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[Commlist] IAMCR 2020 online activities
Fri Mar 27 14:55:53 GMT 2020
Greetings and hoping everyone is proceeding safely in these challenging
Given the rapid and unpredictable developments associated with COVID-19
at present, and the health and safety issues and constraints associated
with travel and conference activity, IAMCR and our partners at Tampere
University, are planning online activities described below in lieu of a
face-to-face conference in Finland. We have been discussing these plans
with the Local Organizing Committee in Tampere, Section and Working
Group heads, and the International Council. The main points are as follows:
/*We will not hold an onsite face-to-face conference in July 2020*/
The first difficult conclusion was that we would not hold a traditional
face-to-face conference in July 2020. The conditions are simply not in
place and the uncertainty makes it impossible to proceed responsibly.
/*We will not postpone the July 2020 conference until later in the year*/
A second conclusion was to discard the idea of postponing the conference
for a few months, which would be complicated for a variety of scheduling
reasons, but especially because a postponed 2020 conference would be
only months before the 2021 conference, to be held in July.
/*We are organizing online activities for July 2020*/
While we will not hold an onsite event in 2020, we believe that there
are many reasons to hold an online event. These reasons include, but are
not limited to making sure that IAMCR and the work of the sections and
working groups continue to be present in the professional lives of our
members; exploring new ways that IAMCR can help us exchange and learn
from each other; ensuring that the 2,400 scholars who submitted their
work to IAMCR 2020 have a chance to share it with their peers and to get
the visibility and professional credit they need to advance in their
careers; and creating new ways of working together as we reshape the
association to better face new challenges that current events have so
dramatically reminded us of.
We do not believe that a “virtual conference” with hundreds of paper
presentations streamed live in dozens of “virtual rooms” is a viable
option for many reasons, for instance, differing time zones, internet
access problems, the lack of interactivity and informal exchange, and
the unlikelihood that any of us would be willing to spend a week
watching presentations on a screen. At the same time, other models have
demonstrated ability to help overcome these problems.
/*Our online plans are experimental, realistic and attractive*/
Our plans for online activities include two models – /*Online sessions
and plenaries*/ and /*Online conference papers*/. Both of these models
serve different but important functions, as explained below, with many
details remaining to be worked out during the coming months.
Not all of our thirty-three sections and working groups will participate
in these sessions. We are currently surveying them. We know that a
majority will, however, a few have other plans or have decided to
concentrate on working towards IAMCR 2021. We will let you know the
results of the survey as soon as they are available.
*IAMCR 2020 online sessions and plenaries *
IAMCR 2020 online sessions and plenaries will be a series of
high-quality pre-recorded and live sessions. At the core would be a
series of sessions, one organised by each participating section and
working group. These sessions may include presentations based on
submitted abstracts, or the section or working group may decide to
organise a panel around an entirely new theme, for example, about
emerging scholarship around health communication and the coronavirus, or
a panel made up of 4 or 5 selected members who are asked to talk about
emerging research in different areas covered by the section or working
group. Section heads will decide the themes, formats and speakers. There
are many possibilities and creativity is encouraged.
Sessions will be 60 minutes. A typical session might include an
introduction by the chair, 4 or 5 pre-recorded presentations, including
slides, video clips, etc.. All sessions will be recorded and made
available for viewing online during and after the event. For a period of
several days after their initial airing, text-based questions, comments
and dialogue will be facilitated via the platform.
Opening and closing “plenary” sessions, organised by the Tampere “hosts”
of the conference, will also be featured.
The online sessions and plenaries will take place over several days
beginning on 12 July, the same day that the Beijing and Tampere
conference were scheduled to begin, and will be accessible online to all
IAMCR members during the event and archived for later access. There will
be no registration fee and the “conference” and archives will be fully
accessible to all IAMCR members.
*IAMCR 2020 online conference papers*
IAMCR 2020 online papers will be oriented to IAMCR members who want to
present and get feedback on their work and/or to get certification of
their presentation of a conference paper. It will also be a valuable
repository with a significant body of current work. Within this model,
authors of accepted abstracts will be able to submit conference papers
of 1,000 to 4,000 words. The submissions will be “curated” by the
section or working group heads, who would classify them according to
broad themes or organise them into “panels”. The papers will remain
online for at least several weeks and the heads of the sections and
working groups may name discussants and facilitate online comments and
discussion. All IAMCR members with accepted abstracts will be able to
“present” one conference paper. There will be a registration fee of $25
for presenters and all IAMCR members not presenting will be able to
access the presentations and comment for free.
/*Why have we selected these models? */
We think the above models are far superior to a “virtual conference”
that uses a traditional conference model in a “virtual” space for
several reasons, including, for*IAMCR 2020 online sessions and plenaries*:
* having fewer sessions allows for focus on quality and creativity;
* pre-recording presentations helps avoid last-minute technical
problems that often plague fully live events;
* incorporating live sections in the sessions allows for interactivity
among presenters and with viewers. Even if one presenter is lost to
a technical problem, the interactive component can still proceed
with the others;
* accessible options, such as live or automatic transcription or
captioning can minimise language barriers.
*IAMCR 2020 online conference papers* offers a practical way for authors
to present their conference papers online, while giving all IAMCR
members the opportunity to browse the conference papers in the IAMCR
2020 repository at their convenience.
We realize that not everyone will be able or wish to participate in
these activities, but they offer chances to come together as a genuinely
international community of scholarship and engagement to exchange
experiences, formulate questions and begin setting an agenda for the future.
The current pandemia around the world has placed us all under anxiety
and obviously the stressful situation is not conducive to facing new
challenges. On the other hand, the present, unprecedented situation has
made media and communication issues more topical than ever. As
communication scholars and practitioners, we have a moral and academic
obligation to address them and considerable expertise to draw on.
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