Media Industry Studies Interest Group

Conference Call for Papers

Ramon Lobato, Chair

Senior Research Fellow

School of Media and Communication

RMIT University

Melbourne VIC 3000




The Media Industry Studies Interest Group promotes the critical study of the history, organization, structure, economics, management, and cultural impact of media industries from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. The Media Industry Studies Interest Group defines media industries broadly and seeks research related to industrial aspects of media - including, but not limited to: film, television, the internet and social media, radio, music, publishing, electronic games, and mobile communications and applications. The Interest Group invites papers, extended abstracts and panel proposals that address the wide range of subject areas relevant to the study of media industries, including but not limited to: the political economy of media industries; industry power and control; the impact of regulation; audience and production studies; creative labor; barriers to participation; workforce, ownership and content diversity; the sociology of media organizations; and media strategy and business models. Studies that address how media industries and organizations are being affected by – and responding to – the dramatic technological, social and economic changes affecting the media environment; or that have an international focus are particularly welcome; as are submissions that address the ICA 2021 conference theme (Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice).

The following submission formats are accepted:

1. Full papers:  Full papers must be no longer than 8,000 words (not including tables and references). Papers must adhere to the guidelines in the ICA general call for papers. In particular, papers must not contain identifying information about the author, and authors must not submit previously published papers. Papers can utilize any accepted citation style. MIS recognizes the Top Division Papers, including a Top Student Paper. Complete papers accepted will be considered for our Top Faculty Papers and Top Student Paper. Awards will be presented at the annual business meeting. The Top Student Paper award is given to the highest ranked paper that is authored solely by individuals who were students at the time of submission. To be considered for this award, students must indicate their status during the submission process (by checking the appropriate box). 

2. Panel proposals:  Panels should focus on current or emerging debates in the field and have a clear discussion orientation. Priority is given to panels that seek to advance disciplinary knowledge and debate. Topics proposed should lend themselves to a debate among panelists, but also generate discussion among session attendees. A typical panel might include 4 or 5 panelists, but we also accept “roundtable” panels with as many as 8-10 panelists who give informal and shorter presentations of their ideas or work (5 minutes max.), again, prioritizing time for audience interaction and discussion. All panel proposals should: include contributions from at least two different countries, feature gender balance, and include not more than one contributor from a single faculty, department or school. The panel proposal should include a statement from the organizer declaring: “I have received signed statements from all intended participants agreeing to register for the conference and participate in the panel.” If any item of the above guidelines and formatting instructions is not met, the panel will not be reviewed. Panel submissions must include the following: 

(i) A 400-word abstract for the panel. 

(ii) A topic of focus and 150-word abstract for each panelist followed by a brief description of each panelist’s qualifications regarding the proposed topic

(iii) A 75-word description of the panel for the conference program.
(iv) A rationale of no more than 200 words (optional), should panelists want to explain the need for the panel or explain its format. 

3. Extended abstracts: We will consider abstracts of no more than 2,000 words (including references). Abstract submissions are intended for work in progress, offering the opportunity to present ongoing research that has not yet reached completion at the time of the submission deadline. Abstracts should concisely present the purpose of the paper, main theoretical framework/assumptions, and research methods. Abstracts should clearly state the contribution of the paper for media industry studies. Submitters must delete all identifying information before submitting an abstract.

For all submissions, please note the following:

Use of keywords: For all types of submissions, please use the key word system to help us allocate appropriate reviewers. Methodology keywords are particularly helpful: political economy, in-depth interviews, discourse analysis, content analysis, historical methods, network analysis, quantitative methodology, qualitative methodology, et cetera.

Word length: ICA’s submission system may offer different word length limits, but the limits stated above take precedence. Failure to submit per Interest Group requirements will result in rejection. 

Exclusive submissions: Each paper/proposal may be submitted to only one Division or Interest Group, OR to the theme sessions. Submission of the same paper/proposal to more than one section is not permitted, and will disqualify the paper for presentation.

Reviewing: It is expected that all submitters to also volunteer as reviewers for the division. Within ICA’s paper management system (where you submit papers) you have the option to “Volunteer to be a Reviewer” – please click this link and fill in your information. Under “qualification,” please focus on the same keywords noted for submitters (see above) to best match papers to your expertise. 

The interest group may desk reject any submissions that, in their judgment, do not adequately reflect the interest group’s subject matter focus. 

Those seeking help with content-related aspects of the submission process (i.e., paper format/length or the relevance of particular topics) are invited to contact MIS Chair Ramon Lobato ( and Vice-Chair Aske Kammer (