To understand how journalism is changing, we need to understand how peripheral actors in news (e.g., coders, web analytics companies, etc.) are building their products and positioning themselves in journalism. In an effort to explore this issue, this year Avery E. Holton (University of Utah, USA) and I have looked at their roles more generally (open access with Media and Communication) to how more particularly web analytics companies position themselves in journalism (with Digital Journalism).

Avery, Oscar Westlund (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway), and I welcome abstracts for a thematic issue call for abstracts in Media and Communication discussing "Peripheral Actors in Journalism: Agents of Change in Journalism Culture and Practice". This thematic issue seeks to deepen current understandings of who these individuals are, describing and explaining what impact they are having on journalism culture, practice and overall performance.

This issue also encourages proposal that examine the challenges and opportunities presented by these peripheral actors, including: the roles these peripheral actors have in news process; where and when they impact news production; their influence on journalism culture and practice; the social construction of these actors in journalism; questions of diversity and inclusion (e.g., races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities, and sexual orientations) in how these organizations approach journalism.

The thematic issue seeks to advance related journalism studies and mass communication theories. It welcomes contributions with a variety of methods and emphases, though articles that specifically focus on journalists, news organizations, peripheral actors, and the interplay between them are encouraged. Broadly, this thematic issue aims to answer questions of who peripheral actors in journalism are today, what their motivations may be, what impact they have culturally, practically, and institutionally on other journalists and news organizations, how such actors are shaping the culture, norms, and practices of journalists and news organizations, what impact they may have on the business and management of journalism, and how they may be illustrative of the shrinking authoritative control news organizations have traditionally had on journalism. All methods of approach are encouraged as are international perspectives.

What's next?

Instructions for Authors: Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and to send their abstracts (about 250 words, with a tentative title and reference to the thematic issue) by email to the Editorial Office by 31 January 2019.

Open Access: The journal has an article processing charge to cover its costs, so authors are advised to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional memberships can be found here.

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