News from Regional Associations

IAMCR Newsletter | June 2013

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ALAIC and ECREA stimulate international Forum through roundtable “Communication, dialogue and worldwide perspectives” at IAMCR 2013

Latin American Communications Researchers´ Association (ALAIC) and European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) have been organizing roundtables in past IAMCR (Istanbul-2011 and Durban-2012), ALAIC (Montevideo-2012) and ECREA (Istanbul-2012) Conferences.

The taskforce intends to investigate and develop closer collaboration between both organizations, recognizing that regional diversity is a significant asset to our field, but at the same time drawing attention to the importance of avoiding counterproductive processes of intellectual isolationism or hierarchization through the organisation of creative dialogues and exchanges.

ALAIC and ECREA have been contributing to this dialogue by emphasising the regional specificity and contextual embeddedness of theories, methodologies and research traditions in Latin-America and Europe, critically comparing the strengths and weaknesses, the abundances and gaps, and then articulating these differences as opportunities for the intellectual enrichment of both academic communities.

At the 2013 IAMCR Conference, ALAIC and ECREA intend to establish an international Forum with regional researchers and associations members focusing on comparative studies. With this objective, the taskforce invited the following members from regional associations to take part in a roundtable discussion: IAMCR (Janet Wasko), Nico Carpentier (ECREA), ALAIC (César Bolaño), NORDICOM (Ulla Carlsson), AMIC (Peng Hwa Ang) and Chinese Association of Communication (Zhengrong Hu).The roundtable will point out issues that characterize a common agenda among associations and researchers.

ALAIC-ECREA Roundtable 2013

Communication, dialogue and worldwide perspectives

Convenors: Fernando Oliveira Paulino (ALAIC) and Alenka Jelen (ECREA)

Thursday, June 27, 9-10.30 IAMCR 2013

Venue: The Helix Building, Theatre, Dublin City University

Time to Combine?

In the pre-Internet age, membership of a professional association provided a unique structure for personal scholarly and intellectual dialogue with colleagues worldwide, usually at a major annual conference. Now, digital communication technologies are available at our fingertips for daily interaction and linkages.

IAMCR, ICA, AMIC, BEA, PCA/ACA, ANZCA, AEJMC and more- the list of professional communication associations is extensive. Each organization has proudly created its own defining niche, whether in geographical area or specific subject representation. However, declining membership rates continue to bedevil many professional organizations as senior academics pass on, taking their institutional knowledge, history and ‘goodwill’ with them. Prospective younger members not only probably prefer Facebook and Skype interaction, but have also become more selective and targeted in their financial considerations. How then to engage with a new generation of prospective association members as they begin their career journey?

Given that subject fields of professional organizations tend to overlap, although individual institutions have their own specific profile and niche built painstakingly over decades (for example, AMIC is now in its 42nd year), perhaps closer links between the membership structures of these bodies could be forged through a ‘combination membership’ partnership. Thus, when electronically joining one organization, for an additional nominal fee the member could also automatically join another.

The benefits to professional associations of a cross-promotional alliance are clear. Namely, increased membership numbers, thus translating into more conference attendees and a greater diversity of publications. For prospective members? The ease of signing-up to several institutions at once, plus the benefit of being able to present papers at various conferences and to publish in a greater range of journals. A major drawback? Long-time members may feel that such a scheme would dilute the special nature of their ‘favourite’ organization.

However, with the annual  membership ‘joining-up’ chase an on-going and increasing challenge, perhaps it’s time to invite members to also  ‘join-up’ to a wider debate?

Martin Hadlow, Secretary-General, Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC)

The ECREA Book Series celebrates its 10 anniversary

In August 2003, the first book of what was then called the ECCR book series was published by Intellect. This edited volume was entitled The European Information Society: A Reality Check and edited by Jan Servaes, who had taken the initiative to launch the book series, and who is still a member of the series’ advisory board (together with Denis McQuail and Robert Picard). Three years later, when the third edited volume (Reclaiming the media: communication rights and democratic media roles, edited by Bart Cammaerts and myself) was published, the book series changed its name, and became the ECREA book series.

In the meantime, 11 books have been published within the series, bearing witness of the intellectual work of the ECREA membership. In 2012, ECREA decided to end the collaboration with Intellect, and to initiate a new collaboration with Routledge. This led to a new name for the book series (Routledge Studies in European Communication Research and Education), and a third series editor (Claudia Alvares) also joined the two series editors, François Heinderyckx and myself, who had been running the book series from 2006. One more book (The independence of the media and its regulatory agencies, edited by Wolfgang Schulz, Kristina Irion and Peggy Valcke) will be published with Intellect in 2013, while 8 new edited volumes are already in production with Routledge. The first two, Audience Transformations (edited by Kim Christian Schrøder, Lawrie Hallett and myself) and Audience Research Methodologies (edited by Geoffroy Patriarche, Helena Bilandzic, Jakob Linaa Jensen and Jelena Jurišić) will be published in the (early) summer of 2013.

Looking back at the series’ 10 years existence, the success of the book series should be (at least partially) attributed to the combination of an open call system with a strict review system, which allows any ECREA member to submit a proposal for an edited volume to the series editors, who are in charge of a constructive review process. This has produced a situation of mutual benefit for the ECREA membership and for ECREA as an organisation. After 10 years, we are confident that this fruitful situation will result in more great books being included in the book series.

For more information, feel free to visit this ECREA webpage:

Nico Carpentier