European Communication Research
and Education Association

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Conference on methods in cultural production and media industries research

  • 12.10.2023
  • Online

Location: Online

Organized by the ECREA Section Media Industries and Cultural Production

Keynote speakers

  • Epistemic crossroads – towards digital communication system analysis? Signe Sophus Lai & Sofie Flensburg, University of Copenhagen
  • Analyzing Cultural Platforms: Interfaces, Infrastructures, Recommender Systems David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds

How do we form our understandings of the institutions that shape the media landscapes we live in? This one-day conference seeks to explore the methods we use and approaches we take for understanding media and cultural production in the contemporary moment. The field of media production research has been growing rapidly over the last decades, as more and more researchers see the gains from studying the “backends” of the media and cultural industries. At the same time, new challenges arise due to rapid shifts in the media and cultural industries, as well as forms and practices of media and cultural production and distribution. A sectoral shift in the media and cultural industries has introduced new actors – such as platform industries – and new practices – such as new types of content investment and licensing, and new forms of monetization for user-generated content. New questions, theoretical impulses, and empirical objects have gained attention – focused not only on new infrastructures, but also on their effects on the sustainability of creative industries in European markets, diversity, or transnational content flows. At the same time, new research tools and practices have been developed in the broad field of media and cultural studies, mostly notably digital methods.

This conference explores many of the contemporary challenges to understanding the nature of media and cultural production by focusing on the research process, rather than research findings. In doing so, we hope to encourage researchers to push the boundaries of production research, share useful research designs, as well as challenging moments and failed experiments, that we can still learn from.

Scholars will present short papers or provocations on methods and methodology in the field of media and cultural production research. The presentations will reflect on one’s own research designs and methodologies, as well as on broader issues such as developing novel methods and approaches in the field, or conceptual and theoretical discussions on the practice of studying media and cultural production in recent years.


The conference is free and digital only. All who wish to attend should contact Fredrik Stiernstedt ( to receive the conference link and passcode.

Programme 12 October 2023 (all times CET):

0915-0930: Opening and welcome

0930-1030: Keynote: Signe Sophus Lai & Sofie Flensburg: Epistemic crossroads – towards digital communication system analysis?

1030-1045: Short break

1045-1245: Paper session 1 – three parallel sessions

1245-1315: Lunch break

1315-1515: Paper session 2 – three parallel sessions