Call for Papers: "Hybridity and the News: Hybrid Forms of Journalism in the 21st Century" 4-5 December 2014

Hybridity and the News: Hybrid Forms of Journalism in the 21st Century
4-5 December 2014

Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies – Brussels Platform for Journalism
Department of Applied Linguistics
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2014

Plenary speakers
Geoffrey Baym (University of North Carolina Greensboro)
Ian Hutchby (University of Leicester)

The essence of journalism has never been easy to define, but in the 21st century hybrid forms of news and current affairs journalism seem to be the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, this conference wants to explore different types and aspects of hybridity, not only related to  the content that is conveyed, but also  to the forms and genres that are applied, and to the practices of creating and experiencing journalism. Several authors have argued that the conventional boundaries between news and entertainment, between public affairs and popular culture, and between factual and fictional modes, have become increasingly porous. Moreover, mainstream media have long lost their monopoly on the news and journalists have integrated the information exchange of the social media in their daily routines. Many journalists do not want to be dependent on news managers and editors and start their own news initiatives.
This conference aims to question narrow, uniform conceptions of journalism, and to move beyond traditional binary oppositions between hard and soft news, (rational) knowledge and (emotional) experience, objectivity and subjectivity, the sober and the ludic, expert and non-expert, or fact and fiction, which have stifled the debate on the implications  of journalism’s multiple and ever-changing faces. In doing so, we want to walk the thin line between journalism and entertainment, journalism and literature, journalism and advertising, and follow the journalists’ wanderings and ponderings in defining their course and their identity in the changing media world. The role of social media and alternative media in this process will be a special point of interest.

Inspirational literature:
Baym, Geoffrey (2009). ‘Real News/Fake News: Beyond the News/Entertainment Divide’ in Allan, S. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism Studies, New York: Routledge,  374-383.
Hutchby, Ian (2011). 'Doing Non-neutral: Belligerent Interaction in the Hybrid Political Interview', in Ekstrom, M. and Patrona, M. (eds.) Talking Politics in the Broadcast Media, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 115-134.

Our institute is part of a linguistics department but we welcome submissions from all relevant disciplinary backgrounds approaching topics including but certainly not limited to: 
• hybrid forms and hybrid genres (e.g. the hybrid political interview, confessional journalism, graphic journalism, fake news and hoaxes, docufictions)
• the borderline between entertainment and journalism (e.g. satire, humor and irony, infotainment)
• the borderline between literature and journalism (e.g. literary journalism, storytelling)
• the borderline between advertising and journalism (e.g. lifestyle journalism, advertorials)
• social media and journalism
• alternative vs. mainstream media
All papers will be published in the electronic proceedings of the conference and we are planning to publish a selection of the papers in a volume and/or a special issue.

As there will be separate panel sessions for PhD students, novice researchers are also invited to participate.

The venue for the conference will be the campus of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), located 20 minutes by train from the city centre:

Conference fee (including pre-conference reception, lunch, coffee): 
€ 100 (regular participants), € 50 (PhD students).
Dinner will be organized on Friday 5 December and charged separately.

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words together with a short biography (c. 100 words) to by 30 June 2014. Decisions will be announced by 15 August.  Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to

Created by Elias Van Dingenen on 16/05/2014