NEWS | 31 Jan 2019

Call for papers: Behind the Paywall

CALL FOR PAPERS: Nordicom Review Special Issue (open access) 

Title: ‘Behind the Paywall: Implications of the Budding Market for Paid-for Online New’​.
Special issue editors: Aske Kammer (IT-University of Copenhagen), Carl-Gustav Lindén (University of Helsinki), Jonas Ohlsson (Nordicom) and Helle Sjøvaag (University of Stavanger). 
Deadline for full paper submissions: May 31, 2019

The past few years have seen a dramatic upsurge in paywalls being erected across the news media landscape. Online news content that was previously circulated for free is now available only to those who are willing to pay for it. The paywalls are an industry response to two interacting market forces: the gradual decline in printed newspaper sales and the increasing dominance of global networking platforms such as Google and Facebook on national and local advertising markets. In order for commercially funded news media outlets to survive, online audience revenue seems to be the most viable way forward.

The implications of what appears to be a fundamental shift from “free-for-all” to “subscribers-only” access to online news, are plentiful. As a research area, it raises important questions regarding such diverse topics as digital business models and digital media policy, journalistic processes and journalistic content, news media audiences and news media use, and – indeed – the democratic function of commercial news media at large. What happens with news media products and what happens with news media audiences when paywalls are erected? What happens with those that chose not to pay? And how does this metamorphosis of the private news media sector affect the role and scope of public service media?

Against the backdrop of these rather fundamental questions, Nordicom invites the international research community to submit articles to a special issue of Nordicom Review devoted to the implications of online news media paywalls.

The special issue will have an inter-disciplinary scope and the editors welcome contributions on themes including, but not limited to:

  • Newsroom organization, newsroom processes and editorial decision-making in a paywall environment
  • Strategies on converting print subscribers to digital subscribers
  • Policy approaches to advancing online business models for commercial news media
  • Digital business models for commercial news media
  • Paywall solutions and pricing
  • Comparisons of paid-for news media and ad-financed news media
  • News audience analyses
  • News content analyses
  • The impact of user-data in paywall setups
  • The paywall phenomenon in relation to democratic theory
  • Comparisons between reader-financed and ad-financed news

The deadline for full paper submissions is on May 31, 2019. All manuscripts should be submitted to editors@nordicom.gu.se. The preliminary time of publication is Winter 2019/2020. Nordicom Review adheres to a double-blind reviewing policy.

Submission guidelines 
Download the submission guidelines (PDF) 

About Nordicom Review 
Nordicom Review is an international peer-reviewed open access journal published by Nordicom (Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research) at the University of Gothenburg. The publication of Nordicom Review is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordicom Review is indexed by SCOPUS. For more information, please visit www.nordicom.gu.se. 

Contact 
Jonas Ohlsson, PhD, assoc. professor
Editor-in-chief, Nordicom Review
Director, Nordicom
Jonas.ohlsson@nordicom.gu.se
+46 31 786 6125