RIPE@2010 Conference
September 8-11, 2010 in London



The deadline for submitting a proposal for the RIPE@2010 conference in London
is fast approaching. This fifth bi-annual RIPE conference is hosted by the
Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) at the University of
Westminster together with the BBC and the Office of Communications (Ofcom).
Confirmed speakers so far include Robert G. Picard from the Media Management
and Transformation Centre at the Jönköping International Business School in
Sweden, Patricia Aufderheide and Jessica Clark from the American University in
Washington, DC, Des Freedman from Goldsmiths University of London, and
Tony Berman from Al Jazeera (English language services).

The recession is feeding trends and conditions that have long been festering
but are now coming to a head for Public Service Broadcasting, and impacting
transition to Public Service Media. Although better times are coming, and
may already be appearing as ‘green shoots’, the consequences of changes in
media policy, corporate strategy and industrial arrangements being pursued
in response to the recession are likely to have longer-term implications. As
deficits mount along with rising unemployment and shrinking tax revenues,
governments seem to have less flexibility to support the public sector in
media. As advertising revenue declines sharply commercial firms are lobbying
more aggressively for a share of public funding to offset losses,
threatening to end their unprofitable areas of service provision, and
arguing more strenuously that PSM ought to be restricted to PSB. A public
stressed by economic hardship, unemployment and financial losses are worried
about mounting deficits may be less willing to pay for PSM. Thus, in the
recessionary context challenges that have been simmering for years are
coming to a boil. Media policy, corporate strategy and societal
infrastructure are all in play as a consequence. This conference will focus
on the implications in topical areas of particular importance:

1.  Changing Conceptions and Practices in Journalism
* Dynamics and conditions that challenge professional journalism
* Citizen journalism, networked journalism and ‘journalism as conversation’
* Notions that PSM should be less a producer and more a news curator or
* Trends in blogging, crowd sourcing and wiki practices in information
* Unique attributes and barriers in PSB news provision

2.  Changing Patterns of Media Use and Engagement
* What is changing and for whom – and what is not changing?
* Consumer experiences and expectations of media
* What advertisers understand about audiences, behaviours and media
 consumption that public broadcasters need to understand
* New models of audience – emerging ways to understand what media users are,
 and why and how this matters

3.  Changing Strategies, Business Models and Sustainability
* Challenges in implementing new strategies and the structural and
 organisational consequences of altered strategic directions
* Comparing modes of funding for PSM and evidence of impact on content and
* Pros and cons of alternative arrangements for allocating public funding
* Understanding the economic foundations of PSB as a financial organisation,
 especially economic analyses of these companies
*  Viability of varied options for financing in different platforms and
*  Pay-for media online – where is it working, how is it working, and why

4.  PSM and pressures for Localism and Community Services
* The continuing importance of geographic communities for democracy and
* Identities beyond geographic communities and implications for democracies
 and economies
* Changes in targeting strategies and characteristic modes of address
 complex balance between cohesion and diversity
* Experiments and experiences in public media for local and regional
* Patterns of investment in content, of what kinds and for which groups, and
* The challenges and opportunities of community media specifically relevant
 to PSM

5.  Assessments of PSB / PSM Performance
* The extent to which criticisms of PSB /PSM companies withstand empirical
* Organisational and operational performance indicators and results
* Competition in public service media provision – how it works and with what
* Analyses of new instrumentation for governing PSB (e.g. public value test,
 service contracts, contestable funding, external governing boards, etc)

6.  Media Policy and Discourse about PSM

* Assessment of public discourses about PSB / PSM, especially comparative
* The case for and against the historic status quo
* The debate on state aid and evidence related to that
* PSM’s proper place in the media market today
* Debate over who gets to be a public service provider
* Who deserves to receive public funding, why and on what basis?
* Can societies afford plurality in public service players and contents?


On one page (in English):

1     Provide the working title of the paper
2     Include your name, organisational affiliation with location, and
     e-mail address

On a second page (in English):

1     Working title of the paper
2     An abstract addressing criteria 1-6 listed below
3     The maximum length is 600 words
4     Submissions due on or before January 11, 2010

All submissions will be peer reviewed as the basis for acceptance. Reviewers
will assess the proposals using the following criteria:

1.     Relevance to conference theme and topics
2.     Conceptual/analytic quality (especially beyond purely descriptive)
3.     Articulated implications for the management of public service
      companies, i.e. relevance to practice
4.     Comparative research is highly desired
5.     Empirical research is prioritised
6.     Generalisability of insights and findings is certainly a factor

Sixty papers will be accepted for presentation at the conference. The
conference language is English.

Decisions will be taken in February with notification on or about March 1,

Please send your abstract proposal as an e-mail attachment to:

Jeanette Steemers [log in to unmask]
Gregory F. Lowe [log in to unmask]

The conference registration fee is £250 for authors. The fee includes meals,
amenities and conference materials. For those attending but not presenting,
the registration fee is £350 and space is limited. The RIPE conference does
not have funds to supplement personal travel costs except for invited
keynote speakers.  A select number of doctoral students can be included and
the fee in these cases will be £180.

For more information about the RIPE initiative and the substance of the
previous four conferences, please visit our website:
http://www.uta.fi/jour/ripe/2008/index.html. The 2010 conference web site is
under construction.

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