Journalism Studies Division


Seth Lewis, Vice Chair
U of Oregon

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, and features of news content and their effects. Of interest are the relationships between journalism and power, democratic norms, economic 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 (new for the 2019 conference) extended abstracts for works in progress.

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. New for the 2019 conference, ICA is requiring that papers across all divisions be no longer than 8,000 words, not including references, tables, figures, charts, etc. (Book chapters can also be submitted under this category, as 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.

On the first page of paper submissions, authors should include 6-8 keywords, including theoretical/conceptual/topical keywords as well as methodological keywords. This will help in the reviewing and program-planning process.

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). If citing your own work, be sure to use the 3rd person to keep the paper anonymous or replace paper author names with “AUTHOR” in text and bibliography. If ALL of the authors are students, then it 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.

Panel proposals

The Division also accepts panel proposals, but because very 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. 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 2019 conference, the Division also encourages panel submissions adhering to the theme of “Public Engagement in Journalism Studies.” The purpose of these special panels, which link to the general theme of the Washington conference, is to create space for considering how, why, and to what effect journalism studies might cross boundaries to engage with various publics, including citizens, activists, policymakers, media professionals, other academic disciplines, and so on. To propose a themed panel, please title the panel proposal as: “Public Engagement in Journalism Studies: [Your Panel Topic].”

 Extended abstracts of works in progress

New for the 2019 conference, the division will accept extended abstracts addressing works in progress. These extended abstracts should be no more than 1,500 words in length, not including references, and should describe an ongoing study that could benefit from feedback at the conference. As such, these abstracts should represent works that have been designed but not yet fully executed, and which are likely to be in progress at the time of the conference. 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. At the conference, the format for presenting these works-in-progress extended abstracts likely will be a high-density session. However, because this is an experimental approach by the division, the exact number of abstracts accepted and the format for their presentation will depend on the number and quality of submissions received. Authors must include the words “Extended Abstract” on their title page and in their paper title when entering it into the ICA submission site (e.g., Extended Abstract: Paper title).

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 Seth Lewis (