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Negotiating Culture – October 29-30 conference at RISJ

October 29-30, we at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism are hosting an international academic conference “Negotiating Culture” on how journalists and news media organizations in different contexts and countries deal with cultural challenges surrounding change in the current media environment.

The conference is organized by Lucy Küng, Robert G. Picard, and myself, and we are very happy that Digital Journalism has given us the opportunity to publish the best papers from the conference as a special issue of the journal.

The program outline is below. I’m looking forward to welcoming so many colleagues from all over the world to Oxford.

2015 Negotiating Culture Conference – Program Overview
Conference hashtag: #NewsCulture


1st Keynote by Lucy Küng 8.30 – 10.00

Panel 1 10.30 – 12.30

Panel 1: Strategy, Organizational Change and Innovation

Chaired by Mary Lynn Young

Fry Cook at the Waffle House: How the Boundaries Inside U.S. Newspapers are Shifting in a Digital Age. Alecia Swasy, University of Illinois

Dynamic Capabilities: exploring industry level capabilities in News Media. Dr John Oliver, Bournemouth University

Conflicting Objectives in Innovation Management: A Case Study of a Newspaper Company. Joschka Mütterlein, Dr. Reinhard Kunz, Lea Püchel, Universität Bayreuth, Germany

Digital First? Digital Last! How change management makes sense in newsrooms at regional media in the Netherlands in their struggle in the transition to a digital environment. Henk Jan Karsten, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, The Netherlands

Clashes or consensus? What editorial, commercial and senior newspaper executives believe about business model innovation and each other’s ability to deliver. François Nel and Katja Lehtisaari, UCLAN/Helsinki

Panel 2 13.30 – 15.30

Panel 2: Changing Newsroom Practices

Chaired by Alfred Hermida

Connect and Engage: Negotiating Community in Newsroom Values and Practice. Melissa Tully, Shawn Harmsen, Jane B. Singer, Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa, City University London

From Teaching Newsroom to Content Lab: Changes in the Norms and Standards of News Production at a Learning Newsroom. Amy A. Ross, Northwestern University, USA

Assembling Journalism: Conflict, adaptation and mutual conditioning in the new journalistic landscape. Eugenia Siapera, Jane Suiter, Dublin City University

‘Newsroom Cultures’. Aljosha Karim Schapals, City University, London

When Creative Potentials Are Being Undermined by Commercial Imperatives. Brigitte Hofstetter and Philomen Schönhagen, University of Fribourg

Panel 3 16.00 – 18.00

Panel 3: Impact of New News Technologies

Chaired by Suzanne Franks

“Front potential” as a new success criterion in web-TV: Production and publishing practices in VGTV. Vilde Schanke Sundet, Lillehammer University College, Norway

I, Robot: Tools, Conditions and Challenges of Automated Journalism in German Newsrooms. Findings of a Participatory Observation among Online Editors. Stephan Weichert, Volker Lilienthal, Dennis Reineck, Annika Sehl, Macromedia University/ Hamburg Media School,  University of Hamburg,  TU Dortmund University

Don’t tweet this! How journalists and media organisations negotiate tensions emerging from the implementation of social media policy in newsrooms. Dr Vittoria Sacco and Dr Diana Bossio, University of Neuchâtel, Swinburne University of Technology

Journalists and tecnoactors: the negotiation of professional cultures in the online newsrooms. João Canavilhas, Diógenes Luna, Ivan Satuf, Vitor Torres, Alberto Marques, Alciane Baccin, UBI-Portugal, UFBA-Brasil, UnB-Brasil, UFRGS-Brasil

The algorithms for journalism: interpreting and writing rules for robots. Carl-Gustav Lindén, University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science

Finding the Data Unicorn: A hierarchy of hybridity in data and computational journalism. Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young, UBC Graduate School of Journalism


2nd Keynote by Robert G. Picard: 8.30 – 10.00

Panel 4 10.30 – 12.30

Panel 4: News culture meets the challenge of national culture

Chaired by Diana Bossio

How Newsroom Culture is Related to the Ways in Which Newspapers in China and the UK have Responded to Technological Changes: a comparative study. Miao Mi and Hugo de Burgh, University of Westminster

New technology and newsroom cultures: A case study of two Kurdish news channel. Abdulsamad Zangana, University of Liverpool

From Crisis to Departure? Newsroom Culture under the Impact of Digital Structural Change in Germany. Dr. Leif Kramp, Dr Stephan Weichert, University of Bremen, Macromedia University/ Hamburg Media School

Reducing Complexity: A Behavioral Perspective on Journalistic Quality. Bartosz Wilczek, Prof. Dr. Stephan Russ-Mohl, Institution: Università della Svizzera italiana, European Journalism Observatory

Panel 5 13.30 – 15.30

Panel 5: Inside Newsroom Culture

Chaired by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Embracing Change: the role of institutional integrity on the responsiveness of newspaper organisations. Sara Ekberg, Folker Hanusch, Maria Norbäck and Patrik Wikström, Jönköping International Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Gothenburg University

What’s the Matter with Newsroom Culture? A Sociomaterial Analysis of Professional Knowledge Creating in the Newsroom. Steen Steensen, Oslo and Akershus University College

Innovative Learning Culture (ILC) at Dutch newspapers in transformation. Ornella Porcu, City Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Tensions in the newsroom: a case study of a Fynske Medier’s digitalization process. Aske Kammer, University of Southern Denmark

News Production Cultures. Natacha Yazbeck, Annenberg School for Communication

Panel 6 16.00 – 17.45

Panel 6: News Culture, Local Communities and National Politics

Chaired by John Oliver

All the Actions Fit to Print: Nonprofits as digital intermediaries in US journalism and the rise of “what next?” reporting. David Conrad, University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication

Organisational Culture and Its Influence on Strategy in Local Media in the Digital Age. Sarah O’Hara, Canterbury Christ Church University

The interactions between journalists, digital technologies, the audience and the political field. Florin C. Serban, Hong Kong Baptist University

Campaign culture 2015: embracing intermediality to “tell the story” in ITV news’ election 2015. Amy P. Smith, Royal Holloway, University of London

Where Journalists cannot report. Negotiating the dilemmas of covering Syria between March- September 2011. Professor Suzanne Franks, Lisette Johnson, City University, London

Next steps and Wrap ups 17.45-18.00

2015 Int’ Journal of Press/Politics Conference

IJPPI’m proud to present the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Conference, hosted September 17-18 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

The full program including abstracts is here [PDF], and an overview with titles and presenters is below–we will be covering many issues relevant for the International Journal of Press/Politic‘s mission: to advance our understanding of the relations between news media and politics in a global perspective.

With more than 60 researchers from over 20 countries, it will be a truly international event and it is one I really look forward to–a good start to what I plan as an annual event, with the best and most relevant papers submitted to the journal for later publication.

2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Conference


Keynote by Frank Esser: 9.00 – 10.30

Panels 1a and 1b 10.45 – 12.15

Panel 1a: Protest, Activism, and Civil Society

Chaired by Katrin Voltmer

Prospective journalism redux: The new life of political magazines in the digital age Francisco Seoane Pérez, University of Castilla-La Mancha

Experiential Learning, Standby Citizens and the Redundancy of Slacktivism: Exploring the Day-to-Day Use of Social Media for Political Participation. James Dennis, Royal Holloway, University of London

The engineering of dissent: How international NGOs use digital tools to craft oppositional politics. Matthew Powers, University of Washington – Seattle

We doth protest too much, methinks (perhaps): Does the concept of the ‘protest paradigm’ truly capture the predominant features of the reporting of protest? Ian Taylor, University of Leicester

Panel 1b: Comparing Media Systems and Cross-National Influences

Chaired by Paolo Mancini

Media influence upon Global South development institutions. Felipe Rodrigues Siston, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Comparing Defective Media Systems in Southeast Asia. Melanie Radue, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Critical and multiperspectival investigation in political news coverage: Is Mediterranean journalism better than its reputation? Edda Humprecht and Frank Esser, University of Zurich

The Impact of Trust in the News on Online News Interaction in 11 Countries. Richard Fletcher, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford and Sora Park, University of Canberra

Panels 2a and 2b 13.00 – 14.30

Panel 2a: Contentious Politics and Media Audiences in Transitional Societies (I)

Chaired by William Porath

Contested transitions: Journalistic interpretations of democracy in Egypt and South Africa. Katrin Voltmer and Hendrik Kraetzschmar, University of Leeds

The Ripple Effects of International Broadcasting: How Activists Interpret the Role of International Broadcasting in the Egyptian and Syrian Protests. Ben O’Loughlin and Billur Aslan, Royal Holloway, University of London

Volatile Politics and the Dynamics of Media Audiences: A Longitudinal Study of News Consumption in Egypt. Nael Jebril, Bournemouth University

New Politics of News Circulation and Reception in Turkey. Suncem Koçer, Kadir Has University, Istanbul

Panel 2b: Media Logic, Crises, and Strategy

Chaired by Ralph Schroeder

News Media Logic on the Shift. How new media actors shape the printed news. Maria Karidi and Michael Meyen, University of Munich

Comparing Reactions to News Aggregators´ Practices. Sarah Anne Ganter, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford

Values Priming and Press Performance: How Media Crises Activate Latent Attitudes and Shape News Evaluations. Erik P. Bucy, Texas Tech University and Paul D’Angelo, The College of New Jersey

Execution as a Strategic Tool: Fear and Legitimisation in ISIS Media Agenda-Setting. Andrew Barr and Alexandra Herfroy-Mischler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Birds of a feather sessions: 15.00 – 16.00

Panels 3a and 3b 16.30-18.00

Panel 3a: Digital Media and Changing Patterns of News Consumption

Chaired by Michaela Maier

Rethinking Digital Media and Political Change. Ralph Schroeder, University of Oxford

The Ubiquitous Bigfoot and the new Digital Audiences: Contesting negotiations in the literate networked publics in India. Vibodh Parthasarathi, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Ananda Mitra, Wake Forest University, and Sanjay Mamani, Redinfi LLC

The History of Social Sharing of News. Jonathan Bright and Scott Hale, University of Oxford

GlobalCOM. Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez, University of Castilla-La Mancha

Panel 3b: Journalists, News Media, and the State (I)

Chaired by Jesper Strömback

Relations between political actors and journalists: Media instrumentalization in Serbia. Ana Milojević and Aleksandra Krstić, University of Belgrade

Press Offices and Political Parallelism in Spain. Links Between the Professionalisation and Increase of Political Control of the Media. Andreu Casero-Ripollés and Pablo López-Rabadán, Universitat Jaume I, Spain

Corollaries of relations between political actors and journalists on journalism and democracy in Nigeria. Rodney Ciboh, Benue State University, Nigeria

In the shadow of state power: Citizenship rights, civil society and media representation in China, 1978 – 2012. Na Liu, Sichuan University and Tsan-Kuo Chang, City University of Hong Kong


Panels 4a and 4b 9.00 – 10.30

Panel 4a: Agenda-Setting and Social Issues

Chaired by Bilge Yesil

Taking News at Face Value? The Effect of Deserving and Undeserving Exemplars in News Coverage of Welfare State Reform. Christian Elmelund-Præstekær and Morten Skovsgaard, University of Southern Denmark

Poverty Discourse in the United States, 2004-2014. Lori Young, University of Pennsylvania

The Schizophrenic Mass Media: Contingencies of Coverage of Welfare State Reforms. Morten Skovsgaard and Christian Elmelund-Præstekær, University of Southern Denmark

African Newspaper Coverage of AIDS: Comparing New Models of Press-State Relations and Structural Factors in Sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa. John C. Pollock, D’Angelo, Paul, Burd, Amanda, Kiernicki, Kristen, and Janna Raudenbush, The College of New Jersey

Panel 4b: Journalists, News Media, and the State (II)

Chaired by Frank Esser

How the national context and presumed media influence shape the orientations of political actors towards news media: Evidence from four European contexts. Peter Maurer, University of Vienna

Why the media matters for politicians. A study on the strategic use of mass media in lawmaking. Lotte Melenhorst, Leiden University and Peter Van Aelst, University of Antwerp

Governmental communication in the wake of mediatization. Magnus Fredriksson, University of Gothenburg and Josef Pallas, Uppsala University

Between media and political power: perceptions of government intermediaries caught in the cross-field. Ruth Garland, LSE

Panels 5a and 5b 10.45 – 12.15

Panel 5a: Contentious Politics and Media Audiences in Transitional Societies (II)

Chaired by John Pollock

Corruption in the press coverage: Audience segmentation and the lack of shared indignation. Paolo Mancini, Marco Mazzoni, Alessio Cornia and Rita Marchetti, Università di Perugia

Is populism the hegemonic political communication style of the 21st century? The impossible cases of Hugo Chávez and Nigel Farage. Ralph Negrine, University of Sheffield and Elena Block, University of Queensland

Press and Politics in a Neoliberal Islamist State: The Case of Turkey. Bilge Yesil, City University of New York

From Contentious Moments to Everyday Politics of Mundaneness – Researching digital media and contentious politics in China. Jun Liu, University of Copenhagen

Panel 5b: Media Freedom, Professionalism, and Accountability

Chaired by Raymond Kuhn

“It’s so cool what we’ve created here”: How the fact-checking movement became international. Lucas Graves, University of Wisconsin

New professionals for a new genre. Freelance journalists in China’s public debate. Emma Lupano, Università degli Studi di Milano

Negotiating tolerance: Freedom of expression, secularism, and contemporary political communication. Charlotte Elliott, University of Leeds

Doing International Politics Under Domestic Public Pressure – A Model of the Relationship between Public Opinion, Published Opinion and Political Decision-Making in an International Context. Christina Köhler and Philipp Weichselbaum, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Panels 6a and 6b 13.00 – 14.30

Panel 6a: Campaigns and the Democratic Process

Chaired by Ralph Negrine

Political Parties’ and Media’s Interplay in Politicizing EU Integration: A six-country analysis of party communication and media coverage in the 2014 EP election campaigns. Michaela Maier and Melanie Leidecker, University of Koblenz-Landau; Silke Adam and Beatrice Eugster, University of Bern

Media and the Mobilizing Effects of Election Campaigns – Comparing Election Campaigns to the National and European Parliament. Jesper Strömbäck, Gothenburg University and Adam Shehata, Gothenburg University

Televised debates in parliamentary democracies. Nick Anstead, LSE

Cross-Media Strategies in Online Petition Campaigning. David Kapf, George Washington University

Panel 6b: Politicized Individuals

Chaired by Jay Blumler

The mediatization of presidential leadership in France. Raymond Kuhn, Queen Mary University of London

Three types of political personalisation in the press and in political advertising during election campaigns: Chile 1970 – 2009. William Porath, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Dr. Juan-Cristóbal Portales, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

From the Presidential Spouse to the First Lady – how have the media created a new political actor? A comparative study of the political rise of the First Lady in France, Spain, Poland and the US. Ewa Widlak, University Pompeu Fabra

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: A Comparative News Analysis of the Michael Brown’s Shooting in Four Countries. Suman Mishra and Elza Ibroscheva, Southern Illinois University

Roundtable with IJPP Editorial Board Members 15.00 – 16.00

Closing remarks 16.00-16.15

Review of “Political Journalism in Transition”

Simon Dawes has written a very nice review of Political Journalism in Transition: Western Europe in a Comparative Perspective (which was published in 2014 by I.B. Tauris, edited by Raymond Kuhn and myself).

The review is published in Media, Culture, and Society and concludes

The authors get to the heart of contemporary debates about the future of media regulation and the extent of state intervention, the role of the market and the importance of autonomy and independence. In illustrating the contextual differences between media systems and journalistic practices in the ‘West’, they also contribute to a more informed critique of the realities of political information, engagement and accountability, as well as a richer understanding of the causes and background of recent scandals involving both political and media figures.

The full review is here. The first chapter of our book is freely available here and the the book can be bought from the publisher, Amazon, or, if you live in a truly unusual community, your local bookstore.

Predictions for journalism in 2015–politicized digital intermediaries

The good folks at the NiemanLab at Harvard have asked a bunch of people to offer their predictions of something that will matter for journalism in 2015.

I wrote my piece about the increasing politicization of spectacularly successful, incredibly useful, and more and more powerful U.S.-based digital intermediaries like Google and Facebook, companies that face push-back and pressures from other interests.

“Just as the popular and commercial success of Google and Facebook is virtually global, so are the questions raised by the increasingly powerful position they occupy in the media environment. But because the answers are in part political, and (much) politics is local, the reactions are likely to vary from country to country. In 2015, we’ll see this discussion intensify and develop.”

With high-profile cases of this in for example France, Germany, and Spain, it is easy to charicature this as an legacy-old-media-old-world-Europe vs innovation-new-media-new-world-US issue (as it frequently is).

This is a misrepresentation. First of all, the issue is much broader than US-Europe. Second, many companies in the US itself are pushing back against Google and the like by all means available, including lobbying etc.

Lot’s of terrific pieces, all collected here.

Nice new review of “Ground Wars”

New review out of my book Ground Wars: Personalized Political Communication (Princeton University Press, 2012).

Dennis W. Johnson writes very kindly:

This is a groundbreaking study; I have learned much from it and believe it will be an important addition to the field of campaigns and elections. It will be just as valuable as Green and Gerber’s Get Out the Vote, with its analysis of various communications techniques and ground-war activities. The Obama presidential campaigns set the gold standard for technology and ground-war effectiveness, and many other state and localcampaigns have followed suit. As campaign technology becomes more sophisticated
and the ground war becomes more of a strategic tool, other scholars should be looking into this important field as well.
Full review (in the International Journal of Press/Politics) here.

Taking over as editor of the International Journal of Press/Politics

January 1, 2015, I’m taking over as editor of the International Journal of Press/Politics after Silvio Waisbord.

I regard IJPP as the premier journal for genuinely international and comparative work focused on the intersection between news media (broadly conceived) and politics (equally broadly conceived) and as a journal dedicated to publishing theoretically and methodologically diverse social science work of high quality focused on substantially important problems.

At least that’s what Sage has published so far under Silvio and other previous editors, so now I have something to live up to. An “important but tough job” as one experienced colleague told me. I’m looking forward to it.

Nice review of “Political Journalism in Transition”

LSE Review of Books has a nice review of Political Journalism in Transition: Western Europe in a Comparative Perspective (I.B. Tauris) which I’ve edited with Raymond Kuhn.

The final verdict by Joseph Peralta:

Political Journalism in Transition remains one of the most comprehensive, interdisciplinary comparative analysis of political journalism that is currently in print. Any analysis that features these confounding and intersecting historico-political elements could have easily resulted in a heady, impractical work, but this bipartite anthology offers a complete resource that is straightforward and digestible. It is a handy, relevant resource for scholars of political journalism and critical media studies worldwide, as well as for news and public affairs practitioners who stand to gain from a nuanced understanding of the factors, both obvious and overlooked, that are shaping political journalism today.

Whole review here. Book also available on Amazon.