Media Sustainability in a Pandemic World 

Theme
The global economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are by now taking shape, as markets tumble and countries take emergency actions to respond the pandemic. “As measures to contain COVID19 spread around the world, reliable, fact-checked news is more important than ever. News audiences are growing in record numbers, but for many media organizations, income is falling” (Warner & Cirelli, 2020). While news consumption has increased during the pandemic, the revenue hasn’t followed. Instead, as the global economy is gutted, news outlets around the world have laid off staff, cut salaries and furloughed workers while journalistic conditions have worsen The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting every industry. 
For the media sector, coronavirus creates both opportunities and challenges. The current disruption may be unprecedented, but the media industry has been upended many times before in different parts of world. Since the turn of the century, digitization of content, the rise of social media and acceleration in mobile consumption have all forced changes to the way media companies monetize content. In an era of digital change, media needs to find ways to secure their long-term survival and independence, which prompts scholars to look into the notion of media sustainability from various perspectives. Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased discussion of what does media sustainability actually mean and how can it be achieved? Media Sustainability refers to the ability of media to play its vital role as the ‘fourth estate’" (Starosielski & Walker, 2016; Matschke/kh, 2015). In other words, it relates to a media system that provides citizens with "useful, timely and objective information", and as well to a media system that can operate free and independent without political, legal, social or economic restrictions (Matschke/kh, 2015).
Media Sustainability in a Pandemic World, is the World of Media’s first ever Special Issue. It emphasizes media industry needs financial models, as well as enabling socio-political and cultural environments that help media organizations to be able to keep fulfilling its diverse roles, which appear evermore important during times of COVID-19. Hence, this Special Issue invites submissions of full papers that offer insights into media sustainability during pandemic from various perspectives, such as (but not limited to):

  • Context-specific challenges for sustainable operation of media organizations;

  • Business models aiding media sustainability during pandemic; 

  • Political, legal, social or economic restrictions affecting journalists’ access to information and the public’s right to know; 

  • Misinformation/disinformation, threats to media credibility and issues of public’s trust; 

  • The role of media literacy during the pandemic; 

  • Journalists’ education and training to operate in a pandemic world; 

  • Pandemic driven transformations in newsrooms and journalistic practices; 

  • Evolving patterns of news consumption and audiences’ attitudes and preferences amid COVID-19 pandemic.


Guidelines for authors
If you are interested in participating in this special issue, please submit an extended abstract (500-750 words), accompanied by a 100-150- word bio introducing your relevant expertise.
Abstracts, containing study’s objectives, theory and methods’ details, should be sent no later than 30th March, 2021 to corresponding guest editor Dr. Sadia Jamil at sadia.jamil@ymail.com and co-guest editors: Associate Professor Nikos S Panagiotou (npanagiotou@gapps.auth.gr) and Professor Christos Fragkonikolopoulos (chfragk@gapps.auth.gr).
Upon selection, scholars will be notified by 15th April and they shall be invited to submit full papers.
Article submissions should be about 8,000 words in length, including references, and are subject to full blind peer-review, in accordance with the peer-review procedure of World of Media. Full manuscripts should be submitted to worldofmedia@mail.ru by 1st August, 2021 and with the subject line: Abstract submission for WOM’s Special Issue.

Guest editors
Dr Sadia Jamil,
Department of Humanities & Social Sciences,
Khalifa University of Science & Technology,
UAE
sadia.jamil@ymail.com

Associate Professor Nikos S Panagiotou,
School of Journalism & Mass Communication,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
Greece 
npanagiotou@gapps.auth.gr

Professor Christos Fragkonikolopoulos,
School of Journalism & Mass Communication,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
Greece
chfragk@gapps.auth.gr