Conference on communication in a changing world

On 17-18 April, the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU) hosted and organized the FSMK (Association for Swedish Media and Communication Research) annual conference. This year's conference focused on a constantly changing media world.

Göran Bolin and Annette Hill

Göran Bolin, Chairman of the FSMK and Annette Hill welcome everyone (see slideshow below).

Artificial intelligence, human-machine communication and machine learning are some of the latest developments in today's society.

“The main focus of this event was to debate issues arising from changing ecologies (relationships, environments) in media and communication, both educational ecologies and research ecologies. We had special panel discussions on a range of topics, including photography and news, AI and automation, legacy and streaming media," says Annette Hill, Professor of Media and Communication at HLK, who organized the conference.

The conference began with a welcome from Annette Hill who then handed over the floor to Göran Bolin, Professor of Media and Communication Science at Södertörn University and Chairman of FSMK.

Göran Bolin gave a brief overview of FSMK and thanked HLK for organizing the event before handing over to the keynote speaker Espen Ytreberg, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oslo. His lecture was entitled "How mediated events have created environments".

This was followed by Kari Andén Papadopoulos, Professor of Media and Communication at Stockholm University, with the title "The media forensic production of visual evidence in the documentation and prosecution of human rights abuses". Then Stina Bengtsson, Professor at Södertörn University, gave a lecture with the title "Ecologies of meaning: Understanding media as meaning-making practice".

The final activity of the first day was held by Otto Hedenmo and Jens Alvén Sjöberg, both PhD students at HLK, together with Monica Porzionato, PhD student at Lund University. They divided the participants into smaller groups to discuss the topic "Changing environments for early career researchers".

Day two

Day two of the conference started with Göran Bolin's lecture "Transforming Ecologies of Media Research and Education in the Age of Communicative Machines". Annette Hill then took over and spoke on the topic "Transforming Conceptualizations and Constitutions of Media Audiences".

The last speakers of the conference were Ebba Sundin, Halmstad University, Ernesto Abalo, HLK and Sofia Johansson, Södertörn University, all three associate professors in media and communication. They spoke briefly about their current projects and then opened up for questions and discussions.

Around 30 people from different parts of the country, all of whom are connected to media and communication studies in one way or another, attended the conference. One of them was Linus Andersson, Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Halmstad University.

Linus Andersson

Linus Andersson found the conference inspiring.

“I think it has been enjoyable and inspiring; important issues have been raised in a light-hearted and open way. There have been many good discussions, including one this morning about media and communication science as a subject, its boundaries, how technology and reality are changing and how we relate to it. I think this is an important issue in our subject," he says.

Annette Hill was also pleased with the outcome of the conference.

"The conference was a positive experience on all levels. It was nice to host so many people from different universities in Sweden. The conversations about media events, open source online images and human rights, news audiences, changing ways of understanding communication and the multi-layered meanings of media and communication were invigorating and signal future directions for the field as a whole," says Hill.