Welcome to Paris
IAMCR celebrates its 50th anniversary this year in Paris where it was founded. The conference theme is “Media, Communication, Information: Celebrating 50 Years of Theories and Practices”. Together with the local organizing committee in Paris, I am very pleased to welcome you to this special conference year.
When it was founded IAMCR provided a meeting place which enabled many
of its members to become involved in research that aimed to contest
Cold War ideologies. Over 50 years, IAMCR members’ work has been
informed by an awareness of the need to challenge mainstream viewpoints
that frequently become ‘naturalised’ within our universities and other
sites where members are active.
Our statutes state that our aims are to provide a meeting place for
academics and others with an interest in our field of study and to
improve media and communication research, policy and practice,
especially from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. As we
celebrate our first 50 years, these goals are as important as they have
always been. When we meet in the UNESCO building in Paris we can
reflect on what has been achieved, but we must ensure that we also meet
the challenges of the future. This means we must think about what it
means to be ‘internationally’ oriented and committed to
interdisciplinarity. What kind of interdisciplinarity, to what end and
for the benefit of whom?
In renewing our commitment to IAMCR, we will need to foster research
that unveils the contradictory ways in which the media and
communication are implicated in today’s world. We will need to be
concerned about power, its reconfiguration and its redistribution
through time and with the different consequences of this for those who
find themselves in distinct situations around the world. If we want our
membership to grow and we want to provide a meeting place that is more
inclusive, then our greatest challenge will be to each other, to each
of us to work to ensure that we achieve it. I am honoured to be
President at this important time in IAMCR’s development. And I look
forward to the celebrations!