Call for papers Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism (Special issue)

Call for papers

Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism

Special issue

The Objects of Journalism: Media, Materiality and the News

Guest editors: C.W. Anderson ( & Juliette De Maeyer (

Submission deadline: September 30, 2013 (abstracts) and January 15, 2014 (completed papers)

Studying the “objects of journalism” involves looking at the role of actual things in the journalistic production process. Without denying the existence of overarching economic, organizational, ideological, symbolic or cultural forces, the approach advocated in this special issue explores the material objects, sometimes seemingly innocuous or univocal, that are involved in news production, reception and distribution. Drawing on the conversations that took place during the 2013 ICA Pre-Conference « The Objects of Journalism: Media, Materiality and the News », this special issue is an attempt to further uncover and problematize the concrete materiality of journalism. Doing so requires us to think afresh about the ontologies of journalism studies, our research methods and the specific problems we decide to investigate.

The special issue welcomes papers that:

  • Emphasize the socio-historical depth of journalistic objects, allowing us to think about up-to-the-minute aspects of modern newsmaking without being stuck in the contemplation of their alleged novelty. Examples might include papers examining digital artifacts (such as lines of code, hyperlinks, databases, APIs, CMS, algorithms, softwares, etc.) and discussing them in the context of other non-digital artifacts.
  • Provide critical reflection for choosing this modus operandi over other classic journalism studies approaches, and distinguish how specifically a material approach to journalism studies might relate to other disciplines or fields that have already embraced a « material turn ».
  • Tackle philosophical and theoretical questions involving “new materialist” ontologies and epistemologies, and attempt to integrate practices in journalism with already existing thinking on assemblage theory (DeLanda), actor-network theory (Latour) or object-oriented ontology.
  • Rethink methodologies — how do we understand what it means to do a materially-minded ethnography? Content analysis? Social network map? Have our methods always been material in this way? Or is there something new here?
  • Perspectives — whether theoretical, sociological, cultural, economic, or historical — that dispute the advisability or existence of a material turn. In other words, we encourage papers that dispute the thrust, premises or underlying assumptions of the special issue.
  • Any other topics of relevance to the general theme of the special issue.

Prospective authors should submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by email to both C.W. Anderson ( and Juliette De Maeyer ( All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the special issue editors.  Successful authors will be invited to submit a full manuscript according to the journal’s Notes for Contributors. All papers will be subjected to peer review.


Deadline for abstracts: September 30, 2013 ; deadline for submission of articles: January 15, 2014

Publication: 2014