looking at non-journalistic actors, objects, fields and technological developments in and around journalism.
This has been accompanied by journalism research becoming more and more open to other disciplines. Examples of this are the significantly intensified examination of the " variable audience", its data-driven measurement and forms of participation, the examination of the role of so-called "peripheral actors" such as developers, designers or data scientists in and outside (established) editorial offices, forms of automation in journalistic statements as well as algorithms and their role in selection and distribution routines. It is also hardly conceivable to deal with phenomena such as media scepticism, constructive journalism or media offerings from the extremist spectrum without interdisciplinary references, for example to political science, sociology, psychology or linguistics.
At the core of all this is the transformation processes of mediated communication in the digital society triggered by the digitalisation of media production, distribution and use - which is of interest to other disciplines besides journalism research as well.
In the course of these developments, a "new interdisciplinary nature" has developed in and around journalism research and its subject matter in recent years. Some are interested, for example, in understanding how (public) communication and journalism are readjusting themselves in society; others are interested in how journalistic statements are transformed. And yet others are interested in how journalism can still be sensibly differentiated from other communication offerings and continue to fulfil its normatively secured role. And then again, journalistic content and related user comments are used more as material for the development of various automated analysis procedures for different purposes.
What we are looking at as (non-)journalism, (non-)journalistic actors, (non-)journalistic practices and content seems to be gradually expanding, because old boundaries between journalism/non-journalism are becoming blurred while new ones are emerging. The research questions that are considered useful or even necessary, as well as the theoretical and methodological approaches to answering them, also seem to be multiplying.
All these are developments that are becoming visible in research practice, e.g. in increased interdisciplinary projects between journalism research and computer science, law, research on media use, (technical) sociology, etc. Indeed, in journalism research we are used to seeing ourselves as an "integration discipline" (Hanitzsch/Engesser 2014), to describing ourselves and positioning ourselves more or less explicitly. At the same time, however, we are always moving in a field of tension. On the one hand, intra-disciplinary contexts repeatedly lead to debates on how we see ourselves, in which a clear (disciplinary) outline is required in order to be able to compete with other disciplines. On the other hand, the call for more and better, i.e. integrative interdisciplinary research is one of the regularly formulated demands in academic self- and third-party expectations.
Der aktuelle Medienwandel der letzten gut zwanzig Jahre hat es mit sich gebracht, dass die Journalismusforschung zunehmend ihr Sichtfeld erweitert und etwa auch nicht-journalistische Akteur*innen, Gegenstände, Felder und technologische Entwicklungen im und um den Journalismus herum in den Blick nimmt.
With the planned thematic issue, we want to bring together contributions that deal with such forms of interdisciplinary journalism research, interdisciplinary questions about journalism and the increasing interdisciplinary nature of the field in theoretical, methodological, subject-related and practical terms. Our "mother discipline", communication science, is itself already interdisciplinary and integrates different perspectives, which may be more strongly oriented towards sociology, psychology, politics, culture, education or economics. However, this call is also explicitly aimed at colleagues from other disciplines who deal with journalism in one form or another, such as sociology, political science, computer science, cultural studies or law.
We invite contributions that
- are based on interdisciplinary research focusing on journalism or on studies involving journalism researchers;
- do not come from journalism research, but deal with subjects or issues of journalism research;
- are concerned with the interdisciplinary nature of journalism itself, e.g. with the increasing differentiation and expansion of roles and tasks in the field itself, which we would not traditionally always describe as "journalistic", but which are increasingly relevant to the development of journalistic statements;
- deal with the regulatory safeguarding of the functioning of journalism as an institution or social task;
- are interdisciplinary in the sense of a theory/practice cooperation;
- deal with questions of "interdisciplinary theories and theory development" within the framework of journalism theories;
- deal with questions of journalism research by means of "importing methods" from other disciplines, such as computer science, anthropology, design or art studies.
In keeping with the orientation of the thematic booklet, it is desired that all contributions reflect their respective form of interdisciplinarity and, if applicable, their limits, thus making them the subject of the contribution.
Deadline for Submissions
Colleagues who would like to contribute to this issue are kindly asked to send an extended abstract
of their manuscript to the editorial office by 9 November 2020
(max. 6,000 characters including spaces). Based on the abstracts, the editors will develop a concept together with the guest editors and invite the authors to submit a manuscript by 15 February 2021. Decisions on the acceptance of the manuscripts will be made according to M&K's usual reviewing procedure. The special issue is scheduled for publication in the 4th quarter of 2021.
Editorial Office "Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft" (M&K) – Christiane Matzen