#ISOJ journal launches call for papers and the topic for next issue: ‘Digital Media and Democracy in the Americas’


For the second year, the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, is making a call for papers for a special edition of its official academic journal #ISOJ that will be entirely dedicated to one topic. This time, the theme will be “Digital Media and Democracy in the Americas.”

Two distinguinshed scholars, one from the United States and the other from Latin America, will be the guest editors for the 2019 edition of #ISOJ: Dr. Pablo Boczkowski, professor at Northwestern University (U.S.) and co-director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina (MESO), and Dr. Eugenia Mitchelstein, assistant professor at Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina) and also co-director of MESO.

The papers selected by an international blind review process will be presented at the 20th ISOJ conference on April 12-13, 2019 at the University of Texas at Austin and published in Volume 9 of the #ISOJ journal.

“Digital media are essential for the well-being of democracy, and they have been under attack from governments and other powerful actors, first in Latin America and lately in the United States, too,” Mitchelstein said. “We are interested in research about how editors and reporters and social media actors have dealt with these pressures, as well as audiences’ reactions to this trend.”

The call for papers asks scholars to help answer the following questions:

  • How have the news media performed their democratic duties in the Americas?
  • Have journalistic practices changed in response to technological innovations and political challenges?
  • How have journalists viewed their professional roles in this new environment?
  • What regulations have encouraged or hindered independent reporting?
  • Have viable alternatives to traditional revenue models emerged?
  • Has the use of social media by social movements and political figures affected the jurisdictional power of the news media and, if so, how have the latter dealt with this change?
    Dr. Eugenia Mitchelstein and Dr. Pablo Boczkowski (Courtesy)
    Dr. Eugenia Mitchelstein and Dr. Pablo Boczkowski (Courtesy)

“Media’s role in liberal democracy is also challenged by the diffusion of misinformation through alternative channels, and it’s interesting to inquire about journalists’ and technologists’ views and proposed solutions to this challenge, and about the public’s practices and interpretations of a changed information landscape,” Boczkowski said.

The deadline to submit extended abstracts is August 15, 2018. Those whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to submit full papers for peer review and consideration at the ISOJ conference and possible publication in the #ISOJ journal. For more information and guidelines, see the PDF here.

The next #ISOJ journal will be published at the 20th ISOJ conference in April 2019 where the accepted authors of this special call will present their work.

“ISOJ is an ideal forum for this conversation, because of its unique combination of world-class scholars and influential practitioners from the entire continent,” Mitchelstein said. “Moreover, the Knight Center has a long tradition of research about the Americas, making it the ideal venue for this discussion.”

The journal was first launched in Spring 2011 at the 12th ISOJ, seven years after a research component was added to the conference. 2018 was the first year that ISOJ featured a journal with a special theme and guest editor. Dr. Jane Singer, professor of journalism innovation at City, University of London, edited Volume 8, “Habits of Thought.” Download the journal or watch video of the research panel presentations at isoj.org.

Amy Schmitz Weiss (Courtesy)

“We are so happy to be able to have another year of a special themed and guest edited issue of the #ISOJ journal,” said Amy Schmitz Weiss, ISOJ research chair and ISOJ co-editor and associate professor of journalism at San Diego State University.  “We are so honored to have Dr. Boczkowski and Dr. Mitchelstein guest editing this issue as they are exceptional for their international journalism scholarship.”

ISOJ is an annual global conference created by professor Rosental Calmon Alves in 1999 and hosted by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas that bridges the gap between academia and the news industry. Hundreds of journalists, media executives and scholars from around the world will meet in Austin, Texas from April 12 – 13, 2019 to discuss the impact of the digital revolution on journalism and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ISOJ.

The eight volumes of the journal are all availble at the ISOJ website’s research section. The ISOJ website features also the transcripts, videos and other materials of all the symposia since 1999. It is an invaluable repository of contemporary testimonials on the evolution of online journalism in the United States and the world in the last two decades.