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01 September 2021
01 March 2022
Disinformation studies as an emerging research field
This special issue of Journalism Practice looks at the complexities of disinformation and its implications on society. The number of studies that were already growing increased exponentially with Covid-19. The main goal of this special issue is to develop a set of studies and policies that allow us to identify and contribute to combat and effectively minimize the phenomena of disinformation, misinformation and manipulation in the journalistic field.
In addition to fake news, the study of disinformation in the journalistic field includes theoretical paradigms and empirical approaches that go beyond those: bias, concealment of facts, agenda building, strategic use of sources, mobilization of emotion, empathic media and omission of data are studied in other contexts of journalism studies helping to clarify this new phenomenon.
There is a vast experience in the media effects theory, whose researchers studied, in due course, a set of phenomena of information and manipulation that today, with the necessary adaptations, constitute a corpus of examples and inspiration for new researches in different contexts.
Finally, new research trends began to emerge which constitute a valuable theoretical and experimental corpus for the contemporary and present times: empathic media, recognition of patterns of reading, identification of behavior and consumption patterns with far-reaching consequences around on social, cultural and political life and considerable impact on democratic, electoral and civic participation practices.
This special issue is spurred by an October 2020 COVID-19 #DisInforStudies Seminar (http://labcom.ubi.pt/disinforstudies/), held by LabCom at University of Beira Interior, Portugal, and with the participation of some important scholars like Edson Tandoc Jr., Karin Wahl-Jorgensen or J. Scott Brennen. Also, by a September 2021 ECREA post-conference “Disinformation studies: perspectives to an emerging research field” (www.ecrea2021.eu).
The contributions to this special issue, from different national and international contexts, can focus (among others) on the following topics:
- Identifying through case studies, examples of media whether revealing weaknesses or, instead, using strategies particularly directed to fight the phenomenon;
- Discussing new manipulation and disinformation strategies, considering in those the study of the audience from the perspective of their manipulation through the mobilization of emotions;
- Discussing a theoretical and systematic framework for the analysis of disinformation and manipulation phenomena;
- Identifying the use of devices and tools that help to combat the phenomenon of disinformation;
- Identifying professional practices and professional routines that help to combat the disinformation phenomena;
- Identifying new and/or different journalistic practices that rise with disinformation growth (independent fact checkers and fact checking sections in newsrooms, etc);
- Identifying what strategies are local media adopting, considering the growth of digital audiences and smaller newsrooms;
- Identifying and proposing public policies to decision-makers that helps to minimize and fighting disinformation phenomena;
- Discussing the relevance of a subfield called disinformation studies.
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If you are interested in participating in this special issue, please submit an extended abstract (500-750 words), accompanied by a 100-150-word bio introducing your relevant expertise. Abstracts should be sent no later than September 1st 2021, to [email protected]
Upon selection, scholars will be invited to submit full papers. Article submissions should be about 8,000 words in length, including references, and are subject to full blind peer-review, following the peer-review procedure of Journalism Practice. Manuscripts will be submitted through the journal’s ScholarOne website (select “Disinformation studies as an emerging research field”).
Deadline for submission of extended abstracts: September 1, 2021
Decision on abstracts: October 15, 2021
Deadline for full-papers submission: March 1, 2022
Publication: Online first after acceptance, and later in a forthcoming issue of Journalism Practice.
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