On Wednesday 24 October 2018 a workshop was held at Ghent University that tackled the changing relations between PR and Journalism.
The workshop was kicked off by a very inspiring keynote provided by Dr. Daniel Jackson (Bournemouth University, UK). During his talk, which was attended both by participants of the workshop and an auditorium full of students in Communication Sciences, prof. Jackson argued that there the rapid advance of phenomena such as churnalism and native advertising are rooted in regulatory, economic and technological change, and therefore elude simple diagnosis or solutions. To move forward, he stressed that normatively, it is too easy to just look at these phenomena (usually in horror) through the eyes of journalism studies, and instead, we need to draw from multiple academic disciplines and industry perspectives. In so doing, we then might develop the conceptual tools to make better sense of them.
After the inspiring keynote and a refreshing lunch, the floor was opened to the participants of the workshop sponsored by NeFca. Two sessions of one hour, each with three speakers, provided the attendants of the workshop with interesting new insights in the domain of churnalism and the changing relation between journalism and PR. The atmosphere during the workshop sessions was informal, relaxed… actually, just great! There was also a welcome mix of researchers: There were Belgian and Dutch researchers. In addition both established and experienced researchers presented their latest research, as did some young researchers and graduate students at the beginning of their academic career. Professor Jackson also attended the workshop sessions and gave very valuable and inspiring feedback for the participating researchers.
The day was closed with an informal network reception which allowed the participants to further exchange their ideas and to talk about possible future research collaborations. The event was so inspiring, that the organizing divisions (Journalism – Organizational Communication) seriously contemplate organizing a similar workshop in the near future.