Journalism on the Edge

Guest editors: Professor Sigurd Allern (University of Oslo) & Professor Mark Blach-Ørsten (Roskilde University).

The concept of “blurring boundaries” and “boundary work” (Carlson & Lewis, 2015) has become a common way to address the challenges to journalism in an age of increased digitalization and commercialization. The argument behind the concepts is that the many changes journalism is experiencing in the 21th century cause a constant reflection amongst practitioners and researchers as to what journalism is today and also what it is not. One way to address the tension that blurring boundaries bring to the field of journalism is to focus on so-called “critical incidents”. Critical incidents refer to events or developments that lead journalists to reconsider “the hows and whys of journalistic practice” (Zelizer, 1992). Critical incidents serve as events that ignite debates about journalism and forces reconsideration, rearticulating or reinforcement of boundaries either by new legislation or revised ethical standards (Tandoc et. al. 2019).

We are looking for contributions to address the question of “critical incidents” and journalism’s changing boundaries, in particular, but not exclusively in a Nordic context. Topics addressed could, e.g., be journalistic scandals and transgressions, blurring boundaries between journalism and PR, native advertising, automatization of journalism, the growing importance of a non-traditional journalistic job market and the arrival of fake news and “alternative facts”.

Deadline for abstracts (500-750 words, excl. references) is October 15 2020, followed by a selection process. Deadline for full papers is February 15 2021. Send your proposal, including a short bio of all authors, to guest editor Mark Blach-Ørsten ( You can read more about Journalistica and its editorial guidelines here: