CFP: The Future of Old Media – How the old media reinvent themselves in the digital age

capture-decran-2016-10-10-a-12-14-552nd Tel Aviv Communication Conference, April 19-21, 2017

Confirmed keynote speakers:
– Julia Cage, SciencesPo, Paris
– James Curran, Goldsmiths College
– John B. Thompson, University of Cambridge
– Lance Holbert, Temple University

The Dan Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University is organizing the 2nd Tel Aviv Communication Conference, to take place on April 19-21, 2017. This year’s conference will be dedicated to the future of the so-called ‘old media’ in the digital age.

In the last two decades, the claim has been made that the traditional media – the newspaper, the book, television, radio and the cinema, and the physical archive, and even the idea of audience itself – will not survive the digital revolution. Scholars have repeatedly expressed the fear, or the hope, that the digital world will put an end to the reign of television, newspapers, radio, the book… In this conference, we would like to open this question to critical debate. Looking closely at the various ways in which the old media are being reinvented to maintain their relevance, we ask how much transformation can a medium sustain before it becomes something new entirely? Can the transformations be considered as just one more step in the evolution of media, or as the beginning of a new (st)age?

We would like to discuss the communicative, social and cultural significance of these complex dynamics, and reflect on the changes in each medium with regard to technological developments, content, production (including professions, resources and business models), audiences and consumption.

We are interested, for example, in the ways newspapers and news divisions of major broadcasters are morphing into news sites, while independent sources on the one hand, and online platforms (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo) on the other, challenge the industry foundations; the ways television genres, especially live broadcasts and long series, re-invent television at the very same time that coherent multi-genre schedule is receding, and services such as Netflix leave us wondering what are the core elements that define Television; how films, as long audiovisual stories to be enjoyed collectively, resist fragmentation and are renovated through new forms of anime and 3D technologies; how radio as flow is not dying while radio’s memories, and radio “on demand” (podcasts) enjoy an extraordinary digital development; and how the oldest medium, the printed book, is resisting the pressures of the digital age. Finally, the archive is a theme which cuts across media: “old” media as past and forgotten programs are being made increasingly available, which revives ancient worries about a surfeit of memory, but also leads us to think in terms of metamorphosis, not disappearance.

These are merely a few of many changes we are witnessing, and we encourage proposals that engage in all aspects of these questions.

Please send abstracts no longer that 300 words to, and, until December 1st.
Answers will be given not later than December 15, 2016.

Travel grants:

We are pleased to provide travel grants to graduate students, and post-doctoral students who were accepted to the conference. A travel grant can cover the costs of travel to the conference, such as lodging and flights.

The organizing committee of the conference:
Prof. Jerome Bourdon, Dr. Shira Dvir, Dr. Elad Segev,
Department of Communication, Tel Aviv University.


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