On the 28th October 2022, Juliana Alcantara and Ricardo Ribeiro chatted with us about their crowdfunding project on Crisis & Journalism, what motivates them and why they choose to crowdfund their project.

The idea

Crisis is always upon us. One after another and often overlapping, we live in a constant state of crisis. Journalism plays a fundamental role in such a context fostering public deliberation and holding those in power to account. In this sense, two researchers from the University of Coimbra and the University of Edinburgh are launching, between September and November, a crowdfunding initiative for publishing a book on crisis and journalism, under the perspective of scholars and professional journalists. 

The crowdfunding campaign is held and supported through the scientific crowdfunding channel of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure, which supports open scholarly communication in the European Research Area for the Social Sciences and Humanities and gathers 54 organisations in 18 countries. 

The goal of the campaign is to gather 6,200 euros for covering the costs of the book publication, which will invite scholars and professional journalists to discuss a wide range of perspectives of crisis and journalism, in six thematic areas, connecting theory and practice. The crowdfunding campaign is being run from Tuesday, 27 September to Friday, 11 November 2022.

About the book 

Journalism provides crucial and accurate information for better decision-making among citizens and can promote necessary debates to help policymaking at the governmental level. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, journalism sounded the alarms. Helped to raise awareness and clarified a virus that was yet unknown, defended vaccination programs and denounced world leaders doing a poor job of managing a global health crisis.

However, journalism faces a crisis of its own struggling with radical changes in the media system amidst disinformation and infodemics. At the same time, different crises affect different countries in different ways. Therefore, it is time for a book that analyses the dynamics within the relationship between crisis and journalism, taking these aspects into account. Furthermore, a book that can abridge the theory and practice divide as well as go beyond Western or Global North perspectives.

The book will be divided into six specific thematic areas under the broader theme of journalism and crisis (politics, economics, public health, climate change, migration, and war and conflict) Each of the areas will form a chapter with two key papers, being always addressed by an invited diverse range of academics and professional journalists. Then, each thematic area will be addressed one time from the perspective of Journalism Studies by academics and one time from the perspective of those who produce the news, who will have the opportunity to critically reflect on their experiences.

About the editors

Juliana Alcantara, PhD candidate in Communication Sciences and master’s in journalism and Communication at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Coimbra. In 2018/2019, she received the 3% Award of the Best Students of the UC. In 2022, she was also a visiting PhD Scholar at Utrecht University. Juliana has postgraduate degrees in Business Communication and Teaching in Higher Education. Bachelor in Social Communication with a major in Journalism. Plus, she has more than ten years of professional experience as a public relations and journalist, working in the Brazilian mainstream media. She is currently working on her PhD thesis funded by the Portuguese national funding (FCT) on gender and journalism in the context of the covid-19 public health crisis.

Ricardo Ferreira Ribeiro, PhD candidate in Politics and tutor (teaching assistant) at the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science. His research analyses the roles of journalism in processes of democratic backsliding. Ribeiro’s thesis is shaped by his experience as a journalist, which includes 18 years as a reporter, editor, and international correspondent for major Brazilian news outlets. Ricardo also has a master’s in journalism and Communication from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, where he received three awards for outstanding academic performance.