Call for papers for AEJMC annual conference

The Participatory Journalism Interest Group, PJIG, invites research paper submissions for the 2021 AEJMC Conference, August 4-7 to be held virtually. The deadline for paper submissions is April 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (CDT).

Scope: We are interested in research exploring participatory journalism and engaged journalism. Broadly, we are interested in journalism that involves members of the public in the selection, production, dissemination, and sharing of news and information. Participatory journalism may involve professional journalism outlets or community newsrooms, but what distinguishes it is the role “citizens,” “users,” “audiences,” or “participants” play in creating content or otherwise collaborating in the journalistic process. This may include a range of practices—for example, social media commenting and sharing, crowdsourcing story ideas or reporting, public newsrooms, citizen journalism initiatives, and more. While digital tools and platforms have made many of these practices more common, we are interested in both online and offline approaches to participation in journalism and efforts to build more reciprocal relationships between journalism and publics.

Research topics may include, but are not restricted to, the following areas. Quantitative and qualitative methods are respected equally.

  • Participatory journalism in political campaigns (crowdsourcing ideas, coverage, etc.)
  • Efforts to build trust through participatory and engaged journalism practices
  • The use of user-generated content, polls, focus groups and other methods to report news
  • Citizen media, civic mapping, community conversations, user comments, community organizing practices in journalism  
  • Entrepreneurial journalism with collaborative elements
  • History/philosophy of participatory media
  • The mission and meaning of “participatory” and/or “engaged” media
  • Legal and ethical issues in participatory journalism
  • Journalism boundaries and norms such as “objectivity” and participatory/engaged journalism
  • Crowdsourcing versus traditional “gatekeeping” models of journalism practice
  • News sharing and social media distribution
  • Participatory journalism in a multicultural and/or multinational environment
  • Participatory journalism and mobile/wearable/immersive technologies
  • Economic elements of traditional media and their relationship to participatory journalism movements
  • Teaching journalism and media production in participatory contexts

Awards: Papers submitted will be eligible for four separate awards: first- and second-place faculty paper awards and first- and second-place student paper awards (both $150 and $75 respectively). The poster award will be given after the poster session and is based on the combined quality of the research and poster presentation. Students should clearly identify their papers as “student papers” in the submission process. Papers co-authored with faculty members do not qualify for the student competition.

Submission guidelines:

Papers must be submitted in accordance with all requirements of AEJMC and its uniform paper call and electronic submission process. The full paper length is limited to 25 pages, not including references, tables, figures or appendices. Font size should be 12 pt. Times New Roman with margins at least 1 inch on all sides. A COVER SHEET or a sheet with the 75-word ABSTRACT is required but EXCLUDED from the page number limits. We accept papers in any academic formatting style. Papers should not have been published or under review by another conference.

Please direct questions to PJIG Research Chair You Li (

Author Identification: All submissions undergo a blind review process. Authors should ensure that their papers do not contain any self-identifying references of any kind including self-citations or the properties section of the pdf document or it will be disqualified from the conference. For a detailed explanation, please see “submitting a clean paper” under the uniform paper call on the AEJMC website. We urge you to submit at least two days before the deadline so you can check your uploaded document for self-identifying information and resubmit prior to the deadline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s