[NEW DEADLINE] Comunicação e Sociedade: call for papers on “Media Transparency”

The call for papers for the journal Comunicação e Sociedade on “Media Transparency” is open from December 11 to March 15 March 25, 2024.

Thematic Editors: Elsa Costa e Silva (CECS, Universidade do Minho, Portugal), Tales Tomaz (Universität Salzburgo, Austria) e Mariana Lameiras (United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance, Portugal)

Transparency has become a buzzword in media policy and regulation. Increasingly considered a requirement for free and democratic functioning, transparency is nowadays a consensual policy response to concerns about the lack of media pluralism and the declining trust in journalism. This framework runs under the assumption that accountable journalism must be guaranteed, given that the first condition of an informed citizenry is access to accurate facts on which people can rely to make decisions (Strömbäck, 2005). Media, particularly public service, has proven to be important for people’s capacity to be informed (Aalberg & Curran, 2012).

There is a growing importance attributed to transparency at the European level. The Media Freedom Act, proposed by the European Commission in September 2022, intends to make mandatory that media service providers publicly disclose information about their ownership, and proposes new requirements for the allocation of state advertising in order to make it transparent and non-discriminatory. And while these new provisions still have now to be discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the member states, the European Commission has also commissioned a pilot project to set up a media ownership monitor. Under the scope of this project, a database has already been made available, stressing the different situations of the countries.

The importance attributed to transparency at the policy level is one of the reasons why the concept needs to be addressed, because, in spite of its normative value, its implementation remains ambiguous. The ethical importance of transparency remains high in the public agenda, but “the complexity in operationalization and grounded practice” (Bock & Lazard, 2021) should be acknowledged and reflected upon, as well as the limitations that hinder transparency from becoming a fully accomplished ideal (Ananny and Crawford, 2018).

This thematic number seeks contributions that provide critical accounts of the transparency principle, either in conceptual terms or empirical settings. In particular, this special issue accepts contributions that addresses, among others, the following topics:

– Normativities of transparency

  • the role of the media in enhancing transparency in the public sphere and democratic societies
  • ethos of self-transparency in professional media

– Transparency in media production

  • practices and levels of transparency in regional and national media
  • self-regulation instruments and the role of councils, unions and other professional organisations
  • impact of public relations agencies and professionalised sources

– Transparency in ownership and control:

  • ownership models and obstacles to transparency from intricate, cross-border and cross-business structures
  • disclosure of financial support both from corporate and state power and strategies of funders to obfuscate influence
  • regulatory, co-regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks of governance

– Transparency in media distribution:

  • disclosure of platforms’ criteria for distribution of professional media content
  • transparency in current models of print and broadcast distribution


Aalberg, T., & Curran, J. (2012). How media inform democracy: Central debates. In How Media Inform Democracy (pp. 17-28). Routledge.

Ananny, M., & Crawford, K. (2018). Seeing without knowing: Limitations of the transparency ideal and its application to algorithmic accountability. new media & society, 20(3), 973-989.

Bock, M. A., & Lazard, A. (2021). Narrative transparency and credibility: First–person process statements in video news. Convergence, 13548565211027813.

Strömbäck, J. (2005). In search of a standard: Four models of democracy and their normative implications for journalism. Journalism studies, 6(3), 331-345.


Proposals submission (full manuscript) | December 11, 2023 to March 15, March 25 2024


Papers can be submitted in English or Portuguese. The articles selected for publication will be translated into Portuguese or English, respectively, being published in both languages.


Comunicação e Sociedade is an open-access academic journal, operating according to demanding standards of the peer-review system, and operates on a double-blind peer-review process. After submission, each paper will be distributed to two reviewers, previously invited to evaluate it according to its academic quality, originality and relevance to the objectives and scope of the theme.

Originals should be submitted through the journal’s website. When accessing Comunicação e Sociedade for the first time, you must register before submitting your article (instructions to register here).

Refer to the guidelines for authors here.

For further information, please contact: comunicacaoesociedade@ics.uminho.pt

[Posted: 12-12-2023]