International Conference on Journalism: Who Creates the News?

Martina Topic's picture
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences, Cultural History / Studies


News making and the influence of sources on news production have been a focus of interest of scholars since 1970s when Sigal published his seminal study on news sources. Much has changed since then and while routine sources such as Government’s press releases and other information still influence news agenda, entrepreneurial sources such as charities and NGOs are also making a momentum in acting as sources to journalists. In part, charities became sources because of newsworthiness their work adds to journalists who can argue they are serving the public by reporting on charity activism and raising awareness of charitable causes. However, journalists also report using contacts when sourcing news, and many academic studies reported increased reliance on PR content, because of which journalism also earned the nickname “chournalism”.

In addition, growing number of studies report that women are not as present in newsrooms as much as men, and that newsrooms still remain a place for blokes. Nevertheless, some studies reported that not only women do not participate in main news writing as much as men but that when something moves from traditional “female” sections (such as health, lifestyle and food) to news then it is again men who write on these topics and not women.

Major political debates revealed question of media ownership and influence of editorial policies on news content and sourcing stories. For example, during the Brexit debate in the UK newspapers such as The Guardian took a pro-remain stance while newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Sun pushed for the leave vote. Therefore, the question is also who creates editorial policy, and how these editorial policies influence the agenda of each newspaper? What does having an editorial position means for news and journalism? How do we understand news and news making? Is impartiality truly a myth?

Nevertheless, SEO also had an impact on journalism because media organisations now need not only serve as watchdogs of democracy and inform the public on current events, but they also need to create content that their audiences are searching for on search engines. Some argue that this has had a negative impact on journalism as media organisations are producing content their audiences want to consume rather than serving the public by informing them on what they find relevant and newsworthy. Whether we see SEO as negative or positive, it is a fact that it changed journalism and brought to a stakeholder orientation within media organisations, with which it also diminished media’s traditional gate keeping function.


These and other issues are the subjects of our conference. Papers are invited (but not limited to) for the following topics,

Exploration of sources in creating news

Agenda setting studies

Women in journalism

Editorial policies and news making

Media ownership and its influence on news making

Impartiality in news reporting

Journalism education

Journalism and public opinion

Journalism freedom

Fake news

Fact checking

Reporting the truth

SEO and its influence on journalism

Reporting standards

Investigative journalism

Social media as a source of news stories

The role of social media presence in building a career in journalism

Citizen journalism

The role of PR in news production

Both researchers and practitioners are welcome to submit paper proposals.

Submissions of abstracts (up to 500 words) with an email contact should be sent to Dr Martina Topić ( by 15 October 2018. Decisions will be sent by 1 November 2018 and registrations are due by 15 December 2018. In case we collect enough abstracts earlier, we will send decisions earlier.  

Conference fee is GBP 180, and it includes

The registration fee

Conference bag and folder with materials

Access to the newsletter, and electronic editions of the Centre

Opportunity for participating in future activities of the Centre (research & co-editing volumes)

Meals and drinks

Sightseeing for second day of the conference

WLAN during the conference

Certificate of attendance

Centre for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences is a private institution originally founded in December 2013 in Croatia. Since July 2016 the Centre is registered in Leeds, UK.

Participants are responsible for finding funding to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. This applies to both presenting and non-presenting participants. The Centre will not discriminate based on the origin and/or methodological/paradigmatic approach of prospective conference participants.

Information for non-EU participants:

The Centre will issue Visa letter to participants with UK entry clearance requirement. The British Home Office has a very straightforward procedure, which is not excessively lengthy and the Centre will also issue early decisions to participants with Visa requirements.


Contact Info: 

Dr Martina Topic

Contact Email: