The Objects of Journalism (London)


The Objects of Journalism : Media, Materiality, and the News (pdf)
London, June 17, 2013
Frontline Club

Studying the “objects of journalism” involves looking at the role of actual things in the journalism production process. This pre-conference aims at moving away from perspectives focusing on overarching forces — be they of an economic, ideological or technical nature — as the main explanation of what happens in the making of the news. Without denying the existence of such forces, the approach advocated here tentatively explores the very material objects, sometimes seemingly innocuous or univocal, involved in journalistic production.
It is an effort, in other words, towards fully embodying a vast set of heterogeneous objects that were or are enrolled in the making of the news : from the carrier-pigeon to Google algorithms, from Remington typewriters to robot-journalism. Taking objects seriously strikes us as being an approach towards which some very challenging research and researchers are currently tending, but also as lacking a larger, unified framework for discussing potential items of research. We also aim, finally, to help to facilitate discussion between those who scholars who might embrace this « material turn » and those who might see it as a return to a realist ontology perhaps best left behind.

Paper Submission Process

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to conference organizers C.W. Anderson at heychanders(at) and Juliette De Maeyer at Juliette.De.Maeyer(at), by November 20, 2012. Authors will be informed regarding acceptance / rejection for the preconference no later than December 20, 2012. It is the goal of the organizers hope to have the papers for this preconference posted online, and thus full papers will need to be submitted no later than May 15, 2013. The pre-conference takes place on June 17.