About Moscow Readings 2022

Dates: 27-28 October 2022

Organizer: Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Format: hybrid event (offline and online)

In partnership with: National Association of Mass Media Researchers

Local organizing and program committees are headed by Professor Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, President of the National Association of Mass Media Researchers

The rise of global platform companies throughout the 21st century had tremendous impact on the digital news production and dissemination, as well as the development and future of traditional/legacy media. Global platforms have taken significant amounts of revenues from traditional publishers, changing their production, distribution, audience engagement and monetization strategies worldwide (Meese and Hurcombe, 2020; Myllylahti, 2021). While the increasing role of platforms has clearly become a global trend in recent years, national contexts show at the same time different ways of how traditional news media reconcile with growing platform power and develop their innovation practices in this context (Krumsvik et al, 2019; Vartanova, 2022). Steensen and Westlund(2021) explored two main publishers’ strategies of innovating their practices on a broad scale: one through building platform presence, and another through platform counterbalancing, where publishers aim to reduce their dependence on platforms non-proprietary to them. In later study, introducing the concept of platform configuration, Chua and Westlund (2022) discussed the changing nature of platform-publisher interrelationships, focusing on three key aspects: multidirectionality, specificity, and commitment derived from a longitudinal case study of a Singaporean legacy news publisher. Vartanova, Vyrkovsky and Vyugina (2021) showed in their study that digital products created and disseminated by Russian broadcasters on the digital platforms are still perceived by television managers as supplements to traditional broadcasting, despite ongoing digitalizing process in the country.

Given an important role of national/cultural/economic/societal contexts, strategies used by publishers to innovate their production and dissemination strategies can significantly vary. Specifics of regulation, media policies and advertising markets, journalistic cultures, role of the state and public/private sector, digital inclusion and digital literacy level — within journalistic community and audience, even digital technologies and Internet availability to population in different regions of the world can influence the way platforms are affecting legacy news media on site. In some contexts, with platforms gaining more and more significance, news publishers, journalists and audiences would be more likely and positive to explore the emerging opportunities and engage into the production of unique content for digital platforms or customizing the content they already have. In others, engagement with digital platforms would be approached with more cautiousness, with questions about dependence, loss of revenues and privacy being more pronounced. 

The question of accountability and trustworthiness of digital platforms was recently explored within the ‘platform beat’ concept (Napoli, 2019), showing the emergence of a new realm of watchdog journalism, where journalists report on the operation, use and misuse of social media platforms and search engines. At this year’s conference, we specifically welcome discussion around trustworthiness of digital platforms, their use and operation in the dissemination or curation of news and information around the world, the new opportunities, problems and risks platforms present to legacy media, journalists and audiences. The spread of misinformation and online falsehoods (Tandoc et al, 2020) is another problem that should be assessed within the growing power of social media platforms. Lastly, we welcome a discussion around both positive and negative effects of increasing platform presence for publishers, media managers, journalists and active audiences given ongoing global transformation processes and national specifics. 

Questions for discussion

  • Global and national platforms: emergence, development, impact upon traditional news media
  • Platform configuration (and re-configuration) in the global context
  • Platform regulation, self-regulation and curation
  • Publisher-platform dynamic in different national contexts
  • Platform presence and platform counterbalancing: insights from different professional contexts
  • Publishers’ innovation practices in relation to platforms
  • Cross-cultural research into platform configuration
  • Platform convergence and cross-platform balancing
  • Tensions, vulnerabilities, conflicts and risks of digital platforms
  • Accountability and trustworthiness of digital platforms
  • Digital journalism and platforms
  • ‘Old’ and ‘new’ professionals in news and information ecosystem

Abstracts (between 300 and 500 words) in .doc or .docx in English or Russian, including author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) should be sent to moscow.readings@mail.ru before 1 October 2022

Registration fee

Moscow Readings conference does not have conference registration fee, although all costs will have to covered either by the home institution or by the presenters themselves.

Publishing opportunities

Best papers will be considered for publication in peer-reviewed Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhurnalistika (Scopus, Web of Science) and World of Media. Journal of Russian Media and Journalism Studies (Scopus).

Contact details

Contact email: moscow.readings@mail.ru

Phone number : +7 (495) 629 52 76

Contact person: Anna Gladkova, secretary of the Moscow Readings conference organizing committee