Journalism Studies Division

Conference Call for Papers 


Annika Sehl, Vice Chair

U of the Bundeswehr Munich, Germany



The Journalism Studies Division encourages research that advances our understanding of how journalism works, whether within localized spaces or comparatively across countries and regions. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, the roles of journalism in society, the structural and cultural influences on news, the attitudes and characteristics of journalists, the shifting boundaries and practices of journalism, economic and business models for news, the nature of news audiences and engagement, and features of news content and their effects. Of interest are the relationships between journalism and power, democratic norms, financial pressures, technological change, organizational innovation, and academic critique. Papers may examine journalism at various levels of analysis and using a variety of theories, methods, and perspectives. The Journalism Studies Division is also interested in submissions attempting to clarify, define, and question core concepts such as “news,” “media,” and “journalism,” which are increasingly vague in meaning.


The Division accepts three forms of submissions: scholarly papers (i.e., full papers), panel proposals, and extended abstracts for works in progress.


1. Scholarly papers (i.e., full papers)


Scholarly papers should be original and innovative. They can be either theoretical in focus or employ empirical methods (quantitative, qualitative, mixed, computational, etc.) at an advanced level. ICA requires that papers be no longer than 8,000 words maximum, not including references, tables, figures, charts, etc. (Book chapters can also be submitted under this category, so long as the chapter can be evaluated on its own. If you submit a book chapter, please include a short introductory note about the subject and scope of the book as a whole and about how the submitted chapter fits within the overall book.) Work already published or accepted for publication, or work already submitted to or presented at another conference, may not be submitted to ICA.


Paper authors are expected to conceal their identity from reviewers (e.g., no names on title page, no names in file properties, and appropriate concealment in the text). Submissions that are not appropriately anonymized for blind review may be rejected. If citing your own work, be sure to use the third person to keep the paper anonymous, or, where necessary, replace paper author names with “AUTHOR” in the text and in the bibliography.


If ALL of the authors are students, then the paper should be designated a student paper in the submission process and it is eligible for the student paper awards. The division recognizes three Top Papers and three Top Student Papers.


Full papers that are accepted to the conference might also be programmed for the poster session.


2. Panel proposals


The Division also accepts panel proposals, but because few panel proposals can be accepted they must provide exceptional added value. Besides topicality and substance, international composition is another strong point of successful panel submissions. Furthermore, panels should feature gender balance, and should not include more than one presenter from a single faculty, department or school. Consider, too, the number of panelists you propose to include. It is difficult to have a successful panel with more than five participants or presentations or to justify a panel with three or fewer participants. Panel proposals must provide all the information required by the online submission system, including a rationale for the panel and individual abstracts from each participant. Panel proposals require a 400-word rationale for the panel and a 150-word abstract from each panel participant.


For the 2021 conference, the Division also encourages panel submissions adhering to the theme of “Access, Equity, and Inclusion in Journalism and Journalism Studies.” The purpose of these special panels is to explore, explain, and critique challenges and deficits in this respect in Journalism and Journalism Studies. Beyond simply describing challenges and deficits with regard to access, equity and inclusion, successful panels around this theme should help to stimulate a discussion on how they are or could be addressed. To propose a themed panel, please title the panel proposal as: “Access, Equity, and Inclusion in Journalism and Journalism Studies: [Your Panel Topic].”


3. Extended abstracts of works in progress


The division also accepts extended abstracts addressing works in progress. Because of the newness of this format (introduced at the 2019 Washington conference), there are several important points that authors must consider before submitting:


  1. Extended abstracts should be no more than 1,000 words in length, not including references.

  2. Extended abstracts should describe a study that, in terms of its timing and progression, would actually benefit from feedback at the conference. As such, these abstracts represent discrete studies or broader project areas that have been designed but not yet executed, and which are likely to be in progress at the time of the conference, thus maximizing the opportunity for feedback.

  3. Extended abstracts should clearly set forth the study purpose, conceptual framework, and research questions, as well as provide sufficient methodological detail by which to evaluate the study’s design and its likely findings. If applicable, abstracts may also include preliminary findings.

  4. At the conference, these extended abstracts will be presented in sessions clearly labeled “Works in Progress,” and authors will present in an abbreviated format (e.g., 6-8 minutes per abstract, to be determined by the number of presenters) so as to facilitate ample space for discussion and feedback.

  5. When submitting in this format, authors must include the words “Extended Abstract” at the start of their paper title (e.g., “Extended Abstract: [Your paper title]”). Authors should clearly indicate the same on the title page of their submission. Submissions that are not appropriately labeled may be rejected.

Reviewing expectation


All paper submitters are expected to also volunteer as reviewers for the division. We need you! For every paper to receive three reviews, there is no way we can accomplish it without the collective support of the division’s members and other submitters.


If you have any questions concerning these formats or general inquiries regarding your individual submission, please contact Vice Chair Annika Sehl (