P2P Foundation

The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives

The future of science journalism: knowledge and power

Call for articles: The future of science journalism

Call for articles for a special issue on
The future of science journalism: knowledge and power

Deadline extended to: April 20, 2011

Since its inception, the Internet has quickly become a crucial factor in shaping the ecosystem of information. Today, science journalism finds itself in the middle of a deep cultural, economic and political change in which technological evolution has a prominent role. In particular, old forms of journalism are threatened in the new information ecosystem, and a re-definition of the social and professional role of information producers is needed in order to avoid a loss of the journalism’s democratic, social and cultural function. Indeed, the Web is the theatre where knowledge and power are being re-distributed among different actors and social groups, and new forms of expertise need to be integrated in the scientific information system. A future special issue of the Journal of Science Communication aims to discuss:
  • How participatory practices of the Web 2.0 are changing the ecosystem of information. Are democracy claims supported by evidence? Are these practices actually re-orienting social, cultural, political and economic powers?
  • The evolution of the professional practice of science journalism and the changes needed for it to adapt and flourish in the new ecosystem of information.
  • The epistemology of science communication. Which are its new social functions in the social media age? How are the relationships between producing and sharing scientific knowledge evolving? Does science journalism posses any specific knowledge in this rapidly changing scenario? Do science journalists know how they know?
  • The role of new and emerging actors controlling information fluxes, such as search engines, intellectual property owners, sharing platforms. How are these actors re-distributing power in the new ecosystem?
  • How is the concept of ‘proprietary information’ changing? What is the role of incumbents and new companies? Which new possible business models could be useful in order to ensure economical survival for science writers and science communication professionals?

We would like to collect both theoretical contributions and research articles which address, for example, case studies in citizen journalism, platforms of peer production and sharing, relationships between different institutions and actors, and the leading and emerging roles of these actors in the new ecosystem.

Interested authors should submit an extended abstract of 1000 words (in English) by April 20, 2011. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by the end of April. Abstracts should be sent to the JCOM Editorial Office (jcom-eo@jcom.sissa.it) by email and NOT via the regular submission form.

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