Workshop 2017 The Future of Media Content: Interventions and Industries in the Internet Era

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2017 Joint Workshop of the ECREA “Communication Law and Policy” and “Media Industries and Cultural Production” Sections

The Future of Media Content: Interventions and Industries in the Internet Era

Call for Papers

The “Communication Law and Policy” and “Media Industries and Cultural Production” Sections of the European Communications Research and Education Association (ECREA) invite abstracts for theoretical and empirical papers on the topic of The Future of Content: Interventions and Industries in the Internet Era. The workshop will take place in Norwich, United Kingdom from 15-16 September 2017. It is hosted and organized by the University of East Anglia’s School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies. With a keynote address from Professor Eli Noam co-sponsored by UEA’s Centre for Competition Policy, a planned panel with industry and regulatory stakeholders, and a special YECREA session for early career researchers, this will be a unique opportunity to bring together those investigating the processes of production and distribution with those studying the policy and regulation governing those processes.

Media and communications industries have changed dramatically over the past decade and both businesses and policy makers are struggling to adapt. Legacy media companies engaged in cultural and news production are trying to change their business models in a manner that will allow them to survive in the face of increased competition for advertising income and the constraints of having a new breed of intermediaries between them and their audiences. Policy makers are looking beyond the traditional investment in public service broadcasting and content quotas for new interventions and policy mechanisms that might encourage content production and distribution. One of the biggest challenges is defining the landscape of actors, markets and relationships in which content is created and disseminated – from the YouTube star making and reaching millions from a bedroom to the public service broadcaster (PSB) that is now managing big data for its online audience and negotiating with service providers for zero-rating carriage in order to reach its audiences with sufficient speed and stability. This joint workshop invites contributions from a broad range of disciplines, interested in the policy, production and business of content and its carriage. We welcome perspectives from political economy, news and cultural production practice, policy and governance studies, media and cultural production history, media and communication law, and other approaches and fields. We welcome theoretical, methodological and empirical submissions – case studies and comparative work, as well as innovative use of methods are encouraged.

The workshop organisers invite researchers interested in the following areas:

  • The news and cultural production landscape: How is content being produced and distributed? What does the new value chain look like for the cultural industries? What roles are legacy and new actors playing and what are the challenges they face? To what extent are concepts such as commercialisation, citizen/consumer, and public interest still useful as normative frameworks for considering the production and distribution of content? How do or should we define ‘culture’ and ‘journalism’, and where are the boundaries, if they persist, among different types of content? What is the future of highly resource dependent types of content such as quality news, investigative journalism, high quality drama, documentaries and feature films? How are public and private media organizations adapting strategically and in their everyday work? Where and how is innovation happening?
  • Funding content into the future: How is ‘value’ being conceived and exchanged among players, and how are relationships with audiences/users being defined? What are the ‘currencies’ of these relationships, and of those among the various commercial and public actors? What role does data play and what are the implications? How has the function of copyright and intellectual property rights changed? What are the particular challenges across different kinds of contexts and markets? How useful are concepts such as globalization, the citizen/consumer and ‘the public’ as normative foundations for investigating issues around the funding of content? What new ones might be? What roles are internet intermediaries and online platforms playing in the business of content?
  • Governance and intervention: To what extent are traditional mechanisms for supporting public interest or public service content, such as quotas, subsidies, PSB, must carry obligations and others still relevant? Who are the actors in the governance of content production and distribution and what are their interests? How do they try to influence policy-making? Where are the key points of policy intervention or regulation? What are the implications of multi-level governance (e.g. EU, WTO and ITU), of ongoing austerity, and of the rise of populist and even new authoritarian governments? How might research contribute to key debates around the EU’s Digital Single Market agenda, burgeoning free trade agreements and media plurality? What are the implications for content of the right to be forgotten, traffic management and zero-rating carriage, and media concentration?

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be submitted for blind peer review in Word-format directly to the organizers of the conference by March 31, 2017 (Sally Broughton Micova s.broughton-micova@uea.ac.uk).

Each abstract should address one of the above topics in a sound theoretical and methodological manner, include a title as well as the name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and e-mail address(es) of the author(s). Colleagues will be notified of acceptance by May 15, 2017, and registration is required by July 15, 2017. Full papers are due no later than August 31, 2017. Reduced fee for ECREA recognized “soft-currency” countries and non-waged participants will be available.

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