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CfP: Moving at Different Speeds

Call for papers for Comunicazioni sociali, I, 2013

The Commercialization of Television Systems in Europe and its Consequences

Monographic issue. Accepted languages: English, Italian, and French
Issue Co-editors: Massimo Scaglioni, Luca Barra (Università Cattolica di Milano)

One of the most compelling and current challenges for television studies is to work on the edge of national and international boundaries. Such work must attempt to scrutinize the  historical evolutions of the different television national systems in the light of broader, supranational trends (Bignell-Fickers 2008; Bourdon 2011).

Following a comparative approach, and in order to better understand the developments of European television, the focus on commercialization is without any doubt productive: the entry of private and adbased players in TV national markets is a major phenomenon that has affected European broadcasting systems at different times and speeds, with complex consequences. Starting from the strong tradition of public service broadcasting and, in many cases, of monopoly, European television has experienced the birth of commercial TV at different points of its history, from the first experiments in the UK during the Fifties until the articulated – and often contradictory – process of deregulation and “liberalization” that occurred in many continental countries from the Seventies, as well – in Eastern Europe – along the Nineties.

This special issue of Comunicazioni sociali will analyze the gradual diffusion of several models of commercial TV throughout the decades into different nations across Europe. It aims to provide readers with an outline of the implications of commercialization at the social, cultural, institutional, political, textual and technological level, through case studies of individual nations or regions, comparative studies or theoretical analyses.

Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for contributions to a special issue that will seek to further our understanding of the historical dynamics of TV commercialization that have differently shaped broadcasting systems in various European contexts: similarities and differences will emerge, contributing to a deeper comprehension both of European television histories and of the historical logics and developments of the medium. These can include:

  • Early commercial broadcasting in Europe, both as lasting or “experimental” experiences;
  • Definitions and implications of TV commercialization;
  • Consequences of TV commercialization on a social and cultural level;
  • Consequences of TV commercialization on a political and economical level;
  • TV commercialization and changes in the logics of broadcasting;
  • TV commercialization and production practices;
  • TV commercialization and scheduling practices;
  • TV commercialization and genre (re)definitions;
  • TV commercialization and textual evolutions;
  • TV commercialization and its consequences on the broader media system;
  • TV commercialization and consumption practices;
  • TV commercialization and changes in audience conceptualization;
  • Theoretical approaches on TV commercialization;
  • Original research findings on single case histories and nations.

Paper proposals (250-300 words, in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by October 31th, 2012.

Submissions should be sent to both the editors, Massimo Scaglioni ( and Luca Barra ( Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than November 15th, 2012.

Accepted articles (3500-5000 words, in English, French or Italian) will be due on January 31th, 2013, and will be subject to a double-blind peer review. The issue of Comunicazioni sociali will be published in April/May 2013.

About Comunicazioni sociali

Founded in 1973, Comunicazioni sociali is a journal that features both monographic and miscellaneous issues, dealing with critical questions pertaining to studies of the performing arts, film, radio, television, journalism, advertising and new media. Founded on an interdisciplinary approach, the journal has since its inception promoted rigorous debates on media content, representation and
consumption in terms of theory, history and critical analysis. The journal has enhanced exchanges with academic institutions, research centres, European networks and prominent scholars, by hosting both theoretical elaborations as well as empirical findings. Since 2009, the journal has adopted the double-blind peer review system and enhanced the international profile of its editorial board, including scholars from European and extra-European countries.