Section Head Election 2016 - Candidate statements

Community Communication Section

The IAMCR Community Communication Section will hold elections for its section head team during the section business meeting at the upcoming conference in Leicester (27-31 July 2016). We are looking for candidates to fill up to 2 positions as section chair or co-chair, and up to 2 positions as section vice-chair.

  • The current section chair, Arne Hintz, will step down, and so will one of the vice-chairs, Adilson Cabral.
  • The other current vice-chair, Susan Forde, is running for chair of the section.

Nominations and self-nominations are welcome. Interested candidates should send their name, institutional position and a statement (maximum 500 words) to the current chair, Arne Hintz <HintzA[at]>, with a copy to IAMCR General Secretary Maria Michalis <M.Michalis[at]> and to the IAMCR secretariat <membership[at]>. The deadline for submitting candidacies is July 13.

Candidates and statements

For Chair / Vice-chair


Dr Tanja Dreher, University of Wollongong, Australia

Nomination statement for section head team, Community Communication Section of the IAMCR

I have been an active participant in the Community Communication Section of the IAMCR since participating in Durban in 2012. I have reviewed abstracts, presented papers, convened panels and contributed to the development of preconferences in Dublin (2013) and Hyderabad (2014) and will again participate at Leicester in 2016 and Cartagena in 2017. In my own research, practice and organizing, I am strongly committed to ComCom’s wide-ranging mission, including a very broad definition of Community Communication or citizen’s media which spans public access community radio and tv, social movement media, community media interventions, activist and alternative media and more.

My priorities for ComCom include:

  • high quality conceptually driven research and strong engagement with practitioner perspectives
  • strengthen the conceptual rigour of Community Communication research at a time when key concepts such as ‘participation’, ‘voice’, ‘alternative’ and more are being mobilised in relation to commercial digital platforms and social media
  • prioritise knowledges developed in the Global South
  • continue ComCom’s campaigns for more accessible IAMCR conferences and the development of preconferences that bring local practitioners and scholars in to conversation. 

The 2017 conference in Cartagena, Colombia, provides an excellent opportunity to advance these priorities – given the strong tradition of community communication research in Latin America, and current engagements with social movements and media activism. 

From 2015 – 2019 I enjoy the privilege of a research fellowship focused on the politics of listening in response to community and alternative media – including Indigenous, refugee and Muslim community media. This fellowship allows me time and resources to focus on supporting and developing research networks. I am committed to collegial collaborations and have extensive experience in developing and sustaining research teams and networks. I would greatly value the opportunity to contribute my skills, interests and experience to the Community Communication section head team. 

Ankuran Dutta, Gauhati University, Guwahati, India

Dr Ankuran Dutta is Associate Professor and Head, Department of Communication and Journalism (Estd. In 1967), Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam, India. Prior to joining in the University on January 25, 2016, he served Bhupen Hazarika School of Mass Communication of KKH State Open University (KKHSOU), India as Associate Professor in Mass Communication and in-charge of the school. He rendered his service at Commonwealth of Learning; an inter-governmental organisation under UN privileges from 2013 to 2015 as Programme Officer of Livelihoods and Skills of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), New Delhi. He is a media educator by profession with an experience of about 12 years and involved in different academic activities in India, Bangladesh, Canada, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Dr. Ankuran Dutta started his academic career in 2004 as the founder Course Coordinator of Media and Communication Study Centre at Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam. He joined Gauhati University as a Lecturer in 2006. After that he started his career in open and distance learning by joining at KKHSOU in October, 2007. Before association with the CEMCA, he hold the position of the Deputy Director (Multimedia) in the rank of Associate Professor and in-charge of the Dept. of Mass Communication. He served Jnan Taranga, the first Community Radio Service and web radio of the north east India as the Station Manager. As an expert of educational programme production, he has produced more than 800 audio and 250 audio visual educational programmes.

He has completed a short term research at York University, Toronto, Canada as a fellow of Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. He has participated in various national and international conferences in different parts of the world. The books to his credit include authored, translated and edited volumes in English, Assamese and Bengali. He has also written and edited around 50 self-learning study materials for seven universities of India and abroad, published a number of research papers and articles in reputed journals. He has contributed around 350 articles in different newspapers, periodicals and participated in around hundred programmes of radio and television.

Dr. Dutta is associated with many community media initiatives in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. He has initiated a community video movement in Sri Lanka with SDJF. He also worked with all community radio stations of Bangladesh and about 20 community radio stations of India. He himself ran the first community radio service of north east India for 5 years. He is also a member of different committees of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India for Community Radios. His research paper Innovations in Community Radio in India is available at the Ministry’s official website. He has his blog titled community communications at and he manages a facebook page on the same name at . His model C3 (Community Communication Centre), Dolphin (Characteristics of community media), OMR (Open Media Resources) are discussed in different platforms. He also rendered his service as founder Vice President of Community Radio Association of India.

Susan Forde, University of Griffith, Australia

I would like to nominate for an ongoing position in the leadership of the Community Communication section from 2016. I have served as Vice Chair of the section for the previous four years, working with Arne Hintz (Chair) and Adilson Cabral (Vice Chair) during that time. While Vice Chair, I initiated the establishment of the Journal of Alternative and Community Media (, a new open-source online journal for our field which is co-edited with Professor Chris Atton. Many active members of the Community Communication section sit on the International Advisory Board for this journal, which is co-published by ComCom, the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and Griffith e-press. I was successful in obtaining substantial support from both my research centre, and our University’s e-press, to underpin the establishment of this journal which was launched in Montreal, Canada in July 2015 with our first issue currently in-press and due for release prior to IAMCR Leicester 2016.

As a scholar, my essential interests are in alternative and community media and particularly, the forms of journalism that exist in these outlets. As a former journalist who worked primarily in the alternative, independent and Indigenous media sectors in Australia, I am keenly aware of the different professional thinking that alternative journalists bring to their practice and this informs my scholarship. My sole-authored monograph, Challenging the News: The Journalism of Alternative and Community Media (2011, Palgrave Macmillan, UK) is cited in much contemporary work about alternative media and alternative journalism. My other major body of work was completed with colleagues from Griffith University, primarily Michael Meadows and Kerrie Foxwell, and focused on the Australian community broadcasting sector and its audiences (see Developing Dialogues: Indigenous and Ethnic Community Broadcasting in Australia 2009, Intellect, UK; and Community Media Matters: Australian Community Broadcasting Audiences Talk Back with Meadows, Ewart and Foxwell). I am currently working on an Australian Research Council project looking at community representations of the Indigenous ‘land rights’ movement in my home state of Queensland, Australia (with Foxwell-Norton and Burrows); and have just completed a book manuscript for Routledge, Journalisms for Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives with Robert A. Hackett, Shane Gunster and Kerrie Foxwell-Norton (forthcoming, 2016).

I would like to nominate for a position as Co-Chair of Community Communication. In this role, I will continue the work carried out with Arne Hintz and Adilson Cabral, and our predecessors Gabi Hadl, Ellie Rennie, Per Jauert and others in building ComCom to be one of the largest and most vibrant sections in the IAMCR. My focus will be on consolidating the Journal of Alternative and Community Media as a high-quality and comprehensive journal for our field, and in enhancing continuity and cohesion in our annual conference. I will work to establish greater ongoing collaborative networks between our scholars throughout the year, and outside the conference ‘rush’ and will collaborate with the section leadership team to facilitate this further. Thirdly, I will work with the leadership team to support emerging scholars coming through our section, as building depth in our field and embracing new theories and perspectives is essential to our continuing growth as a field of communications study.

Cinzia Padovani, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA

I would like to express my interest in serving in the capacity of co-chair or vice-chair of the Community Communication section of the International Association for Mass Communication Research. I am an Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale; have a Masters degree from the University of L’Aquila, Italy, and a PhD from the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

I presented my first paper at the IAMCR annual conference in 1995, when I was in graduate school. After accepting a position as Assistant Professor at my current institution in 2005, I have been able to attend and present papers at seven more IAMCR annual conferences. More specifically, I have presented papers at the ComCom section on topics related to citizens’ media and communication (Istanbul 2011), and on media and communication strategies of ultra-right social movements (Dublin 2013 and Montreal 2015). I have chaired one panel for this section in 2013 and plan to do so again in Leicester. The ComCom section has been a community where I have always felt at home. In fact, thanks to its outstanding leadership and members, this section puts into practice what it preaches: collaboration and inclusiveness. 

If elected for either position, I would work with the new leadership team to further improve collaboration among the members, as well as with other sections of the IAMCR; and inclusiveness, as the section continues to welcome emerging scholars and practitioners, and new lines of inquiry. I will also support the section in its efforts to further expand and refine its scope and name.  

The vision that I would like to contribute to and work towards is defined by the interconnectedness of research and practice, and a commitment to scholarship as a vehicle for progressive social and political change. This is also the aim of my work as a scholar and an educator. This vision is in line with the objectives of the section to advance research on the theories and practices of community and alternative media, and of social movements and activists media and communication. Finally, I will do my part to join in the decade long efforts to make the IAMCR a more transparent and accessible organization. 

Claudia Magallanes-Blanco, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, Mexico

I am Claudia Magallanes-Blanco. I work at the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, in Mexico where I chair the master’s in communication for social change. I have been a member of IAMCR since 2008, throughout this period I have attended as many conferences as I could always participating at the Community Communication section. My research area is indigenous and community communication and communication for development and social change but I have also worked on social movements and digital social networks. 

I am self-nominating for a position as vice-chair for the Community Communication Section because I want to contribute to the work that has already been done in this section by Arne Hintz, Adilson Cabral and Susan Forde. I am convinced that the community communication section of IAMCR is a wonderful resource for academics, researchers, practitioners and activists around the globe. The possibilities for networking, sharing knowledge and experiences, building projects and initiatives that come from this group are vast. The outcomes in terms of publications, projects, personal and institutional relations derived from the community communication section are also varied and I am certain that could be shared, explored and used more widely.

I would like to be involved in the organization of the community communication section panels for the forthcoming conferences to contribute to the discussion of the field and to know more closely the work being done by colleagues around the globe. I would like to tight the links between the OurMedia/NuestrosMedios network and the Community Communication section with possible pre or post conference events in Colombia (2017) and other conference venues.

I would also like to bring continuity to the Latin American perspective into the section following Adilson Cabral’s participation. 

I am sorry I cannot be present at the IAMCR conference in Leicester this year. I am fully aware that should I be elected I must attend the conferences in the forthcoming years and I am committed to do so. 

If needed and possible I can be present at the business meeting virtually via videoconference or chat.

Andrea Medrado, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil

My statement is based on 5 main topics: 

  1. Involvement in the ComCom Section 
    I have been attending the IAMCR Conferences for ten years, and I have always chosen to present my work at the ComCom section. These encounters with researchers from literally all corners all the world have been extremely enriching, allowing me to learn about fascinating topics, such as Indigenous audiences in Australia, community media funding in the UK, cultural connectivty in Bangladesh, just to name a few examples. I am proud to have been a part of a genuinely diverse, international and socially engaged section.

  2. Research in the field of alternative and community media
    I have been an active researcher in the field of community and alternative media for over ten years. My master’s thesis (2004, University of Oregon) looked at the case study of a community TV station from Favela da Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro. My Ph.D. research (2010, University of Westminster) was an ethnographic study of listening to community radio in the everyday life of a favela. Currently, I am analysing how people who have been affected by the mega-events in Brazil are making their perspectives and voices heard via various forms of activist online media.
  3. International Perspective
    Over the past 15 years, I have lived, studied and worked in 3 different countries – the US (where I pursued my Master’s as a Fulbright scholar), the UK (where I completed my Ph.D.) and Brazil (where I am from and am now working as a Senior Lecturer at Universidade Federal Fluminense). These experiences have provided me with an international perspective for which I am grateful and which will be useful when carrying out my responsibilites as vice-chair.
  4. Women at Conferences and in Senior Academic Positions
    Becoming a mother has had a profound impact on making me reflect on (and experience!) how challenging it is for working mums to attend conferences. It is key to promote children and parent-friendly initiatives in conferences, such as childcare cooperatives, for example. Indeed, as a woman, I cannot help questioning some of the gender inequalities: how can we explain the fact that in 2016 there is a smaller number of women in senior positions in universities all over the world? And why not talk about this more at our section and at the conference? 
  5. What I believe in and will work towards achieving
    As a section, we should continue strengthening connections with media practitioners (journalists, producers, activists), breaking down academic silos and exchanging knowledge with our wider communities. Finally, in many countries, we are experiencing an austerity agenda, which it makes it difficult to obtain funding for travel and research. Given this context, I believe that the ComCom section should strive to maintain (and further promote) our gender, geographic and cultural diversity, proposing alternatives for delegates from lower-income countries. I am also very keen on debating with members of the section about how we can make more use of technology. 

Ma Theresa Mendoza-Rivera, Xavier University Development Communication Department, Philippine

I am a graduate of B.S. in Development Communication at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB), and a Masters in Communication Management (M.C.M.) at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), Manila and PhD in Communication at University of the Philippines. I am presently Professor of the Department of Development Communication, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines.

I was involved in both teaching and consultancies in University outreach and development projects in Mindanao involving communication for social change, community communications, development journalism and behavior change Communication projects.

My interest in Community communication started since I was a student of Development Communication, and later on as the Training and Information Officer of the Social Laboratory project of the University of the Philippines- Los Banos (UPLB), where I produced a radio program called Social Laboratory on Air over Radio DZLB, in UP Los Banos. DZLB was one of the forerunners of community broadcasting in the country. I used my experience in DZLB to enrich the broadcasting courses when I became employed at Xavier University academic program in development communication, adding community communication courses such as schools-on-the air as one those courses.

As head of the department for many years, I championed community communication among various non-government and government organizations in the Northern Mindanao region. It was in these initiatives that I encountered audiences with various ethnic and socio-political challenges and saw how community communication made a difference in remote and rural communities of this island.

I had been interested in new media technologies’ as it is applied for civil society work, in the social appropriation of technology and in community and development informatics. It was further cultivated while I was granted a research fellowship in Malaysia to study participatory communication  processes involved in the development of the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), and was developed immensely during my dissertation fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign (UIUC) in the United States. This is where I studied a project of UIUC called Participatory Democracy using community media and new media in Paseo Boricua’s gentrified Puerto Rican communities of Chicago, Illinois. Here I cultivated further my interests in working with issues of diversity among people of color.

I have presented my researches in various conferences in the Asian Media Information and Communication Center (AMIC) Conference in Penang, Malaysia, the Asian Scholarships’ Conference (ASF) in Bangkok, Thailand, the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) in Capetown, South Africa,in Prato, Italy, in the Fulbright Leadership Conference and Enrichment Seminar in Washington, DC, USA., in the ComDev conference in Roskilde,Denmark and Malmo, Sweden, and in my two host universities during my fellowships abroad- Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia and University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC), USA.

My passion and interests are on the grounded theorizing of how marginalized communities can constructively use community and indigenous media and new media technologies as communicative ecologies from which cultural heritage is preserved and information literacy and knowledge is developed.

Vinod Pavarala, University of Hyderabad, India

Community Communication, as our Section is called, continues to be relevant, if not more relevant, today amidst corporate and state-controlled communication and media processes all over the world.  The work of the scholars associated with our Section is unique because the scholarship they produce has real-life implications for the democratization of communication and for creating (where it doesn't exist) and sustaining a pluralistic media environment.  More recently, the Section has rightly taken steps towards a more expansive notion of community media to incorporate citizens' access to and use of new communication technologies. There is also a new journal launched at the Montreal conference that seeks to further these areas of work.

My own core research and publications have been in the area of community radio in South Asia, with my book, Other Voices: the struggle for community radio in India (co-authored with my colleague, Dr. Kanchan K. Malik) being the most cited publication on community media in the region.  In 2011, UNESCO, in recognition of the work done by our team at University of Hyderabad, set up the first, and still the only, UNESCO Chair on Community Media.  For the last four years, we have been doing exciting work on fostering community media through our teaching, research, capacity-building, and knowledge-sharing (see  We now have a team of three faculty members (including me) at University of Hyderabad who work on community media and have 8 students who are currently doing their doctoral dissertations in the area. We were proud to organize a well-attended pre-conference on community media for the ComCom Section in 2014 at the IAMCR conference in Hyderabad. Last year, UNESCO has renewed the Chair for a second term, until 2019.  Going beyond India, our team has been working in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka (in the region), but also took up some engaging work with grassroots community media organizations in East Africa.  I have been able to do some policy outreach work in places like Cyprus and Germany, in partnership with AMARC, CMFE, and BFR (the Bundesverband Frier Radios). Briefly, I have been able to lead our team in teaching and research, advocacy, and outreach to promote community media.

Without saying more, I would only like to assure all members of the Section that if, given the opportunity, I would like to continue all the good work done by the previous team and sustain the truly international profile of which our Section should justifiably be proud.

I have had to, unfortunately, cancel my plans for attending the conference at Leicester because of unavoidable commitments here at Hyderabad.  I look forward to meeting you all in Cartagena next year.

Salvatore Scifo, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

My commitment to the promotion of community media research goes back to my first paper presented at an academic conference in 2005, where at the UK's Radio Studies Network conference I have been advocating for further initiatives connecting community radio scholars in the view of the developing community radio sector in the UK in those years. Since then, I have been active in promoting community radio studies within radio studies in the UK and worked in forging stronger links between activists, practitioners, researchers and policymakers.

This commitment found practical application in my years as first, Secretary, and then Vice-President of the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), where I served from 2007 to 2013. I am a member of the Advisory Board since then. There I helped to strengthen the organizational structure, enhance communications and co-ordinate efforts for the organization of the CMFE conference in Nicosia's buffer zone in 2011.

The same dedication was put in my job as Lecturer in Community Media at London Metropolitan University, where, together with Peter Lewis, we organised a very successful international event, "Finding and Funding Voices".

I have been also a Chair of the UK-based MeCCSA Radio Studies Network, a former member of the ECREA Executive Board, where I now serve on the Advisory Board, and the general coordinator of the ECREA 2012 Istanbul conference, and I would like, if elected, to put this experience at the service of the IAMCR Community Communication Section.

My research has focused in the past on the origins and development of community radio in the United Kingdom and student media, as well as on European Community Radio Policy. At this time, I am working on a research project that is looking at the connections between Irish and UK community media activists between 1970s and 1990s, as well as looking into possibilities for the archiving of community radio output in the UK for the use of the academic community, as well as developing tools to support the research of historical material on British Community Radio History for current and future generation of scholars.

If elected, I would aim to have the same dedication I had in the development of previous bodies to this section and support the work of its chair and vice-chair for the development of the Section's activities.

Rachna Sharma, Department of Journalism, Kalindi College, University of Delhi, India

I have 13 years of experience in academics and media. I have taught at Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi and had worked with the National Hindi Daily Newspaper Dainik Jagran as a correspondent on Education, Environment & wildlife, Archaeology, Meteorology, health and transportation beats before joining Kalindi College, University of Delhi in 2012. I am associated with newspapers and magazines since then and regularly write on media, environment, gender and other social and political issues. My area of research interest lies in Print Journalism, Cultural Studies and New Media. I have participated in various national/international conferences, presented papers, delivered lectures and contributed book chapters and research articles on such issues. Recently, during 17-18 March 2016, I organised a two-day national seminar on "Media, State and the Marginalised: Tackling Challenges" at the Department of Journalism, Kalindi College. The seminar was sponsored by University Grants Commission, Government of India. On 5 June, 2016, I organised a one-day seminar on "Relooking at Global Traditional Practices to Tackle Climate Change" and Photo Exhibition on World Environment Day in association with an NGO - CVPS (Chakrika Vikas Pranali Sanstha) in Delhi, India.

I look forward to being a part of the future endeavours of IAMCR.