1st International Colloquium on Structural Changes in Journalism (MEJOR – 2011). Venue: University of Brasilia. Brasília, DF – Brazil. Date: 25 to 28 April 2011. Realization: Faculty of Communication, University of Brasilia (FAC / UnB), with support from Réseaux d’études sur le Journalisme (Journalism Study Network/REJ).
1. Colloquium Subject
Numerous texts - produced by scholars and especially by journalists themselves, have led to the impression that the journalistic practice has profoundly changed over the past 20 years. Studies show a scenario of accelerating the time of production, circulation and consumption of information; of precarious employment relations; of changing in the
productive routines and in the relationships with sources. More and more, we notice convergence in various media operations, with the creation of new platforms and hybrid products. In a crisis scenario, newspaper companies have been pressed to find
alternatives to meet new demands from a more active and participative audience. This includes the increase of entertainment content, a result of intensifying competition and of pressure from marketing departments to offer products that are capable of pleasing the audience. However, this discourse about changes in journalism is recurring. For two
centuries, several reviews were produced on the various crises - some real, others imagined - of the press: the depoliticization of newspapers, the excessive relevance attributed to fait divers news, massification of content and audience, commercial pressures on media content, etc. Since its invention, journalism has always been seen as a target for radical changes. The proposal of the 1st International Colloquium on Structural Changes in Journalism, organized by the Faculty of Communication, University of Brasilia, is to discuss the phenomenon of 'transformations in journalism' and also the discourses articulated to it. Three questions guide these discussions:
- What are the indicators (sociological, economic, semiotic, historical, political, etc.) allowing to defend the idea of a transformation of journalism? How do they relate to other dimensions (the composition of the professional group, the situation of companies, the contents and ways to present them etc.), composing a bigger picture that allows a distinction between conjunctural phenomena and global and structural changes?
- Can we defend, on the other hand that journalism is a social practice, a economic activity, a space for political discourse which, after four centuries, has presented a great stability that exceeds circumstantial changes? Which are the indicators of an underlying continuity to the profound changes that affected societies since the sixteenth century?
- What must be considered from the academic discourse, delivered by professionals and their organizations, and often appropriated by political actors who mention a crisis of journalism? For which purposes such discourses are produced and which representations of the role of journalism in democratic societies they convey?
Taking as a basis (some of) these questions, researchers are invited to submit proposals on the changes below:
- On journalistic practices;
- On the economic model of news organizations;
- On the ways of presenting and constructing news;
- On the formation and modes of access to the labor market;.
- On the modes of regulation and control of the profession ethics;
- On relations with the public.
They might also:
- Propose models for the analysis of these transformations enabling to investigate them;
- Analyze the construction of the discourse on change and its use by social actors linked to the media (journalists, editors, political actors, researchers, etc.).
2. Deadlines
Full text papers submission due December 15th, 2010
Paper review decisions expected January 30 th, 2011
Final program release February 21 st, 2011
Proceedings of the Colloquium (online) May 1st, 2011
Selected Papers publication in book or journal Second semester, 2011 (expected)
3. Submission rules
At least one of the principal authors of the article should have a doctorate/Ph.D.
Papers may be submitted in Portuguese, English, French or Spanish. A Portuguese abstract is required. Paper submissions should use the Colloquium website: http://www.mejor.com.br/.
The author(s) should send the full text paper, which should contain from 20 000 to 35 000 characters (with spaces), already included the references and footnotes. The following items are required: title, abstract of up to 10 lines, three keywords, author's curriculum summary, up to 3 lines (including their institutional affiliation). The text should be written in Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5 spaced. Indented quotations should be written in size 10, single space. Papers should be original. Each author may submit only one paper.
4. Selection process and criteria for evaluation
Papers will be judged by an international scientific committee. Each paper will be reviewed by two referees, through the ‘blind’ review process. The papers will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
- Originality of the paper;
- Relevance to the area;
- Adequacy to the proposed theme;
- Relevance of the adopted bibliography;
- Theoretical and methodological adequacy;
- Clarity, cohesion and compliance with the formal requirements of scientific language.
Of the submitted papers will be selected up to 30 works to be published in the Proceedings of the Colloquium.
5. Funding of travel costs and accommodation
Authors are invited to request to Universities subventions to fund their participation costs. Participants at the Colloquium that have their works/papers selected by the Scientific Committee may request, to the Organizing Committee, aid for expenses of lodging, meals and transportation. To do so, they must send a statement of the institution or the development agency attesting the unavailability of funds to finance their participation on the Colloquium. The Commission shall decide by total or partial financing of the expenditure required, depending on availability of resources.
6. Publication of papers
Accepted papers presented during the Colloquium will be published in online Proceedings available from 1st May, 2011 on http://www.mejor.com.br/ and on http://www.surlejournalisme.com/. In addition, a revised version of the 15 best papers, following the judgment of the scientific committee, could integrate a publication in Portuguese (book or journal), scheduled for the second semester of 2011.

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