CFP: What’s (the) News? Values, Viruses and Vectors of Newsworthiness

13-14 December 2018
Third biennial conference of the Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU)
Department of Applied Linguistics
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2018

Plenary speakers
Monika Bednarek (University of Sydney, Australia)
Tony Harcup (University of Sheffield, UK)

Steered by what Kovach & Rosenstiel describe as our ‘awareness instinct’, exchanging ‘news’ fulfills basic human needs for information, orientation, and connection. The entanglement of ‘news’, understood as recent and current public information, and the development of journalism (as a profession), renders the question what ‘is’ or ‘becomes’ news highly relevant for the study of journalism. One particularly influential approach to ‘newsworthiness’ in journalism studies emerged from Galtung and Ruge’s 1965 seminal study on ‘news values’ in (foreign) news reporting. The core question of this study was which criteria journalists apply in the news selection process. The authors contend that (negative) events having to do with conflict, elites or change in the daily lives or the immediate environment of the audience are likely to become news. Especially if they have some magnitude and if they are recent, unexpected and/or if they can be linked to individ
ual people. Since then, numerous scholars taking sociological or critical cultural approaches to ‘news values’, and selection and journalistic routines in general, have revisited their ideas, and refined and complemented them.
These insights have been applicable to a lesser or greater extent throughout the whole history of journalism, yet, the digital era and the advent of social media more specifically have altered vectors – understood both as agents and carriers – of newsworthiness significantly, reshaping how ‘news’ is conceived, the way it comes about and is exchanged. Within a networked, globalized environment, the range of sources that are available to journalists or that are able to trigger ‘news’ on a day-to-day basis has expanded considerably, while a plethora of newcomers (e.g. citizen journalists, alternative, grassroots and partisan media outlets) in or at the margins of the journalistic field challenge traditional conceptions of ‘newsworthiness’, as well as the relationship between ‘journalism’ and ‘news’ per se (e.g. in ‘slow journalism’ and ‘constructive journalism’ movements). Even if the position of these newcomers along traditional news media’s status as
primary definers of ‘the news’ may still be subject to debate, it is hard to deny the impact of digitization and social media on contemporary audiences’ daily ‘news diet’.
Amongst others, search engines, (automated) news aggregators, and social media platforms, and their underlying algorithms, have become key to understanding how news emerges and circulates nowadays. Social media allow to register which stories are clicked, liked or shared most and thus to examine which topics and approaches raise the highest interest of the audience. Journalists are expected to develop a feeling for ‘shareability’ and to produce texts and visuals which will ‘go viral’. The focus in the selection process seems to have shifted ever more from what journalists deemed fit to publish towards what the audience is expected to appreciate most. Moreover, as clicks, likes and shares are monitored automatically, news stories which receive the most attention of readers are moved up higher in the news flow, so that they are picked up even more often. This presentation process often happens without human intervention, thus leaving the selection entirely to the appreciation
of the audience. Furthermore, these developments have also led to highly customized news packages – ‘me media’ – and the related issues of the ‘filter bubble’ and ‘echo chamber’.
However, it is still the journalist (or is it the ‘news worker’) who decides what shape the story will take and which aspects will be accentuated. The topic of news values can therefore also be approached from a linguistic/discursive side. The main question then is how news workers construct an event as interesting or relevant, i.e. how they use language to make certain events newsworthy, especially on the internet media platforms. And taking into consideration the importance of visual resources on these platforms, an analysis of verbal text will in many cases have to be replaced by or complemented with a multimodal analysis.
We invite participants to engage in a critical discussion of newsworthiness. Possible questions which can be addressed are: are there topics which are newsworthy by nature, which elements arouse most interest in human psyche, which stories and/or sources do journalists and their audience find worth sharing, how do news values vary between media types and news beats, how can journalists or news workers construct issues or events as interesting, what is the relation between newsworthiness and publishing platforms.
Inspirational literature:
Bednarek, Monika & Helen Caple (2017). The Discourse of News Values: How News Organizations Create ‘Newsworthiness’. New York: Oxford University Press.

Harcup, Tony & Deirdre O’Neill (2017). What is news? News values revisited (again). Journalism Studies, 18 (12). pp. 1470-1488.

We welcome submissions from all relevant disciplinary backgrounds approaching topics including but certainly not limited to:
• News values in the selection of news
• News values in the production of news
• The linguistic or multimodal construction of an event as newsworthy
• The relation between publishing platforms and newsworthiness
• What makes news ‘go viral’
• Algorithms and automation in the presentation of news
• Methodological approaches to the study of newsworthiness

We welcome both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and analyses at process, product/text, and/or audience level.
All papers will be published (after the authors’ consent) in the electronic proceedings of the conference and we are planning to publish a selection of the papers in a volume and/or a special issue.
Junior researchers are warmly invited to participate.
The venue for the conference will be the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences ( Vautierstraat/Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, near the Brussels-Luxembourg station, a lively neighbourhood with lots of hotels and restaurants.

Conference fee (including pre-conference reception, lunch, coffee):
€ 150 (regular participants), € 75 (PhD students).
Dinner will be organized on Friday 14 December and charged separately.

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words (excluding selected references) together with your affiliation and a short biography (c. 100 words) to by 30 June 2018. Decisions will be announced by 15 August. Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to
For updates on the practical organization, please check our website.

CFP: Journée linguistique 2018

Comme chaque année, le CBL (Cercle Belge de Linguistique) organise une journée linguistique. Cette année la conférence aura lieu le vendredi 25 mai 2018 à la Faculté de Lettres et Philosophie de l’Université de Liège.

Les communications (20’ de présentation + 10’ de discussion) peuvent traiter d’un sujet linguistique quelconque et peuvent se faire dans une des trois langues nationales (néerlandais, français, allemande) ou en anglais. Les propositions (max. 500 mots, sans références) doivent indiquer clairement le sujet, les objectifs, les données et la méthode utilisées ainsi que les résultats (provisoires). Toutes les propositions (avec le nom et l’affiliation des auteurs) peuvent être envoyées jusqu’au 21 avril 2018 à Avant le 1 mai 2018 vous serez mis au courant de l’acceptation de votre proposition.

Toutes les activités (conférences et déjeuner) auront lieu dans le bâtiment principal (A1) du campus de la ville de l’Université de Liège. L’adresse est Place du 20 août, 4000 Liège. Il est à distance de marche de la gare de Liège-Palais. De la gare de Liège-Guillemins, prendre le bus (TEC) jusqu’à l’arrêt « Opéra », d’où vous pourrez rejoindre le bâtiment de l’université par la place de la République française et la rue de l’Université. Vous pouvez charger vos tickets TEC sur votre carte MOBIB (SNCB).

La participation à la journée linguistique est gratuite pour les membres ainsi que pour les non-membres. Ceux qui veulent faire une communication doivent être membres. Les nouveaux membres ont rempli la fiche d’adhésion et payé la cotisation — € 40 pour ceux qui veulent obtenir le dernier volume du Belgian Journal of Linguistics pour l’année 2018, autrement € 20.

Comme l’année passée, cette année il y aura également un prix pour la meilleure présentation par un doctorant. Si vous désirez participer, vous devez le mentionner lors de la soumission de votre proposition.

Dates importantes
· 21 avril 2018 : date limite pour la soumission des propositions
· 1 mai 2018 : confirmation d’acceptation
· 18 mai 2018 : date limite pour l’inscription pour le déjeuner
· 25 mai 2018 : Journée Linguistique

Lot Brems
Dominique Longrée
Nicolas Mazziotta
Julien Perrez
Laurent Rasier
Marie Steffens
An Van linden

Comité scientifique:
Miriam Bouzouita (UGent), Timothy Colleman (UGent), Bert Cornillie (KU Leuven), Walter Daelemans (UAntwerpen), Philippe De Brabanter (ULB), Sabine De Knop (USL), Gert De Sutter (UGent), Patrick Dendale (UAntwerpen), Thomas François (UCLouvain), Alex Housen (VUB), Marie-Aude Lefer (UCLouvain), Nicolas Mazziotta (ULiège), Fanny Meunier (UCLouvain), Tanja Mortelmans (UAntwerpen), Julien Perrez (ULiège), Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (KU Leuven), Martina Temmerman (VUB), Johan van der Auwera (UAntwerpen), An Van linden (ULiège), Guido Vanden Wyngaerd (KU Leuven), Gudrun Vanderbauwhede (UMons)

CFP: CogLingDays8

The CogLing Days are the biennial conference of the Belgium Netherlands Cognitive Linguistics Association ( The 8th CogLing Days will be held at the Université catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, on December 13th and 14th 2018 (

We welcome contributions reporting on recent research in the various strands of cognitive linguistics or other cognitively inspired usage-based approaches to language.

Abstracts must not exceed 500 words, including references, and should mention the main research question(s), methodology, data and (expected) results. Abstracts can be submitted for an oral presentation (20’ + discussion time) or a poster and will be reviewed anonymously. We also welcome theme session proposals. Please submit via Easychair You will be required to paste your abstract in the text box and to upload a pdf of your abstract. Please indicate your preference for an oral presentation or a poster.
The conference languages are English, Dutch and French.

Proposals for theme sessions (max. 500 word description + (tentative) titles and names of participants) should be submitted by 15 April 2018 to When the theme session is accepted, individual abstracts should also be submitted via Easychair by 15 May 2018.  If your abstract is part of a theme session, please add the theme session title to your paper title.

Submission deadline proposals for theme sessions: 15 April 2018

Submission deadline abstracts: 15 May 2018

Notification of acceptance: 2 July 2018

Contact: Continue reading

PLIN Day 2018: Technological innovation in language learning and teaching

The PLIN Day is an annual one-day thematic conference hosted by the Linguistics Research Unit of the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). The conference has established itself over the years as an international forum for the exchange of ideas among scholars and has brought together researchers from all over the world. The 2018 PLIN Day will take place on Friday, May 18th and is devoted to “Technological innovation in language learning and teaching”; it offers academics, professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate students an excellent opportunity to access, share and discuss cutting edge research in the field. The following (non-exhaustive) list of themes will be covered this year:
– Applying new insights from natural language processing to enhance digital scaffolding in language learning
– Using virtual reality and serious games to leverage task-based language learning and other complex learning environments
– Identifying the conditions under which mobile out-of-class language learning can produce the expected added value
– Exploring the potential of corpus linguistics for developing and implementing tools for language learning
The core programme of the conference will consist in keynote sessions but participants will also have the opportunity to present their most recent research and/or work in progress during an interactive poster session. We therefore invite researchers to submit abstracts addressing topics on new trends in technology supported language learning. The posters will be presented in English. Further information on the posters will be provided in due time. The presence of the author is required as short oral presentations of the posters will also be organised in a poster boost session. A prize will be awarded to the best poster presentation. Abstract submissions should be sent by 5 March 2018 to the following address:
Important Dates:
15 February, 2018: Registration opens
5 March, 2018: Deadline for abstract submissions
15 March, 2018: Notification of acceptance for a poster presentation
30 April, 2018: Early bird registration closes
Keynote Speakers:
Penelope Collins, University of California at Irvine
Dana Glabasova, Lancaster University
Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, The Open University
Gérald Schlemminger, University of Education Karlsruhe
Steve Thorne, University of Portland