Call for papers

The call for papers/presentations has now closed.

Conference Call for Papers and Presentations

Traditional ways of making media are in crisis and steadfast models are threatened with extinction: media giants teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, local television stations are being closed, thousands of media workers have been laid off, and community radio and television are poorly supported. At the same time, new media are increasingly embraced by publics that, linked through social networks, produce and distribute an increasing range of their own content. Old media meet new technology, traditional policies meet global political and economic challenges, and the future of journalism is under intense debate. In this volatile climate, the need to develop new media models and policies is urgent.

This conference, which is being held in Toronto at York and Ryerson Universities from 6-8 May 2010, will bring together a range of media publics, including local media producers, media and academic workers, students, policy makers, researchers, journalists, media activists and public organizations, to address the following questions: If the old models aren’t working, what are the possibilities for reorganizing media production in Canada? What opportunities and challenges does the current political economic climate pose for independent, autonomous and community media? How can mainstream media workers and their unions influence media development? What are essential public policy tenets, and what kinds of new policies can be forged?

The conference offers a unique opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas and strategies, to critique current models of media production, to problem-solve, and to envision new ways to democratically facilitate people’s participation in media decision-making. The goal is to help “make media public” — that is, to develop and build media models that address local concerns, that are sustainable, autonomous and independent, and involve a wide range of participation that reflect the daily political economic, social and cultural experiences of communities in Canada.

The conference is focused on four interrelated themes: history, labour, policy, and alternative/independent and community media. Submissions are invited on these themes and others that address the goal of “Making Media Public.” Participation may include:

  • Multimedia presentations
  • Panel suggestions
  • Formal papers and reports, both academic and non-academic
  • Informal presentations/displays of existing projects and initiatives

Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2009. Submissions should take the form of a proposal/outline of your contribution (500 words maximum), as well as contact information and organizational affiliation, if any. Please email submissions as an attachment to