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Risk Journalism and Global Crisis Project (RJGCP): Call for participation

17.06.2020 20:41 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Deadline: July 30, 2020

We are looking for participants from the Global North and Global South to establish a truly international research team to assess how journalists across various countries address the current global crisis. The Covid-19 crisis constitutes not only an unprecedented global pandemic but journalists across societies can no longer just 'cover' a story and are emerging as key 'actors' who are now faced with a new challenge to communicate the complexities of an unprecedented global crisis magnitude to their local audiences. When reviewing recent international journalism scholarship regarding the way how globalized 'risks' are assessed, it is surprising that still today, globalization and emerging terrains of globalized crisis journalism are only on the periphery of journalism research.

A number of studies exist in contexts of climate change, however, most studies address this globalized issue through national contexts (e.g. from Brossard et al, 2004; Boykoff, 2008 to Comfort et al, 2020). Furthermore, research is based in Western countries and even if international studies are conducted, they mainly include the US and some European countries. Attempts have been made to address the need for a significant methodological revision of global crisis journalism research. Olausson and Berglez suggest a focus on three methodological shifts in globalized risk journalism research: a 'discursive shift' - to move away from mainly quantitative studies, an (2) interdisciplinary shift and an (3) international shift (Olausson & Berglez, 2014).

The Risk Journalism and Global Crisis Project (RJGCP) builds on these debates but will adopt a new conceptual approach to ‘risk journalism’ which understands journalists - wherever they are based - as cosmopolitan actors within horizons of interconnected risk publicness. We specifically build on Volkmer & Sharif's (2018) concept that suggests a 'reflexive' turn of journalism research and a move away from methodological nationalism towards transnational ‘methodological interdependence’ and a focus on the ‘epistemic sphere’ of risk 'reflexivity' among journalists.

Questions focus on how journalists construct a global crisis, such as the Covid-19 crisis; how they select information; how they engage with digital and data in a transnational spectrum in their day-to-day practice and develop their 'logic' regarding globalized risks and construct their stories.

Leading research questions of this international project are as follows, and project team members are asked to address these in their respective countries:

  • how journalists conceptualize the Covid-19 crisis;
  • how they identify 'stories', how they perceive 'issues' and construct a 'logic' when setting their agenda through assessing all types of globalized digital sources available;
  • investigate the similarities and differences of their 'reflexive' practice;
  • how journalists see themselves as cosmopolitan actors during a global crisis.

Methods and approaches will be discussed in project meetings to ensure that research is 'doable' for everyone.

Given the globalized crisis, it is time to build a unique international project across all world regions to investigate the new conceptual and empirical challenges to journalism in the current global crisis. There is no funding attached to this project, members could seek their own funding opportunities. Funding opportunities might arise in the future, once the project is established. Collective and comparative studies will be published in the form of articles, edited book collections, reports, and pre-conferences at international conferences and forums.

This project is led by Professor Ingrid Volkmer (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Maria Know Lund (OsloMet University), Professor Saba Betawi (University of Technology Sydney), and Associate Professor Sara Chinnasamy (University of Technology Mara, Malaysia). If you are interested to join, please contact Professor Ingrid Volkmer:

We will close this call by July 30, 2020.


Brossard et al (2004) "Are issue-cycles culturally constructed? A comparison of French and American coverage of global climate change,' Mass Communication and Society, 7(3), 359-377.

Boykoff, M.T. (2008) 'Lost in translation? United States television news coverage of anthropogenic climate change, 1995-2004.' Climate Change, 86(1-2) 1-11.

Comfort, B. et al, 2020 'Who is heard in Climate Change Journalism? Sourcing patterns in climate change news in China, India, Singapore and Thailand, Climate Change, 158 (3-4) 327-343.

Volkmer, I. & Sharif, K (2018) Risk Journalism - Between Transnational Politics and Climate Change. New York: Palgrave.



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