European Communication Conference 2018 endorses nine independent pre-conferences which will take place prior to the main conference. For all information and registration to the pre-conferences please visit the pre-conferences websites:

Audiences, datafication and the everyday: Challenges, ambitions and priorities for audience studies in datafied societies
31 October 2018

Organisers: Ranjana Das (University of Surrey) and David Mathieu (Roskilde University)

Submission deadline: 14 May 2018

Website link:

Brief description: A variety of fields have started critically examining what van Dijck (2014) has termed dataism, and the logic and consequences of big data in contemporary societies. This preconference aims to critically assess the repertories and readiness of audience studies – from its long histories of empirical interest in everyday practices and literacies – to chart out a roadmap for the field in the specific contexts that datafication presents. What empirical ambitions shall we pursue at the intersections of datafication and everyday life? What methodological approaches shall we adopt? Extending Sonia Livingstone’s now classical 2004 question, we ask – What is the audience researcher to do in a datafied age?

Children and Adolescents in a Mobile Media World
31 October 2018

Organizers: Institute of Communication and Health, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and the ECREA TWG: Children, Youth and Media

Submissions deadline: 30 April 2018

Website link:

Brief description: Children and adolescents increasingly turn to mobile media devices, the smartphone in particular, to stay connected with family and friends and access a variety of digital media contents and services including social media, music, videos, and games. The everytime-and-everywhere access to mobile media has changed children’s and adolescents’ everyday life with potential implications on their health and development. The pre-conference wants to address these issues both from a theoretical and methodological perspective.

Funding of Independent and/or Public Service Journalism (FIPS-J)
31 October 2018

Organizer: Steffen Kolb (University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin, Germany)

Submission deadline: 15 June 2018


Brief description: This pre-conference aims to encourage thinking about the future funding of independent quality journalism in the age of rapidly changing media use and thus changing markets from supply to demand of information and other media content. Discussions about different funding approaches are obviously necessary as different national debates e.g. in Germany, France, Ireland show: Neither former print media nor online  media are able to refinance their online supply with quality news by any specific payment method, so far. The future of collective funding of public service media is hardly contested in many countries, which the Swiss case shows in practice with its “NoBillag” referendum on the 4th of March 2018. The general reaction of the media industry to funding problems is budget cuts which can be interpreted as one step of the paradox of thrift. The  pre-conference tries to find projects attempting to rupture this downward  spiral. The focus of research presented here can integrate aspects from media economics (e.g. funding and independence, subsidies and market development), media policy (e.g. regulatory development, diversity measurement and controlling), journalism (e.g. best practice examples, quality) and media literacy (e.g. projects to support quality media use of the digital natives) in research and practice.

Information Diversity and Media Pluralism in the Age of Algorithms
31 October 2018

Organizers: Edda Humprecht, University of Zurich, Judith Möller & Natali Hellberger (both University of Amsterdam)

Submission deadline: 30 April 2018

Website link:

Brief description: Algorithmic news selection (“filter bubbles”) and social media “echo chamber” challenge the idea of free access to a broad range of opinions and topics. Against this background, the question arises how sufficient information plurality for citizens can be ensured in order to enable informed political participation. The aim of this preconference is to bring together researchers interested in new perspectives on information diversity and media pluralism. Submissions may investigate following questions: What is diversity beyond political ideology? How much diversity is needed for a functioning democracy? How can diversity and pluralism be measured? How can we insure sufficient pluralism in the current media landscape? How does information diversity und media pluralism differ across countries?

Mobile (in)visibilities
31 October 2018

Organizers: TWG Visual cultures: Paolo Favero (U of Antwerp), Edgar Gómez Cruz (UNSW), Asko Lehmuskallio (U of Tampere), Katharina Lobinger (USI), Patricia Prieto Blanco (U of Brighton) and Shireen Walton (UCL)

Submission deadline: 30 June 2018

Website link:

Brief description: In a well known call for studying vision and visuality, focusing on both the physical act of seeing and the social circumstances within which it is embedded, Hal Foster (1988) suggested to attend to differences “among how we see, how we are able, allowed, or made to see, and how we see this seeing or the unseen therein.” Social scientific work on “ways of seeing” (Berger 1972), though not always rendered in these terms, had already started to focus on the myriad ways in which we move in social space, socially regulate interpersonal boundaries, or deal with proxemics. In the last years, calls for practice-based studies of vision and visuality have started to explore the role of embodied, material practices to what becomes visible e.g. in photographs, and what remains unseen (e.g. Kember & Zylinska 2012; Rose & Tolia-Kelly 2012; Lehmuskallio & Gómez Cruz 2016). These latter studies focus specifically on the role of media in transforming that which we might see with our eyes as pictures to be shown and shared to others. In doing so, they point to the role of media in transforming what becomes visible, and what remains unseen. Practice-based studies foreground mediation, and in doing so, focus on movement. That which moves may catch our attention, or move out of sight. Visibilities are partial, and always on the move.

The ECREA TWG Visual Cultures invites papers to discuss *mobile (in)visibilities*, exploring vision and visuality as materially mediated, socially constrained, in movement, and only at times available for prolonged attention.

The Dissolving Boundaries of Hybrid Journalism. Rethinking News Work Between Data-Drivenness, Hacking and Activism
31 October 2018

Organizers: Colin Porlezza (University of Zurich), Philip Di Salvo (Università della Svizzera italiana)

Submission deadline: 20 May 2018

Website link:

Brief description: As journalism becomes increasingly networked, open and participatory – produced by professionals and amateurs alike, with different backgrounds, intentions, forms, discourses and genres, and often grounded on diverging norms, new types of hybrid journalism arise. The boundaries of journalism are more and more contested as journalists are forced to renegotiate the space between producers and users in a digital environment characterized by high choice and a participatory culture. The established news production with its specific set of epistemological beliefs is thus confronted with new actors and professional roles such as data journalists, hackers, cybersecurity experts, activists or whistleblowing platforms that turn journalism into an ambiguous term. These circumstances might result in tensions over definitions of journalism as cultures, role conceptions, epistemologies, norms and educational paths increasingly differ. Hybrid journalism requires us therefore to rethink theories about how to define journalism. This pre-conference wants to explore, with a specific emphasis on the role of data-driven journalism, cybersecurity and the role of coders/hackers in the newsroom, the different kinds of hybrid journalism, what hybrid journalism actually means and what consequences it entails for news work.

The “New Silk Road” – Flow and Counterflow of Information between Europe and China?31 October 2018
31 October 2018

Organizers: China Media Observatory (Dr. Zhan Zhang and Dr. Gianluigi Negro)

Submissions deadline: 31 March 2018

Website link:

Brief description: This preconference is designed to bringing scholars in media, communication and culture studies to join the discussion about China’s “New Silk Road” (or in the Chinese official discourse, the “Belt & Road initiative”) from different perspectives. On one hand, it recalls to the ancient Silk Road that initiated the first flow of communication and exchange in goods and culture between the Roman and Chinese empires. On the other hand, it opens windows for discussions on the current flow of a mix of acceptance—resistance, cooperation—dispute, and agreement—disagreement related to the New Silk Road between Europe and China. If in 120 BCE the flow of information was launched in the West (Europe), at the present stage it starts from the East (China). We believe that this specific topic will contribute to the main theme of ECREA 2018 by providing a contribution to frame Centers (from Europe focus to China focus) and Peripheries.

Three Young Scholar Workshops: Methods, Writing and Activism
31 October 2018

Organizer/s: YECREA

Submission deadline: 15 June 2018

Website link:

Brief description of the pre-con: The pre-conference consists of three workshops, covering different theoretical, methodological and practical tasks and challenges for your researchers. Applicants can apply to all three panels or just a single panel, if they wish to. The aim is to provide a forum of knowledge exchange between young researchers where they can present their work, receive feedback from senior scholars and take part in discussions. 

Towards a Polyphony of Memory? Media, Communication and Memory in the Digital Age
31 October 2018

Organizers: Manuel Menke (University of Augsburg, Germany) & Berber Hagedoorn (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Submission deadline: 15 May 2018

Website link:

Brief description: In media saturated societies commemoration and cultural memory are inherently linked to representations and negotiations in a variety of media, technologies, devices and practices. However, with the rise of digital communication the main agents and institutions of preserving and communicating memory find themselves complemented by new voices in the digital age. The pre-conference aims to assemble scholarship on media, communication and memory from across Europe and from a multiplicity of backgrounds. It is our aim to stimulate theoretical discussion and to give new impulses for empirical research on communication and memory in the 21st century.