Call for Candidates - S&WG Head elections 2021

Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication Working Group

The Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication Working Group (CRI) will be holding online elections for a Vice-chair position, for the term 2021 - 2025.

Rikke Bjerg Jensen is stepping down from her position, while Virpi Salojärvi will remain as Chair of the working group.

The elections will be held online from 16 June until 14 September using the SurveyMonkey platform. Individual members and representatives of institutional members who are also registered as members of the CRI working group are eligible to stand for a position and to vote.

Interested candidates must send their name, institutional position, a statement of no more than 500 words and a photograph to the elections coordinator, Andrea Medardo ( with a copy to Valeria Zamisch ( and to the CRI Working Group’s current officers, Rikke Bjerg Jensen ( and Virpi Salojärvi (virpi.salojarvi@helsinki.fino later than 4 June.

All candidates must be current members of IAMCR, and of the CRI working group. To verify if you are a member of the CRI working group, log in to your account and click on "My Sections and Working Groups".

You can find the election rules at:

Read about the Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication Working Group



Paul Reilly (University of Sheffield, UK)

I am a Senior Lecturer in Social Media & Digital Society at the University of Sheffield. My research focuses on social media sousveillance, digital activism and the use of digital media to promote better community relations in divided societies. Although I am primarily a qualitative researcher, I have also used Social Network Analysis to explore key broadcasters and gatekeepers within crisis hashtags, such as #PorteOuverte. 

I have been a member of IAMCR for the past six years, presenting my work at Leicester, Cartagena, Madrid and Nairobi (virtually) as part of panels organised by the Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication Working Group at Leicester, Cartagena.  I have always been particularly impressed by the diversity of the sessions organised by Rikke, Virpi and the team, which demonstrate the broad range of case studies, theoretical frameworks, and research methods in the field of crisis communication. During this time, the Working Group has excelled at facilitating collaborations between communication researchers based in countries as diverse as Australia, Chile,  Nigeria and South Africa. A cursory glance at the research interests  of members neatly illustrates its value as a ‘meeting point’ for scholars working in journalism studies, media and communication studies, and political communication.

If elected Vice-Chair, I would work with the Chair to promote the activities, accomplishments and publications of Group members. This would include drafting the call for papers,  reviewing abstracts and organising panels for the annual conference,  co-editing special issues of journals like Media, War and Conflict based on these papers, and increasing membership of the Group. My experience chairing panels at conferences e.g. ECPR, MeCCSA would also enable me to fulfil similar duties at IAMCR events. I believe it is vitally important that the diversity of the Group is consolidated, and would be happy to mentor early career researchers, particularly those from outside Europe and North America, who are new to presenting at international conferences.  I would also advocate trying to increase the number of crisis communication practitioners active within the Group, perhaps as part of a seminar series in the run-up to the annual conference. 

Drawing on my recent experience as Social Media and Publicity Officer for the MeCCSA Policy Network, I would prioritise building the Group’s social media presence, with a specific focus on using Twitter to curate a list of members and promote their work online. YouTube could also be used to share videos of both in-person and online seminars sponsored by the Group throughout the academic year.  Finally, I would explore the possibility of creating a mailing list in order to encourage members to share updates on their research activities. My experience to date suggests that these initiatives would consolidate the identity of the group whilst also encouraging future collaborations between its members. 

I am happy to answer any questions from members should they wish to contact me using the details below.

Stay safe and well.

Paul Reilly
Twitter: @PaulJReilly

Shixin Ivy Zhang (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)

As an institutional member of IAMCR and a member of the Crisis, Security and Conflict Communication Working Group, I am writing to express interests in the position of Vice Chair of the Group.  

I am Associate Professor in Journalism Studies at School of International Communications, University of Nottingham Ningbo China. My research interests lie in journalism studies, media and conflict, media globalization and media management. I am the author of three single-authored research monographs entitled Impact of Globalization on the Local Press in China (Lexington Books, 2014), Chinese War Correspondents: Covering Wars and Conflicts in the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and Media and Conflict in the Social Media Era in China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).  My articles appeared in a number of high quality international peer-reviewed journals such as Journalism, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, Media, War and Conflict, Chinese Journal of Communication, Asian Journal of Communication, and Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

In recent years, my primary research focuses upon the media-conflict relations in the dynamic information environment. I have built a strong track record of publications in the sub-field of media and conflict. My book entitled Chinese War Correspondents examined the values, perceptions, norms and practices of contemporary Chinese journalists who have been posted overseas to cover wars and conflicts in the 21st century. Three journal articles in relation to media and conflict have also been published in Journalism, Journalism Studies, and Media, War and Conflict

My latest monograph on Media and Conflict in the Social Media Era in China explores the changing relationship between media and conflict in the social media age through the lens of China. It examines and analyses the professional media’s news coverage and users’ comments on social media platform Weibo in China, and discuss how the professional media and other actors interact with each other and use social media for their own ends. The central argument is that social media is playing an enabling role in contemporary wars and conflicts with limitations and constraints. Both professional media outlets and web users employ the functionalities of social media platforms to set, counter-set or expand the public agenda. Social media platform embodies a web of technological and human complexities with different actors, factors, interests, and power relations. 

My next book project along this line is a co-edited volume entitled China, Media and International Conflicts. Routledge has approved and accepted our book proposal. The book contract is under preparation at Routledge at the time of writing.

Starting in 2021, I serve as a member in the editorial board of Digital Journalism. I attend IAMCR conferences regularly with the Group’s panel session.  Based on my research interests and profile, I would like to fill in the Vice-Chair position, organizing and managing events/activities with the Chair and group members. Together, we can build and enhance the Group as a dynamic and collaborative research community.