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Posted By Laura Sawyer, ICA Executive Director, Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

As many of you know, ICA has members in 87 countries, so our conference locales rotate around the globe. Typically we’re in North America every other year, and in the intervening years we alternate between Europe and Asia/Oceania. If you’re an ICA member in many parts of Asia you’re probably ecstatic about ICA coming to the Gold Coast in 2020 because the conference is a shorter flight for you for once, and you know that the Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination with beautiful beaches, great food, and a laid-back vibe.


But let’s face it: if you’re one of our North American or European attendees, you’re debating whether the longer trip is worth the time and expense. I’ll admit that, having been to Australia’s major destinations numerous times over the course of my career (Sydney, Melbourne, diving on the Great Barrier Reef), I was initially “underwhelmed” by the choice of Gold Coast…..until I got there. Here’s a list of the top 10 things that won me over, and they’ll make you regret not going if you sit this one out!


1. Great places to stay. We are contracting two traditional hotel options as well as numerous options for condo/apartment properties. Each type of property (both apartments and traditional hotels) is no more than a ten-minute walk from where sessions are. You won’t need a rail pass or any other type of transportation. For the apartment properties, there are one- and two-bedroom options, and most have balconies (the traditional hotels don’t), great views, a washer/dryer, and a kitchen. What they don’t have (and why they’re cheaper): maid service and room service. At each of these apartment properties, you will be able to get a two bedroom with two twin beds in each room, for instance, to sleep four people total, for a rate that ends up being US$40 per night per person. It doesn’t get more affordable than that! So, what you’re spending extra on a flight, perhaps, you can save on your sleeping arrangements. (a side note: On our planning trip we stayed at a few of the potential hotels, including the Hilton in Surfers Paradise, which is the next neighborhood over from Broadbeach. We do NOT recommend that you stay in the Surfers Paradise area unless you are a big fan of places like Macau and Las Vegas. It is a lot of noise, a lot of neon, and a lot of up-til-4am nightlife. Broadbeach is much more sedate, clean, and quiet. This means for those of you who have been trained to be Hilton-loyal by years of ICA conferences at Hiltons: we do not recommend staying at the Hilton this time, and we are not contracting a block there, as it is located in Surfers Paradise and we did not have a good experience there. You can take the light rail up to Surfers Paradise for nightlife if you wish, but there’s plenty to do in Broadbeach without the hassle).

2.     The weather. I can’t emphasize enough that “the beginning of winter” in the Gold Coast is absolutely SUBLIME. On our recent planning visit, it was a month later than the conference will be and the weather only got slightly cool at night. During the day it was nothing short of perfect. PERFECT: blue skies, clear turquoise water, white sand. We landed early morning and spent the day walking around in the sunlight to shake off the jet lag and had no issues at all getting onto local time. The daily high in May averages around 23˚ Celsius and the low average around 13˚Celsius (73˚ to 55˚ Fahrenheit). Open-toed shoes are the norm, but perhaps take a cardigan or light jacket at night. The only time we needed to be more bundled up was out on the water during a morning whale watching expedition, and they have blankets you can use. Speaking of which….

3.     The wildlife. The end of the ICA conference is the very beginning of whale watching season, and there are numerous charter companies that take groups out for guaranteed sightings. In all my world travels, I’d somehow never seen a humpback whale up close and we had two breech right next to our boat! It was amazing. Later in the week we went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and got to cuddle with koalas, feed kangaroos and wallabies, and peek in on Tasmanian Devils and, at Dreamworld, we gawked at the largest crocodile (aptly named Goliath) that anyone has ever seen, about the size of a VW Bus not including the tail. Alive. (Important: we did not cuddle with the crocodile). Rest assured, however, that no creepy crawlies made unwanted appearances, so if your social media habit has led you to have concerns about giant spiders and snakes, no worries. Those things don’t show up in overly populated areas or in hotels/condos near the beach. If you want to have an up close and personal meeting with a giant spider you’ll have to go out into the Gold Coast Hinterland after the conference is over. Sorry to disappoint!

4.     Walkability. I am not exaggerating when I say that you can walk out of the front door of the convention center and, at a leisurely pace, have your toes IN THE OCEAN within 14 minutes. I timed it. It’s that compact. Our conference and all of our blocked properties are in the Broadbeach area of Gold Coast, which is maybe 9 blocks tall and four blocks wide, and chock full of great restaurants and coffee shops. All walkable. Once you arrive, you won’t have to set foot in a vehicle again until the conference is over. Think very similar to #ica17 in San Diego, USA, except better restaurants overall and an actual beach, not just a concrete boardwalk.

5.     The Coffee & Food. The coffee in the Gold Coast is phenomenal. There are trendy little espresso bars everywhere along the beach. You are offered cappuccino everywhere you go, and it’s delightful. As a result you’ll have So! Much! Energy! (Don’t let President Terry Flew coffee-shame you into going to the lone Starbucks just because you’re from out of town. Resist!). For the foodies, Gold Coast is full of amazing restaurants of every type of cuisine, and very few chains. We had ridiculously good and affordable Thai, Japanese, and Continental lunches, Italian and French dinners, amazing ramen, great gelato, and did I mention the coffee?  There are lots of beachfront cafes where you can grab a coffee and pastry in the morning or sit down for an açai bowl in the afternoon. All the food is very “instagrammable” – especially check out the fancier beachside dining at the Burleigh Heads (15 minutes by car) where you can’t move without bumping into a social media influencer, or opt for laid-back fish and chips at the Kurrawa Surf Club (walkable from convention center). Oh and definitely try out Harijuku Gyoza, where you can get savory gyoza for dinner and finish up with dessert gyoza for dessert (salted caramel gyoza with vanilla ice cream was my fave, but Nutella and matcha were obviously popular choices as well…they’re small, get all of them and do a taste test!).

6.     The Beach. The Gold Coast has perfectly clear turquoise water with some great wave action for surfing if that’s your thing (waves vary depending on the time of day of course….right as the conference lets out is a good time to go), and white sand beach that is super clean and not crowded (because Australians seem to think this is “winter weather” so the crowds on the actual beach aren’t large). Every day, after we finished our business events, we would go sit in the sand and listen to the waves and just relax for an hour or so before heading to dinner. A great way to cap off a conference day!

7.     Fitness/wellness/parks/playgrounds. There are instantly-joinable fitness classes in the beachfront park such as tai chi and yoga, and a ton of bikes for rental. The entire beachfront is bordered by a paved running path set back from the sand, separating the beach from miles of parkland including exercise stations for runners as well as some amazing playgrounds for the kids (one is even encircled by a pedal-powered train on a monorail track!). Gold Coast is a great destination for runners – make sure to follow incoming ICA president and #ica20 planner @claesdevreese and his hashtag #runningwithpresidents for updates on planned group runs! (Warning: he wakes up early and he’s very fast).

8.     The sessions! As always, the ICA conference has plenty of top-notch education and collaboration that you won’t want to miss. This year we’ll be split again like in Prague; HOWEVER, the two session venues are more evenly divided and are linked by a covered pedestrian bridge over a canal, so you won’t need to dodge traffic or trip over cobblestones as you rush between sessions. As in Prague, we will ensure that no division or interest group will be split between venues on the same day, to help eliminate the “mad dash” to get to related sessions. The walking time on the pedestrian footbridge is only seven minutes from the door of the Star (14 session rooms) to the door of the GCCEC (18 session rooms). Super easy, PLUS there’s a tree full of bats to look at on your way because #Australia. Both venues are primarily above-ground (no basement ballrooms this year!) with plenty of natural light.

9.     Indigenous culture. We hope that many of our divisions and interest groups will take advantage of the rich indigenous culture of Australia and neighboring New Zealand while in this part of the world. We are planning to incorporate indigenous culture and art into the conference wherever possible, including a Welcome to Country and an aboriginal dance performance, so stay tuned for more on that!

10.  Side trips! If you can take the time, it just makes sense to budget in a week or two extra to explore more of Australia (or hop over to New Zealand or connect to many destinations in Asia). Go further inland to wineries and camping in the Gold Coast Hinterland, go on a trek through the outback, jot over to Melbourne, fly to Sydney and climb the Harbour Bridge (terrifying and so fun), sunbathe on Bondi Beach…the opportunities are endless.

11.  Friendliness. I have to add an extra bullet point, because one of the things that stood out the most was how nice everyone is in Australia; I’ve been five times in the past two decades and I’ve noticed it every time. Qantas and Virgin Australia have the NICEST flight attendants, who actually seem like they want you to have a nice flight rather than acting like drill sergeants. Even the security agents at the Brisbane airport were pleasant, and apologized to Jennifer Le for not having reminded her to remove her laptop from her carry-on (“Not YOUR fault, love! No worries! Take your time”).


In short, Gold Coast makes a business trip feel like a holiday. We’ll be back to our regular schedule, with the opening plenary and reception on Thursday evening, ending on Monday afternoon. We look forward to seeing you there!  Trust me: you don’t want to miss this one.


Tags:  September 2019 

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President-Elect September Column

Posted By Claes H. De Vreese (U of Amsterdam), Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Time is flying and in the global north, summer is coming to an end, semesters are starting, students are coming back. But no matter where you are, it is really time to get into that ‘ICA mood’. Our submission site for #ica20 is open and we are excited about your submissions. Both in the divisions and interest groups with a great variety of formats and foci (be sure to check the CfP before submitting), and for the conference’s general theme of Open Communication.


We will soon be reviewing the proposals for pre and post conferences. These initiatives have become a much valued add-on experience for many ICA attendees. We already know of a number of exciting initiatives which are planned for both the vicinity of the main conference and beyond. Keep eyes and ears open as communication about these come your way and let them weigh into your travel plans.


On a personal note, I spent a longer period of our break Down Under. This was my third visit to Australia and I truly love the place. If anyone wants advice on diving at the Reef, visits to the rain forest or secluded islands off the coast with a mind blowing marine and wildlife, I am happy to share. It is truly awesome and I hope that many attendees will have a chance to see some of this. 


Other parts of the summer were spent working on a strategy for the social sciences and humanities in the Netherlands to break the current government’s relentless cutbacks in one of its most vital and successful higher education sectors. Challenging …  The rest involved thinking about the future of social media platform research, finalizing grant proposals, reviewing, developing papers, writing a book chapter, finalizing our big European election project, and editing Political Communication (last year of my tenure). In addition, and on a very exciting note, we are also getting started with work in the Task Force for the ICA which will make recommendations about the future of our journals in the light of open access and open science developments. More about this at a later stage. For now, get the ICA energy flowing: we are open for submissions!




Tags:  September 2019 

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ICA President’s Column: Multicultural Australia

Posted By Terry Flew (Queensland U of Technology), Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Maybe you are considering coming to the ICA 2020 annual conference at the Gold Coast, but are still thinking about whether it is worth the long trip to Australia. You may have a mental image of Australia as a land of exotic flora and fauna: kangaroos, koalas, emus, wombats. Or your image may be of the scary wildlife of Australia: crocodiles, sharks, venomous snakes and deadly spiders.

Perhaps you know Australia through its celebrities and personalities. Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth or Margot Robbie. Like Kirsten Wiig’s character Lucy Wilde in Despicable Me 2, you have been brushing up on your Australian language. Wallaby, didgeridoo, Hugh Jackman. 

You may or may not know that Australia has possibly the world’s oldest continuous living culture. Indigenous people have inhabited Australia for at least 60,000 years, and have been a part of about 300 distinct language and kinship groups, or nations across Australia and the Torres Straits. Australia’s First Nations people (also referred to as Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders) today constitute about 3 percent of the Australian population. The local people of the Gold Coast region are the Yugumbeh people (pronounced yoog-um-bear), and they will welcome ICA delegates to their country at the opening ceremony. So say jingali (hello, or, if you prefer, g’day) when you arrive. There will be opportunities to undertake tours with local indigenous tour guides to understand the local country and its significance to the Yugumbeh people. 

Australia is also a highly successful multicultural society. Australians identify with up to 270 ancestries, and almost seven million people have migrated to Australia since 1945, out of an overall population of about 25 million. One in four of Australia’s 22 million people were born overseas; 46 percent have at least one parent who was born overseas; and nearly 20 percent of Australians speak a language other than English at home. 

The multicultural nature of Australia is particularly apparent in its urban centres. While migrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland continue to constitute the majority of overseas-born Australians, there was a strong history of migration from Europe – particularly Italy, Greece and southern Europe – after 1945. In more recent times, there has been very high migration from Asian countries, most notably China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and The Philippines. But virtually every country in the world has a presence in Australia. People from up to 200 countries become Australian citizens each year.

As an ICA delegate, you will most likely become aware of Australia’s multiculturalism through the very wide range of food cuisines available on the Gold Coast and elsewhere. But it will also be apparent in street signage, the visibility of overseas tourists and, at the universities, the high number of students from all around the world on Australian campuses. Australia also has a dedicated multicultural television service – the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – as well as a dedicated indigenous channel (NITV). 

Wherever you are from, the conference organisers will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable on Australia’s Gold Coast. The region is home to people from around the world, and hosts visitors from around the world. So whether it be g’day, ni hao, guten tag, or as-salam alaykom, multicultural Australia is keen to welcome you.

Tags:  September 2019 

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Candidate Statement for ICA Presidential Election: Mary Beth Oliver

Posted By Mary Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State U), Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Being a scholar of communication could not be more timely, central, and practically important. When we explain our research to those outside of our field, we are frequently met with enthused reactions and knowing nods. Likewise, we increasingly see other disciplines such as psychology, political science, and sociology (to name but a few) evidence increasing interest in the topics we routinely study. Our research represents a crucial hub in the wheel of society allowing people to voice their identities, raise the next generations, and empower political and social movements. The fundamental issues at the core of our discipline make our scholarship poised to stand at the forefront of constructing just, equitable, democratic, and inclusive communities and organizations. 

If elected, two of my primary goals are to increase the visibility of our scholarship into public discussions about social, political, scientific, and cultural issues, and to fully embrace an inclusive stance with regard to diversity that will recognize the contributions of all of our members and will also strengthen our scholarship. My goals reflect both my participation in the organization and my deep commitment, both personally and professionally, to how our discipline can help to foster well-being and social justice. I have been involved in ICA for many years, including as member and chair of the Publication Committee and the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award Committee; secretary of the Mass Communication Division; and member of the Committee on Conferences, the Best Article Award Committee, and the Steven Chaffee Career Achievement Award Committee. I have also served as an associate editor for two of ICA’s journals: Journal of Communication and Communication Theory. Serving in these roles is a humbling task that highlights the incredible scholarship of our talented members. It also has sensitized me to how much better we are than we might realize, and how much we can become an even stronger and more visible presence within academic and public discussions and debate. 

One of my primary goals is to encourage, support, and work toward greater visibility of our scholarship to a variety of audiences, including within ICA, to other fields, and to the public. I would also like to highlight the wealth of our work that directly and indirectly helps us to rise to our higher, better selves in pursuit of a healthy world — one that strives to improve social justice, the well-being of others, and the nurturance of a thriving, healthy environment that is inclusive and compassionate. Many members of ICA study these issues directly, addressing pressing and interrelated issues such as poverty, health, racism, mediated ideology, and climate change, among many other topics. Other ICA members study these issues indirectly, including how emotions function in communication processes, how networked communities foster greater compassion, or how a sensitivity to our histories may offer context and facilitate strategies for change and growth. In short, all of us entered this field with an enthusiasm that our work can make a difference — this is something that we can be proud of and that needs to be shared widely both within academia and with the public. 

An additional primary goal centers on enhancing inclusion and access across our membership. Working toward the larger social good is a crucial aspect of our scholarship, but it is also imperative that we are self-reflective and that we strive for the same goals within our organization. One of our strengths is that as we mature as a discipline, our membership increasingly reflects a diversity of voices and experiences. Over the years, this diversity has often been expressed in terms of internationalization — an important and honorable part of our organizational identity. But diversity comes in many additional forms, including in geographical locales, cultures, races, sexual and gender identities, ages, economic resources, and abilities. This diversity is our strength — it broadens our understanding of communication, encourages growth in our theorizing, and allows us to flourish in the inclusivity of our scholarship and teaching. However, this diversity is one that needs to be respected, nurtured, applauded, appreciated, and fully involved in our organization. ICA recently released its statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access and has developed a task force on this central issue. If elected, I look forwarding to working with this task force and listening carefully to our members to implement ideas for how ICA can be a welcoming home to the diversity of scholars who are part of our field. 

Turning these broad goals into concrete strategies can take many forms. For me to suggest that I have all of the answers for how best to proceed would be presumptuous and ham-fisted. What I will do is seek input from our members, consider these important issues from a variety of perspectives, and move toward implementing concrete steps to help us realize our goals. Among these goals are: 

  • Raising awareness of our scholarship to gain greater visibility in public discussions of pressing issues. 

  • Continuing efforts to encourage greater internationalization, including in under-represented locales such as in the Global South. 

  • Enhancing involvement among marginalized groups and recognizing and valuing contributions of more inclusive scholarship. 

  • Devising specific strategies to ensure that the leadership in ICA and the honors and awards that it gives are inclusive, transparent, and appreciative of the diversity of our members. 

  • Examining ICA’s publications and conference participation with an eye toward ensuring that the breadth of our members’ scholarly contributions is represented. 

  • Being sensitive that many scholars do not have the resources to participate in our organization or to carry out research that is often published in our journals, and seeking ways for a greater diversity of voices to find a home for their scholarship. 

  • Being mindful of the communities and issues that are important in the locales of our conferences and looking for opportunities to highlight these communities at our conferences and in our research. 

About MBO (PhD, University of Wisconsin): I am the Bellisario Professor of Media Studies and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University. My work is in the area of media psychology, and my focus is on media and social cognition (e.g., stereotyping), emotion, and social good. I am honored to have been named an ICA Fellow in 2014 and to be the recipient of ICA’s B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award in 2017. I consider ICA to be my “professional home,” and am deeply grateful for the scholarly opportunities that it has provided to me, as well as the friendships I have formed with many of its members. It would be my honor to serve as its president.

Tags:  September 2019 

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Candidate Statement for ICA Presidential Election: Hilde Van den Bulck

Posted By Hilde Van den Bulck (Drexel U) , Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The members of the International Communication Association make up a diverse group, united in the conviction that media and communication play a pivotal role in society and the lives of individuals. Our work is more relevant than ever. Media and communication, and their relationship to culture, society, and the individual, are in a state of flux. Our adagio ‘everything is communication’ seems to need rephrasing to ‘everything is mediated communication’. This puts our topics of study, our discipline and our organization at the heart of economic, social, political, and cultural developments.

I am honored that I have been nominated as presidential candidate. ICA has had and still has a tremendous impact on my development as a media and communication scholar. In the course of my career, ICA has fulfilled many different functions. I am sure that this holds true for many of us. It would be a privilege to ‘look after’ such a precious - if sturdy – organization. An important professional drive for me is the satisfaction that comes from helping to create an environment where others can thrive. I want to continue ICA efforts in this regard. I believe that my academic experience in teaching, research, and managerial positions, and what some call my ‘high energy levels’, can be valuable assets in realizing my vision for ICA. 

My vision for ICA 

ICA is a vibrant community and a well-run organization. These two aspects are related. Past and current leadership – with the help of members and staff – guided ICA to become one of the largest representation and meeting of communication scholars from around the world. These are strengths I would want to cherish and build on. As in the academic management positions I held in the past, I would work in ICA within the principles of good governance, including transparency, accountability, rule of law and being consensus-oriented, participatory and inclusive. 

Compared to when I first joined in the 1990s, ICA is a more inclusive organization. It reaches communication scholars beyond the dominant groups, be it nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. The result is a diverse community in terms of membership, divisions, and paradigmatic positions. However, inclusion is also about attention to issues that may appear ‘local’, ‘in the margin’, or a break from dominant paradigms, but that can contribute to dominant conversations. The attacks on media by Western leaders like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson that command much of our attention, sound all too familiar to scholars from regions with a history of autocratic regimes. Moreover, inclusion is about confronting ourselves with alternative perspectives and approaches. While specialization is crucial in incremental knowledge building, we should be weary of pigeonholing our discipline and our research fields. Mediated sexualization of preteens is a key topic for scholars active in CAM and in Popular Communication but, too often, they are not aware of each other’s work. I want to stimulate such cross-fertilization by building this into the conference program more explicitly, providing slots and plenaries that bring together different paradigmatic and methodological approaches to media and communication themes. 

The success of ICA results from the work of dedicated individuals that put in many hours as division chairs, award committee members, etc. Importantly, the ICA is all of us. What we get out of it is determined by what each member puts in: We can expect thorough feedback if everybody is willing to review; we get high level discussions if we produce quality papers and thought-provoking presentations; and we create new generations of top scholars if we contribute to an environment in which junior and senior scholars feel they can discuss their work on equal terms. I want to explore ways to strengthen an organizational culture where nobody takes ICA for granted, and everybody invests some time and energy, for instance by making more than two paper submissions contingent on a willingness to review, by pairing junior/senior scholars in chair/respondent positions, and by expanding mentorship initiatives. The beauty of such participatory community is that we all get much more in return: colleagues to collaborate with, friends to hang out with, networks to share, ideas to exchange, feedback to improve our work. 

As a participatory community, ICA is a place where we talk about our concerns regarding our field of study, discipline, or workplaces. In return, the size of the organization allows ICA to identify and speak up as a significant stakeholder. I would continue Terry Flew’s efforts to connect with civil society and Claes de Vreese’s work on Open Science, and would encourage ICA to become an even stronger voice in discussions regarding life-work balance and working conditions for communication scholars. 

About me 

I am a professor of Communication Studies and Head of the Department of Communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I obtained an MA in Communications from the University of Leuven (Belgium), an MA in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester (UK), and a Ph.D. from the University of Leuven. I was professor, head of Department of Communication, then Associate Dean of Research and, eventually, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Antwerp (Belgium), before moving to Drexel. I have been active in various Communication Associations, including the Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association NeFCA (as founding member and former vice-president), ECREA (as former chair of the Communication Law and Policy Section), and the RIPE initiative (as former board member and conference organizer). In the ICA, I have taken up various roles in award committees and theme chair of the 2019 conference. 

My research combines expertise in media policies and structures, focusing on the impact of digitization on legacy media, with expertise in media culture and identity, focusing on mediated communication in celebrity and fan culture. As such, I am familiar with and collaborate across various sections of our field. I teach and publish in these areas, and I am a proud and engaged supervisor/mentor for my Ph.D. students. I would bring these experiences to helping to run ICA. 

Presidential candidates only find out who else is running during the official announcement at the ICA conference. I’m honored to be on the ballot with Mary Beth Oliver, a distinguished communication scholar, a celebrated mentor and, most of all, a wonderful person. Regardless of the election outcome, I like to think that ICA will be in very good hands.

Tags:  September 2019 

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ICA Online Elections Began 1 September

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

On 1 September, ICA members began voting for association-wide and Division/Interest Group officers. Like previous years, the vote will take place using an online-only ballot. Polls will remain open until 16:00 UTC on 15 October. 

Candidate statements for the ICA Presidential position are included in this newsletter; all other (association wide and division/interest group) candidate statements are included within the online ballots in the ICA election system. 

To access the ballot from the ICA website, members will need their ICA username and password. Members, please make sure that ICA has your correct email address so that the association can send you an announcement of the election and a link to the ballot. The ICA website allows you to personally verify, correct, and/or update the information.

The association-wide elections include the following positions:

  • PRESIDENT: The member selected as president makes a 5 1/2-year commitment to the Executive Committee (six months as president-elect select; one year as president-elect/conference program chair; one year as ICA President; three years as past president). The final year on the Executive Committee, the past president serves as General Secretary and chair of the Regional Conferences Committee. The President-Elect Select selected in the 2019 election will begin service on the Executive Committee immediately upon announcement of the results. Candidates for this position are Mary Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State U) and Hilde Van den Bulck (Drexel U); their statements are included later in this newsletter.

  • BOARD MEMBER-AT-LARGE: Board members-at-large serve one three-year term; there are three BMAL at any given time. The purpose of member-at-large positions is to grow the Board of Directors representation from underrepresented regions.  The BMAL selected in the 2019 election will begin service at the end of the 2020 Annual ICA Conference in Australia. View the Board Member-at-Large job description. Candidates for this position are Maria Elizabeth Len-Rios (U of Georgia) and Daniel Raichvarg (U Burgundy).

  • BOARD STUDENT AND EARLY CAREER REPRESENTATIVE: Board Student and Early Career Representatives serve in pairs, with one nominated each year for overlapping two-year terms. The Board Student and Early Career Representative selected in the 2019 election will begin service at the end of the 2020 Annual ICA Conference in Australia. View the Board Student & Early Career Representative description. Candidates for this position are Meredith Pruden (Georgia State U) and Lara Schreurs (KU Leuven).

To vote in the election, click here. If you have any questions about the elections, please contact Julie Arnold, Senior Manager of Governance.

Tags:  September 2019 

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Renew Your ICA Membership Early!

Posted By Kristine Rosa, Manager of Member Services, Thursday, September 5, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Tags:  September 2019 

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Call for ICA Journal Editor Nominations

Posted By John Paul Gutierrez, Thursday, August 8, 2019


Annals of the International Communication Association

Communication, Culture & Critique

Human Communication Research

The ICA Publications Committee is soliciting nominations, including self-nominations, for the editors of three ICA journals:

  • Annals of the International Communication Association
  • Communication, Culture & Critique
  • Human Communication Research

The appointments are for four years, and begin September/October 2020.

Annals of the International Communication Association (Annals)is a relatively new peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishing state-of-the-discipline literature reviews and essays dedicated to the exchange of interdisciplinary and internationally diverse scholarship relating to communication in its many forms. The Annals continues the traditions established in Communication Yearbook by providing an updated context for key research from across the Association. More details about the journal can be obtained at https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rica20/current

Communication, Culture, & Critique (CCC) publishes critical, interpretive, and qualitative research examining the role of communication and cultural criticism in today's world. The journal welcomes high-quality research and analyses from diverse theoretical and methodological approaches from all fields of communication, media and cultural studies. According to ISI Journal Citation Reports for 2018, CCC is ranked No. 81 out of 88 journals in the field of Communication with a 2-year impact factor of .653. More details about the journal can be obtained at https://academic.oup.com/ccc.

Human Communication Research (HCR) concentrates on presenting empirical work in any area of human communication to advance understanding of human symbolic processes. As such, HCR places strong emphasis on theory-driven research, the development of new theoretical models in communication, and the development of innovative methods for observing and measuring communication behavior. The journal has a broad social science focus to appeal to scholars not only in communication science, but also from psychology, sociology, linguistics, and anthropology. According to ISI Journal Citation Reports for 2018, HCR is ranked No. 6 out of 88 journals in the field of Communication with a 5-year impact factor of 3.669. More details about the journal can be obtained at https://academic.oup.com/hcr.

Editor responsibilities are detailed in the ICA Publication Manual: http://www.icahdq.org/page/PublishingPolicies.

Editors of ICA publications should reflect and seek to enhance the diversity of the Association in terms of their interest areas, gender, ethnicity, and national origin.

A complete nomination package should include:

  • A letter of application.
  • A vision statement for the editorship.
  • The candidate’s vitae.
  • 2 letters of support from published scholars familiar with the candidate’s work, speaking to the quality of the candidate’s research as well as their experience with and suitability for journal editing.
  • A letter of institutional support from the candidate’s home institution.

The Publications Committee weighs multiple factors when evaluating candidates, including, but not limited to:

  • Clear understanding of the journal.
  • Clear articulation of an intellectual and operational vision for the journal.
  • Demonstrated openness to a range of epistemologies appropriate for the scope of the journal.
  • Demonstrated interest and/or experience in theoretical development.
  • Demonstrated interest and/or openness to interdisciplinary work.
  • Demonstrated communication skills and diplomacy.
  • Reputation and academic output.
  • Editorial, managerial or administrative experience.
  • Tenure or advanced rank.
  • Institutional support.

All materials should be submitted to JP Gutierrez (jpgutierrez@icahdq.org) by 15 January, 2020. Finalists will be notified in February 2020 and subsequently interviewed by members of the Publications Committee.

ICA’s Publications Committee is chaired by Robin Nabi (U of California, Santa Barbara) and includes: Stephen Croucher (Massey U), Patricia Moy (U of Washington), Katherine Sender (Cornell U), and Sabine Trepte (U of Hohenheim).

Tags:  Annals of the International Communication Associat  Communication Culture & Critique  Editors  Human Communication Research  Search 

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Pre- and Postconference Proposals for ICA 2020 Application Now Available

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 5, 2019

Before and after each annual conference, ICA hosts pre- and postconferences. These sessions are either all-day or half-day miniconferences, intended as an extension of the main ICA conference, but separate in terms of budget, programming, and administration. Preconferences will be held on Thursday, 21 May with an end time of 17:00. All postconferences will be on Tuesday, 26 May. If you choose to have an off-site conference, you may either propose a location you have already obtained in advance or you may mark on your proposal form that you wish to speak with our local host for help in determining a location. In all cases, please think carefully about your own break-even budget (the form has a formula for determining this) and whether you will need more than one room (if you might need a breakout room, for instance). If you are interested in planning and submitting a preconference or postconference proposal please fill out the proposal form by Friday, 30 August. More detailed instructions are within the application form. If you have questions after reading the form, please contact the Conference team (conference@icahdq.org).


Submit here:   https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.icahdq.org/resource/resmgr/conference/2020/2020proposalform.pdf


Tags:  August 2019 

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President’s Column

Posted By Terry Flew (Queensland U of Technology), Monday, August 5, 2019

In light of the ICA Executive Committee’s statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) in all aspects of the Association’s activities, and the debates about inequities in communications research and scholarship arising from #CommunicationSoWhite and other debates, it is worth identifying trends over time in who gets published in ICA journals. Fortunately, a great deal of analysis of this question has been undertaken by Silvio Waisbord (George Washington U), in his recent book Communication: A Post-Discipline (Polity, 2019). The trends are both encouraging yet troubling.

In the book, Waisbord considers the difficulties in achieving a shared definition of the communication discipline, the resulting tendencies towards fragmentation of the field, and the impact of digital technologies in reshaping all aspects of communication. It is the chapter on globalization, and whether there has been any substantive ‘de-Westernization’ of the field, where publications data has been gathered. 

What appears in the book is a summary of the data (pp. 96-98), but I had the good fortune to be able to view a draft that contained more detailed information. The trends in authorship from 2000-2017 are shown below:

US lead authors as % of total 2000-2009

US lead authors as % of total 2010-2017

Journal of Communication



Communication, Culture & Critique *


Human Communication Research



Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication



Communication Theory



* Indexed in 2012

The data shows that, over time, the number of published papers with a U.S.-based first author has been declining across all journals. At the same time, U.S.-based authors continue to constitute over half of all first authors for all journals other than Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

There is some evidence of the globalization of the communication field found in trends in papers published in ICA journals. But this comes with important qualifiers. All but one percent of papers without a U.S.-based first author came from one of 16 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland. There are notable gaps with regards to Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Southern and Eastern Europe, and East Asia beyond China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. As Waisbord observes ‘institutional globalization has not levelled the playing field’, and ‘a globalized field of communication studies continues to speak with a strong western accent’ (p. 106).

There thus continues to be an ‘epistemic culture’ in communication that systematically favors Western scholarship. Measures that ICA has been taking to address these imbalances include moving from regionally-based representation on the ICA Executive Board towards seeking membership from under-represented regions (Kenya and The Philippines, for instance, rather than Germany or Australia), ensuring geographical diversity of representation on ICA Committees and Task Forces, and the role played by Regional Conferences in enabling participation in regions where attendance at the annual ICA conference has been historically low. There are ongoing challenges around implicit biases in the refereeing of academic papers and submissions to the ICA conference, issues arising from English being the primary language of the ICA, and costs associated with attending ICA conferences in the Global South. Tensions around the granting of visa entry into the United States following the election of Donald Trump have exacerbated such issues. 

The ICA recognizes that claims around merit or excellence in communication research ring hollow in the absence of measures to actively promote diversity, address global and regional inequities in access to resources, and support scholarship in the Global South. As an international association, we affirm our commitment to such principles, and welcome further ideas as to how this can be undertaken more effectively. 

Tags:  August 2019 

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