[FoME] Working group on media development research at IAMCR

Christoph Dietz Christoph.Dietz at CAMECO.ORG
Di Jul 3 15:31:54 CEST 2018

>>> Nick Benequista <NickB at ned.org> 01.07.2018 04:11 >>>

We're sending this message directly to those who have expressed support
for a new working group on media development at the International
Association for Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR). We're also
sending this to a list-serv (Google group), which will be the primary
method of communicating about the activities of this working group in
the future. Please accept the invitation to this list-serv (sent this
week) if you wish to receive future communication related to this group
and other announcements on media development research.  


The list-serv has been scarcely used to date, but we expect it to
become much more vibrant in the months to come bow that it has been
taken up by the working group. You are welcome to announce new research,
events, calls for papers, funding opportunities and other information of
interest to the community it serves. 


We're pleased to let all of you know that this new working group at
IAMCR, expected to be called "Media Development in Theory and Practice,"
is now likely to be created in the fall after receiving a warm reception
at this year's IAMCR. The proposal to create that working group is
attached. You'll find that it emphasizes the need to bridge research and
practice in our field. That purpose will guide all its activities. We
encourage all of you to attend IAMCR in the coming years to participate
in what we hope will become an important forum for this work. For those
who cannot attend, we will do our best to incorporate your input in
other ways, and to communicate the deliberations there widely. 


Susan Abbott, Maria Segura Soledad and I were elected as chairs by the
12 members of the working group in attendance at IAMCR. We can hold
another vote next year at our first official business meeting. The
creation of the working group would not have been possible without a
collective effort, and Susan, Soledad and I intend to coordinate its
efforts to maintain its collective and participatory spirit. 


Those who joined our discussion at the IAMCR put forward ideas for two
possible activities at next year's IAMCR gathering in Madrid. 


1) A roundtable/workshop on creating the knowledge we need for media
development: There are a number of practical issues that we could
address at this discussion; how to gather data needed to inform global
efforts on gender and media, or on the issues of media ownership
concentration. Much data in our field is also gathered by the donors and
other actors through evaluations that are seldom shared. We can ensure
that the discussion next year is attended by those actors who can help
to address these issues so that we might generate meaningful action. In
that sense, we hope the discussion can be focused on impact. At the same
time, these discussions raise questions about the politics of knowledge
in media development - about whose knowledge counts - that could also be
critically explored throughout the discussion with its practical
implications for research and data collection in mind. Those interested
in shaping this session should be in touch with us. 


2) A panel on media ownership concentration and media development. This
panel need not be limited to the Global South given transnational forms
of ownership and growing media ownership concentration in the Global
North. We might be able to co-organize this panel (or perhaps two
panels) with another working group such as political economy, where much
of the work on this topic has been presented at IAMCR. This would
significantly increase the turnout, and help us to approach the topic in
an interdisciplinary way. We still have a ways to go toward focusing the
concept for this, but we have agreed on the general principle that
research presented at our working group must seek to explore the
practical implications for efforts to develop and democratize media
systems, and that presentations from practitioners must draw from
scholarly work and provide a genuinely critical reflection. That focus
on drawing action-oriented and applied conclusions to this issue would
distinguish this panel from past panels on the same topic. Those
interested in shaping or presenting at this session should be in touch
with us. 


Please feel free to circulate this email and to encourage your
colleagues to join the list-serv and our efforts to strengthen media
development through research and knowledge creation. 


Kind regards, 


Nicholas Benequista, Co-Chair (Center for International Media

Susan Abbott, Co-Chair (Univeristy of Westminster)

Maria Soledad Segura, Vice-Chair (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba)

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