The Future of Journalism Conference - September 8 and 9, 2011
The third Future of Journalism conference was attended by 150 scholars, researchers and journalism practitioners from almost 40 countries around the globe including China, Japan, Russia, Australia, the US and most western and central European countries.
Positive feedback from this year’s delegates revealed that a number now consider the event to be the most significant international conference focussed exclusively on journalism studies, and the most important forum at which to present their research findings.
Over the two days approximately 100 research based papers addressing broad themes such as new media technologies and their implications for journalism, changing journalism practice, journalism education and professionalism, and new business models for journalism were presented.
Plenary speaker Emily Bell, previously Director of Digital content for the Guardian Media Group and now Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia School of Journalism, USA, outlined an optimistic future for journalism which detailed the possibilities for developing new forms of journalism, at considerably less cost, but with the wider participation of people not previously involved with journalism.
Distinguished scholar and holder of the Gutgsell endowed Research Chair at the University of Illinois, Dr Robert W. McChesney offered an alternative future in his plenary, where he outlined the difficulties confronting journalism, its future funding, and the implications of both for democracies, especially in the US. He also offered an historical overview of how such problems and outcomes were at odds with the ambitions of Madison, Jefferson and the founders of the American Republic.
A new feature at the conference was a Roundtable devoted to discussion of the News International phone hacking scandal. The panel included Chris Bryant MP and five scholars from countries such as the UK, US and Australia where Rupert Murdoch’s media holding were a significant component in the national press systems. This lively session was streamed live via the Jomec website.
As with previous conferences, a selection of the best papers will appear in special issues of the journals Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice, and will also be published as a new Routledge collection titled The Future of Journalism 2011.