IAMCR 2014: Community Communication Section - CfP - Deadline 10 February

Call for Papers

The IAMCR Community Communication Section invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the 2014 IAMCR conference to be held from July 15-19 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India.

The deadline for submissions is February 10, 2014.

The Community Communication (ComCom) Section brings together research on community, alternative and citizens' media, and other forms of civil society-based and participatory communication. It considers a range of non-governmental and non-commercial communication practices such as do-it-yourself media, media for and by communities of locality or interest, social movement communication, and media that form a 'third sector' next to public service and commercial media. Such communication practices may use a variety of communication technologies, from print newsletters to mobile phones, from community radio to online social networking.

The section asks questions such as: How do marginalized groups develop, adapt and appropriate communication technologies? What makes citizen media effective and sustainable? What are innovative forms of media activism? What is the social, economic, legal and political environment of community and alternative media? What are appropriate theories and research methods for these media? What forms of journalism do they practice? Do they point us to new forms of networked publics, participatory democracy, and active citizenship (and/or are these concepts problematic)? Typical theoretical approaches come from social movement research, radical and citizens’ media theory, development studies, journalism, political communication, political art, civil society, citizenship and democracy, among others.
Community Communication is a key site for the consideration of both political and media change, and therefore relates closely to the conference theme. In the context of a changing geopolitical environment and fissures in the nation-state, new forms of media and communication practices become increasingly relevant – practices that connect the local with the regional and global, and that relate to realities of migration, mobility, and community formation and maintenance.    

Community Communication focus areas, Hyderabad 2014

The Community Communication Section welcomes contributions from all scholars who research and work in this field, and in 2014 is encouraging submissions particularly on the following themes:

1. Region as Frame: Politics, Presence, Practice

In relation to the overall conference theme which selects ‘regions’ as a framework for media and communications research, we will ask what role citizen-based communication practices have in a transforming geopolitical environment. From local community media, to trans-border diaspora media, to regional networks and online communities, how do these diverse media forms create new social and mediated spaces? Can they point us to fundamental changes in political influence and social allegiance? Do they disrupt established national media spaces, and what do they create instead?

2. Alternative and Community Journalism

What structures and cultures exist within alternative media organisations to facilitate a unique brand of journalism, both in its process and content? What are the connections (and differences) between ‘alternative’, ‘regional’ and ‘community’ journalism? What role do new forms of ‘hyper-local’ journalism play? Do alternative and community media provide new models for crisis reporting? At the heart of this theme is a consideration for the role of journalism genres which emanate from the grassroots.

3. The ‘5th Estate’ after Snowden and WikiLeaks

What implications do whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about online surveillance have for citizen media? Do internet surveillance and content restrictions (e.g., blocking and filtering) provide new challenges for people to create online media? What do the major whistleblower leaks of the past years and the emergence of new platforms (such as WikiLeaks) mean for the role of citizens and activists in the media ecology?

4. Community and Citizen Media Policy, 10 years after WSIS

In 2003 and 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) explored key areas of information and communication, including community broadcasting, communication rights, and emerging forms of online citizen media. As we approach the WSIS+10 debates and events, what is the legal and regulatory situation of community, citizen and alternative media worldwide? Where do we see new policies emerging? What hinders the development of adequate policies? How can we better understand policy advocacy and activism? What is the role of transnational policy forums?

5. Investigating Community Communication, Participation and Interaction

Participation and interaction have long been a distinct feature of community, alternative and citizen media. With the advent of online social media and Web 2.0, interactive media have become omnipresent, and participation has become the new mainstream. Is this the victory of citizen media? What is problematic about the ‘participatory mainstream’? How do we distinguish different kinds of participation in the media? What are new forms of participation?

6. Theorising Alternative, Community and Citizen Media

The Community Communication Section is interested in investigating, continuing and challenging the theoretical directions laid out by leading thinkers in the field, and developing understandings of relevant emerging concepts. How do we update critical concepts in light of technological and social change? How does research on classic community communication inform new thinking about social media, and how do digital cultures impact upon collective communicative action? How do we explore connects and disconnects between this field and related academic fields?


Format: All proposals must include:

  1. Title, author/coordinator name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and full contact information (mailing address, email address, and telephone number).

  2. Topic area (one of the six focus topics, see above, or ‘other’).

  3. Type of proposal:


Individual or co-authored scholarly paper: Applicants must submit a 300-500 word abstract. The abstract should describe:
the main question or research problem

      • its significance

      • the theoretical framework

      • what is known from existing research

      • the research method

      • expected outcomes

      • relation with the chosen topic area

NOTE: For project presentations (without a theoretical background) we encourage applicants to choose a format under TYPE C, not TYPE A.


Panel proposal: The panel coordinator must submit a well-defined statement of purpose (200-300 words) and a complete list of panel participants. For each panelist, a full abstract (as above under Type A) has to be submitted, with a note of the panel title at the top.


Other session/presentation formats: We encourage proposals for innovative formats such as workshops, video screenings, performances, webcasts or field trips. The coordinator must submit a well-defined 300-500 word statement of purpose and a detailed description of activities, as well as any infrastructure requirements (space, projectors, etc.). We cannot guarantee, at this moment, that all these formats will be feasible in Hyderabad, but we commit to supporting proponents in making them possible.

Please indicate at the end of your abstract if you would be willing to chair a session.


All proposals must be submitted through the online Open Conference System at http://iamcr-ocs.org between 1 December 2013 and 10 February 2014. Early submission is strongly encouraged.

Individuals may submit 1 abstract (paper) per Section or Working Group, and a maximum of 2 abstracts (papers) to the overall conference altogether. Under no circumstances should there be more than 2 abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant either individually or as part of any group of authors. Submitting the same or very similar abstract to more than one section or working group is not allowed. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be automatically rejected by the Open Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.
Upon submission of an abstract, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is original and that it has not been previously published in the form presented. You will also be given an opportunity to declare if your submission is currently before another conference for consideration.

Paper Submission:

Presenters are expected to bring fully developed work to the conference. Prior to the conference, it is expected that a completed paper will be submitted to the Section. Papers can, upon request, be made available to other IAMCR members in the IAMCR’s ‘Virtual Paper Room’ after the conference.

Deadline for full papers: 20 June 2014.

Submitting to the Right Section: If you submit your proposal to the wrong section, it may be rejected. Please consider carefully if the Community Communication Section is most appropriate for your proposal (check the list of sections at http://iamcr.org/s-wg/all). Please contact us well before the deadline if you are unsure.

Languages: IAMCR accepts submissions in its official languages of English, Spanish, and French, though an English translation (even a brief summary) of your abstract will be much appreciated. For conference presentations, we encourage presenters who wish to talk in a language other than English to prepare slides or print-outs in English to facilitate understanding, interaction and debate. The Section endeavours where possible to provide summarized translations of key papers in Spanish and French, although we have no funds to hire translators. To this end, we are looking for volunteer translators/interpreters for abstracts, sessions and papers.

If you can contribute and help translate some papers or key points into Spanish or French, please contact us (see details of Chair and Vice-Chairs below).

REMINDER: Important deadlines (see full table of deadlines at the end of this CFP)

Submission: February 10, 2014. This deadline will not be extended. The OCS system at http://iamcr-ocs.org will open on December 1, 2013 and will close on February 10, 2014.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by March 24, 2014. For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted via the IAMCR OCS by June 20, 2014.


For information about the conference, go to: http://iamcr2014.org/

To learn more about the Community Communication section, go to:
ComCom Website: http://www.iamcr.org/section-home-seccomm-201

To contact your Community Communication Section Heads, or to find out more about ComCom in IAMCR, contact:

Arne Hintz (Chair), hintza(at)cardiff.ac.uk
Susan Forde (Vice-Chair), s.forde(at)griffith.edu.au
Adilson Cabral (Vice-Chair), acabral(at)comunicacao.pro.br
Joanah Gadzikwa (Vice-Chair), gadzikwaj(at)yahoo.co.uk


Finally, note the following deadlines and key dates for the 2014 IAMCR Conference:

8 November 2013

 First call for abstracts (for papers and panels)

1 December 2013

Open Computer System (OCS) available for abstract submission at http://iamcr-ocs.org

10 February 2014

OCS closed

11- 20 February 2014

Initial technical review of submissions (review process by Sections and WGs will start after this)

24 March 2014

Notification of acceptances of abstracts

15 April 2014

Confirmation of participation deadline

30 April 2014

Deadline for early bird registration

15 May 2014

Final conference programme

13 June 2014

Conference programme to be published online

20 June 2014

Deadline for full paper submission

15-19 July 2014

IAMCR Conference