We invite the submission of abstracts for Media in America, America in Media international conference to be held online on 25-26 March 2021. This is the third edition of a joint effort of the American Studies and Political Science scholars who aim to generate a cross-disciplinary debate that brings together divergent yet complementary voices reflecting on American media environment and America’s portrayals in media across the globe.
The one thing we have certainly learnt since our first conference in 2017 is that there are no media trends that cannot be reversed. While in 2019 we hailed the dawn of the TV era, the 2020 annual media report prepared by the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic showed the increased consumption of traditional sources of news, especially television... However, some new digital behaviours that are likely to have long-term implications have also emerged in this crisis. Many have joined Facebook or WhatsApp groups for the first time and have engaged in local groups’ online activities. Young people of Generation Z (aged 18-24) have consumed more news through services like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok and the use of Instagram for news has doubled since 2018 and looks likely to overtake Twitter over the next year. Video conferencing has become as a new platform for personal communication but has also changed the face of government press conferences. The media have embraced these new technologies in terms of remote working, but also in terms of the production and distribution of content. Due to falling revenues from traditional media outlets, in the last 12 months more publishers have started charging for digital content or tightening paywalls and this is also beginning to have an impact. There is a growing fear of information inequality, where people with less money become more dependent on social media and other lower-quality news spreading damaging misinformation. There is also a question of a growing bias, yet interestingly, this is not a global phenomenon. Comparing 2020 with data from 2013, the Reuters report has shown the increased preference over time in the UK (+6) for news that has ‘no particular point of view’. At the same time, the proportion that prefers news that ‘shares their point of view’ has declined by a similar amount (-6). On the other hand, in the United States, where both politics and the media have become increasingly partisan over the years, we do find an increase in the proportion of people who say they prefer news that shares their point of view – up six percentage points since 2013 to 30%.
We look forward to seeing you at our online event,
The Organizing Committee
Anna Bendrat, Ph.D.
Elżbieta Pawlak-Hejno, Ph.D.
Anna Oleszczuk, M.A.
Agata Waszkiewicz, M.A.
Lidia Kniaź-Hunek, M.A.
POLSKIE TOWARZYSTWO KOMUNIKACJI SPOŁECZNEJ
POLISH COMMUNICATION ASSOCIATION
ul. Koszarowa 3,
ul. Głęboka 45,