Michigan Symposium on Media and Politics

The Michigan Symposium on Media and Politics is an annual conference run by the Political Communication Working Group and the Department of Communication and Media, bringing together leading scholars and journalists focused on current issues in journalism, politics, mass media, and communication technologies.

The 2020 conference is scheduled for February 21st, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The topic of the conference is Online and Engaged: Political News in a Digital Media Environment.

Technological change is producing fundamental shifts in the ways in which political news is produced, disseminated, and consumed. The average citizen has ready access to news from innumerable sources, curated by a dizzying combination of news agencies, online platforms, friends, and algorithms. Such changes are likely to have important implications for how people are exposed to and engage with news. This shift in news consumption patterns has also led to increasing concerns about source credibility amongst journalists, news audiences, and researchers alike.  It has also led to calls for new perspectives and methodologies that are better-suited to exploring ‘flows of information’ in the digital age.

The aim of the Online and Engaged symposium is to consider exciting new theoretical and methodological contributions to the study of political news dissemination, consumption, and effects.  How can we measure news exposure in an increasingly diverse and disparate news environment? What are the factors that increase perceptions of credibility and/or engagement with digital news? How can we re-conceive ‘news’ in an increasingly social-networked world?  These and other questions will be the focus of this upcoming symposium.

The symposium includes a combination of invited guests and paper proposals.  Confirmed invited guests at this year’s conference include Kjerstin Thorson (MSU), Markus Prior (Princeton), Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch (UConn), Andy Guess (Princeton) and Judith Moller (ASCOR). We are now accepting paper proposals.  Proposals require only a title and an abstract of no more than 500 words; and the call for papers remains open until December 6th.  A very limited number of proposals will be accepted; the cost of travel, hotel and meals for presenters (one presenter per paper) will be covered by the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Michigan.

So send us your extended abstracts here! The call for papers closes on December 6th, with decisions made very shortly thereafter.

Questions about the conference can be directed to Brian Weeks (beweeks@umich.edu) and/or Stuart Soroka (ssoroka@umich.edu).