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CfA SPECIAL ISSUE 2022 (now open!)

Call for Articles Issue 14.2 (Fall 2022)

Deadline for full proposals: 15 January 2022

Guest Editors

Adolfo Carratalá (University of València)
Guillermo López García (University of València)
María Iranzo-Cabrera (University of València)

Communication and dissent:
competing voices in a post-truth world


Traditional media were for a long time seen as institutions that had to avoid challenges to the system in order to guarantee the maintenance of the social structure, which was dependant on broad consensus around certain issues. Making news was key to the social construction of reality in a complex world (Tuchman, 1983). The impact of the media on public opinion, approached at first as a desirable influence for the functioning of society (Lippmann, 2011), was later identified as an instrument of control and propaganda (Herman & Chomsky, 2013). However, the media have also proven to be essential in questioning discourses of power. Alternative journalism has offered a discordant as well as rigorous proposal of framing reality (Couldry & Curran, 2003; Barranquero Carretero & Sánchez Mocanda, 2018). And, occasionally, media outlets have also been responsible for the generation of dissent in the public sphere, promoting social protests (Milne, 2005). The expression of dissent has been strengthened thanks to the digital media (Loader, 2018), which have given rise to connective actions (Bennett & Segerberg, 2012); this is, online mobilizations that coexist with collective action in offline world, as the anti-racial protests in the US or the new impetus of the feminist movement have recently shown.

But dissent expressed on the Internet often establishes problematic relationships with factual truths, as COVID-19 denialism has demonstrated in the first pandemic of the post-truth era (Parmet & Paul, 2020). Digital sphere has emerged as a perfect ally for the dissemination of hoaxes and misinformation (Magallón, 2020; Salaverría et al., 2020), conspiracies that tune in with messages delivered by celebrities and politicians such as Bolsonaro (Ricard & Medeiros, 2020) and Trump, who first talked about “alternative facts” to deny data provided by journalists, discredited as fake news. The context of populist leadership and growing polarization (Bennett & Pfetsch, 2018; Stroud, 2010), together with the expansion of far-right political forces (Wodak, 2019), has encouraged the articulation of discourses unconnected to facts that seek to redefine reality in the public sphere. The media, aware of the impossibility of returning to be builders of broad consensus, do seek to regain credibility in this scenario of multiple voices and discourses and to counteract hoaxes with the revitalization of fact-checking as a tool to reclaim their authority.

The main goal of this special issue is to collect different approaches to the study of how communication and dissent interact in the context of social media, populism and misinformation. We aim to confront different perspectives about one of the main challenges faced by social and media systems in the current world and so we invite scholars, researchers and practitioners to submit full articles and viewpoints on topics that may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Impact of populism and polarization on political communication
• Media coverage of crisis in the post-truth era
• New voices claiming authority in the digital sphere
• Interaction between online and offline activism
• Fact-checking as a tool to fight against misinformation
• Spread of hoaxes in social media
• Logics and reception of conspiracy theories
• Alternative media contesting power
• Audience studies regarding to reactions to fake news and media credibility
• New roles and strategies of traditional media in the current environment

The journal plans to include research articles of 6,000-7,000 words (including references), as well as brief research notes, experiences or progress reports of 2,000-3,000 words for the Viewpoint section. Full proposals should be submitted by 15 January 2022 in accordance with the Notes for Contributors through the following link:

All contributions will be subjected to double blind peer review, except for the Viewpoint articles, which will be evaluated by the Editors.

New issue published

Our latest miscellaneous issue 13.1 is now online and available to download!

Congratulations and thanks to all the contributors for an excellent job! It is a pleasure to work with some of the finest scholars in Europe and the world who have chosen the Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies as an outlet for their work.