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Hybridity and the News: Hybrid Forms of Journalism in the 21st Century

Thursday, 4 December, 2014 - 12:00 to Friday, 5 December, 2014 - 18:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJouS) and Brussels Platform for Journalism
International Conference


*A special issue on the conference theme appeared in Journalism: 'Hybridity and the News: Blending genres and interaction patterns in new forms of journalism' (2017, volume 18, issue 1).*   


Conference date: 4-5 December 2014   

Brussels Institute for Journalism StudiesBrussels Platform for Journalism 

Department of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Please use the hashtag #hybrijou when referring to this event on social media. 
Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to hybrijou@vub.ac.be

Scientific Committee      

Prof. dr. François Heinderyckx (Université Libre de Bruxelles - Journalism Studies)
Prof. dr. Caroline Pauwels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Communication Studies) 

Prof. dr. Piet Van de Craen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Linguistics) 
Prof. dr. Hilde Van den Bulck (University of Antwerp – Communication Studies)
Prof. dr. Huub Wijfjes (University of Groningen and University of Amsterdam – Journalism Studies) 
dr. Roel Coesemans (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Applied Linguistics/Journalism Studies)
dr. Jelle Mast (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Applied Linguistics/Journalism Studies) 
dr. Martina Temmerman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Applied Linguistics/Journalism Studies)

Conference Theme and Scope

The essence of journalism has never been easy to define, but in the 21st century hybrid forms of news and current affairs journalism seem to be the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, this conference wants to explore different types and aspects of hybridity, not only related to  the content that is conveyed, but also  to the forms and genres that are applied, and to the practices of creating and experiencing journalism. Several authors have argued that the conventional boundaries between news and entertainment, between public affairs and popular culture, and between factual and fictional modes, have become increasingly porous. Moreover, mainstream media have long lost their monopoly on the news and journalists have integrated the information exchange of the social media in their daily routines. Many journalists do not want to be dependent on news managers and editors and start their own news initiatives.

This conference aims to question narrow, uniform conceptions of journalism, and to move beyond traditional binary oppositions between hard and soft news, (rational) knowledge and (emotional) experience, objectivity and subjectivity, the sober and the ludic, expert and non-expert, or fact and fiction, which have stifled the debate on the implications  of journalism’s multiple and ever-changing faces. In doing so, we want to walk the thin line between journalism and entertainment, journalism and literature, journalism and advertising, and follow the journalists’ wanderings and ponderings in defining their course and their identity in the changing media world. The role of social media and alternative media in this process will be a special point of interest.

Inspirational literature:

Baym, Geoffrey (2009). ‘Real News/Fake News: Beyond the News/Entertainment Divide’ in Allan, S. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism Studies, New York: Routledge,  374-383.

Hutchby, Ian (2011). 'Doing Non-neutral: Belligerent Interaction in the Hybrid Political Interview', in Ekstrom, M. and Patrona, M. (eds.) Talking Politics in the Broadcast Media, Amsterdam: Benjamins, 115-134.

Topics include: 

  • hybrid forms and hybrid genres (e.g. the hybrid political interview, confessional journalism, graphic journalism, fake news and hoaxes, docufictions)
  • the borderline between entertainment and journalism (e.g. satire, humor and irony, infotainment)
  • the borderline between literature and journalism (e.g. literary journalism, storytelling)
  • the borderline between advertising and journalism (e.g. lifestyle journalism, advertorials)
  • social media and journalism
  • alternative vs. mainstream media
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