Capturing Change in Journalism: Shifting Role Perceptions at the Turn of the 20th and 21st Centuries
We are pleased to announce the launch of an expert network to study and compare two eras of fundamental transformation in journalism: the rise of the mass press at the end of the 19th century and the digitization of the news media at the turn of the 21st century. The project, sponsored by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and British Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), will be jointly run by the journalism departments from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and University of Sheffield, UK. In total, funding has been received to host 4 conferences over the next 2 years. Using the concept of role perceptions as a theoretical framework, the aim is to bring together scholars to explore the structure of transformations in journalism. This research is motivated by an urgent need to re-examine and potentially re-conceptualise the role of journalism in contemporary societies.
The launch for this research initiative, Conceptualizing Role Perceptions and Change in Journalism, is a closed expert event that will take place on September 13th at the University of Sheffield. Speakers attending this event include scholars from the two host institutions as well as: Stuart Allan (Bournemouth), David Domingo (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Mark Hampton (Lingnan), Thomas Hanitzsch (LMU Munich), Henrik Örnebring (Oxford), and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff). Calls for papers for following upcoming events will also soon be released:
• Redefining Journalism in the Era of the Mass Press, University of Sheffield, Winter 2013.
• Redefining Journalism in the Digital Era, University of Groningen, Autumn 2013.
• Role Perception and Transformation in Journalism, TBD, Winter 2014.
This interdisciplinary project is made more urgent by the need of scholars, journalists and the media industry to tackle what is often labelled as a growing ‘crisis of journalism’. While there is a certain level of agreement in scholarship on the importance of journalism for democracy and civil engagement, as well as over the existence of a contemporary economic and professional crisis, research that strives to understand the structure of transformation is scarce. Much like its position at the turn of the 20th century, journalism is now forced to reconsider the roles it can play in society and to come up with new justifications for its position. The contemporary influence of digitization, internet and mobile communications is changing the informational needs of citizens and the news media must adapt. This project argues that crucial to understanding journalism’s future role is looking to previous moments when its position in society was seemingly tenuous. It aims to amplify this research theme by clarifying how journalists themselves perceive their role and their relationship with the public – historically, in contemporary society, and going forward.
If you wish more information about this project or its future events, please contact the authors of the grant: Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen, firstname.lastname@example.org); Chris Peters (University of Groningen, email@example.com) and Martin Conboy (University of Sheffield, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies and Media
Journalism Department, University of Groningen
P.O. Box 716
9700 AS Groningen
T. +31 (0)50 363 5269
W. http://www.rug.nl/staff/c.j.peters/index Email: email@example.com
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