Digital Platform Policy Spring? Promises and Trajectories for Digital Platform Regulation
The “Communication Law and Policy” Section of the European Communications Research and Education Association (ECREA) and the Jean Monnet Network “European Media and Platform Policy” (EuromediApp) invite abstracts for theoretical and empirical papers on the topic Digital Platform Policy Spring? Promises and Trajectories for Digital Platform Regulation. This workshop will be a unique opportunity to bring together those investigating the processes of regulating media and digital intermediaries in Europe and beyond. The workshop will take place in Salzburg, Austria, on 2-3 November 2023. It is hosted by the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Salzburg.
Digital platforms and intermediaries are increasingly disseminating news and structuring news consumption across the globe. They have become crucial spaces of civic discourse and cultural expression. Unique levels of ownership concentration in the hands of few extremely large industrial conglomerates dominate digital media landscapes. Checks and balances from media and telecommunication policy do not apply to these new players, enabling digital platforms and intermediaries to exercise unprecedented power in various ways.
While implicitly accepting or even fostering media ownership concentration, European institutions have lately recognized the various challenges for media freedom, freedom of expression and the quality of news created by digital platforms and intermediaries. Digital Markets Act (DMA), Digital Services Act (DSA) and European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) address such challenges. These European initiatives also have a geopolitical dimension, shaping and being shaped by developments in other rich countries and in the Global South. This workshop is dedicated to discussing the nature of such challenges and the appropriateness of policy solutions offered by the European Commission, national governments from around the globe or national and international regulatory bodies.
Thus, the workshop invites interdisciplinary contributions interested in digital platform policy, regulation and policy implementation. We welcome submissions from political economy, policy and governance studies, media and communication law, and other approaches and fields. We welcome theoretical, methodological and empirical submissions, case studies and comparative work. Innovative use of methods is encouraged. The organizers are especially interested in the following areas, in particular in the intersection between European and non-European problems and solutions:
- Digital intermediaries and media ownership concentration: What are the implications of ownership concentration on freedoms, news organizations, content, dissemination of news, and the public discourse at large? How do current policy developments such as the Anti-Money Laundering Directive affect platform and media ownership transparency?
- Editorial independence in the digital platform environment: How far, and how, do digital platforms affect editorial independence of incumbent newsroom structures?
- Quality of content and combat of misinformation: What is the economics of high-quality content in the digital environment? How are policy interventions seeking to fund quality content, and with what implications?
- Public interest content in digital intermediaries: How are platforms dealing with prominence and discoverability of content? Which legal measures can be put in place to ensure that public service media and further public-oriented content remain visible in digital inter-mediaries, including devices such as smart TVs?
- Inequalities and disparities: How do digital platforms and intermediaries contribute to increase or diminish inequalities and disparities in the field of communication? How effective are policy measures to combat such inequalities and disparities?
- Inclusion: How can digital platforms engage marginalized and diasporic communities towards more inclusion? What are the links between technological infrastructure, innovative business models and inclusive media practices aimed at fostering justice and participation?
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted for blind peer review in DOCX or ODT directly to the organisers of the conference by Friday, June 9, 2023: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each abstract should address one of the above topics in a sound theoretical and methodological manner, and include a title as well as the name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and e-mail address(es) of the author(s). The colleagues will be notified of acceptance by July 15, 2023, and registration is required by September 30, 2023.
Full papers might be invited after the workshop for publication. Reduced fee for ECREA-recognised “soft-currency” countries and non-waged participants is possible for accepted submitters. More information will be available in due time on the ECREA CLP and EuromediApp websites.