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Call for Papers for the special issue of the Media Studies Journal / Medijske studije: New European Media and Platform Policy: Implications for the Political Economy of News

Call for Papers for the special issue of the  Media Studies Journal / Medijske studije: New European Media and Platform Policy: Implications for the Political Economy of News

Call for Papers for the special issue of the 
Media Studies Journal / Medijske studije:
New European Media and Platform Policy: Implications for the Political Economy of News

Guest editors: 

Tales Tomaz (University of Salzburg), Josef Trappel (University of Salzburg), Mercedes Medina (University of Navarra)

Important dates:

  • Extended abstract submission deadline (800-1000 words, excluding references): 20 June 2024
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 August 2024
  • Full paper submission deadline: 15 December 2024
  • Special issue publication date: June 2025

Different economic arrangements of media and technology lead to different outcomes. Publicly funded media with independent governance structures usually provide more accurate and public-oriented coverage, upholding the rights of vulnerable groups (Benson, 2018; Cushion, 2017). Even distinct ownership and governance forms of private media matter: publicly traded companies are more aligned with general capitalist demands than family-owned outlets, or ad-based outlets are more sensitive to corporate interests than subscription-based ones (Dunaway, 2008; Soloski, 2019).

Thinking about these conditions is ever more important as the political economy of news has significantly changed in the recent decades. News has become digital (Newman et al., 2023), platformised (Poell et al., 2023) and produced and distributed by a variety of actors beyond media companies, ranging from big tech platforms to small alternative content producers (Mancini, 2020). In addition, the advertising-based business model of news production does not seem to be sustainable for the demands of democratic societies facing (geo)political, economic, societal and ecological crises, while the pressure on publicly funded media only increases (Sjøvaag & Ohlsson, 2019).

Far from the libertarian fantasy that an economy can be created outside the control or oversight of governments, political bodies are active in shaping the conditions under which all stakeholders operate. This is also true for media and technology (Griffin, 2023). Accordingly, the European Union has followed these developments and created a comprehensive regulatory package to influence the political economy of media and platforms. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the AI Act and the Media Freedom Act (EMFA), among others, have laid down new baselines for the operation of media and digital platforms. To what extent are these changes having a real impact on the political economy of news production, distribution and consumption? Should we expect changes in EU countries in terms of ownership concentration, funding of public interest content or the balance between profit and non-profit news production? Does the new regulatory framework favour the promotion of public interest content? Should we expect EU influence in middle powers, which are often “policy followers”, shaping their regulation and political economy of news as well?

On top of those questions, the governance toolbox is more diverse than the one reflected in this EU regulatory framework. There are options on the table such as stronger antitrust enforcement against platforms (as attempted by the FTC in the US), increasing public subsidies to news media (the Nordic experience) or requiring platforms to fund news media (as represented by the Australian Media Bargaining Code). There is also the proposal to create a fully-fledged public service internet (D’Arma et al., 2021). Would such measures in Europe achieve better results than the current framework? What impact should we expect from different instruments? How to design these alternatives, given the current framework, and how to build the political will to bring them about?

This special issue welcomes proposals on the topics above and related discussions. Submissions can be theoretical, methodological or empirical, case studies or comparative work. Innovative use of methods is encouraged. We expect extended abstracts of 800 to 1.000 words, excluding references, by 20 June 2024

Abstracts should be sent to and

Manuscripts should be submitted directly through the Media Studies OJS system. The manuscripts will undergo a double-blind peer review, following the standard procedure of the journal. When submitting the manuscript, please make a note that submission is for the special issue New European Media and Platform Policy: Implications for the Political Economy of News.

Manuscripts should be up to 8.000 words, including footnotes and references. Detailed instructions for authors can be found here.

For more information about the special issue, please contact: or

Articles published in the Media Studies journal are indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection, Scopus, ProQuest - Social Science Database and Social Science Premium Collection, ERIH PLUS, Hrčak – The Portal of Croatian Scientific Journals and DOAJ – the Directory of Open Access Journals. 

For more information about the journal, visit Media Studies.

- Benson, R. (2018). Rethinking the sociology of media ownership. In L. Grindstaff, M.-C. M. Lo, & J. R. Hall (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology (pp. 387–396). Routledge.
- Cushion, S. (2017). The democratic value of news: Why public service media matter. Bloomsbury Publishing.
- D’Arma, A., Fuchs, C., Horowitz, M. A., & Unterberger, K. (2021). The future of public service media and the internet. In C. Fuchs & K. Unterberger (Eds.), The Public Service Media and Public Service Internet Manifesto (pp. 113–127). University of Westminster Press.
- Dunaway, J. (2008). Markets, ownership, and the quality of campaign news coverage. The Journal of Politics, 70(4), 1193–1202.
- Griffin, R. (2023). Public and private power in social media governance: Multistakeholderism, the rule of law and democratic accountability. Transnational Legal Theory, 14(1), 46–89.
- Mancini, P. (2020). Comparing media systems and the digital age. International Journal of Communication, 14, 5761–5774.
- Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Eddy, K., Robertson, C. T., & Nielsen, R. K. (2023). Digital News Report 2023. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
- Poell, T., Nieborg, D. B., & Duffy, B. E. (2023). Spaces of negotiation: Analyzing platform power in the news industry. Digital Journalism, 11(8), 1391–1409.
- Sjøvaag, H., & Ohlsson, J. (2019). Media ownership and journalism. In H. Sjøvaag & J. Ohlsson, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press.
- Soloski, J. (2019). The murky ownership of the journalistic enterprise. Journalism, 20(1), 159–162.

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