2021 Moscow Readings


IAMCR co-sponsored the 13th International Media Readings in Moscow "Mass Media and Communications 2021" organised by the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University from 18-19 November. 

The topic of this year's conference was ‘Mediating Digital Society and Individuals: Journalism and Communication in the Times of Uncertainty’. The event was supported by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation. It was organized in partnership with IAMCR Digital Divide Working Group, IAMCR Communication in Post- and Neo-Authoritarian Societies Working Group, IAMCR Journalism Research and Education Section. The conference was also supported by UNESCO chair in communication, National Association of Mass Media Researchers, European Journalism Training Association, and The Global Risk Journalism Hub. 

Day 1 - Welcome messages, plenary and thematic sessions

Moscow Readings conference was opened with welcome speeches by the Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education Professor Elena Vartanova, and IAMCR Vice Presidents Professor Usha Raman (University of Hyderabad) and Dr. Andrea Medrado (University of Westminster). Professor Vartanova formally opened the conference and extended warm words of greetings to the participants. International colleagues thanked the organizers of the conference and expressed hope for the productive academic discussion and further collaboration between IAMCR and Russian academic community. 

Welcome speeches were followed by the first plenary session moderated by Dr. Anna Gladkova (Lomonosov Moscow State University), IAMCR Ambassador in Russia. Professor Mark Deuze (University of Amsterdam), Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University presented his insights into the new liquid perspective of looking at media. He talked about different aspects of journalism, such as the audience and the text, which are now converting into fluid entities. Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (Cardiff University) presented the results of her research into the local journalism businesses, and looked into how the pandemic changed the roles of local journalists, their journalism practices and their financial stability. Professor Elena Vartanova (Lomonosov Moscow State University) took the floor to outline the most important trends of media development in the context of media economics. 

The plenary session gave way to the first round of thematic sessions, which featured the first special panel session 'Doing comparative communication research in uncertain times: First experiences a year into the formation of The Global Risk Journalism Hub', and three sections moderated by the scholars of the Faculty of Journalism. 

The second round of sessions included a celebratory special panel session dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Faculty of Journalism and 75th anniversary of journalism education at Lomonosov Moscow State University. This panel session was conducted in the hybrid format – representatives of Lomonosov Moscow State University gathered offline, and their international colleagues joined their meeting via Zoom. Professor Elena Vartanova provided a historical overview of the Faculty development and then focused on the current paths of development of the Faculty stressing that international cooperation remains among the faculty’s key priority. Faculty scholars extended warm words of greetings to the international partners of the Faculty, who in their turn shared their most pleasant and exciting memories about the Faculty. The meeting went off in a cordial atmosphere, the speakers talked about joint trips to the conferences and collaborative research works. 

Among other thematic sessions, an intense program of the first day of the conference also included three special panel sessions: ‘Journalism education in the insecure digital age’ organized by EJTA, ‘Patterns of cumulative deliberation in online discussions’ organized by St. Petersburg University, and ‘Digital inequalities and digital capital in times of uncertainty' organized by the IAMCR Digital Divide Working Group. 

Day 2 - Thematic sessions and closing plenary

The second day of the Moscow Readings conference was marked by new rounds of thematic sessions in two languages, moderated both by the scholars of the Faculty of Journalism and international partners of the Faculty. Three special panel sessions were held on the second day: 'Journalism and communication in post- and neo-authoritarian societies in times of uncertainty' organized by the IAMCR Communication in Post- and Neo-Authoritarian Societies Working Group, and two panels organized by the IAMCR Journalism Research and Education Section: 'Safety of journalists during the pandemic', and 'Media sustainability in a pandemic world'. 

The conference was closed with the second plenary session. Professor Victor Pickard (University of Pennsylvania) focused on the alternatives to the advertising revenue model, and outlined the need to de-commercialize and democratize journalism. Professor Claudia Mellado (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso) talked about how digital identities of journalists are being framed on social media platforms. She looked into various conceptual aspects, which are crucial for the study of digital cultures, and delved into the specific journalistic roles studied in her research. Their presentations triggered interesting questions, which led to an active discussion moderated by Dr. Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University), chair of IAMCR Communication in Post- and Neo-Authoritarian Societies Working Group.

Moscow Readings conference featured six rounds of thematic sessions, 28 sessions with nine special panel sessions. Five keynote speakers gave brilliant talks at two plenary sessions. The academic event was supported by eight professional organizations. For the first time, the conference also included the panel session held in hybrid format. 

The Faculty of Journalism thanks the contributors and participants for making this productive discussion possible!

See links to the Youtube videos below (in Russian):

The welcome ceremony and the first plenary session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jza4AMxasw

The anniversary panel session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s7vyBv4eec

The second plenary session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwVcky7RyY4