IAMCR2010 - Final Remarks

IAMCR2010 begun as an idea formally put forward by Moisés Martins in Paris (2007). By then, the plan was to host a conference in Braga in 2011. When the proposal was finally accepted, a team of people begun interfacing with the organization and planning the event to the smallest detail. The project started to occupy larger and larger portions of working days of an also growing number of people since the beginning of 2009 and involved an amazing group of volunteers from early 2010.

It now seems appropriate to write a few words about them - the 'engine room' staff, the 'ask me people'.
During a very intense week they had to assist, direct, transport, and help entertain more than 1200 people from some 80 countries. They had to improvise. They had to be extremelly patient. They had to relly on each other.
Most of them will forever remember particular incidents, particular moments, particular people, but they will also remember the whole experience and the deep personal attachments that developed during this week.
In time they will also appreciate how rare that can be.

Thank you all!

(We can now focus on organizing something less demanding
...like the World Cup, or the Olympics...)


Closing ceremony

IAMCR2010's closing ceremony was a cheerful event, kicked off by the enthusiastic and witty performance of  Clarinetes ad Libitum (check out some of their videos HERE).

Istambul - the city where IAMCR2011 will take place - had the opportunity to present participants some details regarding next years' conference and the session drew to a close with informal words by Anabelle Sreberny and Hopeton Dunn on behalf of the organization, and Helena Sousa and Manuel Pinto on behalf of the local organizing comittee.

The ceremony ended with a giant applause to all those who have contributed to making IAMCR2010 a successful event.

(please click to see more photos)


Roundtable on contemporary citizen activism:
the "Greens" and the "Reds"

Annabelle Sreberny, the President of the IAMCR and chair of this special session, opened the Roundtable on contemporary citizen activism: the "Greens" and the "Reds"  by introducing the key-concepts of the discussion.
Pokpong Lawansiri (Thailand), who has been active in the democracy and  human rights movement in Thailand,  discoursed about "The Red Shirt Movement" and the violent governmental response to their peaceful protests. The lecturer hailed the social proposes of "The Red Shirt Movement" and their political aims,  in addition to referring to their usage of the social networks and other internet-related tools as a way to divulge the message.
Shadi Sadr (Iran), a well known iranian lawyer and women's rights activist, took the example of her own arrest and exile to shed some light on the relations between iranian activists and official authorities. A protester in the "2009 Iranian election protests", which were not remarked kindly by those in power, Shadi Sadr criticized the role of the internet on the process, since it was not only an instrument for the dissemination of the protesters cause but also became a dangerous instrument on the hands of the oppressors, for they used Facebook pictures and Youtube videos as evidence for the arrest of many protesters.
In summary, this special session presented the internet as a "double-edged sword" for the activist movements and launched a question on the privacy policies and social responsibility of the social networks.

Diana Teixeira, Eduarda Fernandes, Laura Vilaça and Neuza Alpuim

Connectivity in Media Platforms

"Notions of Connectivity across Media Platforms" was the theme of the last session of the International Communication section on IAMCR2010.

Carina Guyard, from the University of Sôdertôn, in Sweden, presented a paper about connections and disconnections between the public and a taxi call centre. The researcher studied the concept of "connectivity" in three dimensions: technical, organizational and cultural.

Janni Môller-Hartley, from the Roskilde University, in Denmark, studied online journals and the concept of connection in the new digital media. The user as a consumer, as a source or as citizen as types of user-reader constructions was another idea of this paper.

Julie Uldam, from the Copenhagen Business School, in Denmark, talked about global justice movement organisations and the online spaces where the political identities promote their work and try to gain new members or supporters.

Anne Kaun, from the University of Sôdertôn, in Sweden, presented a paper about playful public connectivity as a bigger project on public connection. The main idea of this presentation is that play is understood as transformative and therefore allowing for public connectivity.

Inês Espojeira and Sofia Gomes

Online Media and Social Movements

"Online Media and Social Movements" was the theme of the Community Communication´s morning section on Thursday, July 22, and was chaired by Gabriele Hadl.

The first speaker, Ming-Ying Lee from Providence University, Taiwan, presented "Youth use of  Internet-based Media for Social Movements: Analyzing the effect of official Blog Used in the Social Movement in Taiwan". Ming´s study takes a close look at the case of social movement in Taiwan, mixed with the characteristics of high-tech and youth use, namely "Wild Strawberries Movement", and explore the
potentials and restrictions of alternative media used by social movements. He showed how the blog has become a propaganda tool to promote and propose the movement ideals.

Chuan Yang Hsu from Tamkang University, presented "The virtual movement and online communities: a case study of T-Rex event in Taiwan" "one of major Taiwanese virtual movement events". He emphasized the role of virtual movement in the construction of imagined communities in Taiwan and raised questions about the propose of this movement."The internet is creating a new form of social movement", Mr. Hsu said.

Andrew Ó Baoill from Cazenovia College presented "Internet and Community Radio" and explained how the radio stations in United States are adapting to Internet distribution technologies. Mr. Baoill asked: "what community is served? In such a situation, what does it mean for a station to be "local" or to serve a geographic community? How are radio stations re-evaluating their missions in light of these changed circumstances?"

Diogo Soza

What kind of time to read scriptural texts?

The final session of “Media, Religion and Culture” only had one presenter. Frank Daniel Coffey, from Canada, present a paper about “Taking Time for Reading Scriptural Text – Drawing and Continuity: the Role of Mass Media”.

Mr. Coffey talked about the importance of time and referred that it is not material and not limited. In the researcher opinion, the nature of time is not sequential but it is consequential. Everything is immediately and forever new.

The Canadian researcher analyzed what kind of time we need to interpret scriptural text. He referred that everyone needs a sense of time and sequence to interpret anything. In his point of view, a religious person appreciates another kind of time. Finally, Mr. Coffey conclude that the reality isn’t the text, but the text giving us a signal of reality.

Luciana Silva

Online journalism in debate

“Ideals and practice in journalism production” was the theme of 4th session of the working group “Media Production Analysis”. The debate was chaired by Ida Willig and the several presentations showed different approaches on the journalistic area. The online journalism was the main theme in the room.

Last presentation, “O Meu Telejornal is no longer ours”, was from the portuguese Luís Loureiro. According to the RTP journalist, the public television site now allows the spectator to create his own news bulletin when and where he wants. Although this initiative had around 5 millions clicks in an one year space, just 3.3 personal sequences were produced per day. So he says “O Meu Telejornal is no longer ours and I can say that it’s no ones’ ”.

From Roskilde University, Jannie Hartley made a comparison between three danish online newspapers in order to know what the concept of breaking news is. She came to the conclusion that breaking news is “a new category of journalism” because, thought it is a very rare practice, “this is the main task to online journalism”.

Ingela Wadbring, researcher from the University of Gothenburg, spoke about the commercialisation of the journalism. The dataset contains about 3500 surveys in the years of 1989 and 2005 and the main conclusion is that “the journalist profession’s view on commercialisation has changed over time”. Wadbring also said that the work of the journalist “goes between information and entertainment”.

Finally, the speakers debated and compared theirs ideas and different points of view.

Daniel Coelho and Pedro Nogueira

Reception at Bom Jesus

 IAMCR2010 conference dinner took place at Bom Jesus. Food, drink, an amazing sunset and the musical contribution of Cees Hamelink and the Burgundian Combo.
When everyone had already enjoyed the view, the food and the wine, Manuel Pinto, Director of the Communication and Society Research Centre, made a positive balance of the Conference. He also took the chance to thank all the people in the organisation and all the volunteers.
After the dinner, everybody joined to see one of the professors of University of Minho playing the accordion with the band.
For most of the guests the night ended with the song "Menina estás à Janela", sung by a large group of volunteers.

Inês Espojeira

Video by Isabel Ferreira and José Miguel Carvalho


Media Literacy: What future?

"Media Education Research: Developing Indicators for Media Education" was the theme of the session "Media Education Research". Maria Oralia Paredes presented three papers in representation of a researcher´s group from Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.

Oralia explained that her objective was to think about the trends of media literacy in Europe; a new model for measuring media literacy skills (European perspective) and the indicators for assessing the critical understanding of media. In her discourse, she alerted for the fact that there is a real need to empower the literacy on young and old citizens, involving and promoting their participation. The question needs to be reinforced in the traditional media but mostly in the new media, because of the expansion and evolution that is implicit on this environment.

In this study, the authors find two key elements: personal dimension (remounts to individual skills in the use of internet contents and new technologies) and environment of context. For concluding, the researcher said that people use Internet to look for information and, mainly, to communicate. On the other hand, she alerted for the fact that in some countries the media literacy is stronger when we talk about authority.

Some of the people who were in this session gave their contribute to the discussion. Manuel Pinto, from Univgersity of Minho, said that “we need to discuss the relationship between communication and information”; and this point was very debated at the end of the presentation. The main question, exposed by Maria Oralia was: "Do we want and do we need to literate people?"

Patrícia Silveira, Sofia Gomes and Sónia Ribeiro

Plenary session - Lusophony

The last plenary session, which was chaired by John Downing, Vice-President of the IAMCR, had the presence of Moisés de Lemos Martins, José Marques de Melo, Margarita Ledo and Rosental Alves.
The first lecturer, Moisés de Lemos Martins, President of the Portuguese Communication Research Association, introduced the subject “Globalization and lusophone world: implications for citizenship” and centered his presentation on the notion of “lusotropicalismo”. Professor Martins went on to talk about the link between lusophony and new technology by referring to the cyberspace as a new place for lusophony, since the establishment of virtual networks easily allows communication among citizens who think, feel and speak in Portuguese. The scholar then concluded with a remark on the reservation of language, saying its setting on the global (network) communication demands an active fight by the lusophone community.
The President of the Ibero-American Confederation of National and Regional Associations of Communication Sciences, José Marques de Melo, focused the debate on “Citizenship and Communication in the Millennium Crisis: challenges in the academic community in lusophone space”. Considering the academic sphere a “narrow bridge” for lusophone studies and scholars, the lecturer regarded the Anglophonic hegemony as a barrier to the expansion of lusophony on an international scenario. As a way to reverse this situation, professor Melo proposed a consistent action in the global arena by the lusophone community.
Margarita Ledo Andión presented the topic of “Geo-linguistic areas and cultural citizenship”, reporting to the particular case-study of Galicia. The President of the Galician Communication Research Association reinforced the importance of imagined communities, as well as the importance of cultural citizenship. As a result of her studies, professor Andión concluded that lusophony is changing: it is going from a Eurocentric content towards a plural and multicentric place.
The final lecturer, Rosental Alves, showed how the internet and other technologies will impact the space of Portuguese speakers dispersed around the world. Firstly naming the characteristics and advantages of the Digital Revolution by crediting it as a long lasting action with overwhelming effects on society and information circulation, professor Alves compared it to a blossoming ecosystem, saying that the new media empowers citizens across geography and cultures, hence allowing a fast proliferation of information that goes across national borders and finding new ways to bond in innovative manners. Concluding, the director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas predicted that the Internet will help to create a sense of community and identity never before seen by the lusophone population, contrary to the current scenario, where lusophony is dispersed as an “archipelago of distant islands”. United in a true lusophonic community, the “islands” would form a “Continente Digital Lusófono”.

Laura Vilaça, Neuza Alpuim, Eduarda Fernandes and Diana Teixeira