Keynotes & speakers

There will be two keynotes, the first on thursday 16th of June in the morning (ca. 9.30) at the campus, the second at the end of the same day in a small theatre and on the same place where we’ll have dinner (ca. 16.30). The first keynote will be given by Thomas Poell. The second keynote will be given by Geert-Jan Bogaerts.

Keynote 1. Thomas Poell: Platform power in the News Industry

Over the past two decades and amid wider transformations wrought by digitization, news organizations around the globe have progressively aligned their business models, distribution infrastructures, and production practices with digital platforms. This so-called platformization of news and journalism has triggered widespread public and scholarly concerns about the profound impact of platform companies—most prominently Facebook and Google—on the news and information landscape. In this talk, Thomas Poell will reflect on how platforms have become crucial markets, data infrastructures, and governance frameworks for news publishers. A key question is how this development affects the distribution of power in the news industry. Addressing this question, it is important to see that platform dependency is neither universal, nor uniform. While platformization is affecting journalistic organizations en masse, there is also substantial variation between different 1) types of news organizations, 2) stages of news production, and 3) phases in the evolution of platforms. A systematic analysis of this variation allows for a more nuanced and less deterministic understanding of the role of platforms in the transformation of the news industry, as well as of the wider information landscape.

Thomas Poell is Professor of Data, Culture & Institutions at the University of Amsterdam and director of the Research Priority Area on Global Digital Cultures. His research is focused on the societal consequences of the rise of digital platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, and WeChat. He has published extensively on social media and popular protests in Canada, Egypt, Tunisia, India and China, as well as on the role of these media in the development of new forms of journalism. Poell is co-author of Platforms and Cultural Production (Polity, 2021) and The Platform Society (Oxford University Press, 2018). Furthermore, he co-edited The Sage Handbook of Social Media (Sage, 2018), Social Media Materialities and Protest (Routledge, 2018), and Global Cultures of Contestation (Palgrave/McMillan, 2017).



Keynote 2. Geert-Jan Bogaerts: Public spaces

Geert-Jan Bogaerts initiated PublicSpaces, a unique coalition of public organizations in public media, cultural heritage, festivals, museums and education. These organizations work together to reclaim the internet as a force of common good, advocating a new internet that strengthens the public domain. Geert-Jan Bogaerts started PublicSpaces as a search for a solution to some basic dilemma’s we are encountering in our daily lives: you are teaching children to be digitally literate but use Google Chromebooks; you are making programs about surveillance capitalism, but promote and distribute them on Facebook and Instagram; or you provide health care but store your patient files on some server in the US. In the public sector, for lack of alternatives we are forced to use instruments that run counter to our basic public values.

Besides founder and chairman of Publicspaces Geert-Jan Bogaerts is also head of Innovation and the Digital Media department of the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO. Here he is responsible for the digital development, innovation and distribution strategy.  Before, he was involved in developing a new media and internet strategy at de Volkskrant, a leading Dutch newspaper in the Netherlands. Geert-Jan Bogaerts started as a financial and international reporter at de Volkskrant and has international experience during long-term stays in the VS, North Africa/Middle East and Belgium.