Call for Paper:Digital Diversity

Serving the Public Interest in the Age of Broadband
A by-invitation experts’ workshop to be held at
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus
May 3-5, 2011

As the delivery of mediated content experiences an historic transformation with the transition to delivery over broadband networks, some policy goals of media regulation remain the same. Central among them is the public interest goal of ensuring diversity. Promoting diversity in broadcasting has been a pillar of me-dia regulation, but online there is no “spectrum scarcity,” the foundation of broadcast regulation, no li-censing and arguably no “mass media” at all. As a result, the customary tools for promotion of diversity must be reinvented. Broadband is a radically different environment in which the provision of unregulated content may have far more impact than traditionally-regulated television and radio. New theoretical con-structs and mechanisms are needed to address issues such as “voice,” economic equity, and serving un-served and underserved communities. Minorities are creatively exploring new online tools for community building, communications, and business opportunities. How can the public interest standard be applied to support them in this new context?

The Institute for Information Policy at Penn State University and the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center at Fordham University are pleased to announce this call for paper proposals in which diversity enhancement in broadband networks serves as the main theme. Authors of the selected papers will be invited to present and discuss them during a three day by-invitation-only experts workshop de-signed to bring together up to a dozen American and international experts and to be held at the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University in New York City. This workshop is part of a series of events fo-cused on “Making Policy Research Accessible,” organized by the IIP, with the support of the Ford Foun-dation.

Invited topics include, but are not limited to:

Changing concepts of diversity in the 21st century

Comparative notions of diversity and changing demographics

Defining and measuring the scope and desired outcomes of broadband diversity policy

Diversity, new media, social media, and opportunities on the Internet

Diversity and Internet entrepreneurship

Diversity and network neutrality

Diversity and community websites and media (e.g., community online newspapers)

Minorities embedded in major media enterprises in content creation and as performers

Cultural/linguistic/racial/gender/religious diversity – are they all being served?

The marketplace of ideas and diversity

Abstracts of up to 500 words and a short bio of the author(s) should be submitted to <>  by February 10, 2011. Please write IIPDMCWS: YOUR NAME in the subject line. Accepted presenters will be notified by March 1, 2011.


Amit M. Schejter, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Building 72, Room 586B
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Be’er Sheva, Israel

Associate Professor
Co-director, Institute for Information Policy
The College of Communications
The Pennsylvania State University
Office: 314C Willard
Mail address: 115 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802-5101