The Nordic Research Network’s seminar in Oslo on April 15-16 became – at least in some ways – more dramatic than planned. The Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull began to erupt on Wednesday, and 10 a.m. on Thursday morning Gardermoen airport outside Oslo was closed. Luckily most of the participants came with earlier flights and at the opening of the seminar we just missed three colleagues, and two of them came to Oslo by train during the afternoon. Nearly forty media scholars, including a few guests outside the network, were present.
In the next hours we forgot the volcano clouds for a while, and listened to interesting speeches and discussions. Steve Paulussen (Ghent University in Belgium) was the first key note speaker, talking about “Citizen participation in online news journalism”. Steen Steensen, Oslo University College, then presented results from his new PhD-thesis about “Online Feature Journalism”. Our second key note speaker, Jan B. Singer, University of Iowa, was with us via Skype and a wide screen (and therefore had no travelling problems). Her topic was “The Online Journalist 2.0: Ethics and Structural Change”. The first day even included a session were 12 participants (most of them PhD-students) presented papers and got comments and questions from senior colleagues.
At the tapas dinner in the evening we had a chance to talk more informal, and one question began to increase in importance: How do we come home? During the day most airports in northern Europe had closed, and all flights from Gardermoen airport on Friday was cancelled. At lot of new travels had to be arranged.
Because of this we rescheduled the Friday program and make the discussions a little shorter. Astrid Gynnild (University of Bergen) spoke about “Computational Research Approaches to Journalism”, Morten Frich (Berlingske Tidende, Denmark) presented examples of “Investigate online journalism” and Tarja Savolainen (University of Helsinki) spoke about the new report on the status of women in the news media.
After lunch started a long-lasting home trip for the non-Norwegian scholars, including bus, boat and train, for participants from Finland, Estonia and Lithuania. Our key note speaker, Steve Paulussen, started his train journey at 1 p.m on Friday – had to stay overnight in Gothenburg and reached Belgium as late as Sunday morning. I am sure all of you will remember this seminar!
Our next Nordic network meeting will be arranged in Copenhagen November 18-19, and will in the days before include a master class for PhD-students in cooperation with the doctoral programme in media and communication in Denmark. We will present more information about this later in the spring. Even in Oslo there was a special arrangement for PhD-students before the network seminar started (organized by PhD-student Jens Barland, University of Oslo), with professor Hans Fredrik Dahl as a speaker.