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InícioApresentaçãoCall for papersVol.14, issue 27(2019)(02_DJMN)

Vol.14, issue 27(2019)(02_DJMN)

Call for papers for Comunicação Pública No. 27 (December 2019)

Special Dossier: Disinformation, Journalism and Business Models


Suzana Cavaco (FEP – University of Oporto)

Languages: Portuguese; English; Spanish

Deadline for submission: 15 September 2019

In order to take action in a democratic society, citizens need to have access to relevant, truthful and plural information. Social responsibility of the press (a concept introduced in 1947 by the Hutchins Commission) lies upon the fundamental right to inform and be informed.

Journalists play a socially instituted role as builders of reality. It is a ‘symbolic power’: an ‘invisible’ and ‘quasi-magical’ power ‘of making people see and believe, of conforming or transforming the vision of the world and, thereby, action on the world and thus the world itself” (Bourdieu, 1989).

In the 1990s, Bourdieu (1997) criticized journalists for holding a de facto monopoly on large scale information broadcasting tools, leaving but little wiggle room to cultural agents. Even though media products generate ‘huge’ externalities (Baker, 2004), the journalistic field is subject to the demands of both readership and advertising markets. In the 21st century, however, we have seen an intensification of the low autonomy of the journalistic field (Bourdieu, 1997).

The Internet brought opportunities and threats. Reduction in production costs, distribution and content search made it possible for niche markets (Long Tail business model) to compete with traditional mass markets (Anderson, 2007). Individual’s empowerment fostered by digital connectivity (Kolter et al., 2017) led to ‘mass self communication’ (Castells, 2009). A hyper-abundance of information has lowered journalism’s exchange value. Nowadays, the attitude of a typical Internet user is characterised by reluctance to pay for online journalistic content and use of ad blockers. Attention is one of today’s scarcest resources.

At the same time, political populisms, booming as a function of connective action, accuse journalists of belonging to an elite who is enemy of the people (Engesser et al., 2017). Today, in a moment prior to the potential and dangerous widespread use of deepfake, any individual can become a powerful spy or soldier at the service of somewhat obscure ideas. We are seeing ‘information pollution’ on a global scale – a phenomenon which purpose is to engender confusion and distrust (Wardle & Derakhshan, 2016). The kind of disinformation that online platforms favour and amplify thrives in our current fertile ground of post-truth.

In this state of growing disintermediation of journalism, hybrid genres are surfacing that navigate between journalism forms and marketing promotion goals, in a blurring of boundaries that compromises the perceived use value of journalism.

One hundred and twenty-five years after the 1st International Congress of the Press, held in Antwerp, in 1894, where participants debated what ‘being a journalist’ is; and considering the crucial role of training in journalism (Fengler et al., 2014), some relevant questions arise: What skills should journalists training explore/strengthen? How have journalism and/or news media reacted, and how should they react, to the challenges posed by disinformation? What kind of contents should receive priority? Which business models to follow? What are de best communication policies?

The Special Dossier on Disinformation, Journalism and Business Models aims at debating those and other related questions. It therefore welcomes contributions that focus on the following topics, taking into account the financial sustainability of journalism and the ideal workings of democracy:

1. Journalists and their technical and ethical skills

  1. Training journalists in technological challenges

  2. Old and new deontological questions

  3. Boundaries of journalism

2. Journalists’ and/or news media’s attitudes

  1. Journalism in times of disinformation and post-truth

  2. Journalistic routines and the correct use of resources

  3. Media accountability mechanisms

3. Business models in journalism

  1. Financial sustainability of journalism

  2. Journalism and content distribution by digital platforms

  3. Sponsored content

  4. Clickbait, intrusive advertising and ad blockers

  5. Job insecurity and working conditions

4. Communication Policies

  1. Regulation and disinformation

  2. Incentive/Support Policies to the consumption of journalism

  3. Public service and media pluralism


1st Call for Papers: 29 May 2019

Deadline for Submissions: 15 September 2019

Deadline for Notification of Acceptance: 30 October 2019

Deadline for submitting the final version of accepted paper: 15

November 2019

Publication date: 15 December 2019

Submission guidelines:

Manuscripts should follow the preformatted template ( and be submitted by e-mail (sent to: attached in .doc format. The subject to be included is the following: Dossie temático 02_DJMN

Papers can be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese, always using Microsoft Word. They are to include an abstract of up to 900 characters, five keywords written in both the language of the paper and in English, and the author’s details (name, affiliation, position, field of study, and contact information). The full paper, with reference list, annexes and citations should not exceed 50.000 characters (including spaces, endnotes, references, tables, images, etc.). Studies, Notes and Book Reviews should not exceed 10.000 characters (For more information please see Normas de Publicação).

Upon acceptance of a paper for publication, the individual or collective author(s) will be asked to assign copyright to Comunicação Pública.

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