Featured Extended Sessions

New to the ICA Conference this year is the Extended Session - a conference slot of 2.5 hours that gives each Division and Interest Group the opportunity to go beyond the typical four- or five-paper presentation and respondent format. The goal of the extended session is to enable more dialogue and intellectual debate, more time for creative presentations, greater possibilities for members to exchange ideas and expertise in a less constrained manner, and more opportunities to engage the larger community.

In each Newsletter leading up to the conference, we will highlight several extended sessions. Stay tuned to see what each Division and Interest Group is planning!


Ethnicity and Race in Communication: Battleground Arizona

In the spring of 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law two highly contested state bills - SB 1070 and HB 2281. The first made failure to carry immigration documents a crime and gave local police broad authority to arrest people merely on suspicion of being "illegal." The second banned Arizona high schools from teaching classes designated as "ethnic studies." A ferocious media firestorm erupted in their wake, spurring copycat measures as well as massive grassroots opposition across the United States. This extended session features work by ten scholars working across the US/Mexico border that explores the influence of media coverage of these battles on public opinion, policy making, and social norms. Speakers examine how, why, and with what consequences local and national newspapers, ethnic minority press, and visual depictions in the media have shaped public discussion - within the US and beyond - with deep implications for the politics of social exclusion and cultural fragmentation, modes of ethno-racial xenophobia and social control, and global struggles over borders, migration, and community.

Children, Adolescents and the Media: Communicating With Children: Principles and Practices to Nurture, Inspire, Excite, Educate, and Heal

This extended panel session illustrates the collaboration of academia and practice, through highlighting a resource package produced by UNICEF entitled: Communicating with children: Principles and practices to nurture, inspire, excite, educate and heal. The resource package, in both print form and a website http://www.unicef.org/cwc/ to be launched November 4th 2012 is a product of several years of collaboration between a leading practitioner and a leading scholar who are committed to advancing the use of communication with children around the world which are age appropriate, culturally sensitive, and inclusive in the spirit of the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child. It is based on a professional life time of experience of the first author in holding workshops for the advancement of the production of media for children in low resource countries and emergency situations and grounded in academic scholarship. It supports the priorities of UNICEF to improve the survival, development, protection and participation of children and their families, specifically the most vulnerable and disadvantaged , in ways that build their resilience, help them survive and thrive, and set them on the trajectory for a better life.

The first two parts of the report recognize the diverse conditions in which children around the world live and the media environments to which they have access. Part Three maps the different developmental characteristics and needs of children at different ages and outlines the implications these changes have for children's communication needs. Part Four, the bulk of the report, presents four central principles for producing communication for children, supported by 14 guidelines. They are illustrated by positive examples from a range of countries and media, and address different age groups. In Part Five, ways to avoid common pitfalls in developing communication for children are summarized and finally, in Part Six a veritable treasure chest of additional positive examples and supplementary resources (audio-visual materials, books, academic sources, etc.) is provided.

In this special panel, we intend to provide not only an overview of the project, but also a report on a workshop that implements this work around the world. The extended panel format provides a unique opportunity to allow participants, the vast majority of them from high-resource countries, to be exposed to the potential positive roles media can have in the lives of mostly marginalized children worldwide.

Communication Law and Policy: Media, Markets, and Democracy

The Communication Law and Policy division's extended session will explore the theme of "media, markets, and democracy," and consider how the work of the late C. Edwin Baker can continue to inform research, teaching, and praxis around media law and policy. The session aims to promote lively discussion among attendees around how law and policy scholarship can incorporate normative democratic concerns and political economic analysis of media systems and contribute to broader understandings of the tensions exhibited between markets and democratic processes. Two session moderators will describe the session format and introduce the roundtable participants. Participants will give brief (5-minute) presentations highlighting their position on the theme. Moderators will then summarize the central questions and issues raised, open the discussion to the room, and moderate the conversation. This format is intended to foster a collaborative and collegial approach to thinking through critical questions in our field. This year's C. Edwin Baker Award will be presented at the end of the session.

Communication History Interest Group Extended Session

The Communication History Interest Group has programmed an innovative extended session for the Phoenix conference, focused on dialogue between two literatures not normally in conversation: media policy and the history of communication research. "Media Policy Meets Media Studies: Intersecting Histories" will feature nine presentations that speak to media policy and/or the field's history. Papers addressing the two topics will be presented in short form in three successive minipanels, each followed by 15-minute breakout sessions. These breakout sessions are intended to spark conversation between presenters, and between presenters and attendees.

Communication and Technology Division Extended Session

With virtual environments, communication scholars can test and develop communication theories on a real time basis. In this extended session, participants will showcase their state-of-art methodologies and theorizations with vivid experimental materials used in their studies. Studies cover a wide range of virtual experiences from avatar identification to virtual art consumption. With its extended time setting, participants and audience will be able to review and discuss various opportunities provided by virtual environments for the developments of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational communication.

Environmental Communication Extended Session: Engaging Opinions: Speed Dating for Publication in Environmental Communication

This extended session, posing as a poster session, features Environmental Communication work by more than a dozen academics mainly in the areas of Civic Engagement and Public Opinion. The session is divided into two parts. In the first half, everyone is a potential editor and is shopping for papers. Presenters and visitors look at the presentations with an eye toward creating edited volumes or special issues of journals. Presenters who are giving similar papers are located close to one another in the room. For the second half of the session, people contacted in advance who have proposed volume or issue themes, and people who are struck by an inspiration at the poster session set up shop at different areas in the room and attract presenters (and visitors) who want to discuss contributing to their volume or issue. Now the presenters are shopping for publication outlets. The "datemaster" Chad Raphael will call "time" every 15-20 minutes to give people a chance to move on to another discussion.