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5th Annual Conference of ECREA Journalism and Communication Education Temporary Working Group

“Trial and Error III”

Business as usual? On the Relationship between Industry and Education

for Media Professionals in Times of Change


Universität Salzburg , 17-18 May 2019, Salzburg/Austria

When we talk about the future development of higher education and training for media professions – like journalism, media management, media design, strategic communication, public relations and marketing-, one central point is always the relationship with the industries we are educating for. This relationship is crucial: Traditionally, the number of hired graduates is viewed as an indicator for the reputation and success of an education program.

Yet, while it is often difficult for the industry to deal with the profound changes in media technology, work processes, or business models, it is no less difficult for education to identify relevant trends and respond to them. In many countries the connection between education and industry is traditionally close with various forms of cooperation including regular internships, teaching input, media laboratories and joint education programs – these ties can hold lots of benefits for both sides, but they also raise questions about academic independence and professional integrity.

Finally, while higher education and training programs should be a motor for change and a center of research, actively shaping the future of their professions with an input of knowledge and vision, the industry itself has never been more on the forefront of media research and development then today. How can education programs for media and communication professions cooperate with media professionals and industries in a meaningful way? What are the benefits and drawbacks of cooperations? How do programs keep up with technological developments, changes in work processes, job descriptions etc. in their respective media sectors? How do they stay relevant for both academia and for the industry and what are the major challenges for doing so? What kind of programs do we need, what do we want to create?


In Salzburg, at the fifth annual conference of the ECREA Journalism & Communication Education TWG, we want to take a closer look at the multi-faceted relationships between education for all types of media professionals and the respective industries. We invite abstracts of academic research and project-based experiences and various approaches (theoretical, methodological or empirical, in nature) that can touch upon, but are by no means restricted to, the following four thematic areas:

  • Practices of Education, Training, and the Industry: Here, we want to examine innovations and trends between the classroom and the industry, e.g. innovative media products, new training profiles in media professions, best practice examples of project-based collaboration, offering co-working spaces, working on assignment, entrepreneurial training and the potential of start-ups, etc.
  • Challenges and Chances of Collaboration: Here, we want to evaluate the respective roles of industry and education, e.g. methods of keeping up with innovations, the industry’s expectations with regard to media graduates,  questions of ethics and professional identity, directions and types of influence etc.
  • The Impact of Societal and Professional Changes on the Classroom: here we want to discuss how education programs are responding or contributing to fundamental changes in society, technology and/or economy; e. the role of journalism in society and how education can contribute in strengthening its position, new didactics to prepare for future needs in society and industry etc.
  • Lessons for educational programs from industrial developments: We also explicitly invite presentations from various fields of media communication research which examine current developments (blurred professional boundaries, public-centeredness, fake news, crossmedia, hybrid newsrooms, datafication and automation, artificial intelligence, news games, content marketing, chatbot marketing, social commerce, native advertising, the internet of things…) and draw conclusions for present and future education for media professions.


Please note that we invite contributions in various formats, e.g. workshops, panels and   individual presentations.

  • Workshops sessions are practice-oriented. Proposals should include a workshop description (max. 500 words) with a clearly defined workshop topic and goal, and a number of questions or assignments for discussion as well as an indication of the length of the session.
  • Individual presentations involve research results and/or theoretical work and/or project-based experiences relevant to the conference theme. Please submit an abstract (max. 500 words, not including references), outlining the state of the study or project, as well as the research question(s) or hypotheses, findings and conclusion(s). We also encourage submitting work in progress, e.g. new theoretical, methodological or didactic ideas. Presentations can be either short pitch/poster sessions or traditional presentations (feel free to be creative).
  • Panels consist of various presentations addressing a common topic from different perspectives. Panels are scheduled for one hour, including discussions. Panel proposals should include a description of the topic and an overall panel goal, addressing the relevance of the topic to the conference theme (400 words). The proposal should also suggest a chair to serve as a moderator and should include a short abstract of each of the presentations (max. 200 words each).


Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

Official Website:

Please submit abstracts as anonymized word- or pdf-documents to


Please include your author information (name, institution, contact) in the accompanying e-mail. Accepted presenters will be informed by 8th March 2019.


The conference will take place Friday, 17th May and Saturday, 18th May, 2019.


The conference is organized by the local organizing committee at the Department of Communication Science/University of Salzburg and the ECREA Journalism & Communication Education TWG management team:

Dr.  Susanne Kirchhoff (Head of committee) / University of Salzburg, Austria / (

Dr. Michael Harnischmacher (Chair) / University of Passau / Passau, Germany / (

Dr. Harmen Groenhart (Vice chair) / Fontys University of Applied Sciences / Tilburg, The Netherlands (

Dr. Pilar Sánchez-García (Vice chair) / University of Valladolid / Valladolid, Spain (