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Available Positions & Job Opportunities

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, STEM Translational Communication Center
College of Journalism and Communications

The STEM Translational Communication Center (STCC) in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida has an opening for a full-time postdoctoral associate. The postdoctoral associate will join a vibrant research team comprised of faculty, postdoctoral associates, and graduate students focused on developing and testing patient-centered communication interventions. The fellowship is for one year, with the opportunity to renew for a second year. The successful applicant will work collaboratively with the STCC research team to collect and analyze data, build grant-writing skills, prepare manuscripts for publication, and participate at national and international scientific meetings. As one of the country’s leading research institutions, the University of Florida provides an exceptionally supportive environment for research and collaboration. 


MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Ph.D. in Communication, Psychology, or a related discipline.


Ideal candidates will have a strong background in communication technology (e.g., message tailoring, virtual technology), quantitative research methods, advanced statistical techniques, and health disparities research. 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, list of academic references (minimum of 3), a research statement, and a writing sample. 

Please address applications to: 

Dr. Janice Krieger, Director 
STEM Translational Communication Center 
College of Journalism and Communications 
University of Florida 



This is a grant funded position. 

To apply, please visit, 

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. 


School of International Service 
Full-Time, non-tenure, in Intercultural Relations + International Communication 

 American University’s School of International Service invites applications for a full-time, non-tenure track faculty appointment in Intercultural Relations + International Communication for AY 17-18. Rank will depend on experience and stature. Renewal based on budgetary authorization/satisfactory performance. Apply:


School of Communication & Information 
Research Fellow Position at Wee Kim Wee School of 
Communication & Information 

Young and research-intensive, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is ranked 13th globally. It is also placed 1st amongst the world’s best young universities. The Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information invites applications for the position of Research Fellow in Computational Social Science with expertise in social network analysis, machine learning, natural language processing, or related areas. Interest in conducting web-based experiments and/or exploring big data is a plus. Successful candidate will work on projects focusing on the emergence and evolution of social systems and the role that human communication plays in them. Possible (but not limited) research topics include cooperation and coordination, contagion and diffusion, trust building, team formation and performance, group information seeking and processing, collective decision making and problem solving, and network dynamics.

 A PhD is required from one of the following, or allied, disciplines: communication, sociology, political science, economics, computer science, mathematics, statistics or statistical linguistics.

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Solid background in mathematics and statistics
  • Ability to design and administer web-based, real-time interactive experiments
    Strong writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to collect, analyse, build and maintain large-scale databases(e.g., SQL)
  • Competence in programming languages: R, Python, C/C++, etc.

Applicants should submit the following materials to

  • Cover letter
  • Latest curriculum vitae
  • Personal Particulars Form (
  • Education certificates
  • Scanned copy of NRIC/Passport
  • Research statement(capped at 2,000 words)
  • At least one writing sample(e.g. recent publications, dissertation excerpt/summary)
  • Contact information for two references(one of which should be chair of your dissertation committee). Recommendation letters will only be solicited from finalists. 

Closing Date: 
The position is available immediately and will be closed once a suitable candidate is found.


Tags:  May 2017 

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The Travel Ban: ICA’s Position, Actions Taken to Help Attendees, and Next Steps

Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017

As you all know, the Trump administration released a travel ban in February 2017 that affects nationals of seven countries and their ability to enter the US. This policy was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a violation of the U.S. constitution. The courts—including a higher court which heard the appeal—agreed with the ACLU, and the White House rescinded the ban. President Trump then issued a second, slightly less restrictive order, removing one country from the list and asserting that those with active visas are still welcome.

While a slight “improvement,” this ban has also been challenged in court by the ACLU and numerous individual plaintiffs. The ban has now been blocked in a lower court in a decision citing its overt motive to discriminate against people on the basis of their religion and national origin, again a direct violation of the U.S. constitution.  

This confusing and evolving situation has raised serious concerns for many members of the ICA community, particularly those intending to participate in the upcoming annual conference in San Diego.  

As the ICA Executive Committee asserted in a statement to our membership and larger community in February in response to the first ban, this situation “run[s] counter to ICA’s commitment to ensure full and equal participation of all members of our organization and participants in our global academic community.”  

We continue to assess the policy’s impact on members and attendees. We recognize members’ concerns regarding the uncertain and changing situation, appreciate your feedback and perspectives, and will remain in dialogue with our entire academic community as this situation evolves. 

In the meantime, we want to make everyone aware of the following actions, which aim to preserve your right as scholars to freely present your work and to collaborate with your peers. 

  • What is ICA Doing to Help?  

    ICA has retained legal counsel specializing in visa issues to advise any member seeking to visit the US for the San Diego conference, including assistance in interpreting the new federal policy and applying for entry. This service is offered at no charge to ICA members and other potential attendees. Please e-mail me (Laura Sawyer, Executive Director), to be connected with this resource. 

  • The ICA office remains ready to assist members in procuring visas to attend ICA conferences and events. Standard invitation letters for visa purposes are available, as always, via the submission website (log in and choose “download invitation letter” from the green menu). If you have a special circumstance and need additional help or special wording in your letter, please contact Julie Randolph, ICA Senior Manager of Member Services & Governance, for assistance.  

  • The ICA San Diego 2017 conference will also support reliable teleconferencing and/or prerecorded presentation for those of you who cannot attend the conference in San Diego but would like to preserve your ability to present your work. ICA is sponsoring landline internet connections in rooms where presenters will be teleconferencing, so that the strength and reliability of Wi-Fi service (while excellent in this hotel) will not be a factor in your ability to communicate smoothly with your chair and your audience. If you are on the program and wish to take advantage of this option because you cannot make it to San Diego, please e-mail me (Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director) immediately. I will then connect you to your session chair and provide further instructions to you and your session moderator/chair regarding teleconferencing. Please note that at this point we cannot relocate or reschedule times of sessions in order to accommodate time differences, so depending on where you are this may mean some inconvenience in terms of the time of day where you are.   

  • NEW! Many of our attendees have already contacted me about their situations and we have made arrangements. Those who are planning to come to San Diego in person have taken steps to obtain their visas and airline tickets, and I have given them my personal cell phone number in case of any issues once they arrive in the US. I will be on the ground in San Diego as of Tuesday afternoon, 23 May and will be available to come to the airport if needed. That said, most of you will not have San Diego as your first U.S. stop—you will be connecting from another airport. For this reason, we are developing an internal program whereby ICA members in various states containing major international hub airports can volunteer to be an #ICAsupport for someone traveling abroad, in case of issues at the airport. When you volunteer to be an ICA support, you are offering to give your personal contact information to a fellow ICA attendee coming from outside the US, who will be connecting through your home airport as their first point of entry. You will be “on call” with your connection’s travel itinerary, and s/he will check in with you when s/he has landed. In the (hopefully unlikely) instance that there are any issues at the airport, you agree to be available via phone or if necessary, in person, at the airport to vouch for your fellow ICA attendee’s legitimate reason for being in the country. For more information on this program, see JP Gutierrez’s article on page 5.  
In the coming weeks, we will also be disseminating other “pro tips” on travel to the US, what items to bring along, and who to call if you have trouble.  
As you may have noticed from looking at the online program for the San Diego 2017 annual conference, our program chair and president-elect Paula Gardner (MacMaster U) has assembled numerous special panels directly associated with this policy, recognizing that rigorous dialogue is essential at this moment. Your opening plenary features scholars discussing the issue of the “border” in San Diego: across ethnicity, religious and national identity, gender, and beyond. Another includes international members discussing current global populist movements and cultures, and still others address “posttruth politics” and “alternative facts.” These are examined from a multicultural and multinational perspective, acknowledging that the location for this year’s conference is not the only place in the world undergoing these changes. Several preconferences, Blue Sky workshops, numerous sessions, and a special exhibit on propaganda also address the current environment for academics internationally. At these events, we invite all attendees to dialogue regarding concerns including recent policy actions in the US and elsewhere. This is your conference and your voice is important, now more than ever.  

As we said in the Executive Committee’s official statement in February, “We reiterate ICA’s dedication to a global and diverse exchange of knowledge and perspectives and our mission-- to protect the free exchange of diverse ideas among our members and attendees. We reaffirm our belief that scholarship is expanded and enhanced by our differences. Indeed, we cherish the ideals of inclusion and diversity and we celebrate difference; we do not tolerate speech or behavior that threatens the safety of—or discriminates in any way against—any person or group. Our leadership and our staff are committed to preserving these ideals. We reiterate our commitment to working to ensure that ICA as a whole, and our San Diego 2017 annual conference in particular, are physically safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments for the exchange of knowledge and for the enhancement of scholarship and community.” 

To all of our members and attendees, from me personally and from our staff at the ICA headquarters: We cannot wait to see you all in San Diego. Whether you join in this conversation with your physical presence or via a computer screen from across the globe, your voice is important. We will do everything we can to preserve your ability to participate. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know. No matter how we see you, we look forward to seeing you in May.

Tags:  April 2017 

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Board of Directors Takes Important Steps at Midyear Meeting

Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017

The ICA Board of Directors held their Midyear Board Meeting in January 2017 in San Diego, taking action on several important issues. Several of the decisions have been or will be covered in depth in their own newsletter articles; however, a synopsis of major decisions is below. 

On the recommendation of the Publications Committee, the Board approved the appointment of Rich Ling (Nanyang Technological U), as the new editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (JCMC). Congratulations to Rich, and many thanks to Shyam Sundar (Pennsylvania State U), to whom we are grateful for his four years of service as editor of JCMC!  For more information on this transition, please see last month’s newsletter article.  
The Board of Directors created a Task Force on Visual Identity to begin the process of a visual identity refresh in advance of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the association’s identity as “ICA” (coming up in 2019), and a Task Force on Ethical Considerations to review and possibly revise ICA’s mission and ethics statement and to create a white paper on these topics (any proposed changes will be submitted for membership approval to become official). The Task Force on Division/Interest Group Coordination/Mentoring was converted to a standing committee to oversee the five-year review process for divisions and interest groups, serve as a clearinghouse for best practice information regarding group governance, and develop methods for cross-divisional collaboration.  
In addition to approving President-Elect Paula Gardner (McMaster U)’s proposed 2017 Nominating Committee, chaired by Gianpietro Mazzoleni (U Degli Studi de Milano), the Board of Directors also created an Urban Spotlight Standing Committee to handle the organization each year of the Urban Spotlight panel that Gary Gumpert (Urban Communication Foundation) (who will also serve on the committee) created and has long overseen, and resurrected the ICA Tellers’ Committee (comprised each year of the Executive Director, the President, and the Nominating Committee Chair) to officially oversee election procedures and certify the results of ICA elections.  
Due to some technical difficulties posed by the transition to ICA’s new website and new back-end member management system, the Board approved a small change to the way ICA handles division memberships. Put simply, ICA had long offered a discount whereby each member could receive US $3 off his/her “first” division or interest group, as a means of encouraging all members to join at least one. Unfortunately, in the new system, coding for this on the back-end was extremely complex (which division should be discounted if the member picks more than one, for instance, and the fact that many divisions cost more than US $3, were complicating factors). It was no longer possible to implement that particular discount. The simplest solution that benefited the greatest number of members, the Board agreed, was to simply reduce the cost of ICA membership overall, at all member types and across all Tiers, by US $3. That way, every member receives the “discount” automatically, without having to do any extra steps.  
The Board also approved two proposed bylaws changes, which will need to be ratified by the membership in the October election before becoming official. One is a change recommended by the Student and Early Career Advisory Committee (SECAC) to make appointing a SECAC representative an official position for every Division/Interest Group. The other change will institutionalize the role of Treasurer and convert the role of “Finance Chair” to that of “General Secretary.” ICA’s treasurer role has traditionally been filled concurrently by the Executive Director, which is not in line with association best practices. To work towards rectifying this, ICA appointed an interim, de facto treasurer—ICA Past President Peter Monge (U of Southern California)—a little over two years ago, to try out that function and iron out reporting relationships. It has worked so well that the Board of Directors (and the Executive Director!) thought it should become a permanent position. With the creation of the treasurer role as a separate and distinct person from the ED, the Finance Chair (a role played during a Past-Past-President’s last year on the Executive Committee) becomes somewhat redundant, as the Treasurer and the Executive Director work together on finances to report to the larger group. We therefore propose that the role of Finance Chair role will change to “General Secretary.”   
The Board also approved our conference location for Europe in 2022, an exciting choice I will make public as soon as the contract is signed. Stay tuned! In addition, the Board reviewed and approved many standard agenda items, including the minutes of previous meetings and reports from various committees and task forces.   
This was a highly productive meeting covering a wide range of issues of importance to all ICA members. The next Board of Directors meeting will be our Annual meeting, which occurs on the afternoon of Thursday, 25 May 2017, the day before the Annual conference begins. Action items/proposals to be considered by the Board of Directors in May must be submitted to Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director ( no later than 14 April 2017. Please note that action items/proposals typically arise from the work of Divisions, Interest Groups, task forces, and committees. If you have something to propose outside of those mechanisms, please contact me far before the deadline so that I may assist you in following the proper format.  

See you in San Diego!
Laura Sawyer
ICA Executive Director

Tags:  April 2017 

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Communicating With Power in a VUCA World

Posted By Peng Hwa Ang, ICA President, Nanyang Technological U, Monday, April 3, 2017
There is one acronym that describes our current situation—VUCA. It stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 
It is a word that came from the U.S. military, and that came into common usage after the end of the Cold War. Since then it has been used as the backdrop for managing and leading organizations. 
VUCA is an apt description for the turnaround in situations we took for granted. At the end of the Cold War, in 1990, the wall dividing East from West Germany came down in a display that went viral. More than 200 free trade agreements were drawn after 1990, according to the World Trade Organization. Airlines in 1990 carried slightly more than 1 billion passengers; in 2015, they carried 3.5 billion. 
Today, however, not even 30 years out, populist sentiments the world over are reversing these developments. 
As individuals, vagueness and uncertainty are not what we like. We prefer certainty: Witness our desire for tenure. 
But in our work, we can and do address the VUCA world.  
By that, I do not mean that I accept the unfair charge that we in the academy make things unnecessarily complex. To say that is to misunderstand what science and research are about. 
Good research does not make the world more complex and confusing; Good research makes the world more understandable. Take our models and theories. They shine a spotlight on some phenomena and “simplify” them so as to make the world a little less complex. Some of our models and theories have predictive possibilities and thereby reduce ambiguity. 
In law and policy around the Internet, a common prescription is that laws should have wide consultation before being promulgated. Such consultation gives legitimacy to the rules and also pre-empts issues that may have been overlooked by the drafters. The wider consultation is messy and do slow things down. But in the longer run they make for a more certain world. 
We should aim to reduce VUCA in our corner of the world. But we should not succumb to the temptation of aspiring to undue certainty. Just as we suspect something is wrong when our data throw up a correlation of 1.0, we should be suspicious of anyone who guarantees certainty. There are too many examples of those who have come to grief following those with apparent certainty. Like vitamins, just because having a little is good does not make having more better. 
So what does the research say about how to address this VUCA world? Each of the four words contained in that acronym requires a different approach—but the overall response has to be strategic, planning and looking ahead with foresight and insight. What ICA’s Executive Committee and Board are doing in this respect I will elaborate upon in the next column. 
As for what we as individuals can do, I think that our work, communicated powerfully, can make the world a little less volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. I do not think we are entirely powerless. I will expand upon this in the Presidential address at the conference. See you then!  

Tags:  April 2017 

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Free Speech and Propaganda: Past and Present

Posted By Paula Gardner, ICA President Elect, McMaster U, Monday, April 3, 2017

There is a lot of discussion lately regarding the value of free speech, particularly in response to public speakers presenting marginal political views that are met, in some cases, with counterprotests that drown out their speech. Recently at my own university, McMaster (Ontario, CANADA), protestors outshouted Jordan Peterson, a Toronto professor who was invited to discuss his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns (such as ze and zir,) and who argues that “political correctness” (supporting these pronouns) has overtaken Canadian universities. At Middlebury College in Vermont (USA), protestors recently drowned out and then shut down (by pulling fire alarms) a talk by Charles Murray, one of the authors of the controversial 1996 text, Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, which argued the existence of ethnic differences in measures of intelligence.   
These are so-called “teachable moments” in our classrooms, but they are not necessarily easy moments. These confrontations highlight questions regarding the promise of free speech in liberal democracies and hopes for free speech elsewhere.  As well, they problematize moments when speech becomes intolerable for some groups.  They bring us into discussions of how and when we should engage in speech that some find violates their basic human rights to fair treatment and equal access. These conversations are of course crucial to societies dedicated to free exchange, where we work to distinguish fact from fiction and propaganda.    
One of our special additions to the ICA Conference in San Diego is Pictures Creating Image, an exhibition of print-based propaganda from around the globe, brought to us by Dr. Patrick Roessler (U of Erfurt).  The exhibition will feature elaborate magazine pieces from World War I and World War II that highlight the ideals of varied communist, fascist, and democratic societies, many produced in different languages for global distribution. The selected vintage copies have rarely been displayed elsewhere.  
This content is certain to incite important conversations regarding the lines that divide fact from propaganda, and how propaganda might function similarly in the digital age to these analogue samples. The work might also serve as a catalyst for rigorous debate among supporters of free speech and those who hold that free speech is not in fact free to all, and thus find certain kinds of speech made in public to be intolerable. We hope this exhibition encourages us to take up these difficult challenges in rigorous dialogue. 
The exhibition opens with a lecture in its own gallery space in Sapphire Ballroom C on Friday 26 May at 11am. The gallery will be open all day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for your viewing, and we hope that you will add it to your schedule. A print catalog of the exhibition will also be available onsite. We are so pleased to host this exhibition and we thank Dr. Roessler for his significant donation of time and energy to bring this to ICA.

Tags:  April 2017 

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Volunteer to be an #icasupport

Posted By John Paul Gutierrez, ICA Associate Executive Director, Monday, April 3, 2017
As mentioned in Laura Sawyer’s (page 1) article on the travel ban in the United States, ICA is taking action to help members that may need legal counsel or contacts at the port of entry in San Diego. However, many of our members traveling from outside the US will enter through many ports of entry throughout the country.

Using Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail, we are hoping to connect members traveling to the US with members at established ports of entry, like New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Volunteers must be willing to:

Share personal contact info with the attendee
Be at the airport or on-call for the arriving traveler
Vouch for attendee’s entry into the US as a participant at the Annual Conference in San Diego.
Contact ICA staff on behalf of attendee in case of detainment.
Escort attendee to connecting flight if necessary

International Travelers need to be willing to:

Share personal contact info
Share emergency contact info
Provide travel itinerary

ICA suggests members use Twitter, with the hashtags #ica17 and #icasupport, to volunteer your services—or, post that you are looking for an escort upon arrival in the US on the ICA Facebook page. That page currently includes a post whose comment section members can use to do the same. If you’d prefer to do this privately, e-mail John Paul Gutierrez at that you are willing to volunteer or are looking for an escort; ICA will look for matches.

Tags:  April 2017  Coming to #ICA17 and connecting through San Franci 

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Amsterdam Communication Science Scholars in the News

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 3, 2017
The Dutch national elections, held on 15 March 2017, were closely monitored across the globe in the wake of the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential elections. National and international media sought communication scholars at the University of Amsterdam for their expertise. This frequently included graduate students, since in the weeks before the the elections many of them were completing PhD dissertations on Vote Advice Applications, the impact of media coverage of opinion polls, and the role of news coverage for floating voters.

In total, various news media outlets interviewed political communication faculty and PhD candidates at ASCoR 100+ times during the election campaign, on issues such as the impact of social media impact, fake news, political microtargeting, the impact of news on public opinion, media and populism, and the changing political landscape of the Netherlands in relation to the EU. Outlets included CNN; BBC; Al Jazeera; The New York Times; Heute; and virtually all national Dutch newspapers, as well as national news in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, and Britain. (Many of the media performances are listed here.)

Claes de Vreese, director of ASCoR’s political communication group, concludes that communication scholars did a tremendous public service for the Dutch electorate and the wider world that was observing them. Their involvement also showed that our discipline has great relevance in understanding the dynamics of pivotal elections.

Tags:  April 2017 

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The Annals of the International Communication Association Publishes its Inaugural Issue

Posted By Michael J. West, Monday, April 3, 2017
In the inaugural issue of The Annals of the International Communication Association, editor David Ewoldsen (Michigan State U) introduces a forum on retiring concepts in Communication. This thoughtful argument mirrors the process of what happened to the publication in which that content now sits.

Two years ago, ICA had to decide what it wanted to do with its legacy publication Communication Yearbook (CY). Successfully helmed by Elisia Cohen (U of Kentucky) into its 41st Volume, the book was reaching a crossroads as the digital nature of scholarship had set a new path for annuals. A Task Force led by Past-President Francois Heinderyckx (U Libre de Bruxelles) took on the charge of exploring what the future held for the publication, and after a long and careful process the task force decided that the best way to carry it forward was to convert it into a journal.

Our partners at Taylor & Francis set about digitizing and organizing the backfile of CY, and launching a new platform for the journal. Members now have access to all the back content of CY and all forthcoming volumes of The Annals. Members must login to the ICA site and navigate to The Annals portal from the journals page.

This has been a colossal undertaking and many thanks go out to all those involved—especially David Ewoldsen, whose stewardship and hard work has made this transition and launch possible.

Taylor & Francis has made this inaugural issue has been made free for all to read. Below you’ll find links directly to each article.


 – by David R. Ewoldsen

Communication Insight

“Political Communication in a High-Choice Media Environment: A Challenge for Democracy?” 
 – by Peter Van Aelst, Jesper Strömbäck, Toril Aalberg, Frank Esser, Claes de Vreese, Jörg Matthes, David Hopmann, Susana Salgado, Nicolas Hubé, Agnieszka Stępińska, Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, Rosa Berganza, Guido Legnante, Carsten Reinemann, Tamir Sheafer & James Stanyer

Review Articles 

“Family Marginalization, Alienation, and Estrangement: Questioning the Nonvoluntary Status of Family Relationships”
 – by Kristina M. Scharp & Elizabeth Dorrance Hall 

“‘The Movie Has to Go Forward’: Surveying the Media–Security Relationship”
 – by Bryan C. Taylor

Critical Essay

“Trending Theory of the Public Sphere”
 – by Thomas Jacobson

Forum on the Retirement of Concepts

“Introduction to the Forum on the Retirement of Concepts”
 – by David R. Ewoldsen 

“Six Concepts in Search of Retirement”
 – by Elihu Katz & Yonatan Fialkoff 

“Three Concepts to Retire”
 – by Klaus Krippendorff 

“Is Public Opinion Still a Thing: A Response to Katz’s Six Concepts in Search of Retirement”
 – by Jonathon Cohen 

“On Retiring Concepts”
 – by R. Kelly Garrett

Like most of ICA’s journals, The Annals of the International Communication Association is now a quarterly publication that works on a continuous submission cycle - i.e., no deadlines for submission.

All submissions should be made online at the Annals’s ScholarOne Manuscripts site

For more information on the new journal, to to Taylor & Francis’s page on the Annals, or e-mail its editor, David Ewoldsen, at

Tags:  April 2017 

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Spotlight on #ICA17 Preconferences

Posted By Jennifer Le, ICA Manager of Conference Services, Monday, April 3, 2017
Each month, we’ll highlight different pre and postconferences that are open to all at conference this year. Click here to learn more about all the pre and postconferences offered at ICA San Diego 2017. If you wish to attend only a preconference, please send a PDF registration to Kristine Rosa ( Early registration closes Friday, 28 April 2017.

Online and Newsworthy: Have Digital Sources Changed Journalism? 
Division Affiliation:
Journalism Studies, Political Communication  

Time: Thursday, 25 May; 8:30 – 13:00 (half-day) 

Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront  

Cost: US$35 (lunch is not included)    

Registration is open to all. 

Organizer(s): Sophie Lecheler, Sanne Kruikemeier, Sarah Van Leuven  

Description: This preconference will serve scholars who are interested in how digitalization has changed journalistic news sourcing techniques. The use of reliable sources is one of the most important aspects of journalistic news production. However, when making news, journalists now increasingly use social media, websites, wikis, and online encyclopedias as sources. In today’s 24/7 news cycles, online sources offer a quick, convenient, cheap, and effective way for journalists to gather information on developing stories, and they increasingly also trigger news stories. But, what are the consequences of online sourcing for the quality of news and the journalistic profession? Can all online sources be reliably verified? Do online sources change the power relationship between political actors and journalists?
Contact:  Sophie Lecheler, 


Digital Media and Communication Research: A Venture in Forecasting and Intervention 

Division Affiliation:
Communication and Technology 
Time: Thurs, 25 May; 8:00 – 17:15 
Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront 
Cost: US$100 regular, US$75 student (lunch is included) 
Registration is open to everyone. 
Organizer(s): Leah A. Lievrouw, Brian Loader 
Sponsor(s): Routledge / Taylor & Francis 
Description: Participants will engage in a series of structured activities before and during the preconference, in which they will identify and forecast frutful ways ahead for digital communication/new media studies. Registered attendees and Handbook authors, who will serve as session facilitators, will collaborate on a wide-ranging agenda for the next decade of theory, research and practice in communication, media studies and related fields, under conditions of pervasively networked digital mediation.  
Contact:  Leah Lievrouw, 

Communicating Environmental Issues Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities 

Division Affiliation:
Environmental Communication, Ethnicity and Race in Communication

Time:  Thurs, 25 May; 9:00 – 16:00

Location:  Hilton San Diego Bayfront   

Cost: US$20; US$10 for students (lunch is included)

Registration is open to everyone. 

Organizer(s):  Bruno Takahashi, Anamik Saha, Sonny Rosenthal 

Sponsor(s):  the UC San Diego Center for Global Justice, College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) 
Description: The aim of this preconference is twofold. First, it seeks to highlight current and future scholarship in the intersection of race and ethnic studies and environmental communication. We hope to expand the scholarly discussion in environmental communication to become more inclusive of the unique theoretical and conceptual lenses that scholars working in studies on environmental justice and racism use. Second, it seeks to foster collaborations between scholars across the Environmental Communication Division and the Ethnicity and Race in Communication Division. We seek submissions that address the spectrum of environmental communication and race/ethnicity from diverse international perspectives, methods and subfields within communication and related fields/disciplines. 

Contact:  Bruno Takahashi, 


Global Health, Social and Behavioral Change Communication Intervention Research 

Division Affiliation:
Health Communication, Global Communication and Social Change  

Time: Thurs, 25 May; 9:00 – 17:00   

Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront    

Cost: US$75 (lunch is included) 

Registration is open to all. 

Organizer(s): Evelyn Ho, Terry Flew, Rania Elessawi, Iccha Basnyat, Holley Wilkin, Shiv Ganesh 

Description: The main objective of this preconference is to leverage the professional and research connections of the organizers to bring together scholars as well as development practitioners working on global and applied health communication to meet and explore forging possible partnerships. One of the expected outcomes of this interaction will be for researchers and practitioners to form interdisciplinary teams to work on grant-writing, data analysis, formulating research priorities or other on-the-ground applied/intervention projects, particularly in the area of social and behavioral change communication. In doing this, the preconference will meet the mandate of the conference to highlight applied and translatable research.  

Throughout ICA there are new scholars looking to join or form research teams, established scholars who are seeking sites to test their research out into the field, and practitioners/NGOs/agencies who come to ICA looking to meet methodological or theoretical experts. In addition, there are researchers and practitioners with access to research funds but no other community partners to work with for their applied work and agencies with funding but not enough expertise to carry out the kinds of research that ICA members could easily do. In the international development practice, practitioners/NGOs/agencies are aiming to better articulate and develop partnerships and networking with and among academia.  

From this perspective, this preconference will provide an opportunity to develop partnerships that could: 

support capacity development interventions across /among academic institutions to develop research capacities for applied communication research in different contexts 

develop research partnerships that are funded or require funding 

develop research agenda that has potential for tripartite

partnership aligned with social development outcomes (from priority donors/sponsors/foundations) 

help scholars outside of the more dominant ICA countries to meet people and actually form working relationships, in other country contexts with challenging social development agendas.  

Contact:  Iccha Basnyat (; Evelyn Ho (; Chair, Health Communication Division) 

Building a Global Capability Framework for Public Relations 
Division Affiliation
: Public Relations 

Time:  Thurs, 25 May; 13:00 - 16:00 (half-day) 

Location:  Hilton San Diego Bayfront    

Cost: US$25 (lunch is not included) 

Registration is open to all. 

Organizer(s):  Johanna Fawkes 

Sponsor(s):  U of Huddersfield  

Description: Concepts of competence, competency, and capability are deployed in a range of fields, including human resources, management, professionalism and human development. This preconference will consider research findings from a global project and create space for exchange of ideas and experience in public relations and other communication disciplines. 

The event is hosted by University of Huddersfield researchers who are at the midpoint of a multinational research project supported by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and partner universities in six continents. 

The event consists of interim findings from the project’s partners, including Professors Jesper Falkheimer, from Sweden, Gregor Halff from Singapore and Ronel Rensburg from South Africa, in a panel chaired by Professor Anne Gregory. There will also be presentations from a range of scholars engaged in this topic, selected from the best abstracts. 

The project seeks to move discussion away from the skills and tasks of competence approaches to embrace wider concepts of agency and choice in capability building.  

This preconference is relevant to academics, practitioners and professional body members from other communication sectors, as many of the core capabilities concern the nature of professionalism in general. 

Contact: Johanna Fawkes, 

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San Diego Conference Sites: The Beach

Posted By Michael J. West, Monday, April 3, 2017

You might be the most dedicated and conscientious of communication scholars, but if you’re coming to San Diego for this year’s 67th Annual ICA Conference, chances are you’re not planning to spend your whole trip indoors. Why would you, in a city that has some of the world’s greatest beaches?  

There are those who see the beach as a roughly monochromatic thing—one beach is as good as another, they’re all the same anyway. The San Diego coastline proves that presumption wrong. These beaches vary greatly: Some are better for riding the waves, others for riding the dunes. Some are more romantic, others ideal for family picnics and dog walks. And some are inside the city limits, others just outside. This article will take you on a brief tour of some of the most popular and acclaimed beaches in the San Diego area. 

Closest to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront—a 10- to 15-minute walk—is Coronado Beach, which is across the bay (and the famous Coronado Bridge) in the town of Coronado. Film lovers may recognize it from the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot (ditto the adjacent luxury Hotel Del Coronado, and the posh mansions that also line the beach); visitors will immediately recognize it from the word CORONADO, which rises out of the sand at its streetside edge. But Coronado Beach would be visually distinctive even without these icons; it sparkles—literally. Flecks of the mineral mica are part of the sand on the 1.5-mile expanse, giving it a silvery, shimmery quality. The beach itself is very flat, making it a popular spot for long walks and for beachcombing. It’s also popular with surfers. In addition, at low tide, there are tide pools to explore. For all these reasons, in 2012 Coronado Beach was ranked as the best in the United States. 

Mission Beach lies north of Coronado Beach, past San Diego Bay. The contrast is stark: This is perhaps the most active beach in San Diego County. A two-mile-long boardwalk populates the edge of the beach featuring eateries, shops, equipment rental stalls, an arcade, and bars aplenty. (This last also makes Mission Bay one of the most popular nightlife scenes in San Diego, especially with people in their 20s. Student members, take note.) Sports are extremely widespread at Mission Beach, with not only surfing but bicycling, skateboarding, softball, and volleyball taking place at various points. However, the real hub of Mission Beach is Belmont Park, a historic amusement park whose most famous attractions are The Plunge, an indoor swimming pool, and the Giant Dipper, a 70-foot wooden rollercoaster that’s been restored to its original 1925 design. 

Pacific Beach, directly adjacent to Mission Beach, is also a heavy nightlife district—although the young people who have long frequented “PB” have frequently been priced out and replaced by a more established, more affluent population. Still, there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area, and at night it’s a favorite site for bonfires and parties. Two prominent landmarks at Pacific Beach are Crystal Pier, a large public pier that’s attached to a hotel, and, at the north end of the beach, the Tourmaline Surfing Park, whose slow waves make it an ideal spot for beginning surfers and longboarders. 

The expanse of sandy beach ends at Tourmaline—it’s cut off by the rocky promontory at La Jolla. But after a lengthy stretch, the cliffs peel away from the shoreline just enough to reveal Windansea Beach, a legendary surfing beach. It also attracts swimmers and bodyboarders at its south end, and its numerous tide pools make it a popular family attraction as well. 

Separated from Windansea by another cliff, Marine Street Beach is of a very different nature. Its wave currents are very choppy, making it a poor choice for surfing and for swimming. For this reason—and because of fiercely protective neighbors—Marine Street Beach is known as a locals-only beach. (There’s even a prominent graffiti scrawl of “LOCALS ONLY” on a center wall.) It’s obviously a little daunting (and is intended to be) for visitors…but to the intrepid, that simply means there aren’t a lot of tourist families to fight for space on the sand.  

Children’s Pool Beach is neither a pool, nor specifically designated for children…although it started out that way in the 1930s, when the construction of a sea wall made it a safe spot for kids to play and swim. But most of the walled area has filled with sand…and, now, with seals. The sea animals began occupying the Children’s Pool in the mid 1990s, eventually forcing the state to close the beach to swimming. Instead, though, the seals themselves became its draw for both locals and tourists. These days there are approximately 200 seals and sea lions, parents and their young, using the beach. (Since 2013 the state of California has employed barrier rope to separate them from human visitors; the bipeds among us can also use an elevated walkway that rests on the small cliff known as Seal Rock.) 

A short distance from Children’s Pool is the very small and secluded La Jolla Cove. The waters are tame, so no surfers to speak of, but the rich marine life at the cove makes it a destination for snorkelers and scuba divers who want to catch a glimpse at some of the protected sea animals who live there. (Most common and best known of these is the brilliant orange Garibaldi fish.)  Kayaking is also a big pastime at La Jolla Cove, because of the seven sea caves nearby that beg to be explored. (They are also, depending on the tide, accessible on foot.) Note that the protected status of the animals at the cove means that even collecting seashells there is prohibited by law. 

On the other side of the cove, however, is La Jolla Shores, a one-mile stretch of beach that is among the most beloved and popular in all of southern California. It hosts just about every activity one associates with the beach: kayaking (it’s the only boat launch within San Diego city limits), stand-up paddling, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, surfing, picnicking, bonfires. It is anchored by the Scripps Institution of Oceonography Pier and abuts the famous San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, an ecological reserve and sea life refuge that contains two artificial reefs. 

A little farther north, and the community of La Jolla is behind us. 

The northernmost beach inside the city limits is Torrey Pines State Beach, another of the prides of southern California. Swimmers and visitors with children tend toward the lagoon on the south side of the beach; to the north is the favorite spot for surfing and bodyboarding. This is a rocky, hilly beach. But in the case of Torrey Pines, that’s actually one of its advantages. It’s a favorite spot for hiking; there is a large expanse of high sand dunes, for those who like to hit the shores in a dune buggy; and, at the top of the cliff that embraces the beach, Torrey Pines has a hang glider port that is a gateway to the best possible views of San Diego. 

As mentioned above, this is the northern limit of the beaches in San Diego city. Just outside is Del Mar, a seaside village with two miles of coastline. The two primary beaches in Del Mar are Del Mar City Beach and Dog Beach. The former is essentially divided in two: its southern half is lined with bluffs—but low, navigable ones, with trails to the water and a jogging path along the top. The bluffs ease off at the northern end, providing easy access from the village to the beach; good surfing and swimming can be found there, as well as two coastal parks (Powerhouse and Seagrove) that provide great picnic and sunbathing spots. A small wedge between the bluffs and the highway, Dog Beach isn’t a good spot for swimming or surfing; the currents are unpredictable, the waters fairly shallow. It is, however, a prime spot for volleyball, horseshoes, and beachcombing—and as the name implies, for dogs. 

There are many more beaches as you travel further up the coast in San Diego County—far too many to detail in a single Newsletter article. But trips to the shores at Solana Beach, at Encinitas, and at Carlsbad are all as rewarding for beach lovers as the ones within the city of San Diego. 

One important note, however: the waters of Southern California are often chilly, even in summer hovering somewhere around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius). Even the beaches here listed as good for swimming may really be more like quick dips for some would-be swimmers.

Tags:  April 2017 

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