From the President's desk

IAMCR Newsletter | April 2015

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Dear Colleagues,

The hot topic for IAMCR is the forthcoming Montreal conference. By now, you may be aware that we received over 2,200 abstracts, the second highest number in the history of the association. Consequently, difficult choices had to be made. We’re hoping that those with proposals accepted are making travel plans and preparing for travel to Montreal. Please be aware of the registration deadlines and visa requirements. (See more in the article on the conference in this newsletter and on the websites of IAMCR and the Montreal organising committee). 

In addition to Section and Working Group panels, we can look forward to several stimulating plenaries and a range of social events. Special Sessions have been organized by regional organizations, including ECREA, ALAIC, and ICA, and we welcome the participation of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as a first-time organiser of a special session.

UNESCO will again be involved in many ways in the Montreal conference, which features Indrajit Banerjee (Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division), as the Opening Plenary speaker, a Special Session on UNESCO’s Internet Study, and a panel on journalists’ safety organized jointly with the Journalism Research and Education Section.  In addition, IAMCR’s Task Force on the Global Alliance for Media & Gender (initially organized by UNESCO) is arranging several sessions and working meetings. (For more on GAMAG, see the article by Aimée Vega Montiel {LIÑK} in this issue.)

As in the past, several pre-conferences are planned, including News Producers & the Public Interest, organized by the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la communication, l’information et la société (CRICIS) and Journalism & Open Government, co-sponsored by the Law Section and Ethics Working Group. A post-conference Governance and Public Service Media, is being organized by CRICIS in collaboration with IAMCR and the PANAM network.

Please be aware of the various awards and grants associated with the conference, including the Stuart Hall Award, the Urban Communication Research Grant, and the New Directions for Climate Communication Research Fellowship, created by the Environmental Impact Committee with collaboration from the International Environmental Communication Association. Travel Grants for early-stage scholars are also available. (For more information on these awards, see information .)

In addition to the intellectual work and stimulation, we can look forward to some exciting social events, including a “Dancing Night Under the Stars” in the UQAM Sanguinet Garden, as well as “A Jazz Lecture Dedicated to James Halloran,” by the Burgundian Combo featuring past president Cees Hamelink.

Obviously, many people are working quite diligently to plan the conference. However, other IAMCR activities also deserve attention.  To mention only a few:

  • The Executive Board and International Council have formed a Task Force on Conference Models & Fees, headed by Usha Ramen, to explore options for future IAMCR conferences.
  • The Executive Board has formed a Clearinghouse for Political Statements, headed by Robin Mansell, to develop and guide responses and initiatives relating to political and policy statements.
  • The Membership Committee has issued a call for applications for IAMCR Ambassadors, to represent and further build the association in various parts of the world.
  • The Executive Board and Publications Committee have developed guidelines for the association’s publications, which are currently being discussed by the International Council.
  • Undoubtedly, you will be hearing more about these developments in the association’s various communication channels, as well as at the Montreal conference.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Giovanni Cesareo, a scholar, journalist, and writer, who passed away a few weeks ago. Prof. Cesareo made important contributions to critical media studies, not only with his work in Italy, but more widely through his publications and participation in organizations such as IAMCR. His work over the years was an inspiration for many of us and he will be sadly missed. 

Best wishes to all and looking forward to seeing you in Montreal.