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CALL FOR PAPERS: CLOSING THE LOOP – MEDIA, TECH AND DEMOCRACY|| “Strengthening democracies through vibrant media and technology innovations”, JUNE 2016


Penplusbytes announces a major International conference on Media, Technology and Democracy, scheduled for 23-24th June, 2016 under the theme: Closing the loop: Media, democracy and technology. This year’s conference will focus on the subtheme: “Strengthening democracies through vibrant media and tech innovations”.

The conference will explore the growing importance of the intersection of media, technology and democracy; and the coping, adaptation and utility strategies of key stakeholders such as citizens, decision makers, civil society actors and governments to the change, opportunities and challenges within this space.

Technology, particularly social media, continues to be disruptive. It has transformed the way we interact and therefore created new communication paradigms. New and emerging technologies demand new patterns and ways of working, playing and learning. Technology informs media across all sectors with the outgrowth of new reporting methods resulting in the massive creation of collaborative content. Citizen journalists have replaced news correspondents. More fundamentally, media business models have become a necessity for the existence of traditional media institutions within this new landscape.

An influential aspect of technology and media is its impact in governance structures and approaches. Technology and media have transformed communication between government and citizens, and have shaped the policy formulation process. Today, citizens can engage with members of parliaments, share community based information with political leaders, and contribute to information that shapes the outcome of future elections. These changes that occur have far-reaching impact on politics, government, business, the environment and almost all other aspects of contemporary society. They similarly offer challenges and opportunities.

Individually all three focal areas provide room for hope, despair and consternation. Converged, they excite and inform the direction of a whole new movement. They also raise serious concerns about the future. For instance, as a stand-alone, journalism is undergoing a remarkable crisis and rebirth as blogs, cell phones, and other digital media transform the entire industry. There are, however, real questions about whether these new forms of discourse will preserve the essential values of a democratic society.

By itself, Government agencies are engaged in major debates with citizens and among themselves over a host of interrelated public policy issues including intellectual property, privacy, media ownership and network neutrality. Today, institutions such as civil society organizations and media companies constantly apply pressure on governments to work more carefully, quickly, effectively, and for the benefit of citizens.

As a distinct concept, digital media is reshaping many aspects of civic engagement and political activism. Converged, it is demanding major institutions in our societies to develop new strategies to navigate the rapidly changing political and media landscape. It is necessitating discourse that will find ways to bridge the gaps that might seed polarization, contribute to social dysfunction, and undermine societal cohesion.


The conference will be a forum for cross-disciplinary professionals and academics from various media, technology and democratic space to stimulate dialogue, network, and share information and knowledge on the subtheme: “Strengthening democracies through vibrant media and technology innovations.”  Papers, posters, tutorials and demos are invited from researchers and practitioners. Paper abstracts of not more 300 words should be submitted no later than 12th February, 2016.

Conference Topics

Topics of interest include:

  • New Media Technologies and Participatory Democracy
  • Democracy in the Age of Social Media
  • New Media and Technology in African Democracies
  • State of the Digital Democracy: A global, multi-generational view of consumer trends in tech, media & telecoms
  • State of Media, Democracy, and Innovations:  Possibilities and Challenges
  • New Digital technology isn’t delivering the democracy it promised?
  • Rethinking democracy: what role for media and new digital technology?
  • Relationship between democracy, media and technology
  • Digital Democracy and Citizens’ Participation


  • Submission of Abstract : 12th February, 2016
  • Notification of Acceptance: 19th February, 2016
  • Workshops, tutorial  and interactive exhibitions: March 1st 2016,
  • Submission of  full papers and short papers: 5th March, 2016

For more information contact Penplusbytes @ +233 549 189 557; +233 302 922 620


Please follow the link to register and submit proposal