IAMCR 2012 - Digital Divide Working Group Call for Papers

erythrina_caffraThe Working Group on Digital Divide of the International Association for Media and Communication Research invites submissions for the IAMCR Conference that will be held from July 15-19, 2012 at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa. The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2012.

The conference will be held under the general theme, 'South-North Conversations'. The theme reflects the asymmetry of global communication flows, but without implying the negatives that usually accompany discussions of the 'digital divide'. The theme also calls for balanced and empowering narratives that do not regard those in ‘the South’ as victims primarily in need of handouts from the more affluent.


The term ‘Global South’ refers to countries, territories and communities that have been excluded from the mainstream of economic, social and communication development. In much of the discourse around global geo-politics, these countries and communities are still regarded as the recipients of economic and technical largesse from more developed sources. In this conference, we wish to interrogate this position, and to emphasize the communicative empowerment and the positive potential of media and communication in and from the ‘Global South’.

Selected Issues

The Working Group on Digital Divide welcomes papers and panels related to the conference theme, including such topics as:

  • Digital divide at the global and regional level as a consequence of  South-North disconnection
  • Issues of the digital divide post WSIS: new dimensions of digital inequality in frames of the digital revolution
  • Asymmetrical news, information flows and content supply in new media
  • Uneven access to technological, political and social capital
  • Local languages in digital environment - a growth area for media in the North and South
  • Users vs. content vs. service providers: North and South
  • Digital inclusion for digitally less advanced: how the South could benefit from the North
  • Communication in the digital environment as a tool of empowerment of democracy and education
  • Journalism, digital media and modern newsroom practices: experiences in North and South
  • Gender, age, education and other social issues in the context of digital divide in the North and South


The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 14, 2012. Please note that this deadline will not be extended.

The Open Conference System (OCS) will open on December 1, 2011, and will close on February 14, 2012.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual applicants by their Section or Working Group Head no later than March 12, 2012.

On the same day, March 12, 2012, conference registration will open for bookings by participants.

For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted via the IAMCR OCS by June 10, 2012.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

Abstract submissions

All abstract submissions must be made centrally only via the Open Conference System (OCS). There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to any Section or Working Group Head.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person for consideration by the Conference. However, under no circumstances should there be more than three abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to other Sections or Working Groups of the Association for consideration, after an initial submission. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Referee. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Upon submission of an abstract, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is original and that it has not been previously published in the form presented. You will also be given an opportunity to declare if your submission is currently before another conference for consideration.

For further information, please contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) or consult the Conference Organizers via the website at:


or by email at: