Sponsored by the Charles University in Prague, the Media Industries and Cultural Production Section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), and the Czech Society of Film Studies
The Eighth Annual Screen Industries in East-Central Europe Conference (SIECE) is following up with the previous year’s topic by providing a forum for discussing the online strategies of public service broadcasters and their possible transformations into a new kind of media services. While critical studies of television in the internet era and of online distribution of audiovisual content more generally have boomed in recent years, there has not been enough attention paid to the specific challenges and opportunities that the internet brings to public service media (PSM). This is even more the case in the small countries of Central and Eastern Europe where PSM have generally limited their online presence to catch-up services and are still looking for more complex solutions to keep up with commercial and global competition. They face enormous difficulties ranging from outdated legal frameworks and financing models, a lack of skills in digital curation or data analytics, unpredictable changes in consumer habits, the impact of social media platforms, and political attacks trying to take advantage of PSM’s insecure position. At the same time, the convergence of television and the internet presents opportunities for new business models, modes of audience engagement, and conceptualisations of public value. The SIECE VIII will strive to bring together international scholars of online TV with media professionals and policymakers to draw a picture of the situation, its roots and contexts, and possible scenarios for future development within East-Central Europe and beyond.
Potential topics for papers and panels include, but are not limited to:
- Public value: how the shift to online TV makes media professionals as well as policymakers and audiences reconsider the core values of public service media; possibilities for creating public value outside the designated institutional spaces of PSM
- Industry structures: shifts in the dual TV market and the place of PSM in the emerging online-TV/VOD market; competition/cooperation with the commercial and global digital services; strategies of overcoming the public/commercial divide (such as the “ecosystem approach”) and their dangers
- Infrastructures: issues of access and digital divide, net neutrality, mobile data, smart TV
- Digital curation and big data: balancing linear schedules with nonlinear catalogues, archival material with new content, personalized recommendation algorithms with top-down editorial selections and curation
- Online content strategies: development of trans-platform narratives, new promotional content/strategies, novel media formats, and short-form, web-only, spreadable content as a measure to re-connect with under-served (younger) audience groups
- Online audiences: the place of PSM online viewing in “media ensembles” and “use genres” of today’s TV audiences; PSM’s own concepts and measurements of online audiences
- “Public social” media or “platformization” of PSM: consequences of interactions and hybridizations between social media and PSM
- National and supra-national policies/politics vis-à-vis online TV: the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy and its potential impact on PSM online services; the place and role of the EBU; territoriality of copyright and geoblocking; new dangers PSBs face from their political opponents after transforming into PSM; PSM’s open data policy
- Professional cultures: tensions between TV and internet cultures within the PSM institutional spaces; self-conceptions of PSM employees, independent producers and freelance talent up and down the professional hierarchy; “industry lores” of PSM decision-makers
- Transnational flows and globalization: co-production, format adaptation, cross-border circulation, and localization of public service content in the internet era, threats to local content and content diversity
The Screen Industries in East-Central Europe conference investigates the region’s audiovisual media industries from all angles – local, transnational, economic, cultural, social, and political – and through a broad range of original scholarship delivered in the form of conceptual papers and empirical case-studies. We welcome papers and panels exploring these issues from a range of contexts within and beyond Europe. A selection of the conference proceedings will be published in a special English-language issue of the Czech Film Studies journal Iluminace (www.iluminace.cz).
The 2019 Screen Industries in East-Central Europe Conference is co-organized with the ECREA Media Industries and Cultural Production Section. The conference will be preceded by a PhD workshop organized by the Media Industries and Cultural Production YECREA section, which will be held on 22 November.
The 2019 SIECE Program Committee invites proposals for twenty-minute conference papers and for panels of three or four speakers focusing on any topic related to public service media’s online strategies and within and beyond the East-Central European audiovisual industries. Panels of three to four papers should include a brief summarizing reflection of between five and ten minutes, which will be delivered by an assigned respondent to facilitate discussion. Proposals for conference papers should include a title, an abstract of up to 150 words, and between three and five key bibliographical references, along with the presenter’s name, the presenter’s institutional affiliation, and a concise academic bio. Panel proposals should include a panel title, a short description of up to 100 words on the panel’s focus, and proposals of all of the papers to be delivered (including the information described above). Please submit proposals no later than 15 June 2019 to Petr.Szczepanik@ff.cuni.cz.
Conference attendance is free, and the conference will be conducted in English.
Conference Organizers: Petr Szczepanik, Catherine Johnson, Pavel Zahrádka, Johana Kotišová, Giulia Manica, Maria Michalis, Julia Velkova, Kateřina Svatoňová, and Lucie Česálková, in association with the Film Studies Department, Charles University, and the National Film Archive, Prague.
Conference Management: Jiří Anger (firstname.lastname@example.org; [+ 420] 778 522 720)