Call for papers

Annual conference of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research (SACM-SGKM)
05 April 2019 at the University of St. Gallen

Digital Transformation of Media and Communication

Exploring Opportunities and Risk as well as the stateoftheart in digital transformation of media and communication



At present, digital transformation of the economy and society is widely discussed even though it is not a completely new phenomenon and we have already experienced digital disruption in the past. The digital transformation of the society, economy and companies started with the emergency of Internet as a new digital medium and communication channel back in the 90s. Examples of the early digital transformation are phenomena such as for example eCommerce, eBusiness, eGovernment, eLearning, and similar developments. 

The early digital transformation affected in particular the media industry as well as communication in all its forms. Various examples of new content formats such as digital books, digital newspapers, digital distribution of content such as music and video sharing or streaming as well as first forms of digital communication are only few examples of how digitalization has been changing media and communication during the last twenty years. Furthermore, new players such as for example user generated media, platforms (i.e. Amazon. Facebook, Netflix and others), as well as media and communication ecosystems have entered the media and communication industry and have fundamentally changed audiences and competition in these markets. 

The new discussion on digital transformation is driven by technologies that result in new digital disruption and at the same time build upon previous digital developments. Technologies such as big data, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and Internet of Things are both maturing and gaining momentum at the same time. These technologies offer new opportunities, but also disrupt the media and communications industries in new ways. For example, software agents based on artificial intelligence can produce content automatically and are changing the role of journalists, big data and its analysis is a new source of stories and data journalism. In similar ways the same technologies are also changing communication markets. 

At the SACM 2019 conference, we want to explore opportunities and risks as well as the stateoftheart in digital transformation of media and communication. The topic of digital transformation of media and communication is significant to players on a macro, meso, and micro level. These three levels are interlinked and in the following are treated distinctly only for reasons of better clarity. During the 2019 conference, digital transformation of media and communication will be considered from various perspectives. One specific perspective of interest is interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary views on digital transformation in media and communication.

The following topic areas and questions are mentioned exemplarily: 


Area I: Macrolevel – Structures, Systems and Institutions 

Theory formation as well as Media and Communication History: 

  • How can digital transformation in the area of media and communication be captured theoretically? 
  • What kind of significance do various definitions and concepts of digital transformation hold regarding the development of theories in the area of media and communication studies? 
  • How did digital transformation of media and communication develop over time? Of interest is here the history of digital transformation of media and communication and its consequences for the role of media and communication in the economy and societies. 
  • How is Digital Transformation in general influencing and shaping the development of media and communication? How are specific driving technologies such as for example artificial intelligence, blockchain or Internet of Things influencing and shaping the development of media and communication? What are opportunities and threads, chances and challenges for media and communication? 
  • What are obstacles of digital transformation in media and communication? Media Systems, Media Policy, Regulation of Communication: 
  • What are the consequences of digital transformation in media and communication for media policy? 
  • Which approaches for regulating private and/or public media are being currently discussed and how are they related to digital transformation? How did technology driven media policy and regulation develop over time (historical perspective)? 
  • Can regulation of media and communication limit the supremacy and dominance of platforms such as Amazon, Google, Apple and facebook? 
  • What are the consequences of regulation, for example GDPR on media and communication as well as platforms? 
  • How is GDPR and other regulation accepted by users? 

Political communication 

  • How is digital transformation of media and communication changing political communication? 
  • Which positive and negative consequences arise from digital transformation in terms of shaping democratic opinion? 
  • How are phenomena as filter bubbles, echo chambers and fake news, which are typically amplified in digital environments, influencing democratic opinion building? 

Media and Communication Economics 

  • How is digitalization changing internal processes, media products and business models of media companies? 
  • How is Digital Transformation changing leadership and management in media and communication companies? 
  • How are emerging technologies changing journalism? 
  • How are digital technologies changing communication? 
  • Case studies on emerging media and communication (advertising) ecosystems 


Area II: Mesolevel – Media, companies and organizations 

  • What is the current status of digital transformation in companies (i.e. media companies, NGOs and other players in the media and communication ecosystems)? Which digital products, procedures and processes have shown to be successful in practice? In this context also the illustration of digital transformation in (media) companies (i.e. media companies, NGOs and other players in the media and communication ecosystems) with case studies is of interest (i.e. application of blockchain in media, application of artificial intelligence in media as well as communication and similar) 
  • How should the introduction of new technologies within an organization be designed, so that sociotechnical innovations can emerge? For example how has the culture of a company have to change, or what are the new digital competences needed by employees? 
  • What are the opportunities and challenges as well as risks of Digital Transformation related to journalism? How is journalism changing and what is are new forms of journalism? 
  • Which organizational features (number of employees, financial situation, organizational structure, company culture etc.) have what kind of influence on the Digital Transformation in media and communication? How can Digital Transformation be promoted in small as well as in large enterprises? 
  • What is the current status of Digital Transformation in Organizational Communication and advertisement? 
  • How is the application of technology changing organizational communication and advertisement (public relations, advertisement and internal communication)? 
  • How does Digital Transformation in the world of media affect the advertising market? How are platforms as Google, Facebook and Amazon changing the advertising market? 
  • What effects do new user habits have on the media and communication industry? 
  • How can impact and success of Digital Transformation in the area of media and organizational communication be measured? 


Area III: Microlevel – Media use and media impact 

Media use 

  • How are media and communication audiences changing due to digitalization? 
  • How are platforms and phenomena as filter bubbles, echo chambers, fake news impacting and changing media and communication use? 
  • How are new forms of journalism (data journalism, use of artificial intelligence in journalism, new forms of content as augmented and virtual reality) accepted by users? 
  • Which theories and methods can explain the media and communication use by digital users? 
  • How significant is the role of different generations (e.g. Y and Z) in changing media and communication use? 
  • How and what for do different demographic groups (e.g. younger, older generations) use new media and communication? 
  • To what extent can convergent media communication change cultural and social tenors using new communication methods? 

Audienceand Media Use Research 

  • What challenges does user research face in an increasingly digital and heterogeneous media and communication landscape? 
  • What effects do technical innovations in the area of media use (amongst others media convergence, growing number of consumer devices) have on the methodology of media use research? 
  • What methods can be used to collect crossmedia data regarding the reach of communication, advertisement and marketing? 

Media and Communication Education 

  • Which effects does Digital Transformation of media and communication have on the development of media education? 
  • How can media education empower children and adolescents to a selfdetermined use of digital media and communication? 
  • What kind of traditional and innovative teaching methods (MOOCs, blended learning, etc.) are suitable for the transfer of media competence with different age groups? 
  • Which instruments can be used to measure media and information competence of different user groups?
  • How should media and communication education change in order to foster building of digital competences? 


Area IV: Technology 

  • How are emerging technologies as big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain or Internet of Things used in media and communication? Illustration of application of these technologies with case studies is of interest. 
  • Which technological trends and future products (e.g. virtual and augmented reality, big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things ....) are recognizable already today as prototypes and will influence the media and communication industry in the future? 
  • Which new professional job requirements emerge at the interface of journalism, organizational communication and technology? 
  • Which digital competencies (software development, cryptography, big data analytics, data visualization) are key to success in Digital Transformation in media and communication? 


Area V: Development of the academic discipline, methodology and academic teaching 

Development of the academic discipline 

  • How has Digital Transformation shaped the development of the academic discipline of communicationand media science? 


  • What kind of methodical innovations are necessary in order to ensure that communication and media science can meet the challenges of the constant dynamic of their respective research subject? Which methodical innovations are well suited for the analysis of the fast change and Digital Transformation in the world of online communication? 
  • In which research areas does communicationand media science depend on collaboration with other disciplines (e.g. computer science)? 

Academic teaching 

  • How should academic teaching be adjusted, in order to cater for required digital competences of students? 
  • How can the practical application of academic teaching be strengthened? How can digital transformers coming from the area of media practice be included in academic teaching in a useful way? 



See the attached file

L'appel est en anglais mais des contributions en français et dans les autres langues nationales de la Suisse sont aussi les bienvenues.

Download this file (Call for papers - SGKM2019.pdf)Call for papers - SGKM2019.pdf[ ]289 kB