Below you can find the schedule for the Etmaal 2021.

Political communication will organize individual junior-meets-senior sessions next to the regular schedule, click here for more information.

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Thursday, February 4, 09:00 – 11:00

Thursday, February 4, 11:00 – 13:00

Thursday, February 4, 13:00 – 15:00

Thursday, February 4, 15:00 – 17:00

Friday, February 5, 10:00 – 11:00

Plenary Session

  • Welcome by the NeFCA board
  • Annual award ceremony (NeFCA Senior Career Award 2021 & NeFCA Dissertation Award 2019)
  • NeFCA’s General Assembly


Friday, February 5, 11:15 – 13:00

Keynote & Panel by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel: ‘Algorithms, diversity and public service media’.

Algorithms increasingly shape what we see, hear and read online. Recent global developments in increasingly fragmented societies have proven the striking impact of algorithm-based information distribution. This has led to widespread disinformation on the one hand and echo chambers and filter bubbles on the other. User-driven data has been pivotal in business models developed by social media platforms and video-on-demand services like Netflix, but has also challenged legacy media players, such as newspapers and broadcasters. Although algorithms present users with the content they may want, in the form they want it, numerous concerns arise with regard to their effects on news diversity, transparency, and control, or the lack thereof.

Public service media assume a distinctive role in the media landscape, as they are mandated to provide broad audiences with trustworthy, high-quality and diverse media content. But as automated recommender systems have taken up the role of mediators of information and media content, can public service media still meet the demands of personalized content consumption? And, more importantly, can a “public service algorithm” take into account content quality, diversity, and information trustworthiness?

This special Etmaal session aims to tackle these issues, inform media scholars on current practices and strategies, and provide food for thought for future research on algorithms, diversity and democracy. The session starts off with a keynote presentation by prof. Jonathon Hutchinson (University of Sydney), and continues with insights from a panel of media experts: Ms. Lotte Vermeir (Adjunct-manager Eén/Canvas/VRT.Nu at VRT), Dr. Bob van de Velde (co-chair of the AI and Data Initiative at the EBU/Lead big data engineer at NPO), and Prof. Ike Picone (professor at VUB and head of the Journalism, Trust and Participation unit at imec-SMIT-VUB).

You are invited to a Zoom meeting taking place on February 5 at 11.15.

Important: register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Friday, February 5, 13:00 – 15:00

Friday, February 5, 15:00 – 17:00

Political Communication Sessions

The political communication division will organize junior-meets-senior sessions. In this session, a senior scholar (the discussant) will meet with two junior scholars (PhD students) to discuss their research. The PhD student will send (a draft or shorter version) of their paper to the senior scholar in advance and during the meeting they will discuss the paper. To make the meeting more focused and to mimic the networking experience in scientific conference, the meetings are only open for the senior and junior scholars who are invited for the meeting.

Click here for the format and accepted papers