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7th Annual Conference


Time: April 16–18, 2019
Place: St.Petersburg, Russia
Working language: English

Theme for 2019:

In the recent decades, proliferation of communicative channels, 
including digital ones, has led to fragmentation of mass communication 
and its overarching audiences. Digitalization, on one hand, has 
brought on stage new audience constellations aligned along new 
societal cleavages – the process that is often framed negatively in 
academic literature, as it potentially contributes to social 
disintegration in the absence of common information denominators. On 
the other hand, the boom on the market provides numerous opportunities 
to rethink relations between media and their audiences, focusing on 
constructing consumer, political, and/or cultural communities in media 
on all levels, from hyperlocal to transnational.

If we, indeed, face the fundamentally new, fragmented, redefined 
communicative groupings, how do we describe them? Can we actually 
measure ‘a public’ similar to the way we measure audiences – and how 
do we measure the latter, too? Do social media represent publics, and 
with what limitations? Is community equal to a platform? And can we 
draw parallels with the recent and no-so-recent past of the media 
systems when calling a constellation of people a community, an 
audience, a public?

The conference seeks contributions that deal with describing, 
measuring, and assessing the deliberative quality and consumer 
behavior of communicative communities, audiences, and publics, both 
today and in the past. The aim of this conference is to bring together 
sociological, economic, psychological, communicative, and 
technological perspectives in rethinking the relations between social 
groups, media markets, and communicative technologies. We especially 
welcome contributions of comparative nature, while single-case studies 
are also welcome if they state how the method may be expanded to 
involve comparisons.


In 2019, the conference will have four tracks that feature various 
aspects of the questions posed above. The submissions might orient to 
but are not limited to the following sub-topics:

THEORY track
Chairs: Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University, USA
Florian Toepfl, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

•	(Re)defining communities, audiences, publics: academic vs. 
industrial definitions of communicative groupings
•	Today’s grounds of formation of audiences and publics: towards 
multi-dimensional assessment of group communication
•	Group communication and its role in social change: national to 
regional to global
•	New types of democratic and authoritarian publics and their social 
and political roles
•	Public sphere(s): old, new, (non)existent
•	Communicative affordances and their roles in community building
•	Media effects in fragmented communication

Chairs: Svetlana Bodrunova, St.Petersburg State University, Russia
Anna Litvinenko, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany – St.Petersburg 
State University, Russia

•	New socio-economic order and communication in the post-recession 
•	Personal vs. group communication: the borders of the social in 
public discussions
•	Social gaps and political publics
•	Communicating ideology in today’s world
•	The state and co-optation of platforms: free speech, communicative 
authoritarianism, and computational propaganda
•	Communities communicating: practices in comparative perspective
•	Minority, ethnicity, and migration as communicative triggers

Chair: Federico Subervi, University of Leeds, UK
•	Communication as belonging: media consumption as community 
•	Business models for newspapers and beyond: is there an audience?
•	Group interests and media content: new rituals of audience 
•	Online journalism and the blurred borders of media consumption
•	Personalized or mass journalism? Decisions for today’s fragmentation 
of media use
•	Community media and their resources for survival
•	Measuring audiences: media metric industries of today
•	The visual: representing communities and creating audience 

Chair: Olessia Koltsova, National Research University – Higher School 
of Economics, Russia
•	Platform affordances and community formation
•	Media and their audiences on social networks
•	Communities and computationals: bots, trolls, and their real impact 
•	Detection of communities and publics: automated and semi-automated 
•	Measuring publics: conceptualization and instruments
•	Approaches to comparisons in online community detection

When submitting to the conference, please start your title with naming 
the track, e.g. ‘THEORY A new definition of community building on 


Since 2013, the conference has gathered experts in a wide range of 
topics within comparative media research, from media systems studies 
and transformations in communication to the rise of platform-based 
communication to emotions and rationality in mediated discussions.

In 2019, the 7th conference will include a plenary podium discussion, 
four keynote speeches, special ‘guest country’ events, panels for 
presenting papers, book presentations, and a range of workshops 
(subject to submissions). The cultural program of the conference will 
include excursions to the State Hermitage and the Russian Museum that 
holds one of the best collections of Russian fine art in the world.

The conference is an integral part of the 58th Russian-speaking ‘Media 
in Modern World’ Annual Forum. Thus, interested audience is ensured, 
and you may wish to take part in the Plenary Session (with 
simultaneous translation into English), as well as other sessions and 
panels at the Annual Forum on April 18-19.


Jean Burgess (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Barbara Pfetsch (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
Boguslawa Dobek-Ostrowska (University of Wroclaw, Poland)
Florian Töpfl (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)


Individual submissions

Full papers: 9 to 15 pages, Springer formatted, anonymized
Short papers: 5 to 8 pages, Springer formatted, anonymized
Extended abstracts: 300 words, free form (pdf), anonymized
All submissions must be uploaded via the conference EasyChair account 
(will be available starting from November 15, 2018; please see the 
address on the conference website). Full and short papers will be 
considered for publication in the conference proceedings.

Group submissions

Panel submissions: a 300-word panel rationale plus 3 to 5 abstracts of 
max 200 words, free form (pdf), anonymized. Full and short papers may 
be submitted as parts of the panels to be included in the proceedings, 
but panels may also be accepted without full paper submission.
Workshops: 2 to 4 pages, Springer formatted, de-anonymized
All submissions must be uploaded via the conference EasyChair account 
(will be available starting from November 15, 2018; please see the 
address on the conference website).


Workshops are a special group form of participation in the conference. 
They are dedicated to detailed in-group discussion of a collection of 
papers (up to ten). Workshop proposals are submitted by the general 
conference deadline; workshop papers are submitted by a later 
deadline, but are subject to blind peer-review just as the conference 
submissions. Accepted papers will be published in the second volume of 
proceedings after the conference. The initial payment for the workshop 
includes all the papers by workshop organizers; also, external 
individual submissions may be included in a workshop. Workshop chairs 
organize the reviewing process together with the conference 


Springer International Publishing

The conference has applied to Springer International Publishing to 
publish its proceedings in one of its series (SCOPUS). We ask all the 
authors of full, short papers, and workshop proposals, to use the 
Springer templates. The templates and the guidelines for authors:
Special issue at SOCIAL MEDIA + SOCIETY

The conference will feature its best papers at Social Media + Society, 
a leading journal in the field (SCOPUS Q1). The journal focuses on 
research upon social media and their roles in social and political 
life. While submitting via EasyChair, please tick the box ‘I want my 
paper to be considered for the special issue’ if you wish so. Note 
that the issue is regarded ‘invited content’, which makes this open 
access publication free of charge.

DIGITAL JOURNALISM publishing opportunity

The conference steering committee will identify (based on the reviews) 
the best conference paper on issues that relate to digital media and 
online journalism. This paper will be suggested for publication in 
Digital Journalism (SCOPUS Q1), another distinguished journal in 
communication studies. Prof. Svetlana Bodrunova, the CMSTW program 
chair and Digital Journalism board member, will advise on how to make 
the paper fit the standards of the journal before submitting it to the 
journal peer review.

Katrin Voltmer’s prize for the best PhD student paper

In 2018, Katrin Voltmer established a prize for the best PhD student’s 
paper of the conference; this prize is equal to 10,000 RUR. The prize 
will be handed in at the closing ceremony.


Individual submissions

January 14, 2019 – main submission deadline (papers and extended 
abstracts, including papers that belong to panels)
February 5, 2019 – notifications of acceptance
February 15, 2019 – camera-ready papers deadline
February 10, 2019 – deadline to confirm participation
March 1, 2018 – early-bird registration deadline
April 1, 2018 – regular registration deadline

Group submissions

January 14, 2019 – main submission deadline (panel and workshop 
January 20, 2019 – notification of acceptance and announcement of 
workshops on the website
February 5, 2019 – deadline for individual workshop submissions to 
February 20, 2019 – notification of acceptance for workshop papers
March 1, 2019 – registration deadline for group submissions
March 15, 2018 – early-bird registration deadline for individual 
workshop submissions
April 1, 2018 – regular registration deadline

Please note that there will be no on-site registration payment 
procedures; please ensure your participation by paying the 
participation fee before April 1, 2018.
Visa support

St.Petersburg University provides visa support for the conference 
participants. Visa invitation letters will be sent out on request. 
Please note that, for the USA and UK citizens, preparation of an 
official invitation may take up to 5 weeks, while for the EU citizens 
it takes 1 to 2 weeks.


UN Tier 1 country: 150 euro (early-bird: 120 euro)
UN Tier 2 country: 120 euro (early-bird: 100 euro)
UN Tier 3 country: 80 euro (early-bird: 60 euro)
Student/PhD student presenter – 50 euro
Individual workshop submission: 100 euro (early-bird: 80 euro)
The lists of countries by tier may be found here:

Panel (up to 5 papers): 250 euro (early-bird: 200 euro), individual 
submissions included in payment
Workshop (up to 10 participants): 250 euro for the initial group 
Non-presenting participant – 30 euro

Please note that the price for the entrance tickets to the State 
Hermitage is to be paid extra at the museum and is currently 10 euro, 
or 700 roubles.

Conference venue, website, and email:

The conference venue is School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 
St.Petersburg University, 26, 1st line of Vasilievsky island, 
St.Petersburg 199004 Russia

The conference website will be (opens November 12, 
2018). Those interested in learning of previous conferences and 
general information may wish to visit

In case of any queries, please send us your questions to 
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We’re looking forward to welcoming you in St.Petersburg!

Svetlana S. Bodrunova, Prof., D.Polit.Sci.
Head, Center for International Media Research
School of Journalism and Mass Communications,
St.Petersburg State University

+7 921 933 02 14
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