News from Regional Associations

IAMCR Newsletter | April 2013

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Strengthening collaboration between IAMCR and ECREA

Alenka Jelen, ECREA General Secretary / Nico Carpentier, IAMCR Treasurer

IAMCR and ECREA started discussions on how to strengthen the collaborations between the two associations. Currently, ECREA and IAMCR exchange panels at their central conferences, which have proven to be a very fruitful practice, welcomed by the members of both associations. However, both associations believe that there is a significant potential for collaboration, which is currently untapped. Both organizations have sections and working groups (in ECREA they are called temporary working groups – ECREA also has networks) – sometimes focusing on very similar topics – and more could be done to have this entities collaborate.

IAMCR and ECREA sections and working groups could, for instance, organize panels within the flows of each others central conferences. Also opening up regional and sectional meetings for each other’s members, and co-organizing these meetings should be considered. Another potential area of collaboration is joint publications with ECREA and its members, for instance through the ECREA book series or the IAMCR handbooks.

Among the proposals being considered is for IAMCR to develop and support a network of regional associations, where ECREA could play a significant role. Furthermore, IAMCR and ECREA could collaborate in the area of mapping communication and media research and education, and broaden the scope of the ECREA projects on this matter. Young scholars of both associations, who have been sharing ideas and practices in several projects, have already recognized the value of joint collaboration, and are actively working together. This is to be further encouraged.

We will keep you updated on the future developments, and we might need your help to strengthen this collaboration more.

News from ALAIC

ALAIC Executive Board

Created during the 1970’s, the Latin American Association of Communication Researchers (ALAIC) is the initiative of a group of Latin American intellectuals, members of IAMCR / AIERI / IAMCR, with support from UNESCO. ALAIC was very active in the struggle for the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) and discussions around the MacBride Commission. With the breakdown of the movements around the NWICO, ALAIC ceased research activities in the 1980s although research made a comeback in 1989 after a reorganization meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil.  In 1992 José Marques de Melo took up the challenge to organize its first congress, in the town of Embu Guaçu, São Paulo, Brazil, prior to the Congress IAMCR / AIERI / IAMCR Congress in Guaruja. Thereafter, ALAIC has held its biannual congress continuously, when the various working groups meet.
ALAIC also organizes research seminars every other year, in the period between each congress.  It publishes a series of books and the Latin American Journal of Communication. 

Since 2009, with the election of the current board, a number of changes have been made.  Transformations include the implementation of the new reform statutes, the restructuring of the GT, or working groups, the creation of regional representatives, the regional seminars, and its support for the formation of national associations in Latin American countries.  ALAIC has taken leadership in the creation of the Latin American Confederation of Scientific Communication (CONFIBERCOM) and the establishment of two lines of well-defined external dialogue: one with regional associations in the field of communication such as ECREA and NORDICOM, and with other Latin American associations in other fields, aiming to promote interdisciplinary debate on the development of critical thinking in the subcontinent. 

UNESCO's support has been important since 2009, especially in the creation of a new journal, the Journal of Latin American Communication Research (JLACR).  The importance of ALAIC in the renewal critical thinking in communication should be emphasized: beginning with the roles played by academics such as Pasquali, Beltran, Faraone, or Bordenave, who played an important role in IAMCR / AIERI / IAMCR and struggles for NWICO followed by the significant contributions made by Jesus Martin-Barbero. As ALAIC’s president, Martin-Barbero contributed to the research program to be known later as American cultural studies, promoting a whole new paradigm in communication thought throughout Latin American, with a  strong impact on the international level.

The objective of the current board – with the internal restructuring of the organization GT’s (working groups) and the organization of the field of communication research in Latin American and Iberian-America, the fostering of an international dialogue, the creation of the new journal JLACR and actions with regional communication associations - is to move forward again collectively, providing a sense of direction to communication research in Latin America, in a time when the economic, social, cultural and communication experiences are undergoing change worldwide.

News from AMIC
40 Years of Service in Asia

Martin Hadlow, Secretary-General (designate)

The Singapore-based Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) is one of the triumvirate of regional media development agencies which have given long and consistent service to furthering communication knowledge and expertise in the Asia-Pacific region. In common cause with its fellow institutions, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), both located in neighbouring Malaysia, AMIC has sought to give voice to an Asia-focussed approach to training, research studies and publications.

The AMIC ‘value-add’ lies primarily in its linkages and networks within the academic and research community across the entire Asia-Pacific region. The Centre, which has just marked its 40th anniversary, is unique in being the only regional media and communication research organization in the world. AMIC brings together tertiary education bodies, researchers and industry professionals to debate issues of common interest and to seek solutions to key problems facing the region. It also works to provide opportunities for empowerment of disadvantaged sectors in the communication/media environment. Its 40 year history bears testament to the desire of individual and institutional members for AMIC’s services, while its base in the prestigious Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University reinforces the Centre’s expertise and on-going commitment.

For the future, AMIC sees increased linkages with a range of agencies and professional associations, such as the IAMCR, as being critical to the long-term enhancement and development of the role of the Centre and the services it provides to both its members and a broader clientele. Just as social media, the Internet and mobile phone technologies have enabled citizens worldwide to join a global conversation and unite co-operatively across boundaries and borders, so AMIC will work to also be a key part of that discussion. The new technologies have helped to create a completely new educational, communication and media environment. Together, AMIC and other fellow centres, agencies and professional associations can be strategic partners and knowledge leaders in that innovative conversation space.