Des Freedman is Professor Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Contradictions of Media Powerand The Politics of Media Policyand co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of Misunderstanding the Internet. He has edited a number of volumes on broadcasting, media reform, liberalism, terrorism and the politics of higher education and was one of the founders of the Media Reform Coalition.
Keynote speech: The Resistable Rise of Media Power
Deregulation, marketization, hypercommercialization, corporate capture and commodification are component features of a neoliberalism that has destabilized media landscapes and eviscerated public communication. Embedded forms of inequality that shaped legacy media have been intensified in a digital environment in which algorithms and big data are fetishized and financialized. Power has been increasingly consolidated by oligopolistic digital intermediaries like Facebook and Google while the state has, all too often, corrupted public media which, far from scrutinising elites, are more likely to articulate their interests. This talk identifies the abuses of an evolving media power that is seen to be the source of some of the key problems we face today – a crisis of disinformation, a collapse of the ‘centre ground’ and declining levels of trust – and argues that media reform has to be a central part of contemporary democratic movements.
She is the head of SMIT’s smart media unit, supervising business, policy and researchers on media mediated communication.
Keynote speech: Public service media in Europe: The mismatch between theory, the law and practice
Public service media concerns the provision of services by public broadcasters that contribute to the democratic, cultural and social wellbeing of society and this across devices and various technologies. Citizens are primarily being addressed as citizens and the institutions in charge should operate as independently as possible from market forces and government control. That is, summarizing and simplifying to a large extent, the theory underling one of the most studied concepts and institutions in Europe. But is theory corresponding with reality? Karen Donders researched the state of play of public service media across Europe, critically confronting the theory, the law and practice. She carried out case studies on Belgium, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and several other countries. She will present the main findings of her new book on this topic.
Mark Deuze is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Humanities, and currently serves as its Director of Graduate Studies. Before that he worked as a journalist and academic in the United States, Germany and South Africa. He is also the bass player and singer of Skinflower. Keynote speech: Beyond Journalism: Challenging Media Power from within
The ‘Beyond Journalism’ research project and book (forthcoming late 2019 with Polity Press) examines the fragmented, networked and richly diverse field that journalism has become around the world. Through fieldwork at more than twenty media startups in 11 countries (The Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Uganda, South Africa, Italy, France, Denmark, Nepal, Iran, and Colombia) we focus on what it takes to make it work, what drives and motivates these professionals, and how all of this can be seen as transforming the definition of journalism, as well as the role journalism plays in different societies.New journalistic ventures tend to define themselves deliberately as against traditional institutions and legacy media. However, in our research we find that their values and ideals are neither radically different nor necessarily new. Through telling stories of startups the authors aim to provide insight into the variety of actors, the multitude of forms, content and audiences that make up contemporary journalism, doing justice to both the excitement as well as challenges present in media entrepreneurship.
Svetlana S. Bodrunova is Professor at the Department of Mass Media Management, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, St.Petersburg State University, Russia. She is currently the leader of the Center for International Media Research at her School. Her research interests include media and public spheres in various socio-political contexts, digital publics and discussions on social media, and Russian media and social communication. Keynote speech: Zombies, vegetables, cosmonauts: The role of context in studying public discussions
In our 2016-2020 research project where we have studied discussions on inter-ethnic conflicts on social media, we have found out that the role of local political divisions was crucial in interpreting the nature of the conflict. Also, we have found that the group structures of the discussions did not at all reflect the Tajfel&Turner’s (1979) classic grouping of minority, pro-minority majority, and anti-minority majority. What we have found instead was the opening-up of the local political divisions via a conflict, and in each case the constellation of discourses was highly context-dependent. The Russian, German, and American examples made me further reflect on how to introduce national context into comparative studies of social media. While the research community has already established rigorous procedures for literature review, elaboration of methodology, and discussion of the research results, endorsement of local contexts into communication studies remains intuitive and non-systemic. I argue that there may be compulsory elements of contextual knowledge that need to be examined before practically any study of social media and invite the research community to further dialogue on this matter.
Dr Xianhong Hu is UNESCO’s program specialist at the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development. Her main responsibilities are in the areas of freedom of expression online and offline, Internet privacy, media development and Internet governance. She has also conducted UNESCO Series Publication on investigative journalism including “Story-Based Enquiry: A Training Manual for Investigative Journalism” and “Global Casebook of Investigative Journalism”.
Open lecture:: To Assess Internet Policies in your country: UNESCO presentation of Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators
Have you ever wanted to gain a deeper understanding of your digital environment? To have a map of the Internet measuring its compliance with Rights, Openness and Accessibility, and assessing Multistakeholder involvement in its governance? If so, UNESCO’s ROAM-X Indicators are for you. As developed via a two-year global multi-stakeholder consultation process including with European community, the tool is a unique resource to make a diagnosis of national digital environments and address structural inequalities. It aims to:
UNESCO will take the opportunity to launch the new publication “UNESCO’s Internet Universality Indicators: A Framework for Assessing Internet Development” and the related implementation process at national levels across all continents including Europe. The publication includes the implementation guide is available online in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, with hard copies for distribution. UNESCO will encourage synergies among the multi-stakeholder community (including governments, civil society, the private sector, technical community academia, the journalism community) to support national assessments of Internet development using the indicators. It is hoped that the session will foster partnerships to conduct national assessments in more countries and trigger policy debates for bridging the digital gap and improving Internet development at national and global levels.
Deadline for abstract submissions
Notification of acceptance
Publishing the Congress program
Deadline for registration of participation (without paper)
Conference fee registration
The 5th Congress of the Polish Communication Association: “Media Power: People – Organisations – Technologies”