In a time of political upheaval with the extreme right on the rise globally, and the techniques of fascism (populism, propaganda and fake news, hate speech and rise of hate crimes) dominating discourse around societal and political issues, what is the potential for progressive activists to use the media to enable resistance and open up space for alternatives? This special issue emphasises the importance of collective action and media visibility (Meikle, 2018; Tilly & Wood, 2013; Melucci, 1996) in generating positive change.
We define ‘activism’ as ‘the widest range of attempts to effect social or cultural change’ (Meikle, 2018: iii), while ‘the media’ includes a broad range of communication platforms, from traditional journalism to digital networks.
We welcome papers on the subject of (but not limited to):
This special issue invites the most recent theoretical interventions and empirical research that explores how media activism across the globe opposes the current crises in Western democracies and beyond.
Co-editors: Michaela O’Brien, Assistant Head of School of Media and Communication; Dr Anastasia Denisova, Lecturer in Journalism, Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster
Deadline for abstracts:
Please submit a 250 words abstract by 21 January 2019. You will receive feedback from editors shortly after.
Deadline for full papers:
Full papers are expected by 25 March 2019. All papers will go through double peer-review.
Publication date: June-July 2019
WPCC is an open access journal and there are no fees for contributors. Published by the University of Westminster Press in conjunction with CAMRI. All content in this issue and in its archive is available free to read.
Meikle, G. 2018 (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism. Abingdon: Routledge
Melucci, A. (1996). Challenging Codes: Collective Action in the Information Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Tilly, C. and Wood, L. J. 2013. Social Movements, 1768-2012 (3rd ed.) Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Posted on 12 Dec 2018
WPCC is thrilled to announce the publication of an extensive new special issue on the topic of China’s much debated ‘going-out’ strategy as it has developed. It extends the discussion about China¹s media expansion by focusing on the act of communicating the ‘going-out’ message and how it has been received by residents of Latin America, the USA and Africans studying in China.
Eleven contributions consider television news to radio, Twitter, the financial structures of Chinese internet firms alongside book reviews of publications on Chinese and global media politics offering new data and interview material as well as alerting readers to some of the most useful theoretical tools to develop understanding.
Localisation between Negotiating Forces: A Case Study of a Chinese Radio Station in the United States
Going Public and Going Global: Chinese Internet Companies and Global Finance Networks
Could Chinese News Channels Have a Future in Latin America?
Pablo Sebastian Morales
Chinese Media 'Going Out’ in Spanish Speaking Countries: The Case of CGTN-Español
Peilei Ye, Luis A. Albornoz
China¹s News Media Tweeting, Competing With US Sources
Joyce Y. M. Nip, Chao Sun
African Students Watching CCTV-Africa: A Structural Reception Analysis of Oppositional Decoding
Is Shanghai’s Sixth Tone a New Model for China¹s Overseas Propaganda?
'See the Difference’: What Difference? The New Missions of Chinese International Communication
Aike Li, Minsu Wu
Posted on 26 Jul 2018
Geography, media, and communications have been closely linked since the 16th Century. Just as the advent of the printing press changed the media landscape, so too did it change that of geography and cartography.
The printing revolution, along with new instruments of measurement led to a prolific expansion of mapping activates in the 16th Century, producing increasingly detailed birds eye views of the world. These views from above worked to serve as tools of possession, the elevated position of the explorer and cartographers and the commanding view provided by the maps mirrored the divine gaze of God, positioning the commissioner of the map in a seemingly omniscient position, solidifying their position of control, changing perceptions and relationships with space itself. In this way, the Cartographic Gaze was the precursor to the surveillent gaze, epitomized by Bentham’s Panopticon and the work of Foucault.
A number of texts have already examined the linkages between geography, media and communications; Innis’s (1950) classic text on Empire and Communications; Falkheimer and Jansson’s (2006) Geographies of Communication explores communication theory’s spatial turn, and conversely Adams and Jansson’s (2012) examination of geography’s communicational turn. Yet, as we move further and deeper into a digitized world we are bombarded with ever more instruments of measurement (big data, algorithms, UGC, VGI etc.), ever more far reaching versions of the printing press (Web 2.0, Social Media etc.), and the waters are muddied further by the development of Participatory-GIS systems, and the (re-)birth of Neogeography which purportedly offers up a challenge to the status quo (Goodchild, 2009; Haklay, 2013).
Thus, it becomes essential that, just as we might question the 16th century map makers, we must now question data analytics, algorithms and their architects, the media, and those who claim to contest the cartographic gaze; to ask, ‘did you find the world or did you make it up?’ to quote Winnicott (cited in Corner, 1999). The media, data analysts and neogeographers all sit in-between the virtual and the real creating new forms of virtual time and space that are then superimposed onto territorial spaces (Potts: 2015). These new virtual spaces are still so too controlled and mediated from above by new omniscient digital Gods, propelled by their search for profits.
This call for papers aims to bring together the disciplines of geography and communication to draw out and challenge a number of problematic discourses in relation to power, knowledge and representation, recognizing not only that each are material and symbolic, but also that each particular place representation is contingent and unique (Hall, 1980). As the world, the media and our communications tools become increasingly digitalized and data driven we are increasingly constructing myths through algorithms, visualization, codification and mediation, of all which require us to rethink and interpret signs and their connotations (Hall, 1997; Barthes, 1972).
Late twentieth century communication and information technologies have produced such a blurring of what is real and what is representation that the two can no longer be distinguished (Corner, 1999). Geography has often been concerned with the scales of state, capital, power, knowledge and representation, leading many theorists to cross the divide between disciplines; Michel de Certeau, Pierre Bourdieu, David Harvey and Henri Lefebvre being clear examples. It is then perhaps, through combining the knowledge of geographers, media and communication theorists and social theorists that we can better understand the twenty-first century’s increasing spatialization of thought and experience.
Themes may also include but are not limited to the following:
• Maps as tools of communication
• Communication infrastructure and power relations
• Representation and communications
• Cultural Geography and the media
• Geography and communication
• Spatial dimensions of technology
• Geospatial data analysis for communication
• The geographies of data visualization
• Participatory GIS
• Counter-mapping and tactical media
• Globalization, cartography and inequality
• Submission of Abstracts:Prospective authors of research articles of between 6,000-8,000 words including notes and references are encouraged to send a 250-word abstract to no later than end 19th January 2018.
• Deadline for abstracts: end 19th January 2018.
Please send abstracts to WPCC2015@gmail.com
• The editorial team of WPCC will endeavour to inform authors of abstracts by end 1st February 2018 if the abstract meets the brief of the issue and if WPCC would like to request submission of a full text with a view to inclusion, subject to peer-review and editing on delivery.
• Deadline for full-text submission: 20th April 2018. Authors of those abstracts encouraged by WPCC or new submissions should register at the journal website by 20th April 2018 attaching the article. Authors will be notified as soon as possible about acceptance, revisions or rejection and the outcome of the review process with a view to publishing accepted articles subject to any amendments requested. Please route communications about articles submitted via the journal's online system. Please submit articles here
Adams, P. C., & Jansson, A. (2012). Communication geography: A bridge between disciplines. Communication Theory, 22(3): 299-318.
Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. 1957. Trans. Annette Lavers. New York: Hill and Wang.
Corner, J. (1999). The agency of mapping: Speculation, critique and invention, pp. 213-252 in The Map Reader: Theories of Mapping Practice and Cartographic Representation (eds. M. Dodge, R. Kitchin and C. Perkins), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Falkheimer, J., and Jansson, A. (eds.) (2006) Geographies of Communication: The Spatial Turn in Media Studies. Göteborg: Nordicom.
Goodchild, M. (2009). NeoGeography and the nature of geographic expertise. Journal of Location Based Services, 3(2): 82-96.
Haklay, M. M. (2013). Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation. Environment and Planning A, 45(1): 55-69.
Hall, S. (1997). Representation & the media. Northampton, Massachussetts : Media Education Foundation.
Innis, H. A. (1950). Empire and Communications, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Potts, J. (2015). The New Time and Space, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Posted on 05 Dec 2017
Research articles on a variety of privacy topics, an interview with leading surveillance scholar Mark Andrejevic and some reflections on Vance Packard’s prophetic classic The Secret Society form the content of WPCC’s latest issue published 31 October 2017.
Redesigning or Redefining Privacy?
Shabnam Moinipour, Pinelopi Troullinou
Rethinking Privacy: A Feminist Approach to Privacy Rights after Snowden
Privacy Shields for Whom? Key Actors and Privacy Discourses on Twitter and in Newspapers
Cristín O'Rourke, Aphra Kerr
Visibility, Power and Citizen Intervention The Five Eyes and New Zealand’s Southern Cross Cable
What is a Good Secure Messaging Tool? The EFF Secure Messaging Scorecard and the Shaping of Digital (Usable) Security
Francesca Musiani, Ksenia Ermoshina
Rethinking Privacy and Freedom of Expression in the Digital Era: An Interview with Mark Andrejevic
Undresssing with the Lights On: Surveillance and The Naked Society in a Digital Era
Posted on 06 Nov 2017
WPCC's issue on Radio and Revolution is now published and complete. In addition to the editorial on 'Radio, Communities and Social Change' the line-up was as follows.
History of Struggle: The Global Story of Community Broadcasting Practices, or a Brief History of Community Radio by Gretchen King
Freedom Waves: Giving People a Voice and Turning It Up! Tuning into the Free Radio Network in the Basque Country by Jason Diaux, Ion Andoni del Amo and Arkaitz Letamendia
Radio as a Recruiting Medium in Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle
by Everette Ndlovu
Invisible Revolutions: Free Radio Music Programming in Barcelona
by Lola Costa Gálvez
Posted on 07 Sep 2017
As China continues its global economic rise, Chinese media have been tasked with making Beijing’s official voice heard and understood in the world. Eight years after the launch of an accelerated ‘media going-out’ policy, however, the nature and impact of that policy are still contested. It was originally billed as part of a government-led drive to accrue ‘soft power’ for China, but is that still the case under the presidency of Xi Jinping? Politically, technologically and strategically, much has changed for Chinese media since he came to power. As China becomes more assertive internationally, President Xi has reaffirmed the requirement for state media to act in the interests of the government and Communist Party at home and abroad. By 2017, China’s international media offering was vastly more sophisticated than that of 2009. Chinese television, radio, print and websites were delivering streams of factual material to industrialised powers and developing nations, often in local languages and formats, and increasingly tailored to the Western social media networks that are blocked in mainland China. Have the core messages themselves altered, how are they received and have the efforts – thus far – been worthwhile ? China’s media have indeed ‘gone out’, but does the map they set off with in 2009 still make sense today?
This issue calls for papers that extend the debate about China’s media expansion, either by bringing a fresh critical perspective to current lines of enquiry – for example, through comparisons with the global reach of non-Chinese media – or by investigating new or under-covered areas. Submissions that deal with factual content are encouraged, particularly news and news-based features. This issue does not cover primarily cultural ‘soft power’ vehicles such as entertainment, fiction or the work of Confucius Institutes.
Themes may also include but are not limited to the following:
Posted on 12 Jul 2017
WPCC is thrilled to announce the publication of a special new audio commentary issue on the topic of reshaping media and cultural studies for a new era.
In the words of issue editor Dr Tarik Sabry in the editorial: 'In an age of ongoing economic and political crisis, military conflict displacing millions of people and systems of governance and democracy in question, a reassessment of the questions posed by the disciplines of media and cultural studies is called for. Traditional paradigms for conceptualising the media are further challenged by shifts in the media environment resulting from the growth of digital and mobile media. This is a defining moment for the field and a time for reflection and re-evaluation.'
Here is the stellar line-up of topics and contributors:
EDITORIAL Reframing Media and Cultural Studies in the Age of Global Crisis
REFRAMING MEDIA STUDIES AND CULTURAL STUDIES IN THE AGE OF GLOBAL CRISIS: WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?
The Academic Study of Media has Always been the Study of New Media
Where is the Global in Media Theory (and When)?
Is ISIS “the” Crisis? Media Studies as Contemporary History – A Provocation
Making Media Studies Transformational: Creativity Over (Just) Criticism
GLOBAL CRISIS AND MEDIA THEORY
The Return of the Popular
Social Movements and the Global Crisis: Organising Communication for Change
Crisis Politics and Austerity in the UK: Creative Instabilities?
Hegemonic Shadows: USA, China and Dewesternising Media Studies
RETHINKING INTERNATIONALISING MEDIA STUDIES AND CULTURAL STUDIES
Internationalizing Media Studies: A Reconsideration
Internationalizing Media and Cultural Studies: Travelling Knowledge and Translocalities
Transnationality or Globality? The Korean Wave and Methodological Challenges in Media and Cultural Studies
Mediatization, Suffering and the Death of Philosophy
Difficult Questions: Trends in Communication Studies – A South African View
Chinese Communication Studies: Three Paths Converging
NEW/OLD THEORY IN MEDIA STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES
Encountering the Anthropocene: Geology, Culture, Ethics
What is to Be Done? The Role of the New and the Old in Media Theory – The Moment for Critical Digital and Social Media Studies
Media and Communication as a Field of Research
Posted on 27 Jan 2017
Research articles on media and digital disruption cover industries and topics as diverse as: hybrid TV, German Newspapers, co-creation platforms, video games, business models and the long term future of Russian media. Other features treated trade book publishing and the prospects for media management research via an interview with Lucy Küng the Google Digital News Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute, University of Oxford. Dinara Tokbaeva guest edited.
See here for a full list of contents
Posted on 25 Jan 2017
Special issue: Redesigning or redefining privacy?
The revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013 came as a wake-up call for a public that increasingly depends on the internet for numerous everyday activities. A shift of boundaries between the state and the public came to the fore placing state scrutiny at the centre of public debates, at least for a while. Recent studies suggest that individuals who consider themselves as ordinary citizens disregard surveillance on the basis of the argument, “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”. Others like Stoycheff, 2016 suggest that surveillance has contributed to a chilling effect on minority views, which are forcefully silenced.
The FBI-Apple dispute about a locked and encrypted iPhone shifted the attention to privacy by design, which introduced an interesting paradox: companies that harvest personal data of individuals for their own commercial interest are to be found protecting the same data from government agencies and promising privacy via encryption. In a neoliberal context, though, many companies are driven by the maximization of profit rather than the common good. Thus, such actions can be seen as shrewd customer relationship management to boost their loyalty. Blaming the “bad” state that spies on people, the “good” companies come to "protect " human rights such as privacy.
This raises serious questions that need to be addressed: do new technological developments empower the user and ensure privacy and freedom of expression as the discourse suggests? Should citizens place their rights in the hands of big corporations? Do many individuals now show more trust in corporations than in democratically elected governments? If so what are the implications for democracy as such? Should the response to risks of computer-based surveillance be yet more advanced technology? This special issue calls for papers that contribute to the ongoing debate about surveillance, focusing on the implications for democracy following Snowden’s revelations and the shift to privacy by design.
Themes may also include but are not limited to the following:
Submission of Abstracts: Prospective authors of research articles of between 6,000-8,000 words including notes and references are encouraged to send a 250-word abstract to WESTMINSTER PAPERS IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE no later than 1st October 2016.
Deadline for abstracts: 1st October 2016 Please send abstracts to WPCC2015@gmail.com
The editorial team of WPCC will inform authors of abstracts by the 15th October 2016 if the abstract meets the brief of the issue and if they would like to request submission of a full text with a view to inclusion, subject to peer-review and editing on delivery.
Deadline for full-text submission: 1st February 2017.
Authors of those abstracts encouraged by WPCC or new submissions should register at the journal website by 1 February 2017 attaching the article. Authors will be notified as soon as possible about acceptance, revisions or rejection and the outcome of the review process with a view to publishing accepted articles subject to any amendments requested. Please route communications about articles submitted via the journal's online system.
Please submit articles via: http://www.westminsterpapers.org/about/submissions
Posted on 15 Jun 2016
Arguably the first news transmission ever broadcast was at 5.30pm on Tuesday 25th April 1916, from a shop opposite the General Post Office in Dublin. It went out via a 1 1/2 kilowatt ship’s transmitter, which had been ‘liberated‘ from the nearby school of wireless telegraphy and announced to the world that the Irish revolution had begun; the intention being to alert passing US ships to the fact in the hope that once the news reached America, help would be forthcoming.
Other revolutionaries were not slow to realize the potential of this new medium; to Lenin it was ‘the newspaper without paper’ (and mindful of his country’s vast size) ‘without distances.’ Trotsky thought it could be used to encourage urban revolutionary fervor in Russia’s vast rural interior. Nasser’s Sawt al-Arab (Voice of the Arabs) electrified audiences in the Middle East in the 1950s. In the 1960s, anti imperialist and anti apartheid radical broadcast from friendly countries like Tanzania and the ANC’s Radio Freedom broadcast secretly inside S Africa from 1963. Throughout the Cold War prohibition of foreign radio stations was countered not only by CIA-sponsored radio but local community initiatives all in the name of social change.
Today, Radio Rebelde, founded by Che Guevara is still supporting the Cuban revolution he helped launch. In Venezuela there are over 300 communitarian socialist radio stations. The FARC has its own station. Argentina boasts a thriving alternative communitarian radio network La Tribu whereas in Africa radio has been credited with the role of developing listening communities that have radically transformed the form of the public sphere from colonial times to the present.
Radio from its beginning has been a revolutionary technology. This issue of WPCC invites papers from established academics and those nearer the start of their careers on the subject of radio and revolution. Revolution is intended in its broadest sense, encompassing not only the violent overthrow of governments and their counter measures but revolution in the sense of radical social change.
Perspectives are welcome from history, media sociology, cultural studies, communication theory, feminist studies and all disciplines highlighting topics on radio and revolution from 1916 to the present day. Theoretical and descriptive pieces are welcome with preference being given to research articles that successfully combine both. Submissions are encouraged related to the events and continents above and all others not mentioned. Research on digital radio and contemporary and historical radio technologies are welcome as well as pieces on public and commercial radio, radio celebrities and personnel, news, factual, arts, music, drama and other types of programming and more general perspectives on links between radio and revolution.
Proposed deadline for abstracts: 24 MARCH 2016
The editorial team of WPCC will inform authors of abstracts by the 5th of APRIL 2016 if the abstract meets the brief of the issue and if they would like to request submission of a full text with a view to inclusion, subject to peer-review and editing on delivery.
Please send to: WPCC2015@gmail.com
Deadline for full text submission: 31 JULY 2016
Authors of abstracts encouraged by WPCC or new submissions should register at the journal website by this date attaching the article. Authors will be notified as soon as possible about acceptance, revisions or rejection and the outcome of the review process with a view to publishing accepted articles subject to any amendments requested by the end of 2016 after editing and proofing. Please route communications about articles via the journal's online system.
Please submit articles via: http://www.westminsterpapers.org/about/submissions/
Posted on 10 Feb 2016
The whole notion of a 'media company' is undergoing reconceptualization. While the future of media and of media professions are being questioned, studies on media management and media business observe the practicalities of media transformations. In a changing digital realm finding the right business model is only one of many riddles to be solved by media managers who usually pay little attention to theory. On the other hand, involvement in media management makes one an active learner, considering the pace of changes. In this regard modern research on media management is doubly challenged: at first, scholarship needs to keep pace with current changes, and second, theory if it is to have tangible impact needs to be adaptable to the needs and attention spans of those in the industry.
In this issue we will focus on anything from strategic change and innovation on a par with culture alongside studies on technology, audience and leadership. However, to narrow things down, we will look at current media management practices from the angle of disruption.
A report by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2013 predicted that the top four of 12 technologies that would ‘transform life, business and the global economy’ in the next decade were media technologies: namely mobile internet; the automation of knowledge work; the internet of things; and the cloud, underlining the importance of academic studies that take disruption as a central concern.
Seen in the dimension of the market space sphere of global media markets, disruptiveness is relative. What is disruptive for the incumbents may be the normality for the innovators. For example what the New York Times may now be struggling to cope with is what the Huffington Post may thrive on. In the Web 2.0 and mobile era when media technology has enabled the audience to come into play as never before, this relativity has become even more complicated. With the ubiquity of innovative technology, disruptiveness may have become the “new normal” of the media industries. If so, managing disruptiveness will become the normality of media management.
This issue of WPCC examines these issues from a variety of perspectives: incumbents, innovators, and/or audiences. We also welcome proposals covering different national markets or with an international dimension.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Deadline for full text submission: 1 June 2016
Posted on 21 Sep 2015
WPCC is the first journal to be published under the auspices of the newly-formed University of Westminster Press. UWP is a fully open access press publishing high-quality books and journals across the academic spectrum.
WPCC will continue to provide a forum for research in all areas of media and cultural studies under the Editorship of Anthony McNicholas.
Posted on 05 Jun 2015