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Manuscript deadline
20 March 2021

Cover image - Digital Journalism

Digital Journalism

Special Issue Editor(s)

Svetlana Bodrunova, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
[email protected]

Anna Gladkova, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
[email protected]

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Comparing Digital Journalisms Across Nations and Cultures

In 2004, the landmark study by Hallin and Mancini, ‘Comparing Media Systems’, has opened doors for hundreds of comparative studies in journalism, media, and communication that featured nearly every aspect of media life, from media effects to professional journalistic routines to news diets to roles of platforms, among many others. However, an important mediated realm that has been under-studied in relation to comparative and cross-cultural analysis is digital journalism – whether seen as a theoretical concept, a professional domain, a creative industry, or a possible macro-indicator of the national media system development.

Since 2004, media and communication world has changed beyond recognition. Digital journalism and social media are becoming the leading source of information for citizens all over the world, challenging newspaper and TV markets as the pillars of public debate and demanding more than a humble place within models of journalism of the previous era. Transborder mediated communication and proliferation of global audiences have put under question whether nation states need to remain major units of analysis for comparative media and journalism studies. Perhaps, other analytical units, as well as the very goals of comparison, need to be developed for comparative studies of digital journalism.

On one hand, globalization of media brands, global reach of communication platforms, quicker spread of innovations, and formation of cross-regional agendas, especially in times of crises like the global recession or pandemic, evoke expectations that digital journalism practices may standardize across nations. On the other hand, there is growing evidence that local/regional social, political, and cultural factors critically affect how digital journalism is made and perceived. The rise of populism, political polarization, and authoritarian trends poses burning questions on how digital journalism in different contexts opposes political pressures or is employed to oppress or ‘garden’ political dissent. Together with that, the challenges of audience segmentation, digital and social inequalities, blurring borders of media trust, and spread of misinformation create a need for new criteria in comparative journalism studies.

The special issue aims at bringing together comparative studies of digital journalism in various contexts and across them, elaborating comparative criteria, and discussing the methodological and institutional challenges in comparative digital journalism research in the globalized yet very diverse world. The issue seeks to examine whether digital journalism differs depending on social or cultural contexts, geographic proximity of countries, political or economic factors, accessibility of ICTs, and specifics of media landscapes, among other factors.

In particular, we invite submissions that engage with (but are not limited to) one or more of the topics below:

  • Digital journalisms? Contextual dependence of the development trajectories of the digital journalism practices around the world
  • The place of digital journalism in the existing approaches to modeling media systems
  • Digital journalism compared cross-culturally and cross-regionally: variables and metrics
  • Comparing media policies in response to growth of digital journalism
  • Cross-country comparisons of the recent digitalization effects and digital practices of journalism
  • Democratic and wider societal roles of digital journalism in both democratic and non-democratic contexts
  • Digital and non-digital journalism: competition and strategies for claiming niches
  • Digital journalism and politics in comparative perspective
  • Technological and social challenges for digital journalism in various parts of the world
  • Digital divide and economic divide: implications for digital journalism

For this special issue we welcome comparative studies that involve at least two countries, as well as theoretical contributions. The special issue is open for regular submissions; decisions about inclusion will be quality-based, reliant on thorough peer-reviewing.

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Submission Instructions

Abstract submissions (500-750 words excluding references, indicating central questions, theoretical framework, and methodology) are to be sent to Svetlana Bodrunova [email protected] and Anna Gladkova [email protected]

Full papers are expected to be between 7,000 and 9,000 words long, including references, tables, figures, and supplementary materials.


Abstract submission to emails of guest editors: November 1, 2020

Authors notified of the results of abstract selection: November 20, 2020

Deadline for full paper submission to ScholarOne: March 20, 2021

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