Call for Papers



Journalism 2020:
The (ir)relevance of journalism and the future of journalism studies

The year 2000 is often considered a watershed moment in the development of the field of journalism studies, as it marks the year that two key academic journals – Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism and Journalism Studies – were first published. To celebrate their twentieth anniversaries, the journals are organizing a three-day conference in 2020 to look back on the evolution of the field, and to critically consider key questions for the field going forward. The conference will include a number of keynote presentations, round-tables, as well as regular paper presentations.

There is no doubt that journalism is impacted by a whole range of threats, many of which go to the core of what journalism is about, whether it is occupational issues that are failing to provide the cues to make journalism viable, politicians who are pulling into question and attempting to curtail journalism’s role, societal actors who are competing with traditional journalists and questioning journalism’s authority, economic developments that are making it harder and harder to find sustainable business models, or technological advances that threaten traditional news selection processes. The conference will engage with all these developments in the journalistic environment, and we call on submissions that deal with the (ir)relevance of journalism and fields including, but not limited to politics, technology, economics, audience, culture, and academia.

We therefore invite papers that address how journalism studies can help to answer crucial questions about journalism’s relevance, but also the relevance of the field of journalism studies itself. We call particularly for thought-provoking papers that develop new theories or methods and push the boundaries of the field. We welcome submissions from all theoretical, epistemological and methodological perspectives.

The conference will feature six keynote presentations on the topics noted above, some round-table discussions, traditional paper presentations, and coherent panels.

  • Traditional paper presentations: Traditional paper presentations will take place in panels consisting of four to five papers.
  • Coherent panels: A limited number of slots will be available for coherent panels where one topic is addressed in four to five presentations, followed by a respondent. Preference will be given to panels with presenters from diverse backgrounds and affiliations.
  • Roundtable discussions: A limited number of slots will also be available for roundtable discussions which address an important topic of journalism studies in line with the Call for Papers. Roundtable discussions must aim at driving scholarly debates forward and include a diverse range of presenters with specific expertise in the topic.

Following the conference, we envisage to publish special issues in both journals, as well as a book featuring the best submissions.

How to submit

Submissions can be sent to by no later than February 29, 2020. Please include in the email (1) the title of your paper, (2) an abstract of no more than 400 words, (3) max. 5 keywords, (4) names and affiliations of the authors.

To submit a panel proposal, a 300-word rationale should be sent alongside a 150-word abstract per presentation, as well as the names and affiliations of presenters and respondent.

To submit a roundtable proposal, a 400-word rationale should be sent, the names and affiliations of presenters, as well as no more than 50 words rationale for each presenter (i.e. what specific expertise they bring to the topic).

All submissions will undergo scholarly peer-review.
Notifications of acceptance will be issued in early April.

Please contact the conference organizing committee with questions at

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Vienna!