May 2020 PCR Section Newsletter


News from the IAMCR Participatory Communication Research Section (PCR)

May 2020 PCR Section newsletter














May and June 2020 are election months for IAMCR. We will have elections for a new Executive Board and a new International Council, but also for the PCR Section Head (with two co-chairs and four co-vice-chairs to be (re-)elected). As you might know by now, I'm running for the position of IAMCR president, which implies that I cannot continue as the chair of the PCR Section. The IAMCR rules (rightfully) disallow this type of cumulation. This implies that I will not be a candidate for re-election as PCR Section chair. This was not an easy decision for me, as I loved working for & with the PCR Section, and I believe that we have accomplished a lot in the past four years. But there are new opportunities ahead of all of us. Moreover, the PCR Section official thought and felt that there is a need for more PCR Section officials, allowing the Section to grow further and to increase it activity level beyond what could be done now. That is why we have created three new positions: One new co-chair position, and two additional co-vice-chair positions.


My two colleagues in the PCR Head, Ana Duarte Melo and Jonas Agerbæk, currently both co-vice-chairs, wish to continue their work as PCR Section officials. Ana is a candidate for the position of PCR Section co-chair, and Jonas wishes to continue as co-vice-chair. We have also invited four other colleagues, who have already been active in the PCR Section, to stand for election. Our candidate for the second vice-chair position is Dorismilda Flores-Márquez, from the University of De La Salle Bajío, Mexico. Our three additional candidates for the positions of co-vice-chair are Ana Lúcia Nunes de Sousa, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arun John, from the University of Hyderabad, India; and Piyu Gong, from Jinan University, China. I very much want to endorse all six of them: Ana and Jonas of the 'old' team, and Dorismilda, Ana Lúcia, Arun and Piyu as new team members. I believe they will make a brilliant new PCR Section Head, that will do great things in the coming four years. At the same time, I welcome other candidates to compete in these elections for the 2 positions of co-chair, and for the four positions of co-vice-chair. The procedure on how to stand for election is explained here:


I wish all my colleagues the best of luck with the PCR Section, and I want to thank all of you for your support and for keeping participatory communication high on the academic agenda with great research.

With my kind regards,
Nico Carpentier


The Participatory Communication Research Section (PCR) has finished reviewing the abstract submissions for the IAMCR 2020 online activities.

Given the developments associated with COVID-19, and the health and safety issues and constraints related to travel and conference activity, IAMCR and its partners at Tampere University decided to switch to an online conference for 2020. The two main types of activities of this IAMCR 2020 conference will be:

  • The Online Conference Papers, where IAMCR members will present 1000 to 4000-word papers and get feedback on their work;
  • The Online Sessions, which will consist of a series of high-quality pre-recorded sessions. Each participating IAMCR Section and Working Group will be responsible for one (1) Online Session. We will also have one virtual cinema session (called “Flow34”), coordinated by Nico Carpentier.

In total, the PCR Section received 112 abstract proposals, including 4 panel abstracts, (which grouped 17 individual presenters). We invited one keynote PCR section presenter. In total, we thus had 109 individual abstracts, 91 submitted as individual papers, one keynote abstract, and 17 submitted as part of a panel proposal.

Unfortunately, when applicants were asked to confirm their participation in the IAMCR online conference, 29 out of 109 withdrew (or did not confirm). As the abstract of our invited PCR keynote session presenter was not reviewed, we reviewed the work of 79 applicants. We used a double peer review system, with each submission reviewed by one Section official, and by one of our 20 external reviewers. Two other external reviewers had to cancel, and for these 9 abstracts, a different Section official did the second review.

From these 79 applicants, 41 individual applicants and 15 applicants in panel proposals were accepted to present their work in the Online Conference Papers. Five individual applicants were invited to present their work in the PCR Online Session. These five included our invited keynote presenter, and four applicants that were among those who received the highest review scores. This also means that, with regret, our PCR keynote session was cancelled and the keynote talk integrated in our PCR Online Session. Moreover, one individual abstract was accepted to Flow34, and we decided to move one abstract to another IAMCR Section, to be reviewed there. This implies that 17 submissions were not accepted upon review, which gives us an acceptance rate of 78% (61 out of 78, not including the one abstract that was moved for review in another Section).

We are welcoming all these 56 papers to the PCR Online Conference Papers, the one paper to Flow34 (our virtual cinema), and the five papers to the PCR Online Session, which will be entitled “Complicating Participation”:

In the meanwhile, all applicants to the PCR Section for the 2020 IAMCR conference have been informed of our decision. They are currently being briefed about the practicalities of their presentations, keeping in mind that the paper submission deadline is 19 June 2020.

As this report indicates, the shift to an online conference has generated a high level of complexity. We are very grateful to our colleagues in the IAMCR Executive Board, in the IAMCR Executive Secretariat and in the Tampere Local Organizing Committee, for their support. We also appreciate the patience and resilience of the applicants to the PCR Section. At the same time, we apologize for any inconvenience that this rather fluid situation may have caused, but we are also confident that we will have a great set of PCR presentations at the IAMCR 2020 conference.



The PCR Section is happy to present the line-up for its Online Session, which will be entitled “Complicating Participation”:

  • Tom Jacobson and Nicole Lemire Garlic: “Conceptualizing Participatory Processes at Multiple Levels of Analysis"
  • Jo Katambwe: “Disjunctive Participation: Metalogue as the grand narrative and process of digital societies in 21th century”
  • Lauren Dyll: “Potentialities, Perceptions and Pragmatism of Participation in Cultural Heritage Processes: a case study of the Mashishing Marking Memories Project, South Africa”
  • Kirill Filimonov: “Defying the State as a Discourse: Inclusion, Vulnerability and Trust in Russian Community Media”
  • Anu Kantola: “Preferring Silence: How the Wealthiest Participate and What It Means for Studies of Participation”