The successful JRP pre-conference “Between Ideals and Practices: Journalistic Role Performance in Transformative Times” was held on May 24 at the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Journalism. The event, which was organized by the Canadian leg of the project, was an incredible showcase of research on journalistic role performance using a variety of methodologies. It featured presentations in both English and French from scholars working in the Global North and South.
Including panelists, keynote speakers, moderators, conference attendants and students, there were approximately 90 people in-person at the pre-conference and 20 participating virtually.
There were also 12 panels, including two French panels, and a total of 42 presentations, 11 of those virtual, plus two in-person keynotes.
Professor Mellado kicked off the preconference with the keynote address “Role Performance Research in Comparative Journalism Studies,” discussing the theoretical pillars of role performance research and how this approach contributes to our understanding of journalistic cultures and the practice of journalism in different cultural settings. She also described the framework that grounds the JRP project and discussed the future of journalistic role performance research.
Professor Hallin closed the preconference with the keynote address “Complexity, Context, and Concepts: The News Wave of Media-Systems Analysis,” reflecting on the kinds of issues that arise from efforts to use large N research projects based on standardized measures for comparative analysis of media systems, and the relationship between this kind of research and the historical-institutional tradition.
The main organizer of the event, Professor Nicole Blanchett, remarked, "We had dreamed of an event that prioritized diversity and accessibility and brought together journalists and academics, and we are thrilled that the conference turned out just as we had hoped. The insightful and energetic discussions on the most important issues facing journalism in newsrooms around the world, along with critical analysis and conversations that explored the evolution of methodologies that evaluate practice in those newsrooms, will provide the groundwork for further development of this rich area of study for researchers the world over."