Pre-conference Toronto, #jrp2023

by Nicole Blanchett
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Between ideals and practices: Journalistic role performance in transformative times, is a one-day international pre-conference that will explore the factors shaping journalism in an industry facing critical resource shortages, political polarization, and a years-long pandemic. Journalists now often work in precarity, with a narrated ideal to fulfill a public service role, but a reality that might involve more time spent entertaining than acting as a watchdog, and a growing segment of the audience that does not trust in news or chooses to avoid it.

The conference will be held in The School of Journalism in the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) on Wednesday May 24th, 2023 (just a 15-minute walk from the location of ICA 2023), and have presentations in both French and English. Journalists will also be invited to participate in panels/discussions to build bridges between academic researchers and practitioners.

Dr. Daniel Hallin and Dr. Claudia Mellado will give keynote addresses. A registration fee of $75 Canadian ($25 for students) will include breakfast and lunch. There will be a limited number of affordable rooms for up to a one-week stay in TMU’s residence for registered conference participants*.

Calls for papers/panels:

Submissions can be made through this form for panels (with no more than four presenters) and/or individual papers. Panel submissions should include a 250-word description of the panel theme and abstracts of no more than 400 words for each presentation therein. Individual presenters should submit an abstract of no more than 400 words. French and English submissions will be accepted. Presentations/panels will be selected by peer review. Deadline for submission is December 15, 2022. Presenters will be notified their submissions have been accepted by February 1, 2023. Conference participants are also encouraged to submit their papers for a special issue of Journalism Practice. The following themes are suggested for pre-conference submissions:

  • Pandemic reporting: How has the pandemic affected roles performed by journalists? How has journalistic content creation changed/evolved and how has a global pandemic impacted the ways journalists view their roles within their respective organizations? 
  • News and technology: How has technology and AI modified news media practices and consumption? How has the digital transformation of journalism impacted the application of journalistic roles?  
  • Organizational impact on journalistic role performance: How do newsroom environments influence journalistic role performance relative to more general societal factors? How are converged newsrooms that deliver to multiple platforms changing traditional roles?
  • Political impacts: What are the political, social and economic implications of the performance of journalistic roles? How does the (dis)connection between journalistic ideals and practice affect political landscapes? 
  • Methodological challenges of studying journalistic roles: What are the best practices to engage with and gain access to journalists and for data collection and analysis in the study of journalistic role performance? 
  • Gatekeepers and gaps: Where are the biggest gaps between journalistic ideals and practice? How has the proliferation of digital media altered journalistic gatekeeping, including content creation and distribution? 
  • Positionality, power, and privilege: How does an individual’s social location and standing affect their journalism? How do systemic barriers and lived experience impact journalistic role performance and how journalists interact with their audience and the sources used in their stories?
  • Journalists as activists and influencers: How are changing norms surrounding objectivity impacting journalistic role performance? And are those changes consistent across media systems?

Questions? Get in touch with us at

**Rates for rooms in residence are not set for spring but will be approximately $65/night for a room with shared bathroom and $90/night for a room with a private bathroom. Details available at the time of registration.

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