Call for paper May 20-21, 2021

30 years of higher education in journalism and communication in Eastern Europe after 1989: From conquering the freedom of expression to embracing digital communication

30 de ani de învățământ jurnalistic și de comunicare în fostele țări comuniste din estul Europei: De la cucerirea libertății de exprimare la comunicarea digitală

University of Bucharest

Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies

in collaboration with

State University of Moldova, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies

Sofia University, „Sf. Kliment Odhirski” Radio and Television Department

University of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy Department of Communication and Journalism

May 20-21, 2021

Between 1989 and 1990, in Eastern Europe emerged the first signs of a new social and political reality in which print and audiovisual media played a fundamental role in achieving the freedom of speech. The first years were dedicated to a fervent construction. Thousands of newspapers and magazines, dozens of television and radio stations were founded, contributing to an effervescent context, in contrast to the censorship of the authoritarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. In tandem came the interest for studying the impact of media, as well as the increasing need to train future journalists, equipped to undertake their role in a climate free of ideological constraints, and marked by freedom of expression. The post-communist journalism schools chose as models the Western European and American journalism, understood as practice of democracy (Gross, 2001).

Not only journalism needed specialists but the whole field of public communication required trained professionals. Thus, public relations and advertising became distinct fields of study, following the rapid development of communication industries. The investments of large companies in strategic communications campaigns, as well as regulations regarding the transparency of public institutions have motivated universities to build study programs in the field of communication. The Bologna process has led to the diversification of MA programs and the creation of the first doctoral schools in Communication Studies.

Digital communication technologies, underpinned by the consolidation of Internet access, have brought new challenges for the universities. New disciplines were implemented quickly, in a permanent race with the realities of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and subsequent developments (AI, IoT, etc.).

With the growth of new media, the ethical dilemmas and controversies have multiplied. These add up to the market conditions of media institutions in Eastern Europe, which are characterized by center-periphery relations, that favor the import of technology, but also the adoption of Western editorial concepts. These transformations are problematic as they overlap with previous media issues, such as the lack of the trust in traditional media, the quasi-disappearance of print media, the tabloidization, etc. These controversies impact the activity of journalists, but also that of communication professionals. Traditional media institutions are being under scrutiny (Deuze, 2020), and journalists are facing public distrust, complicated by the rise of fake news.

We invite you to submit papers that discuss the evolution of media and journalism education, as well as the developments of journalism and public communication during the last 30 years.

We welcome abstracts and papers that cover the following topics:

1. Higher education in journalism and communication: history, curricula effects of the Bologna process and the ongoing digitalization.

2. Media and communication professions. transformations, configurations, and challenges.

3. Digital communication: computational propaganda and democracy, fake news, illiberal parties and movements.

4. Political communication: marketization and elections in the age of digitalization.

5. The Coronavirus outbreak and media education: infodemia and censorship in public communication during the state of emergency.

6. Advertising, digital campaigns, globalization and localization.

8. Gender perspectives on journalism and media

9. Ethical dilemmas in journalism, in public relations and advertising.

10. The impact of Internet on journalists and communication professionals.

Participants can also opt to send 500 words abstracts for the following panels:

1. Audiovisual communication in communism and post-communism

2. The impact of technologies on journalism and communication

3. Media and communication policies, media pluralism and independence. New approaches from a systemic perspective of the media system in Central and Eastern Europe

4. The relationship between academia and the advertising industry

5. Political communication in the digital age

6. Gender, politics and communication

Scientific Committee

Marian Petcu, full professor (University of Bucharest)

Georgeta Drulă, full professor (University of Bucharest)

Camelia Cmeciu, full professor (University of Bucharest)

Antonio Momoc, associate professor (University of Bucharest)

Natalia Vasilendiuc, associate professor (University of Bucharest)

Georgeta Stepanov, full professor, hab. (State University of Moldova)

Zoran Jevtović, PhD, full professor (University of Niš)

Nataša Simeunović Bajić, PhD, assistant professor (University of Niš)

Marija Vujović, PhD, assistant professor (University of Niš)

Vyara Angelova, DSc, associate professor (University of Sofia)

Orlin Spassov, PhD, associate professor (University of Sofia)

Zhana Popova, PhD, associate professor (University of Sofia)

Organising Committee

Romina Surugiu, associate professor (University of Bucharest)

Nicoleta Apostol, lecturer (University of Bucharest)

Adriana Ștefănel, lecturer (University of Bucharest)

Mariana Tacu, associate professor (State University of Moldova)

Victoria Bulicanu, associate professor (State University of Moldova)

Marta Mitrović, PhD, assistant (University of Niš)

Andrej Blagojević, MA, assistant (University of Niš)

Ilija Milosavljević, MA, assistant (University of Niš)

Important dates:

Abstract submission deadline: April 18

Feedback to participants on abstracts: April 26

Final programme of the conference: May 10

Conference dates: May 20-21

Practical informations:

–           Participants can send 500-600 words abstracts (references included). We accept abstracts in English and Romanian. E-mail for sending the abstract: conference(at)

–           There are no participation fees.

–           The conference will be organized in the Webex system.

–           The selected papers will be published in a proceedings volume or in the special issues of academic journals (Facta Universitatis Series: Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology and History; Media Studies and Applied Ethics; Styles of Communication).

Contacts: conference(at), romina.surugiu(at)

Call for papers 2021

Program conferință 2021

Book of abstracts 2021