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Eyewitness Textures:

User Generated Content & News Coverage in the 21st Century

May 23 & 24, 2019 at the MacEwan University,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Hosted in Edmonton,
the beautiful capital of Alberta!

Symposium Overview

Eyewitness Textures – User Generated Content and News Coverage in the 21st Century, will bring together scholars and practitioners to share ideas and experiences in connection with the use of user generated content in professional news coverage. The range of issues covered will include questions of content and professionalism, theoretical and methodological approaches to amateur produced images in the news, questions of labour and risk, organizational changes, the changing aesthetics of visual news narratives, and the challenges of new technologies in the changing conditions of contemporary newsrooms.

We gratefully acknowledge funding for this Symposium by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) without which this event would not have been possible.

Date and Location of Symposium

The symposium takes place at MacEwan University located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada beginning in the afternoon of Thursday, May 23, finishing in the early evening of May 24, 2019. Over the course of the day and a half, there will be a series of roundtable discussions, panels and plenary talks successively taking place in the same room. On the evening of May 23, we will host a reception for presenters which will include a complimentary fine arts performance by local artists (details to be determined) accompanied by food and drink.

Participants: Local, National, and International

Presenters will be invited from local universities and news organizations, as well as from international venues and will reflect different professional backgrounds including journalism professionals, academic scholars, administrators from news organizations and amateur producers. Confirmed professional participants include CBC, BBC, France 24 and Storyful. See Call for Papers for submission details.

Student Participation

The symposium offers an opportunity for the local student population at MacEwan University, and in particular journalism and communications students, to acquire experience in the organization and functioning of an international conference. It will also provide students with an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with scholars and practitioners coming from around the world. In addition, students will be involved in creating a conference website, which will continue after the event as a platform for sharing papers presented at the symposium, and for the exchange of ideas on issued deriving from discussions at the symposium.

International Collaboration

The symposium will give national and international visibility to MacEwan University, particularly among a prestigious collection of journalism professionals and scholars from many universities around the world. The visibility will extend beyond the conference through the ongoing discussions and exchange which will occur through the website in the years that follow.


Funding for this event was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).