Remaking Digital News

Organized by Pablo Boczkowski and C.W. Anderson, this conference will gather a group of leading scholars to discuss what has been learned from a couple of decades of inquiry on online news and imagine possible future trajectories for this field. The event will take place at Northwestern University (Evanston campus) on April 11, 2015 [see the full program].


Although online journalism scholarship has now matured into a fertile and dynamic field, it has also proceeded in a somewhat piecemeal fashion with most research focusing on a particular set of concerns. What has been missing is the opportunity to step back, reflect on the road travel so far and chart a collective trajectory moving forward. This conference will provide one setting in which to try to accomplish some of this re-imagination work. Additionally, the conference attempts to address a growing concern that much of the scholarship in journalism studies is deeply field-specific and often neglects to take into account larger debates in other research domains like sociology, anthropology, political science, and science and technology studies. Therefore, a second major goal of this conference will be to foster these larger cross-disciplinary conversations.


The Program

Remaking (Digital) News:

Rethinking Theories, Institutions, Frames, and Tropes in the Study of Journalism

Conference to be Held at the Allen Center, Northwestern University, April 11th, 2015

Organized by Pablo J. Boczkowski and C.W. Anderson [1]

Preliminary Program

8:15 – 8:45: Breakfast and Registration

8:45 – 9:00: Welcoming Remarks

9:00 – 10:30: Panel I: Revisiting Theoretical Foundations: Disciplinarity, Causality, and Ontology

“Scholarship on Online Journalism: Roads Traveled and Pathways Ahead,” Pablo J. Boczkowski (Northwestern University) and Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés)

“Technology Without History: Ethnography, Materiality, and Journalistic Change,” C.W. Anderson (City University of New York)

“Searching for a Good Explanation in a ‘New Descriptivist’ Era,” Rodney Benson (New York University)

Discussant: William Dutton (Michigan State University)

10:30 – 10:45: Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:30: Panel II: Revisiting Institutional Foundations: Innovation, Normativity, and Commerce

“Entrepreneurial Journalism: Disruptive Response to Industry Disruption,” Jane Singer (City University of London)

“Journalism Studies’ Three Blind Spots,” Victor Pickard (University of Pennsylvania)

“Journalism Ethics and Digital Audience Data,” Matt Hindman (George Washington University)

“Helping Newsrooms Work Toward their Democratic and Business Objectives,” Talia Stroud (University of Texas-Austin)

Discussant: W. Russell Neuman (New York University)

12:30 – 1:30: Lunch Break

1:30 – 3:00: Panel III: Shifting Frames: Seeing News and Journalism Through the Lenses of Knowledge, Art, and Design

“Digital news as forms of knowledge: a new chapter in the sociology of knowledge?” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)

“On the Art Worlds of Journalism,” Seth Lewis and Rodrigo Zamith (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

“Whitespace Journalism: Designing Absences into the Networked Press,” Mike Ananny (University of Southern California)

Discussant: Dominic Boyer (Rice University)

3:00 – 3:15: Coffee Break

3:15 – 4:45: Panel IV: Shifting Figure / Ground: Foregrounding Affect, Class, and Failure

“Entrepreneurial Journalism as Passion and Play,” Mark Deuze (University of Amsterdam)

“Race, Class & Privilege in Emergent Journalistic Authorities,” Sue Robinson (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Journalism Studies: A Failure Manifesto,” Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University)

Discussant: Michael Schudson (Columbia University)

4:45 – 5:00: Concluding Remarks: Michael Delli Carpini (University of Pennsylvania)

[1] The organizers would like to acknowledge the generous support received for this event from the Departmental Excellence Funding Initiative of Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.