Call for Papers – ICA 2019 Preconference: Digital Journalism in Latin America, May 23th, 2019, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Deadline: November 1, 2018. NOTE: Deadline extended to December 15, 2018.
Research on digital journalism has by now a solid tradition that spans more than two decades (Barnhurst, 2012; Boczkowski, 2002; Reich, 2018; Steensen, 2011). For the most part, this scholarship has focused on industrialized nations in North America and Europe (Mitchelstein and Boczkowski, 2009) and has paid comparatively less attention to other regions such as Latin America (for some notable exceptions, see Bachmann & Harlow, 2011; Boczkowski, 2010; González de Bustamante and Relly, 2014; Harlow and Salaverría, 2016; Vimiero, 2017). This relative scarcity contrasts with the prominent role of digital journalism in the news diets of Latin Americans: around 9 out of 10 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico access news online (Newman, et al, 2017). The growth in online audiences has been paralleled by the expansion of digital news operations, either as the internet operations of print media (Bachmann & Harlow, 2011) or as new online enterprises (Harlow and Salaverria, 2016; Requejo Alemán and Lugo Ocando, 2014).
As both digital news production and consumption have featured increasingly more prominently in the information landscape of Latin America, it is worth inquiring into whether the specificity of Latin America and its culture and institutions might entail differences with digital journalism as it is practiced and appropriated in other parts of the world. For instance, Latin American journalism has been described as less professionalized and less independent than in more stable democracies (de Albuquerque, 2005; Hallin and Papathanassopoulos, 2002; Hughes, 2006). How have these two long-standing features affected the practices of online news production and the self-perception of reporters? Has the development of online journalism allowed for the emergence digital start-ups and fact-checking organizations that compete with traditional news organizations with long-standing links with politicians and corporations? Have online news operations conducted mostly partisan journalism, due to their dependence on government advertising? Moreover, Latin American audiences tend to show high levels of skepticism towards news (Newman, et al, 2017). Has this lower level of credibility been tied to differences in willingness to pay for digital news, information acquisition online, and uptake of alternative media sources, among other activities?
The ICA pre-conference on Digital Journalism in Latin America invites scholars to examine the production, distribution, and consumption of digital journalism in Latin America. Both empirical and theoretical conference presentations; quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches; single-country and comparative research (with a major focus on Latin America); and historical and contemporary inquiries are welcome.