Public Service Media In a Networked Society?

September 21-24th 2016 in Antwerp

The RIPE@2016 conference is hosted by the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp, in collaboration with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Flemish public service broadcaster VRT.

The RIPE@2016 conference theme focuses on characteristics, dynamics and implications of a networked society for public service media [PSM]. In recent years, discussions about PSM’s place and role prioritise the notion of a networked society, enabled by digitisation and characterised by audience fragmentation and the interconnectedness of technologies, communities, media practices and companies. The emerging ecology is highly disruptive to market structures and existing modes of communication. Concepts and practices associated with communication in a networked society are celebrated but merit critical scrutiny.

How real is the ‘networked society’? What indications are there that a networked society expands or lessens PSM’s role? How can PSM strengthen the democratic potential of networked communication and counter disruptive forces? What new roles can and should PSM take on? What indications are there that PSM can become a central hub for public services in media, or just another node in decentralised networks, or should relinquish public service provision to alternative grassroots initiatives and distributed forms?

Our theme has many dimensions that open PSM discourse to analysis of relationships between traditional and new media, institutional and non-institutional actors and approaches, forms of journalism and news provision, characteristics and dynamics of social networks in connection with PSM, and all of this across a broad range of stakeholders.

Important dates

  • Registrations opens May 18, 2016.
  • Completed papers must be submitted by August 1, 2016.