IAMCR history group formed

Four of the founding members of IAMCR gathered in Strasbourg in October 1957, on the eve of the December 1957 IAMCR Constituent Conference in Paris. From left to right : Francesco Fattorello, Fernand Terrou, Khoudiakoff, who didn't attend the meeting in Paris, Jacques Léauté, and Mieczyslaw Kafel.

The IAMCR Executive Board (EB) recently created a Commission on IAMCR History. Jörg Becker (Germany; IAMCR member since 1976) was appointed head of the commission. Kaarle Nordenstreng (Finland) and Cees Hamelink (Netherlands), authors and editors of many of the texts currently found in the IAMCR history pages on the website, were suggested as commission members. The commission's mandate includes the following tasks:

  • Build and maintain the IAMCR history pages on the website
  • Initiate and/or guide research and publications that pertain to IAMCR’s history
  • Create and/or coordinate IAMCR anniversary activities.
  • Maintain and archive documents related to IAMCR’s history
  • Discuss and implement other activities that relate to IAMCR’s history.

A first meeting of the commission took place at the IAMCR conference in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on June 24, 2018. Participants were: Janet Wasko and Bruce Girard (ex officio); Jörg Becker, Kaarle Nordenstreng, Binod Agrawal, Robin Mansell, Sandra Ristovska (as commission members) and Eduardo Enrique Villanueva Mansilla (as a guest). Two commission members were absent: Ulla Carlsson (Sweden) and Annabelle Sreberny (United Kingdom).

Much of the work of the committee will be directed to producing a supporting publications on the history of IAMCR (articles, books, and other formats are possible) and its interest in in reflecting on the histories of IAMCR rather than writing an official history. Topics considered at the meeting in Eugene included

  • The role of Latin America in NWICO and the MacBride Report;
  • The archives of intelligence services (IAMCR was born during the cold war and was active in both the East and the West, attracting the interest of many governments and their secret services);
  • The role of the Non-Aligned Movement;
  • Contemporary histories (e.g. recent advocacy to make IAMCR more sustainable and diverse by encouraging virtual participation; the Clearinghouse for Public Statements; language policies and practices, etc.).

During the next three years the commission will work on various aspects of the association's history and is asking IAMCR members for their suggestions and assistance in two ways:

  1. If you have ideas for topics that were important to the association and are deserving of more in-depth research, please send them to Jörg Becker <joerg.becker [at] komtech.org>
  2. If you are interested in contributing a chapter about an aspect of the history of the association or want to suggest that someone else write a particular chapter, please also send your proposal to Jörg.

The deadline to receive suggestions for topics and authors is October 31, 2018. The Commission's next meeting is planned for the last week of March 2019 in Lima, Peru.