Special Issue: "Re-inhabiting Public Media"

2014-01-14
Call For Papers: Special Issue, "Re-inhabiting Public Media" Stream: Culture • Politics • Technology “It is clear that we, as citizens, creators, and consumers,†states the CRTC, “love TVâ€. “What,†they ask, “will out television system look like in the future?†In promoting public consultations on the future of television broadcast policy in Canada launched by the CRTC in October 2013, the Commission notes that “we†have some 700 channels from which to choose – a daunting figure that nonetheless pales in contrast to the proliferating avenues of content delivery online. In the midst of such a crowded field of options (too easily framed as a boon to the citizen-consumer by dint of its very abundance), and in the face of planned revisions to the Canadian Broadcasting Act for the first time since 1991, what considerations might guide our attention as we seek to think through public media as a socially central symbolic space that ought to be returned to the public interest? How might we come to re-inhabit public institutions? What possibilities exist for a reinvigorated popular imaginary – a movement that can get behind a strengthened facilitative (even radical) role for public media? How, in particular, might such a movement find an enthusiastic constituency among young people? Why, in contrast to the nascent period of the Broadcasting Act at the beginning of the 1930s, have contemporary movements and advocacy groups concerned with communication issues been slow to champion Canadian public media, often preferring to focus efforts in other areas? In light of these questions, what might a suitably progressive policy environment look like? What are we to make of the framing of the CRTC’s public consultations? What specific direction(s) ought to be taken as we revisit the Canadian Broadcasting Act? How might we seek specifically to re-conceptualize and re-invogorate the role(s) played by the CBC and by Radio-Canada/ICI as Canada’s national public broadcaster(s)? How might such institutions provide an effective curatorial function through their online portals, working to introduce otherwise marginal content and progressive ideas into the spotlight for public consideration? What is the impact of the reformulation of CEP and its merger on both formally organized and grassroots labour movements for public institutions like the CBC? More broadly, how do questions of labour and employment – often precarious for many media workers – fit into the larger discussion about public media? What lessons from the past might inform our designs for the renewal, reform, re-conceptualization or outright re-invention of our public cultural institutions? How do alternative, community, independent, or educational (and other not for profit) media fit into the picture? Stream, the Simon Fraser University School of Communication graduate journal, invites submissions from scholars of communication, media studies, journalism, politics and society – as well as from media practitioners and others – to our upcoming special issue on ‘public media’. Graduate student submissions are especially encouraged. We are primarily seeking short interventions addressing the issue theme: essays, commentaries, or short papers of approximately 1000-1500 words. However, we are also happy to accept longer submissions (approximately 2000-5000 words) that seek to examine relevant issues and topics in more depth. Authors are invited to submit a statement of interest (including 200 word abstract) by January 21st, 2014. Completed contributions will be expected by March 6th, 2014 for inclusion in the special issue to be published in May of 2014. Graduate student authors of pieces selected for publication are eligible for a $50 honorarium. Please address statements of interest, abstracts, and/or inquiries, to: Mike Mowbray, Stream co-managing editor mmowbray@sfu.ca *** This special issue of Stream, an open-access, peer-reviewed graduate student journal based at SFU, is being produced in conjunction with Occupy Public Broadcasting: alt. futures for the CBC, a public event to be held at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University’s Downtown Campus on Thursday February 6th, 2014 at 7pm. Interested contributors in or around the Lower Mainland/Vancouver, BC are invited to attend and to participate in the scheduled event. Where relevant, authors are encouraged to engage with the public interventions made by event participants in thinking through the arguments and positions expressed in their contribution to the special issue. An associated graduate student seminar (open to upper-level undergraduates and interested faculty) will be held at that time (details TBA). Both event and special issue are supported by the Graham Spry Foundation: http://www.fondsgrahamspryfund.ca/ We look forward to your contributions!