The European COST program (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a foundation society. COST provides support for all types of networking activities (such as workshops, conferences, and short-term scientific exchanges), but not the research itself. Its goal is to coordinate nationally funded research on a European level, connect researchers on a regular basis and reduce fragmentation in the research field. A project funded by the COST programme is called an "Action".
Over 300 participants from 33 countries joined this project, sharing their expertise and experience and developing new knowledge and approaches in their respective fields of research.
4 working groups
Four interconnected but distinct areas concerning audiences were addressed by four different working groups: (1) New media genres, media literacy and trust in the media; (2) Audience interactivity and participation; (3) The role of media and ICT use for evolving social relationships ; and (4) Audience transformations and social integration.
A 4-year project
The initiative to launch a COST Action on audience transformations started in 2007 among a group of members of the Audience and Reception Studies section of ECREA (the European Communication Research and Education Association). The proposers made two initial proposals; the third attempt was successful. From there, the project lasted four years: from March 2010 to February 2014. During the entire project, 6 meetings, 9 workshops/conferences and 14 affiliated events were organised across Europe.
A complex but efficient organisational structure
Throughout the project duration, the responsibilities and the workload were shared among many Action members serving as Steering Group members (Action chair, Action vice-chair and Working Group chairs), Working Group chairs and vice-chairs, Task Force leaders, cross-WG initiatives leaders, liaison officers, coordinators (newsletters, website, short-term scientific missions, project applications, partnership with the ECREA Doctoral Summer School), Management Committee members, editors of books/special issues/reports/essay collections, organisers of meetings, conferences and workshops, and Grant Holder officer. For more details about the organisational structure, see HERE.