JOBEM-erikoisnumero: Old Against New, or a Coming of Age? Rethinking Broadcasting in an Era of Electronic Media

Tilauksessa papereita JOBEMin erikoisnumeroon. Harkitkaa osallistumista ja kertokaa kavereillekin!

Call for Papers

Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Special Issue

Old Against New, or a Coming of Age? Rethinking Broadcasting in an Era of Electronic Media

In this special issue edited and authored by graduate students, JOBEM is calling on emerging scholars to redefine “broadcasting” and explore the relevance of this term in an age of electronic media. We believe that graduate students are uniquely situated to change the conversation around new and old media, rethinking both what it means for media to come of age and how to study such a phenomenon.

Special Issue Coordinating Editor-in-Chief

Stacy Blasiola (University of Illinois at Chicago,

Special Issue Guest Editors

R. Stuart Geiger (University of California, Berkeley)

Airi Lampinen(Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT & University of Helsinki)


Deadline for Extended Abstracts: August 19, 2013

Full Paper Invitation: September 22, 2013

Deadline for Full Papers: January 6, 2014

Final Decisions: May 6, 2014


As guest editors for the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, we know that the term “broadcasting” certainly has the connotations of a rapidly-disappearing era. There is a strong temptation to sharply distinguish between old and new media, and “broadcasting” (and even “electronic”) is a term that is now often associated with the old. We are constantly told that we are in the midst of a digital/social media revolution that will make the unidirectional, mass communication model obsolete. Yet a cursory glance into either the history of media technology or the contemporary use of new media platforms complicates these dominant narratives. Do we need new terms to help us think about what it means for new media to come of age, or do we need to reappropriate old terms?

Do ideas about new media revolutions help us better understand the complicated relationships between radio and early television programming, telegraph networks and emerging telephone infrastructure, or musicians and the various shifts in the recording industry? Do notions of social media disruptions help us understand how participation takes place in sites like Wikipedia, reddit, or YouTube, or how these sites are situated in relation to more established news and media industries? What is the relevance of “old media” terms such as “broadcasting” for studying today’s social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and Pinterest? We call on graduate students to start a new thread in the conversation about what it means for media to be old and new. For us, rethinking “broadcasting” in an era of electronic media is to neither hastily disregard the legacy of these terms nor cling to them too rigidly.

As graduate students, we feel a curious resonance with the contradictory expectations surrounding new media forms. We are called to be apprentices, learning to participate in a longstanding and well-established institution; yet at the same time we are called to be radical revolutionaries, disrupting old ways of thinking. Graduate students, like many new media services and platforms, face many anxieties about what it means to come of age in a landscape already filled with towering figures. Many of the issues we face are longstanding problems that every generation before us also confronted, but we also face many concerns that are unique to our current historical situation.

As emerging scholars, we believe that graduate students are uniquely situated to change the conversation around new and old media, rethinking both what it means for media to come of age and how to study such a phenomenon. In this special issue, we call on graduate students to redefine what “broadcasting” means and explore the relevance of this term in an age of electronic media. We intentionally leave this open to interpretation. We seek papers that will theoretically and empirically advance our understanding of the diverse array of practices, content, people, technologies, industries, and policies that collectively constitute our contemporary media ecology.

We call for papers from a wide variety of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields, recognizing that scholarship can take a variety of different forms. We invite authors to:

  • propose novel theoretical or methodological frameworks to the study of media and broadcasting

  • critically review and synthesize existing academic literatures about media and broadcasting

  • discursively analyze various rhetorics and narratives around/in media and broadcasting

  • document case studies about historical and/or contemporary media and broadcasting forms

  • relate ethnographic, qualitative, or quantitative studies about the role of media and broadcasting in various social contexts

  • contact us about any other paper forms, or if you are unsure if your paper is suitable for this special issue


Deadlines and Submission Instructions


Deadline for Extended Abstracts: August 19, 2013

Invitations to Submit Full Papers: September 22, 2013

Deadline to Submit Full Papers: January 6, 2014

Final Decisions to Authors: May 6, 2014

Final Revisions for Full Papers: May 26, 2014

Publication of the Special Issue: September 2014

All submissions must be graduate student driven, meaning that the primary authors should be enrolled as graduate students (at least) at the time of submitting extended abstracts.  Although collaborative work with non-graduate students is acceptable, we seek papers that are primarily conceptualized and authored by graduate students. Collaborative work with other students is highly encouraged. Importantly, the corresponding, lead author–who will be responsible for the paper and interactions with the editors–must be a graduate student.

Because we anticipate a large number of submissions, we will not initially accept full papers for review. Interested authors must first send a proposal of their paper in an extended abstract format of 600-800 words, not including references. The extended abstract should clearly introduce and outline the paper, giving reviewers from a wide variety of academic fields enough context and detail to evaluate its feasibility as a full paper, intellectual merit, relevance to the special issue theme, and broader impacts. As the research for these papers may not yet be complete, we do not expect that extended abstracts will necessarily include all of the paper’s findings or conclusions. However, the extended abstracts should outline what kinds of findings or conclusions the authors expect to present in the final paper. Specifically, extended abstracts should include:

  • a title

  • a description of the paper’s core topic, case, problem, and/or argument

  • the methodological approach, theoretical background, and/or disciplinary field

  • the paper’s relevance to related academic literatures

  • expected findings or conclusions

  • expected contributions to the study of media

Extended abstracts must be mailed as an attachment to and must be sent in .rtf, .doc or .docx format. We cannot accept .pdf submissions.

Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to submit a full paper of no more than 7,500 words (including references). Invited full papers will be subject to a formal peer review process, and papers will only be published if they pass JOBEM’s standard reviewing process. Authors must adhere to a strict schedule for submission and revisions. Authors whose manuscripts do not get accepted to the special issue are encouraged to consider submitting revised papers to JOBEM through the normal submission process.

All submissions must adhere to the formatting guidelines for Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. Manuscripts must adhere to APA style format. Complete submission guidelines can be accessed at papers must be submitted online at: (select “Special Issue: Grad Issue” as a manuscript type).

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