James D. Halloran, President 1972-1990
From Presidential letter of September 1973:
The main task of the Association should be to become an active international forum for the very best in mass communication research; international exchange and dialogue being the main function. The Association needs to be more representative than it has been in the past, particularly with regard to the developing countries.
The organization and structure of the Association inhibits the sort of development that the present situation demands. It's too cumbersome, too out of date -it needs streamlining. There should be more stress on national committees and organization should be nationally or regionally focused. There needs to be wider participation and more activity -too much is left to a few of the officers. Even the permanent bureau does not meet frequently enough. Sections sponsored by the Association should be active, with planned programmes. It might be better not to have permanent sections, but to call sections or task forces into being only when there is a specific project or program to carry out.
The Statutes need redrafting with the above and other factors in mind. The question of documentation and information retrieval is extremely important and we ought to give more attention to this. With regard to the above, but also on many other matters, we ought to explore the possibilities of of a closer working relationship with Unesco, particularly with regard to the policy outlined in the document COM/MD/20.
For an International Association of Mass Communication Research we are not very good at communication. We need to disseminate the news of our activities -make it clear what we are doing. We ought to have our own publications. We need more members and we need more money. But what do we have to offer members? To attract new members we need to be seen as an active, dynamic organisation. What are we doing at present? What have we to offer? Why should people wish to become members?
The problem is that to become really active, to spread the news of our activities to attract new members, we need a sounder financial base than we have at present. But are we likely to get more money unless we are seen to be active? A classic double bind situation.