Call for papers for Conference “Quality in Journalism”

It is open, until May 13, the call for papers for the Conference “Quality in Journalism”. The event will take place on June 22, at the University of Minho.

Journalism is, nowadays, a point of confluence of a wider range of issues. The quality of the democratic experience of today’s societies is recognised to be directly related to the quality of the information produced by journalists and the media. However, acknowledging this fact seems no longer enough to safeguard journalism from all the threats hanging over it and its crises in the last decades.

Journalism is exposed in a field where its economic survival, social relevance, suitability to the technical and technological environments in which it is immersed, and objective and subjective conditions in which it is produced are simultaneously at stake.

Thus, analysing quality in journalism means embracing an increasingly complex public problem that only a multidimensional scientific approach can attempt to address – even though it risks falling short of the mark.

In fact, contrary to what formed the historical core of journalism’s growing social centrality until the emergence of the Internet, journalistic information is increasingly produced in an immense informational environment that, besides outspreading and diluting it, simultaneously forces it to be competitive. Journalism still has a reserve of legitimacy, bestowing authority to the information it produces. This legitimacy is based, on the one hand, on the tradition related to its fundamental role in developing the modern public sphere and, on the other hand, on the general knowledge of the internal and external control mechanisms of journalistic practices, for journalistic production is supposed to be scrutinised from its ethos and praxis. However, the modes of competition in which it is progressively immersed bring it closer and closer to the possibility of exhausting that reserve. Hence, the constantly discussed threats to journalism are rooted in its economic sustainability models, which impose the urgency of competing for visibility metrics. But also in the intrinsic information production models, which qualify it or not as public interest information and make it compete with the production of information not mediated by journalists.

In fact, information today intersects, as a whole, surrounding – on all sides, in all ways, from electronic highways to the darkest crevices of the societal weave – contemporary societies, expanding and taking them over. It constitutes, increasingly, the heads and tails of the coin that “semi-capitalism” (Berardi, 2015), constantly renewed by “infinite mobilisation” (Sloterdijk, 1989) or “globalisation” (López-Petit, 2009), uses to totalise experience. All information is capital, and all capital is informational. And, if we understand the human from the continuous digitalisation and encryption of experience – the hyper-codified sensor-body, or the “naked life” (Agamben, 2005) – we will understand ourselves as “monnaie vivante” (Klossowski, 1997): I am the data that (re)produce me, and I am currency in circulation. In the informational identity of data, the shattered memories of my identity rest.

The first consequence of this complete intersection is an absolute noise, the immediate cause of the unappealable impossibility of apprehending the whole (Pereira, 2019). A noise that emerges, thus, like an irremovable barrier to the journalistic production of information.

This conference coincides with the launch of the new Barometer for Information Quality at the Communication and Society Research Centre of the University of Minho. It proposes to the scientific community the challenge of reflecting on quality in journalism. Both as a theoretical field of intersection and insertion of journalistic production in information production and as a field of empirical research on the quality(s) that, characterising contemporary journalistic production, assert it as an inalienable value of the continuous construction of the human City.

Presentation model:

This conference will take place on-site and aims to privilege dialogue and critical debate among the participants. Against this background, the organisation invites researchers, teachers and PhD students to submit proposals to be presented in 6 minutes. This modality is expected to make the more dynamic presentation sessions and increase the interaction time for comments and discussion.

To respond to this call, authors should:

– submit a proposal through this form.
– upon approval, prepare a brief oral presentation (lasting 6 minutes) and visual support that may also be exhibited during the event in a space prepared by the organization for that purpose.

Following the event, a book (with ISBN) will be published, to which the authors may provide the full text of their presentation. The chapter to be published should meet the following requirements
– be 6000 to 8000 words long (excluding bibliographical references);
– follow the APA style (7th edition) for bibliographical references.

Submission of proposals: May 13, 2022
Notification of acceptance: May 20, 2022
Registration: June 6, 2022
Submission of presentation materials in digital format: June 17, 2022
Full-text submission: October 30, 2022


Thematic areas to consider for submissions:

– the dimensions, models and challenges of the concept of quality in journalism and its measurement
– the quality in journalism in the information quality ecosystem
– the boundaries of journalism and the relationship with other areas of communication as challenges to the quality of journalism
– the quality of journalism as a public asset/service, in the scope of its role in democratic societies
– the quality of journalism from its relationship with the public/audience
– the quality of journalism as a strategic investment and its place in the discussion on business models
– the contribution of journalist training and journalism education to the quality of journalism
– the quality of journalism within the characteristics and attributes of journalistic production (e.g. genres and new journalistic expressions, design and visuality)
– the quality of journalism within the processes of journalistic production (e.g. ethics and deontology, verification, organisation of newsrooms and production routines)

Media and Journalism Research Group (CECS)
Barometer for Information Quality (CECS)

[Posted: 14-04-2022]