Media-Studies Journals Cheat-Sheet

Adapted from Janet Staiger’s original list

Janet’s caveat seems appropriate here: “In all cases, go to the journal and read the publication information and submissions pages to determine whether the journal is peer-reviewed and who is on the editorial board.  Remember that articles should be submitted to only one journal at a time."


Anne Helen Petersen’s note: The vast majority of these descriptions are culled from Janet’s list; a few I’ve added myself, but I’d love to see more notes, especially in terms of prestige/feedback received, etc., so long as it’s productive.  Please also feel free to add journals, but do so alphabetically.  

Journal Title                                    Description                              Prestige, feedback, etc.         

Adaptation: The Journal of Literature on Screen Studies

“Adaptation is an international, peer-reviewed journal….Adaptation provides an international forum to theorise and interrogate the phenomenon of literature on screen from both a literary and film studies perspective.”


online venue, run by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for contemporary media criticism, professional commentary, etc.  Not peer-reviewed but an excellent place for “proto-scholarship.”


Canadian Journal of Film Studies

Non-exclusive emphasis on Canadian-related subjects; bilingual.

Prestigious, peer-reviewed, detailed feedback, very pleasant editors and staff to work with, moderate turnaround time. (08/13)

Camera Obscura

Feminist; theoretically strong


Politically progressive; “popular” audience

Cinema Journal

Journal for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies; “flagship journal” of the discipline

Very low acceptance rate; very detailed feedback from reviewers. Quick turnaround time.  (08/13) 10,000-12,000 words


International cultural studies


Peer-reviewed, “publishes leading research addressing the creative, social, political and pedagogical issues raised by the advent of new media technologies.” Explores reception, consumption and impact of new media technologies in domestic, public and educational contexts.

Creative Industries Journal

Peer-reviewed; ‘global focus’; publishes research articles, working papers, interviews, book reviews, and conference/industrial market reports in media industries and other creative industries.

Critical Studies in Media Communication

Journal for the National Communications Association

Cultural Studies

One of the best known and top-ranked cultural studies journals; frequently publishes work pertaining to media studies

Democratic Communique

Journal for the Union for Democratic Communications

Environmental Communication

Journal for the International Environmental Communication Association

Feminist Media Studies

Broad-reaching feminist journal; relatively “new and upcoming”

Quick turnaround; moderate acceptance rate; open to all sorts of media studies work. (8/13)  

Film & History

Empirical history; themed

Moderate acceptance rate

Film Criticism

Textual analysis

Film History 

Themed with guest editors; fairly empirical; probably best “straight” history

Selective; very detailed comments from reviewers (8/13)

4,000-7,000 words 

Film Quarterly

Popular but not condescending


Flow is organized around short, topical columns written by respected media scholars on a bi-weekly schedule; columnists are generally by invitation, but there are regular CFPs for “special issues.”  Also accepts “one-off” pieces.  Online; not peer-reviewed, but a great starting point for publishing.  

Open access

Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media

Peer-reviewed, international journal. It offers radical approaches to the complexities of today’s film and media.


Online feminist journal; peer-reviewed



A major journal for GLBTQ theory

Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

Journal of the International Association for Media and History; strongly historical; strong TV, radio

Significant backlog (3/13)

Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media

Online; covers “all aspects of cultural media;” refereed.

Brunel University - London

Open-access. Two issues/year.

International Journal of Communication

Online, multi-media, interdisciplinary open-access journal published by USC Annenberg Press.

International Journal of Cultural Studies

Cultural studies; international media

Journal  of Communication

Journal of the International Communications Association (ICA)

Journal of Digital and Media Literacy

peer-reviewed online journal that publishes traditional research articles and hybrid, mixed-media projects.

Journal of Film and Video

Journal of University Film and Video association; open to historical and television-oriented work

Significant backlog (8/13)

Journal of Media Practice

addresses practical work in media teaching and research; centered on practical work

Journal of Popular Culture


Journal of Popular Film & Television

Accessible and broad-reaching

Fairly quick turnaround

Jump Cut

a longstanding important and politically progressive journal for media studies.  online; peer-reviewed


Literature Film Quarterly

Strong textual analysis; literary approaches

M/C Journal

Australian based journal of media studies and culture; blind peer-reviewed


Media Culture & Society

Strong political economy angle

Media Industries

Brand new journal in media industries, both US and global. Online; peer-reviewed. Accepting submissions starting January 2014.


Modern Language Association Publications

Very prestigious in literature field; occasional film essays

New Media & Society

Broad based

New Review of Film and Video Studies

Relatively new; broad based


Online peer-reviewed journal for reception studies

Political Economy of Communication

Open-access journal of the International Association for Media and Communication Research.

Popular Communication

publishes articles on all aspects of popular communication texts, artifacts, audiences, events, and practices, including the Internet, youth culture, representation, fandom, film, sports, spectacles, the digital revolution, sexuality, advertising/consumer culture, television, radio, music, magazines, and dance. The journal welcomes diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives within the tradition of cultural studies.

Popular Music & Society

Long-standing; popular culture approach


“small but good” film studies journal

Quarterly Review of Film and Video

long-standing, broad-based

Senses of Cinema

Online journal for the ‘serious and eclectic discussion of cinema’ - broad audience, Australia-based

Unclear whether it’s peer-reviewed?


Major British-based media studies journal

Very prestigious

Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association

Publishing 2-4 times/year since 2001, this online, peer-reviewed journal publishes work from any discipline on the subject of Joss Whedon’s works, collaborators, and fandoms.

peer-reviewed, friendly editors and readers

Television & New Media

Broad-based, open to very contemporary work

Very fast turnaround (8/13)

The Moving Image

Covers issues related to archiving, restoration, preservation, of film and moving images.  Audience of archivists and media scholars; also publish on essays related to archives, generally speaking (star archives, producer archives, etc.)

The Popular Culture Studies Journal

Brand new; broad-reaching; all forms of popular culture and media; managed by the Midwest Popular Culture Association

Transformative Works and Cultures

international, peer-reviewed journal published by the Organization for Transformative Works; publishes articles about transformative works, broadly conceived; articles about media studies; and articles about the fan community

Velvet Light Trap

long-standing; alternately run by University of Wisconsin and University of Texas; themed, so watch for CFPs

Watcher Junior

A peer-reviewed  journal devoted to publishing scholarship by undergraduates on the works of Joss Whedon, his collaborators, and fandoms.

Undergraduate-only  journal, but they are quite rare.

Women’s Studies in Communication

WSIC is committed to publishing essays that address the intersection of gender, power, class, race, ethnicity, nationality and transnationalism. Scholarship that empowers women and other marginalized groups is especially welcomed.” Peer-reviewed.