[csaa-forum] CFP: The Arab Spring: A Symposium on Social Media and the Politics of Reportage

John Gunders j.gunders at uq.edu.au
Thu Mar 1 15:06:21 CST 2012

Call for papers:
Global Media Journal Australian Edition together with
 Swinburne University’s Faculty of Life and Social Science present

The Arab Spring:
A Symposium on Social Media and the Politics of Reportage
Friday June 8, 2012
Advanced Technologies Centre, Swinburne University
Melbourne Australia
Special issues editors Diana Bossio and Saba Bebawi
 Beginning in Tunisia in 2010, what has been termed the ‘Arab Spring’ protests spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria and many other areas of the Middle East, toppling governments and calling for democratic political change to otherwise authoritarian government regimes. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of these protests is the use of social media and alternate digital media technologies to both co-ordinate action by protesters and to report upon the events. Activists, protesters and traditional and mainstream journalists were seemingly innovative in their interactions, digitally sharing each others’ eyewitness accounts of events through interview, reportage, image and video online.
This symposium proposes to both theoretically and empirically consider the social, political and cultural ramifications of these interactions and their meaning in a digital media age, seeking to derive conceptualisations of social media and the politics of reportage.
Proposals for presentations are now invited to be submitted for inclusion in the one-day symposium program.  Interested participants should email a 200-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation during the seminar.
We are seeking abstracts from authors that present new analyses of the changes and tensions that have occurred in the relations between the different forms of reportage, especially with the rise in popularity of social media platforms in times of crisis. Specifically we are interested in papers that critically examine the supposed dichotomy between what is perceived as the authenticity, authority and credibility of traditional journalism and the efficiencies and audience-driven content of alternative media practice.
Research that explores the following themes would be welcomed:
-The different uses of social media during the Arab Spring protests
-The interaction between ‘traditional’ and ‘alternative’ media practitioners during the protests
-Specific ethical issues in reportage that arose during the interaction between mainstream and alternative media practitioners during the protests
-How has mainstream media practice positioned itself within a discourse that has suggested the Arab Spring protests as a ‘social media revolution’?
-How can the Arab Spring protests be used a point of reference or case study to discuss this interaction between ‘traditional’ and ‘alternative’ media platforms?
-How has the political and policy landscape transformed nationally and internationally in the past decade?

Other global examples which cover the above areas are also encouraged to apply.
 Participants will be invited to submit a paper for publication in the Issue 3, 2012 of the Global Media Journal Australian Edition.

 Abstract deadline:  COB April 1, 2012
Please email abstracts as word document attachments to Seminar organisers: Diana Bossio dbossio at swin.edu.au<mailto:dbossio at swin.edu.au> or Saba Bebawi sbebawi at swin.edu.au<mailto:sbebawi at swin.edu.au>
About the Journal
The Australian Edition is a member of the innovative and original Global Media Journal<http://lass.calumet.purdue.edu/cca/gmj/>: an online-only, open access, global resource for communication and media studies scholarship, with independent editions around the world. The Australian edition of Global Media Journal invites the submission of essays and research reports that focus on any aspects in the field of Communication, Media and Journalism. The Global Media Journal continues to expand worldwide, adding new editions, including African, Australian, and Persian editions.
More information is available at: http://www.commarts.uws.edu.au/gmjau/index.html
Dr Diana Bossio
Media and Communications
Swinburne University

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