Barcelona: Minutes of the International Council Meeting
Barcelona, July 21, 2002. Approved in Loughborough, November 8, 2003
by Ole Prehn
The president welcomed the council and referred to the extensive agenda for the meeting. Without further ado, he started the meeting.
The agenda was approved.
Minutes of the Budapest meeting
The minutes were approved.
The president´s report
The president referred to his report issued before the conference and took the opportunity to praise the Barcelona conference organising committee for its professional work leading up to one of the most successful conferences in the history of the association. The successful outcome had not been easy to accomplish, and he pointed to the very good programme and the fact that approximately 40% of the participants were women. Finally he stressed that he had not personally been involved in the conference planning.
The president elect´s report
The president elect started his report by thanking the present president for his many achievements and for his leadership, and he looked forward to his continued work.
He thanked the Legal Committee for its valuable contribution in the last phase of drafting the statutes and espe-cially the remarks on amendments and transition. In the motion to the General Assembly, the technicalities of the transition would be included.
The secretary general´s report
The report was approved, and presentation of the new website was postponed.
The treasurer´s report.
The treasurer presented the Interim Financial Statements as at June 30, 2002. The statements showed total assets of $ 109,937 and an accumulated surplus of $ 97,013. The relatively good financial situation notwithstanding, the resources do not allow for more activities.
The report was then adopted.
Miquel de Moragas reported from the preparatory work done prior to the conference and pointed to the fact that many abstracts and section programmes were not received on time. This had created many logistic problems amongst others due to the size of the event.
It was further informed that all abstracts and papers up until July 1st were available on the net. After the confer-ence a cd-rom containing all papers would be distributed to all participants.
The conference seemed to be successful in many ways. At the moment of reporting, more than 700 participants were registered, and even more were expected. Around 230 were non-members of the IAMCR, and 65 nations were represented. More than 200 participants were young and/or from low-income countries, a number signifi-cantly higher than the expected 100. Approximately 15% of the conference papers dealt with the theme of the conference, which had a budget of 400.000 euros. 54% of the budget were covered by registration fees, the rest coming from various other sources. Based on the information reported, the conference was expected to a very successful event in the history of the IAMCR, and the committee was congratulated by all members of the board.
Moragas emphasised the following problems that had to be dealt with when planning future conferences: formal links between the local organisers and the IAMCR, the World Bank categories, better coordination between sections, the possibility of presenting papers on-line for people who cannot afford to attend the conferences, and the quality assurance of accepted papers.
Vice-president Marjan de Bruin´s report
After presenting her written report, the discussion concentrated on how the newsletter could go beyond merely news to include thematic items such as for instance women´s issues, and it was agreed to keep track of the new format but also emphasised that thematic items should reflect the businesses of the association. In relation to the much heavier work producing the newsletter, Ruth Teer-Tomaselli suggested that the responsibility for the the-matic items could revolve between members or institutions, and all agreed that it takes responsibility and com-mitment to enhance the content. Finally it was approved that it should be considered to issue the newsletter elec-tronically, and that hard copies would only be distributed on request.
Vice-president Katharine Sarikakis´ report
The report contained mainly two issues according to the portfolio: the status of women in the IMACR and the status of junior scholars. Regarding the first issue several problems in order to promote women in the association were discussed, but on the positive side of the balance was the establishing of a women-net forum and the planning of the first women-only plenary during the Barcelona conference. As regards the second issue of young scholars the issuing of the journal Inter/Section was mentioned as well as the Junior Scholars´ Network with a membership of 90. It was finally proposed that a mentoring system should be established to increase juniors´ involvement in IAMCR, to fostering relationships with international colleagues and to improving the relations between senior and junior members.
Some issues were raised about the mentoring system, for instance whether it would interfere with internal affairs at universities. Sarikakis pointed out that interference was not intended, but that the system would be an offer to young scholars as life-advice showing that the association cared about them. Méar put the motion that the Inter-national Council endorsed the principle of a mentoring system, mandating the vice-president to establish experi-ments with it in the coming year. Pending the experiences of such experiments, a formalisation of the system should be on the table at the 2003 meetings.
Vice-president Jan Servaes´ report
The vice-president presented his report, mentioning that is was approved in the board the day before. It was endorsed by the council that Servaes would continue creating and chair a revived publications committee with members committed to work thoroughly and fast. It was the general point of view that publications from the IAMCR was an important promotion factor, and that such publications would be a welcomed opportunity for younger members of the association to present their works. He underlined that the idea was to widen the scope of publications to include for instance Ph.D.-projects, and that the heads of sections would be ex-officio members of the committee to function as stringers regarding potential publications and to propose reviewers.
The question of an official IAMCR journal and the editorial linkage between IAMCR and the journal were dis-cussed. Servaes pointed to the fact that publishers were reluctant to embark on such a project, and that the inter-est among members to subscribe to the offered journals at a discount was at a level that hardly could justify our own journal. Several suggestions to potential IAMCR journals were raised, among them that the re-launching of the Gazette (Sage) would be ideal for the association. No conclusion was reached, though.
Also the question of the history of IAMCR was raised, and in principle it was agreed that Kaarle Nordenstreng should establish an editorial group reflecting the various interests in the association to continue the word already done by former president Jim Halloran.
Finally the prospects of an IAMCR yearbook, issued as one of the three annual volumes on Hampton Press, were discussed and put forward to the Publications Committee, and the report was the approved.
Heads of sections´ report
Basically the discussion concentrated on the new election procedures for section heads included in the new statutes, and the membership´s involvement in sections and the possibly limitation on section membership. The issues were to be dealt with by the Executive Board.
The 2003 Taipei conference
The proposal was presented by Liangwen Kuo on behalf of the organising committee. Several issues were raised such as the amount of papers to be presented, inclusion of business meetings, which had not been the case in Barcelona, flight costs, whether the registration fee should include meals, gender balance, and poster sessions. It was agreed that poster sessions should be as good and as prestigious as paper presentations, and that the rest of the questions would be dealt with by the organising committee.
The proposal was then approved.
The 2004 Porto Alegre conference.
The preliminary report was presented and as such approved. Various remarks were made regarding especially room capacity, costs, gender balance, and the theme of the conference. It was agreed that the full registration fee should not exceed $350, and that the theme of the conference would be decided at the meeting in Taipei, 2003. The Conference Committee (see later) would play an active role in the concrete planning.
The Deputy Secretary General´s report
The report dealt with the options for IMACR related to the upcoming World Summits On the Information Soci-ety in Geneva 2003 and in Tunis 2005. It was generally agreed that IAMCR have a role to play in the prepara-tions of the world summit meetings to affect the outcome and for promotional reasons.
It was agreed that an ad-hoc committee, chaired by the president, should be established to follow and get in-volved in the preparatory meetings. The committee should also formulate a formal position on what kind of role IAMCR should be playing with point of departure in the fact that many items in the process are relevant for the association. It was also agreed that the IAMCR/ICA seminar in Loughborough should take such items into con-sideration.
IMACR/ICA conferences in Austin (2001) and Loughborough (2003)
John Downing reported from the 2002 Austin, USA conference in the Digital Divide. The conference had been a success with more than 200 people attending. The budget had been on $25.000 excluding the voluntary work. During the conference a meeting was held in order to plan a sequel conference in Loughborough, UK. It was suggested that the planning group on 2003 conference should consider widening the scope to include themes related to the World Summits on the information society.
IAMCR Schiller´s Award
Graham Murdock reported from the committee, which have had a good response, and he announced that the winning paper would be presented in the Political Economy section during the conference. Annie Méar reported that the contributions had dropped and that it therefore would be difficult to give the award every year. It was decided to give the next award in 2004, and that the committee should make up a long term plan to be discussed in Taipei.
All new members were approved.
With background in an extensive application from the working group on Media and Sport it was approved to elevate it to a section. At the same time the council approved a motion from Kaarle Nordenstreng (seconded by de Beer) to abolish the Information and Documentation section.
Election to substitute vice-president Tawana Kupe
Frank Morgan proposed that the council approved that Ruth Teer-Tomaselli would replace Tawana Kupe in the Executive Board, as he, for personal reasons, had not been active since his election. After clarifying that it was not a South African seat, the council approved.
Before closing the meeting, Philippe Maarek, on behalf of the board, thanked the president for his work and engagement during his four years term.
July 26, 2002.
New standing committees
After some reflections, it was decided to establish the following standing committees with the president as ex officio member:
Elections: Cees Hamelink, Alina Berstein, Janet Wasko <
Publications: Jan Servaes, Brenda Dervin, Cees Hamelink, Oscar Gandy, Charles Okigbo, Manjunath Pendakur,Annebelle Sreberny, Ruth T. Tomaselli, Georgette Wang, Janet Wasko, Bob White, Arnold S. de Beer
Section Review: Kaarle Nordenstreng, Annabelle Sreberny, Slavko Splichal, Audrey Gadzepko, Anna Maria Jönsson, Oscar Gandy, Tom Jacobson
Development: Eddie Kuo
Rules & Procedures: Philippe Maarek, Andrei Richter, Cees Hamelink, Rosa Mikael, David Goldberg
Further to that it was decided to establish a task force on the World Summits and their preparation chaired by the president: Frank Morgan (chair), Marc Raboy, Divina Frau-Meigs, Annabelle Sreberny, Claudia Padovani, Cees Hamelink, Pradip Thomas, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Katharine Sarikakis
Finally its was approved not to revive the Human Rights Commission.
Representation of sections in the International Council
It was approved that, no matter how each section is organised, for instance with joint heads, deputy heads etc., sections have only one seat and one vote in the council.
The website project
Due to technical problems, Kirsten Larsen, responsible for the website development, gave an oral presentation of the project to develop the web services to the IMACR membership. It was agreed to continue the work. In the first phase, a prototype would be produced, and the council would be informed of the address.
Representation and collaboration
The council reflected on the representation of IAMCR in various international organisations and the importance of representatives to report back to the Executive Board and the International Council. In certain cases a mandate to represent IAMCR would also be a prerequisite. It was agreed that the Secretary General should produce a list of all organisations, where IAMCR is formally represented and by whom.
Women´s meeting report
Katharine Sarikakis proposed with background in the meeting that IAMCR should continue to strive for gender balance and in this respect a) monitor submission for book proposals and acceptance, b) monitor submissions and acceptance of conference papers, c) encourage sections to have a joint head system with one man and one woman, and d) that the gender balance issue should be incorporated in the task force on the World Summits.
This was approved.
Reflections on the Barcelona conference
Several issues were raised. There should be a better coordination between IAMCR and the local organisers, it should be considered to submit papers and not abstracts for acceptance, daily conference bulletins should include names and titles of papers, it should be considered to send the conference programme in advance to participants, and finally the safety problems should be taken seriously in all its aspects.