Call for Papers: Public Service Media for Innovation and Sustainability
Call for Paper Proposals
16-18 of May, 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal
We are delighted to announce the forthcoming RIPE@2024 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Our 12th biennial conference is produced as a collaborarion between three of Portugal’s most influential schools for media research and education, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Nova University, Porto University, and Santiago of Compustela University in partnership with Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP), the national public service provider.
Conference Motivation and Theme
Digital technologies have caused enormous disruptions and high instability for media systems and companies around the world, ushering in consequential shifts in economic and political power. More media of more types are motivated by commercial imperatives than ever before, while the editorial function has become increasingly precarious and endangered. Online platforms are socially influential and used as primary sources of news and information, although in many cases without clear editorial responsibility over the content and without providing a comprehensive service. Most are social media platforms that define themselves as tech companies rather than media companies to avoid editorial responsibilities. The digital majors are big data corporations with substantial influence on the substance and tenor of public communications.
While national PSM providers remain important in principle and often in policy, as well, they are not strongly supported in practice in many countries and most are struggling to cope with competitive disadvantages that are too often severe. These especially include constraints on and cuts in funding, uncertain and wavering political support, growing pressure from commercial lobbies, the scope and scale of growing global competition, and fragmentation as well as growing polarizaio of publics.
Scholars and practitioners alike are all too familiar with confounding problems for socieities caused by the proliferation of fake news, mis- and disinformation campaigns that have propagandistic intentions, echo chambers and filter bubbles, and emerging concerns related to the use of generative artificial intelligence to produce increasingly sophisticated ‘deep fake’ content. The collapse of editorial responsibility combined with efforts to undermine the public service orientation and organizations mandated to enact it has created systemic conditions that are characterized by nontransparency and unaccountability, predatory media strategies, pseudo-realistic news content, partisan news as business strategy, all of which has fueled a widespread and increasing lack of public trust in news media.
The current situation poses grave dangers to the health and vitality of the public sphere in democratic societies, and greatly complicates efforts to develop a public service orientation in media where the public service ethos has not been historically characteristic. This orientation and ethos are being undermined to an alarming degree in both institutional and operational aspects. The implications are more troubling still in the environmental context of rapid global warming. Trust in truthful reporting and accurate information undermines efforts to address existential threats historic disregard for the health of the planet presents a set of problems that are existential threats in the natural ecology. Young people everywhere are increasingly anxious, dissatisfied, and in too many cases angry or depressed
PSM can play a role of pivotal importance in redressing imbalances in the news and media ecology, fairly reporting factual realities, and facilitating political and social discourse that is necessary to enact solutions that require significant change in individual and organization behaviors. Achieving this will require further development changes in PSM internal priorities, activities and structures to develop sustainable practices, and effective communications with external stakeholders in political and popular markets to continually secure the support needed to perform this role. PSM can and should be an important part of strategies and practices to enourage greater respect for the fragility of our natural ecosystem and in providing valued services for people as a global community with diverse cultures, political systems, and socio-economic conditions.
As a consequence of global warming, inequities in the global ecomomic system, and problems rooted in violence and conflict both within and between nations, wealthy societies are struggling to cope with mass migration while economically disadvantaged populations in the Global South are struggling to cope with environmental degredation and potentially cataclysmic disruptions in political and economic life. Societies everywhere are struggling to strengthen and maintain cohesion as nationalism and protectionism are on the rise, as renewed imperial ambitions are causing tremendous loss of life, as xenophobic politics and radical populism grow throughout the West, and as sophisticated forms of clandestine propaganda employ cyber-strategies with the strategic intent of underming democracies in both principle and practice and to foment civil unrest.
The socio-economic and political context begs serious efforts to address a range of crucial questions for PSM organizations today: What are the roles and functions of the public service sector in addressing such a broad and complex range of challenges? How can PSM mitigate and even help to resolve the damaging consequences of predatory pseudo-journalism? What can PSM do to shore up political and popular support not merely for organizational self-interests but in pursuit of a genuine contemporary mission to help ensure development and sustainability? What can PSM do to counter and remedy the negative externalities of commercial, state and clandestine media systems that have undermined the social responsibility ethos and editorial independence? How can national PSM organizations effectively compete with international digital media giants that refuse editorial responsibilities to be a counterbalance and potential antidote? How can PSM resist the alarming constellation of pressures that prioritize goals that have nothing to do with serving publics and develop convincing answers to strengthen public and political support? What can PSM due to safeguard independence and restore trust in the media? How can and should PSM organizations, managers and workers support and facilitate achieving sustainability goals that matter for everyone in every society?
Research Priorities and Topics
The RIPE@2024 conference organizers invite paper proposals that will address topics and issues of pointed relevance to the conference theme. Submitted abstracts will be peer reviewed by a scientific committee as the basis for acceptance. Empirical and comparative research is especially appreciated. The workgroup structure for conference proceedings will be based on the following broad areas of general interest and concern:
- Efforts to improve PSM organizations, governance and practices to support environmental sustainability in the media ecology as well as the natural ecology.
- Projects working to restore public trust in news media and address the crisis of pseudo-journalism, intentional partisanship, fake news, and clandestine propaganda.
- Projects and achievements in pursuit of innovations that are pertinent to the focus of the conference being produced in, by or in partnership with PSM organizations.
- Research on efforts and strategies to develop contemporary business models and funding streams that are appropropriate for the public service orientation.
- Research and practices focused on the role and functions of PSM organizations in efforts to serve historic and contemporaray diaspora populations.
- Strategies and projects to strengthen the beneficial externalities of PSM and offset the negative externalities that are undermining public trust in media.
Paper proposals can be submitted using the conference website: https://www.ripepsm.org . Abstracts are due 14 January 2024. Submitters will be informed of acceptance by 11 February 2024. Full papers are due 5 May 2024. Please provide the following information:
- A working title for the paper
- An abstract describing the paper and main argument that does not exceed 1,000 words
- Specify two of the topics from the 6 listed above the paper can contribute to addressing
Submissions will be peer-reviewed (double-blind) by a scientific committee. The evaluation criteria are:
- Relevance to the conference theme and topics of specified interest (other topics are fine, but the proposal should be relevant to at least one of those listed above)
- Originality of the research (empirical) or essay (philosophical), i.e. its contribution to improving knowledge and/or theory building
- Quality and importance of study and/or concept the paper will address
- Research methods and design (for empirical papers)
- Key findings and implications for developing PSM theory in relation to the conference theme
- Relevance of the findings / concept for PSM management and practice
Empirical research is highly valued but the organizers also welcome insightful philosophical, critical and theory-driven papers. Comparative research is especially appreciated.
RIPE conferences focus on substance, dialogue and results. We therefore limit acceptance to about 60 papers and each paper is assigned to one of several workgroups that are based on the list of 6 broad topics provided above.
The official language of the conference is English. There will be a session on Public Media Service in the Ibero-American Space in wh ich presentations can be given in Portuguese or Spanish.
The conference happens over 2.5 days with a welcoming reception the Wednesday evening before the first day on Thursday. The conference will end at lunch time on Saturday and will be immediately followed by a General Assembly organized and chaired by the leadership team of International Association of Public Media Reseaerchers (IAPMR
The early bird registration fee is €325 euros (until the 15 th of March). The fee for later registrations is €375 euros (until 15 th of April).
A reduced registration fee of €175 euros is available for students and junior academic researchers (less than 3 years after completing the PhD degree.
The conference fee pays for meals (2 dinners including the gala, 2 lunches, 6 coffee breaks) and all conference events and materials. It does not pay for hotel accommodation or travel costs.
Based on the level of interest, a non-obligatory social programme might be planned for Sunday following the conference at an additional cost for those interested to participate.
Neither the RIPE conference or any of the partner organizations can supplement personal travel costs.
For more information about the conference, please consult our website https://www.ripepsm.org
For answers to questions related to logistics or other practical matters not addressed on the website, you can send email to either of these two options:
For information about RIPE or to contact the IAPMR leadership team, please email Gregory Lowe Gregory Ferrell Lowe: firstname.lastname@example.org