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Posted By Laura Sawyer MA, CAE - ICA Executive Director, Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Coming on the heels of ICA’s first-ever virtual conference, with a long list of what worked (and what needs to be improved!), we are pleased to announce that the 2021 ICA Annual Conference, 27-31 May 2021 in Denver, Colorado, USA, will be planned from the start as a hybrid (dual online/in-person) conference. Participants will have the option to choose whether to attend either as an in-person attendee (with simultaneous access to the virtual space) or as a “virtual only” attendee using the online platform. While we hope that most participants will choose to join us in-person in Denver, we understand that access issues (health-related risks and financial strains lingering from the global pandemic among them) may lead many to be unable to attend. Offering an online option is a means of preserving access, equity, and inclusion.

COVID-19 DISCLAIMER: Obviously, if the pandemic continues/gets worse to the point where the conference cannot occur in person at all, at any time a similar process as 2020 could be utilized whereby hotel block reservations would be automatically purged and everyone could be converted to an online-only registration. The conference could then possibly move forward in an online-only capacity as it did in 2020 (with decision points for all involved to be established at a future date). For now, we are cautiously optimistic that we will go forward with a hybrid option.

This hybrid, dual-track plan of course requires extra work from the conference organizers, staff, and planners, as well as slightly more work from all presenters. 

Thank you to those of you who participated in the virtual #ica20 conference and allowed us to see what could be accomplished--and what can’t!--with very little lead time. We are working to ensure that the critiques, ideas, and positive feedback from the conference survey can be implemented as well as possible in any future online iterations. 

As promised, some more robust details are shared below. We still don’t have all the answers, but will continue to release information as it comes to light and as decisions (such as the conference’s virtual rate and the platform we will be using) are made. 


Submissions will occur, as is typical, via the ScholarOne Abstracts system, with the same basic timeline as is usual. Planners will assign reviewers as per usual, and sessions will be awarded, as usual, based on the percentage each division/interest group garners of the total number of submissions. However, five things will change here:

  1. ICA will encourage the Divisions and IGs to consider formats beyond the full paper. This can be extended abstracts (of studies that have been conducted) or pre-registered submissions (of studies to be conducted before 6 November 2020 and the conference paper re-submission in April). By encouraging these shorter formats we hope to address some of the downsides of the pandemic for researchers, which have hit parents, particularly mothers and other caregiving colleagues, disproportionately). 

  2. We will include a few additional requirements having to do with equity and inclusion, such as asking submitters to take a moment of reflection prior to hitting “submit” to examine whether they have a diverse works cited list and have considered positive and negative societal outcomes of their work.

  3. We will offer an opt-in opportunity for designating research as ‘open scholarship’.  It will not be its own category, it will simply be a way of designating one’s work as preregistered in case that is helpful to the planners.

  4. We will include a check box wherein presenters acknowledge that submitting their work comes with an acceptance of the responsibility to serve as a reviewer as well. 

  5. The submission deadline will move 5 days later, to 6 November, so that those waiting for the results of the US election on 3 November to make their decision about whether to submit may do so, given that the conference will take place this year in the US. 


Those who wish to attend the conference (in either capacity) will be able to follow the usual process, with registrations opening on 13 January concurrent with the news of acceptances. Every attendee will be able to select to attend in person or virtually at that time based on their preference. No letter or permission will be required. The in-person registration will INCLUDE virtual access to encourage everyone’s participation in the virtual aspect as well so that the virtual conference is robust. 


The fees for the two options have not yet been decided. The in-person conference fee will be no more than the registration fee for the conference in Washington, DC. The virtual conference will likely be at a discount, but that will be determined after we have determined our platform and we know the costs. Attendees may anticipate a decision on this by the time submissions open in September. 


As we book ICA hotel blocks five or more years in advance, we have a block of hotel rooms available at two conference hotels in downtown Denver: the larger Hyatt Regency and smaller Grand Hyatt, less than ten minutes’ walk from each other (similar to #ICA18 in Prague, but a shorter walk and no cobblestones, so it’s easier for those with mobility issues to get between venues).  The procedure for booking will remain the same as in recent years (ie, the link will go out first to those who have registered). It will be more important than ever to stay in the block if possible, as an unfilled block due to virtual attendees will result in attrition paid by the association to the hotel for underperformance, meaning the association must raise rates in the future. Our “free” meeting space is always contingent upon our providing sleeping rooms for the hotel, full of our attendees. We appreciate attendees helping us meet those contractual obligations so that we can keep conference registration fees from increasing. The room rate for Denver is US$169 per night for single/double occupancy. The hotels are not allowed to sell rooms at a lower rate than our contracted rate for those dates. 


Our goal is to make the virtual conference track as robust as possible without it having the in-person element. To that end, a major difference for the dual track will be that we will ask even those who are attending in person to do a recording of their talk for those who are attending virtually to watch. This is extra work, yes, but hopefully by then all of us will have become quite used to doing recordings of full lectures, so a seven- to 15-minute talk is not too big an imposition. We will ask you to upload these approximately one month prior to the conference to give our platform enough time to get everything in the right place (to avoid some of the issues we had leading up to #ICA20). We will also build reminders into the day for in-person attendees to take a moment to engage with the chat rooms, twitter feeds, etc of the online track. 


Those who choose to attend only virtually will be asked to record and upload their talk in advance, as well as using a video platform (Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans) to connect to the live session into which they have been scheduled. As we have done since the 2017 conference in San Diego and the so-called “Muslim ban” imposed by the Trump administration that year, we will ask that presenters who choose to attend/present virtually contact their session chair/moderator to come to a mutually agreeable video platform solution, test it out in advance of the conference, and make the connection in real time during the conference. You will be able to access in-person attendees’ presentations either via the live-stream of certain rooms (see below), via their pre-recorded videos of their individual talks, or via live-streamed recordings that are then uploaded. In-person attendees will receive reminders via the app to “tune in” to the virtual conference to check in and converse with the online attendees. 


An almost universal comment from the #ICA20 virtual conference survey was that while attendees were grateful that we preserved the opportunity to convene--especially for early-career scholars who need to build their CVs and get feedback from senior scholars--a virtual conference is never going to measure up to an in-person event in terms of engagement, social interaction, and networking. The in-person conference is your best choice if you’re healthy, have the ability to travel to Denver, and really value that social interaction and networking aspect. 

If instead you have health concerns (such as immune compromise) that are still a concern by the time you have to register--keeping in mind that you can decide as late as April--or you are concerned about the environmental impact of your travel, or you have limited funds that cannot be ameliorated by travel grants, then perhaps the virtual option will appeal to you. Please keep in mind, however, that as we found in the #ICA20 conference no amount of virtual chat rooms, avatar-based networking events, and sidebar chat Q&A are going to replicate the in-person conference experience. Those who were on Twitter had the best experience during #ICA20 and felt connected to their peers, so we do recommend plugging into social media and following the conference hashtags if you do opt to go virtual. 


We will “max out” the wifi and wired (if necessary) internet capabilities at the conference venue to ensure that there are minimal technical difficulties in both information going out to, and coming in from, virtual attendees. More on this later. 


As mentioned earlier, we cannot possibly live stream the contents of 27 concurrent sessions for four days, this would be an impossible and brutally expensive task for a nonprofit to undertake because it requires onsite audiovisual assistants and equipment in all 27 rooms, from 8 to 6:15pm, for five days. To some extent, those who choose to attend virtually of their own accord will have to accept that they will not be able to view 100% of the content they want to, live: however, as mentioned above, all attendees (in-person and virtual) are expected to upload videos of their presentations as well. 

While we are still determining what will be live-streamed via the synchronous channel, the obvious choices for live streaming will be the opening plenary, closing plenary, presidential address & awards ceremony, Fellows sessions, Theme sessions, the new member orientation, the SECAC meeting, and special sessions (in the past these have included the First Nations panel, the Greening of the Academy panel, the African diaspora panel, etc). Again, this is not an exhaustive list (nor do we guarantee all of the above) and we will be working with the Future of ICA Conferences task force as well as looking at the feedback on the ICA conference survey to determine other sessions that are a good fit for live streaming. It is important to note that, even if the live stream isn’t at a convenient time for you (as a virtual attendee) to watch in real time from your home, the streamed content will be made available as an asynchronous recording later, to be viewed at any time. Only one or two rooms will be equipped for streaming and we want to ensure that we choose sessions in those rooms that will appeal to the largest numbers of both virtual and in-person attendees. This means that, in the interest of fairness, individual divisions/IGs’ business meetings and top papers sessions will NOT be eligible to be live streamed in the main rooms (because there are 33 divisions/IGs, this is 66 sessions which typically all occur during the same two time slots). 


We will encourage division/IG officers to utilize “live blogging”, Twitter hashtags, and even perhaps a Slack channel to incorporate the input of virtual attendees in the business meeting, or to have them participate via a Zoom call that is connected to the live meeting, facilitated by the officers. Virtual attendees could submit questions through the Zoom chat function. How this works will be left to each division/IG’s officers to choose from a menu of ideas we will provide. 


The 2020 conference was virtual-only and therefore was able to stay open for a longer period of time than a typical four-day in-person ICA conference. We cannot, however, extend the length of our in-person conference due to the physical constraints in our contract (a different conference is immediately before us and another one is coming in right after us). Therefore, the days and duration of the virtual conference will mirror exactly the dates of the in-person conference, but we will likely (once again) leave online content up for viewing (not interaction) for all attendees (virtual and in-person) for at least a day or so after the in-person conference has come to a close, as this was a much appreciated perk during the 2020 conference. The conference will run from 27-31 May 2021 and will follow the usual pattern for ICA: Wednesday and Thursday preconferences, Thursday evening opening plenary and reception, four full days Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, post conferences on Tuesday. 


The hours of the in-person conference will remain 8:00am to 6:15pm in the local (Denver) time zone (US Mountain Daylight Time aka MDT, which is UTC -6).  All headline sessions (like the presidential address) and timing of business meetings will follow their usual timing. Unfortunately, we cannot make sessions in Denver occur at 2:00am Denver time in order to comply with other time zones (the hotel wouldn’t allow people on the premises in the middle of the night, due to security measures), so any live streamed sessions will have to occur at the time they occur in the regular program, which may be inconvenient for you to watch in real time depending on your time zone (though they will be made available later as recordings). Please take this inconvenience into account when deciding whether to register as a virtual or in-person attendee. 


Yes! We will have a surplus of travel funding to offer for 2021 to help attendees get to the in-person conference. In addition to the US$75,000 typically offered by ICA for travel grants, we have a surplus of funds from the Hardship Fund (all HF donors agreed that the overage would go to the travel grants fund) to add to this. We encourage you to apply if you meet the criteria for travel grant funding, which will remain the same as in prior years. The application will go live on 13 January, the same day we announce acceptances. 


In addition, new this year we will also make available ICA funds for local travel and technology grants in order to enable additional participants to attend virtually. For instance, if a cohort of attendees in one city find themselves unable to travel to Colorado due to distance, funding, or any other reason, they could choose to all gather at a local university to have a local “watch party” and attend the conference virtually-but-together. We will make funds available to the host institution if needed for making this possible. We want to be clear, however, that this is not meant to encourage people to stay home! We would prefer to welcome everyone to the conference in person if they are able and are comfortable to do so. We simply want to ensure that no one is unable to access the conference if they can’t travel and their home internet capabilities are inadequate to live streaming. The application to serve as a virtual hub will go live on 13 January (the day we announce acceptances). 


While we are proud of what we accomplished with very little lead time in 2020, with more time to plan for the hybrid option, we have a few “must haves” on our list for the next iteration of our virtual conference option to be a success. This may necessitate changing platforms to find something more user-friendly, so headquarters staff have initiated an RFP process for that. 

Our must-haves: 

  • we MUST have at least three weeks between the deadline for uploading videos and the beginning of the conference

  • the video upload system MUST send a confirmation email (not just a pop-up confirmation) to submitters of videos to eliminate duplicates (many videos were uploaded twice or three times because people weren’t sure they had gone through)

  • the video recording system MUST have a mechanism for captioning/subtitles, this is an access issue. Our efforts to strongly encourage captioning in 2020 were not as successful as we would have liked and we must do better at making it easy to comply with this. 

  • the platform MUST allow for searching by title, topic, author, and just be easier to navigate generally

  • the platform MUST notify authors/commenters when they receive new comments on their videos, or replies to comments they’ve made, for the online Q&A to actually work

  • The ICA conference staff MUST have the ability to be in the backend with the programmers in order to troubleshoot problems

This FAQ will continue to be updated as we know more, and will be located here. Questions you would like to see answered here can be sent to conference@icahdq.org. Thank you! 

Tags:  August 2020 

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Student Column

Posted By Robyn Adams (ICA Student Member), Tuesday, August 4, 2020

For this month’s student column, the SECAC would like to feature the voice of one of ICA's student members, Robyn Adams .

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Despite the substantial "likes" and supportive comments I received upon posting my experience as a Black woman in higher education, I can't help but to think about the word: politics. These are the same politics that place the experiences of other Black scholars into a hashtag for consumption, commodification, and, of course, content. Politics created a 20-year divide between the last Black woman in our department's doctoral program and me. 

The politics that I’m referring to are the activities related to making decisions or other forms of power relations between people. These politics within academic institutions actively (even if unintentionally) discourage the diversity of knowledge and encourage racial/ethnic homogeneity within our graduate programs. If we want to improve this institutional disparity, we must abolish the politics that gatekeep marginalized scholars from starting and finishing their graduate programs. One of these activities include GRE requirements for graduate applicants. Makers of the GRE, ETS, reports that "disparities in performance among underrepresented groups still exist." Most graduate programs still utilize an applicants' GRE scores to make acceptance decisions, despite research findings of bias between test-takers of dominant and non-dominant racial/ethnic and class groups, and the lack of correlations between the test's scores and graduate school success (Hall, O'Connell, and Cook 2017; Moneta-Koehler et al., 2017).

Second, there is a long epistemological battle that exists within the history of our field. I was told early on in my graduate training about the career protection of quantitative research over qualitative. However, these epistemological suggestions and confinements promote further knowledge disparities within our graduate programs, and activities such as this suggest a dominant epistemological approach that is more valuable than the other. Thus, the production and circulation of knowledge is political. Chakravartty, Kuo, Grubbs, and Mcllwain (2018) tackled these exact politics in #CommunicationSoWhite, highlighting the pervasive racial and epistemological inequities within communication. For example, only 14% of articles in the top communication journals were first-authored by non-White scholars in 30 years. 

Last, Chakravartty and colleagues addressed a question posed by an anonymous reviewer: "why would White scholars listen?" They responded with years' worth of historical reasons for why White scholars should listen, yet I find myself scrolling through countless #BlackInTheIvory tweets that show otherwise. However, as the communication scholars and creators of #BlackInTheIvory, Joy Melody Woods and Shardé M. Davis, mentioned, "we want radical, structural change.” This radical, structural change starts with improving the racial compositions of our educational programs and the experiences of non-White scholars in these programs.

Thus, we should check and challenge our politics at all levels of academia. The politics that prevent non-White scholars from advancing within these programs are the same politics that keep non-White scholars from being granted tenure. These politics don't stop the day we receive our doctoral degrees but are present within our programs' institutional fabrics. I refuse to let the politics within our institutions cause another 20-year divide between me and the next Black woman in my department. 


Also, fed up.

Tags:  August 2020 

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ICA Statement on Metrics and Annual Journal Impact Factors

Posted By Tom Mankowski, ICA Director of Publishing Operations, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The International Communication Association is grateful to the authors, editors, reviewers, and our community. We are proud of the journals and the scholarship we help disseminate and their impact. ICA also shares the community’s reservations about the system of impact factors. In the past, we have promoted the 2-year impact factors of ICA journals on our website and through social media as both an education tool and to provide authors and researchers an insight into the citation patterns of scholarship.  

However, ICA strongly recommends caution when assessing annual impact factors and welcomes additional measurements, particularly those endorsed by DORA, when ‘evaluating’ the performance of a journal. ICA calls upon publishers in our field to de-emphasize the annual updates, to stress the importance of viewing all metrics, and providing the 5-year IF over the 2-year IF when necessary. ICA furthermore supports the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations.

DORA suggests publishers: 

  • “Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor [8], SCImago [9], h-index, editorial and publication times, etc.) that provide a richer view of journal performance." 

  • "Make available a range of article-level metrics to encourage a shift toward assessment based on the scientific content of an article rather than publication metrics of the journal in which it was published.”


As such, we have updated our journal webpages to show the following:


Previous webpage:

  • 2-Year Impact Factor 

  • 5-Year Impact Factors 

  • ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking

Updated webpage:

ICA endorses DORA and the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations; (https://sfdora.org/read/). 

ICA recommends these metrics be used only for the assessment of a journal. 

  • 5-Year Impact Factors

  • 2-Year Impact Factor

  • ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking

  • Immediacy index 

  • Article influence score 

  • Cited half-life

  • Eigenfactor score  

  • H index 

  • SJR indicator

ICA has engaged with our journal publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) to follow this path in its communication and promotion of the ICA portfolio of journals, and we hold ourselves to this motion moving forward.  

Signed by

ICA Executive Committee

ICA Publication Committee

3 August, 2020

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Membership Reflection & Looking Ahead

Posted By Kristine Rosa, Manager of Member Services & Marketing, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The current 2019 – 2020 ICA membership term will surely go down in ICA history as a year of many first experiences for ICA members and staff alike. As we begin to bid farewell to the current membership term, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights this year.

Although there are certainly more prominent first experience (such as the ICA virtual conference), some of the new and exciting events that occurred within membership are:

We hope that you’ve all had the chance to learn about the divisions/IGs at this past 70th Annual ICA Conference, and have had a chance to use your member discounts and explore the new career website. If you haven’t done so, then wait no longer! Click the links above or visit the ICA website for more exploration: https://www.icahdq.org/

Looking ahead at upcoming 2020 - 2021 membership term

We know that these are--as every email from every company has told us ad nauseam in the past four months--”unprecedented times.” We know that many of you who graduated into this environment may be struggling financially and/or not yet settled into--or even connected with-- your first jobs out of school. 

Here’s how we can help: 

ICA student members who graduated this year experiencing hardship due to the impact of COVID-19, can now apply for the Early Career membership type instead of going straight into the more expensive “Regular Member” status. 

The Early Career Membership is a temporary 1-year membership type (which will begin 1 October 2020 and end 30 September 2021) which will allow members who graduated this year, or who may not have secured a permanent position, renew at a reduced rate.

This temporary membership type will save recent graduates approximately 50%. Rather than paying the price of a Regular Member (US$195+), you will be billed roughly US$98 depending on how many divisions you select upon renewing. Again, this is a temporary program in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, not a permanent program. 

If you fit the description above, and are interested in learning more about this membership type please contact ICA’s Manager of Members Services & Marketing, Kristine Rosa, at membership@icahdq.org for more information.

The new membership type is available during the renewal process. No letter of explanation is required. However, if you do not see it as an option then please contact Kristine to assist with your renewal.

Tags:  August 2020 

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Member News

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 4, 2020


Relating Through Technology

Part of the Advances in Personal Relationships Series




This book answers one of the most critical questions of our time, does the vast connectivity afforded by mobile and social media lead to more personal connection with one another? It offers an evidence-based account of the role of technology in close relationships that confronts such pressing questions as where face-to-face communication belongs in this digital age, whether social media is harmful to our well-being, and how online communication spills-over into our offline communication and relationships.


Each chapter explores the positive and negative influences of media on relationships, coalescing into a balanced assessment of how technological advancement has altered our connections with each other. By zeroing in on communication with the most important people in our lives and tracing the changes in computer-mediated communication over time, Relating Through Technology focuses the conversation about media on its use in our everyday lives and relationships.


"We have been given an accessible, grounded view on how new media does and does not change the fundamentals of relating. Hall’s survey of the field provides the most thorough analysis to date and will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the science of contemporary personal connection." - Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft


"This is a thought-provoking contribution to our understanding of the nexus between relationships and technology. Jeffrey Hall integrates seemingly unrelated threads in an easy-to-understand manner. The result is a breath of fresh air and should be read by academics as well as those new to the topic." - Artemio Ramirez, Professor, Assistant Director, and Director of Graduate Studies, University of South Florida


"Jeffrey Hall expertly reviews classic and emerging theories alongside cutting-edge research on relationships in the digital age. The result is a brilliant perspective on the complexities of personal media in everyday interactions. This book is a must read for anyone interested in how technology facilitates human connection." - Liesel Sharabi, Assistant Professor of Communication, West Virginia University 


"The book is a must read for students and scholars of interpersonal communication and technology. The author provides an essential guide for the burgeoning research literature on technology and personal relationships that will inspire and advise new studies for years to come." - Scott Caplan, Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Undergraduate Program, University of Delaware


"This volume integrates and balances the important areas of relational and mediated communication. It reflects a growing aspect of communication scholarship and the way many relational partners interact today. The writing style is informative for scholars and approachable for those new to the topic, which is no small feat." - Jennifer L. Bevan, Professor of Communication, Chapman University


"Here is a comprehensive study of technology use in relationships that is both novel and timely. This book offers insight into the fundamental relational concepts that ground communication technology use. It has superb, heuristic value and is sure to inspire researchers now and in the future." - Erin Ruppel, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee



During the first half of the twentieth century commercial radio broadcasting connected people in the same way the internet does today -instantly, across political borders and vast distances and for a number of reasons. Mexican Waves studies northern Mexican commercial stations that courted Spanish-language listeners in the U.S. Southwest and local Mexican audiences between 1930 and 1950. The book explains how Mexican radio entrepreneurs targeted the Mexican immigrant population in the United States decades before U.S. advertising agencies realized the value of the Spanish-language market.

Dr. Sonia Robles, Assistant Professor of History, University of Delaware, srobles@udel.edu



Tags:  August 2020 

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Division and Interest Group News

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 4, 2020


Dear CAT members,

Here’s a chance to engage in CAT leadership and contribute to the division’s success!

Over the past few years, CAT has made an effort to award academic excellence thanks to the help of volunteer leaders in these areas. We would like to express our gratitude to Homero Gil de Zúñiga for his service and commitment to our division as Awards Committee Chair during the 2018-2020 term.

For the upcoming two-year term, the CAT leadership is seeking new applications for the position of CAT Awards Committee Chair. Both self-nominations and nominations are welcome. This is a great chance to get involved in academic leadership on an international level and to contribute to our division. Please see the description of the position below:

*Awards Committee Chair*

This two-year position is appointed by the Officers of CAT. The Awards Committee Chair should be a member of the CAT Division and will lead the CAT Awards Committee for two years. He or she will select and organize a team of CAT faculty members (2-3) to make up the Awards Committee to select the recipients of the annual Dordick Dissertation Award and the Frederick Williams Prize. The year’s previous Dordick Dissertation awardee(s) will also be invited to sit on the committee for one year following their award. Responsibilities also include working with the CAT secretary to distribute calls and the social media officer regarding social media distribution.

Deadline for applications: September 15, 2020

If you have any questions about the position, please feel free to contact us. Please send your application (i.e., cover letter and CV) to ranwei@cuhk.edu.hk and kuempel@ifkw.lmu.de.

Best wishes on behalf of the whole CAT team,

Ran Wei (Chair) & Anna Sophie Kümpel (Secretary)



Dear ICA Environmental Communication Division colleagues,

We hope that this message from your ECD leadership team finds you well! We are writing to share some of our division’s highlights from last month’s virtual 2020 ICA conference, and to thank each of you for your continued involvement in the division during this unusual and challenging time.

This email contains a number of announcements that we would typically share at our division’s business meeting, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

**First, changes to the ECD leadership team**

The time has come for us to bid farewell to Xinghua Li, who has served as Chair of our division for the past two years, following two years of service as our Vice-Chair. As many of you know, Xinghua has been an exemplary Chair, working hard to promote greater methodological diversity and increased international participation in our division. Her efforts on the leadership team will leave a lasting mark on the division. Thank you for everything, Xinghua!!

Other changes to the leadership team include Jonathon Schuldt transitioning from Vice-Chair to Chair; Silje Kristiansen beginning her tenure as Vice-Chair (Chair-Elect); Franzisca Weder continuing to serve as Secretary; Christine Gilbert serving as our new Student & Early Career Representative; and Luye Bao serving as our new International Liaison. Please check out the links at the end of this email for brief messages from Silje, Christine, and Luye, so you can get to know the newest members of our leadership team.

**Second, please congratulate our award winners!**

The Environmental Communication Division is pleased to announce this year’s winners of the 2020 Top Paper and Top Posters Awards. They are:

The *Top Student Paper Awards* go to Paul Koomson (for the paper: Assessing Women’s Involvement in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Project Planning and Implementation in Ghana) and to Hanna E. Morris (for the paper: Fearing the Millennial Other: United States Press Coverage of the Green New Deal).

The *Top Faculty Paper Awards* go to Chris Paterson, Lee Edwards, Jacinta Mwende Maweu, Lata Narayanaswamy, and Silas O. Oriaso (for the paper: Gender and Climate Change Communications Practices: Pilot Research in Two Communities in Rural Kenya) and to Nina Wicke, Katharina Willems, and Monika Taddicken (for the paper: Comprehensible vs. Competent? A Real-Time Analysis of How Experts Are Perceived and Evaluated During Science Communication).

And the *Top Poster Award* goes to Rolien Hoyng and Murat Es (for the paper: Material Publics Becoming Breath: Speculation, Infrastructure and Ecology).

Congratulations to all of the winners on their exceptional work!!

**Third, the state of our division (is strong)**

Here, we summarize key facts and figures about the state of our division. For the 2020 conference, we received 98 paper submission and were able to accept 54, for an acceptance rate of 55% (compared to 60% in 2019). Based on your feedback from the 2019 business meeting, we made it a priority to accept a greater percentage of panel submissions: we received and accepted 2 excellent panel submissions this year (compared to accepting 1 out of 4 panel submission last year). Individual papers were organized into 10 conference sessions (8 standard sessions and 2 high-density sessions), plus one interactive poster session. THANK YOU to all of the reviewers and session chairs who made the division’s virtual conference a success!

By country of institution, 52 papers had an author or co-author from an institution located in North America, 24 papers had an author or co-author from an institution located in Asia, 24 papers had an author or co-author from an institution located in Europe, 7 papers had an author or co-author from an institution located in Oceana (Australia or New Zealand), 3 papers had an author or co-author from an institution located in Africa, and 1 paper had an author or co-author from an institution located in South America. Our division continues to be committed to maintaining and increasing participation from scholars around the world, especially from regions that remain underrepresented in our division, including Africa and South America.

Last but not least, our sincere thanks to each of you for your continued support of the Environmental Communication Division! We are wishing you all the best for the coming year, and we very much look forward to seeing you (in person or virtually) at ICA in 2021!


Your ECD leadership team (Jonathon Schuldt, Silje Kristiansen, Franzisca Weder, Christine Gilbert, and Luye Bao)

p.s. Don’t forget to check out the urls below to get to know our newest leadership team members Silje, Christine, and Luye!

Luye Bao: https://uwmadison.box.com/s/20fhq6mvnhxqk2ayrwp7y26rnqmisvpk

Silje Kristiansen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1GbIn6sGzs

Christine Gilbert:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lCqe8pSaGdMWcQgbAOpyOslNd6XkpVwf

Jonathon P. Schuldt

Associate Professor of Communication

Chair, ICA Environmental Communication Division

Cornell University




Dear Members of the ICA PR Division,

Please see below for information items that may be interest to you.

1.      Call for Papers: Towards a Latin American perspective in PR theory and practice, Public Relations Inquiry

1. Call for Papers: Towards a Latin American perspective in PR theory and practice, Public Relations Inquiry

North American and European conceptualizations and trends have dominated public relations theory and practice (L’Etang 2008; Culbertson & Chen, 2013). On the one hand, major academic conferences take place in the Global North, while most of the leading journals of the discipline are edited in the United States or Europe, with scarce presence of Latin American authors or themes. Indeed, few studies focus on theoretical advances in the region (Ferrari & Franca 2011), which contributes even more to widen the gap. On the other hand, PR multinationals operate in Latin American countries mostly based on these ethnocentric frameworks, which may limit the understanding of local cultures, and therefore their effectiveness (Botan, 1992).

Thus, in professional and academic contexts, foreign models are applied to Latin America not necessarily taking into account economic, political, and sociological contexts that may result in native theoretical propositions. Moreover, it has been said that there is a colonialist influence in the Latin American public relations body of knowledge (Molleda et al., 2017).

Despite some advances such as the personal influence model and cultural translation model (Grunig et al., 1995) that may be applied to local Latin American contexts, there is still scarce Latin American research with global academic and professional impact. However, Vásquez et al. (2018) have shed some light over the current state of Latin American scholarship. According to them, it is dominated by two concerns that could be shaping its identity: a practical orientation of research and a predominance of documenting local realities.

With this in mind, this special issue seeks papers that provide an in-depth reflection on the current state of the art of the public relations discipline in Latin America. The aim is to discuss novel and native theoretical frameworks, case studies as well as emerging works that can contribute to the discipline globally.

Examples of topics and questions that are of relevance to the special issue are:

•       Is there a Latin American perspective for the public relations discipline?

•       What are the emergent theories/themes in Latin American public relations discipline?

•       What is the state of the art of Latin American academic work on PR?

•       What is the actual impact of local vs. global public relations theories in the region?

•       How is the particular context of Latin American countries shaping the local academic and practitioner perspectives?

•       What types of challenges do Latin American countries face in the PR field?

•       Do US and European PR models apply to local Latin American realities?

•       Which case studies may shed light to understanding local realities on PR state of the art in the region?

•       How globalization has impacted academic work in the region?

We welcome both conceptual and empirical papers that contribute to building a broader picture of the current state of the art of the public relations discipline in the region. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the journal, we welcome a wide range of theoretical perspectives representing the whole spectrum of opinions in the field. All submissions must be sent in English. They will be blind reviewed in line with the standard practice of the journal. If you have any questions regarding the special issue, please contact the editors Claudia Labarca (claudialabarca@uc.cl) or Gabriel Sadi (G.Sadi@hud.ac.uk).

Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2020

Submission guidelines: https://journals.sagepub.com/author-instructions/PRI

Please visit this website for full submission instructions, including information about word length, format and referencing style. Papers should be submitted via the journal’s manuscript central submissions system and should adhere to the guidelines. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. The target publication date for the special issue is May 2021.

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Calls for Paper

Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Endlessly connected? Agentic perspectives on mobile media (non-)use

Guest editors: Dr. Kathrin Karsay (kathrin.karsay@kuleuven.be) and Dr. Laura Vandenbosch (KU Leuven, Belgium)

The ubiquity of mobile media devices provides an abundance of new challenges and opportunities relevant to the field of mass communication research. In an ever-connected and "always-on" society, it seems as if the users have become an inseparable entity with their mobile devices, leading to novel online/offline social norms dynamics (e.g., phubbing), demands for disconnecting (e.g., digital detox), and changed media literacy skills. Although extant research has been devoted to the (primarily negative) consequences of mobile media use, no conclusive answer can be drawn regarding the question of whether mobile media are harmful or beneficial for an individual’s social relationships and overall well-being. The empirical findings suggest a rather complex relationship, with differential susceptibility factors that predispose the selection and responsiveness to mobile media and its affordances.

This special issue invites research addressing agentic perspectives on the ubiquity of mobile media (non-)use. Instead of focusing solely on compulsive, problematic, or even addictive use of the smartphone and social media, empirical and theoretical contributions with regards to users’ agency have been insufficiently addressed. Such perspectives are subject to the characteristics or implementation of self-regulation, self-reflection, executive function, mindfulness, and self-control in relation to mobile media use.

Contributors are invited to submit theoretical and empirical research that aims at answering research questions related to, but not limited to, the following subtopics—including their interplays and intersections:

• New online/offline social norms. Given that the mobile phone and social media are readily available, new online/offline social norms arise. Further research investigating how users deal with media-induced distractions leading to technoference and phubbing is needed. When is it appropriate to check the smartphone? How does the smartphone interfere or enhance social relationships in face-to-face interactions? What are the consequences and antecedents of the use of mobile devices in the presence of others and during face-to-face interactions?

• Disconnecting and Unplugging. On the one hand, unplugging bears the opportunity to enhance situational awareness and improve daily experiences. On the other hand, disconnecting from the smartphone and social media might induce negative feelings, such as stress or anxiety. What are the underlying motivations, individual predispositions (e.g., with regards to age, gender, race), antecedents, and possible consequences of disconnecting?

• Media literacy skills. What media literacy skills are required in times of permanent connectivity? With apps specially dedicated to digital wellbeing and apps that track screen time and phone usage, users have new possibilities to monitor their smartphone behavior. Do such tools represent new forms of media literacy skills?

Studies can encompass a diversity of methodological approaches, including content analyses, focus group interviews, traditional and online surveys, experience sampling methods, diary methods, or experimental research. Studies should focus on theory advancement and explanatory contributions.

Deadline for submissions: Manuscripts are to be submitted by October 1, 2020, via the Mass Communication and Society online system at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mcas following the standard journal submission procedures. Authors should note in their cover letters that the submission is for the special issue devoted to “Agentic Perspectives on mobile media.” The final publication will be an issue in late 2021. Any questions concerning this call for papers may be directed to Kathrin Karsay, kathrin.karsay@kuleuven.be


Quarantined Across Borders is a collection of stories from people around the world who are writing about their experiences and observations while in quarantine. Media Rise has curated this collection of uplifting and thought-provoking stories on quarantine experiences across the globe, which should be useful to those teaching about intercultural communication and related topics. The collection includes personal stories, essays, and poems on borderlands, immigrant life, coping, community, faith, and connectedness during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the website, these stories are being posted by @mediarisenow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with three new stories every day in June, for a total of 80+ stories from 30+ countries. More information available at: www.mediarisenow.org. Contact: Dr.Srividya “Srivi” Ramasubramanian, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Media Rise at mediarisenow@gmail.com.


The International Journal of Bullying Prevention (IJBP), special issue:

The Use of Artificial Intelligence to Address Online Bullying and AbuseNew Content Item

Special Issue Editors:

Dr. Tijana Milosevic, The National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Dr. Kathleen Van Royen, Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp

Dr. Brian Davis, School of Computing, Dublin City University and ADAPT Research Centre

Cyberbullying or online bullying, harassment and abuse pose significant challenges for online platforms. The use of natural language processing (NLP), various forms of machine learning (such as supervised machine learning, deep learning) and artificial intelligence (AI), is becoming more prevalent in moderating these behaviours on social media platforms and various content sharing apps. A number of social media companies refer to their increasing reliance on AI to moderate various forms of abusive behaviour, indicating their relative success in identifying these proactively. Nonetheless, companies reveal little information about how such moderation is applied in practice, about the details behind the algorithm design; and they infrequently release datasets that would allow scientists who do not work in the social media industry to understand this process. While some industry experts and scholars place significant hopes in deep learning to solve the problem of online abuse, others identify the limitations of this approach, including a relative lack of training datasets; the misinterpretation of contextual cues and relational history, and the danger of systematic bias that can inadvertently slip into such modelling. Furthermore, there is a relative lack of insight from the perspectives of sociology and psychology and other social science disciplines about how users (adults and children) perceive such interventions and about their desirability. For instance, how do users understand the balance of rights to safety on the one hand and privacy and freedom of expression on the other, when it comes to the application of proactive moderation tools?

For this special issue, we are looking for a variety of submissions from a range of disciplines that examine various aspects of AI applications to address abuse. This includes but it is not limited to: communication, education, psychology, sociology, philosophy, computer science and engineering, human computer interaction, science and technology studies, among others.

The goals of this special issue are:

•Outline various approaches in the application of NLP, machine learning and AI to addressing cyberbullying, harassment, and various specific forms of cyberaggression

•Outline the state of the field today, assessing the strengths and limitations of the solutions currently available

•Find articles that not only report on current approaches to the use of AI in moderation, but also critique current methods applied by social media platforms

•Find insights from technical sciences and social science research that would inform the design and deployment of tools for computational scholars

•Facilitate interdisciplinarity by translating some of the work undertaken in the fields of computer science and engineering into a language that is more accessible to scholars in social sciences and humanities

•Drawing attention of the scholars in technical fields to the work being done in social sciences and humanities on this topic that can further inform their research

Abstracts (max 500 words) should be submitted by September 15, 2020 to Tijana Milosevic at tijana.milosevic@dcu.ie. Full manuscripts (typical length between 6,000 and 9,000 words-please seek permission in advance if you need to submit a shorter or longer manuscript) to be submitted by December 1st, 2020. The issue is planned for June 2021. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

NB: We are interested in a wide range of topics and we would also consider submissions that address the moderation of issues that do not necessarily fall under online bullying, such as online grooming, for instance. Nonetheless, please note that if you are contemplating such a topic that is a bit outside the scope of the special issue, it is really important to tie the discussion with cyberbullying in some way—e.g. by contextualising cybergrooming as a form of online bullying.

We thank you in advance for considering our special issue for publishing your work.


Tijana Milosevic, Kathleen Van Royen, and Brian Davis

Guest Editors


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ICA2021 Pre- and Postconference

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Now Accepting Proposal Form Submissions

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 can be held on either Wednesday, 26 May or Thursday, 27 May. All postconferences can either be on Tuesday, 1 June or Wednesday, 2 June. 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, 28 August. More detailed instructions are available within the application form. If you have questions after reading the form, please contact the Conference team (conference@icahdq.org).

Submit here (https://www.icahdq.org/page/2021PREPOSTFORM)

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President’s Column

Posted By Claes de Vreese (U of Amsterdam), Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020

I am devoting this month’s Presidential column to issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access. The events of the past months, ranging from the global action to end anti-Black racism to the inequalities emanating from the global Covid-19 pandemic, have made these issues even more important. These issues are not divorced from the academy or from ICA generally. I therefore want to take stock of the Association’s ongoing commitment to address injustices and inequities. This includes introducing a range of new initiatives and setting a path forward.  

Our starting point is that the International Communication Association is an international association, comprising members from 87 countries. In 2019, the Executive Committee of ICA issued a statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access. As noted in that statement, we are always cognizant that questions of inclusion and exclusion, and of diversity and equity, manifest themselves in different ways in particular national contexts, and disparities in power dynamics differ from region to region. In our June 2019 statement we summarized the then-current actions regarding IDEA issues, such as the newly adopted Code of Ethics, the changes in the ICA Fellows composition, the efforts at ICA’s central offices, and the changes to the conference. Details on additional conference efforts can be found on our accessibility and inclusion page, noting that many of the typical inclusion efforts became moot—and moved aside for other methods of inclusion--with the advent 2020 online-only conference.

One of the May 2019 actions was the establishment by the Executive Committee of a Task Force on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (IDEA). The IDEA Task Force got to work in Fall 2019 under the leadership of Jasmine McNealy (U of Florida) and Maria Len-Rios (U of Georgia). We are thankful to the committed members who have joined this task force.  In their initial meeting the task force asked for, and received, several reports regarding the areas of interest for IDEA. They also formed subgroups to facilitate the analysis of this information. These are: Definitions + Membership, Journals + Awards, Conferences + Reviewing. IDEA was scheduled to hold a day-long in-person meeting at #ica20 which sadly could not take place due to the change to the online conference format. 


However, to reinforce the importance of IDEA to the success of the association as a whole, the 2020 ICA Board of Directors Meeting voted to make the temporary task force a permanent Standing Committee in the association. 


What has happened since May? We have worked with the leadership of the IDEA committee to identify a number of actions that could be implemented in the short term, and we have together assembled a forward-looking action plan. Immediate actions, that have been fully endorsed by the Executive Committee, include:


  1. MEMBERSHIP: we will add more demographic information to membership renewals to gauge the (changing) composition of ICA membership. 


  1. SURVEY: we will develop a survey to gauge perceptions regarding diversity vis-à-vis the conference, journals, etc. This work will be supported financially by the ICA and developed with the IDEA Committee. 


  1. CENTRALITY OF IDEA ISSUES: The #ica21 theme developed by conference chair and President Elect, Mary-Beth Oliver (Penn State U), and the theme committee speaks directly to many IDEA issues. We have stressed in the call that IDEA issues do not only pertain to the theme call but are important to ICA, across all interest groups and divisions. 

  1. ACCESSIBILITY: We have announced the Hybrid Format for #ica21. We will work with our virtual platform provider to ensure subtitles to increase accessibility. Despite strong encouragement from headquarters that everyone should have captions/subtitles for their uploads, this had suboptimal participation in the 2020 conference due to the short lead time and lack of ease to accomplish.

  1. REGIONAL (TRAVEL) GRANTS: For those not in the position to participate in the physical conference and who are in a disadvantaged location with for example poor internet infrastructure, we will experiment with a call for regional grants for local travel to a self-organized “hub" where folks can meet with local members and get good wifi and online conference access. This initiative is in addition to our expanded regular travel grants. More details about this soon.

  1. IDEA IN CONFERENCE AND JOURNAL SUBMISSIONS: We will add requirements for submissions to the conference and ICA journals to explicitly answer questions about

a. whether you have considered and cited relevant and diverse (e.g., gender, minority and/or POC) works,

b. whether you have considered the potential broader impact of your work, including its ethical aspects and future societal consequences. 


This will put IDEA issues more central in our work and ensure better representation in our citation patterns.


  1. JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARDS: We will draft guidelines, in addition to the current Editor Search guidelines, addressing the need for Associate Editor teams and editorial boards to have geographic, gender, and ethnic diversity. 


The actions are steps that ICA will implement immediately. We are working on other initiatives and we are in dialogue with the IDEA Committee about other ideas around fellowships or grants and mentorship and team matchmaking. 


We are an international association. We strive to improve our diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity. We are not there yet. Please reach out to us or the IDEA Committee co-chairs if you have ideas for how to make our organization and field a better, more equitable, place.


Claes de Vreese 

ICA President

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President-Elect's Column

Posted By Mary Beth Oliver (Pennsylvania State U), Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020

During this turbulent time, many of us begin our emails to friends and colleagues with some variant of the phrase “I hope you are okay.” As I write my first newsletter entry as President Elect, I will begin by sincerely saying that I hope that everyone is safe and healthy. These current times bring worry, despair, and hardship for so many people. Yet, given my own research focus is on positive media psychology, I also try hard to look for the silver linings as well. Many of us may have forged new connections in our zoom-related interactions, we have discovered our inner artists, we have become experts at baking bread, and we seem to be more open about our feelings of vulnerability.

Throughout this time, we have also seen how the pandemic shines light on inequalities and injustices. Simultaneously, however, we have witnessed people across the world linking arms to protest abuse and to call loudly for social justice. In short, like most things in life, this time is tragic, but the displays of human connectedness that have resulted are also beautiful and inspiring. It is in this context that we plan for the 71 st Annual ICA Conference in Denver, Colorado in 2021.

The theme for the #ica21 conference is “Engaging the Essential Work of Care: Communication, Connectedness, and Social Justice.” I have the great privilege of working wit h some wonderful scholars who are co-chairing the theme committee: Walid Afifi ( U of California at Santa Barbara) , Mohan Dutta ( Massey U) , Chenjerai Kumanyika (Rutgers U) , Srividya Ramasubramanian (Texas A&M University) , Meghan Sanders (Louisiana State U) , and Anamik Saha (Goldsmith, U of London) . Together we have had open and heartfelt discussions of the multitude of issues and concepts that are now so very salient. In deciding to focus on “care,” we hope to encourage members in divisions throughout ICA to grapple with how this concept functions in our interactions, politics, health and environmental communication, media, technologies, families, and communities. Though we certainly do not all focus on this concept specifically, we believe that it touches on the motivations that many of us have for our work and that it is an understated but essential part of many of the theories that we employ and issues that we examine. We hope that this theme opens an important space for us to have dialogues about the multitude of ways that the concept of care is employed, understood, and even exploited at times. We also hope that it serves to emphasize our connectedness and commitment to social justice, both within society and within our organization.

We very much look forward to the submissions for #ica21, both on the theme and throughout all our divisions and interest groups. As you may know, we are planning for our first hybrid conference, realizing that although most all of us want to see each other in person, our current realities may make that impossible for some people. I am so fortunate to work with the amazing staff at #icahdq and with Claes De Vreese in navigating this format in ways that we hope will work for us all! 

If you have not done so already, please visit the call for papers, both for the theme of the 2021 conference and for all the divisions/interest groups. https://www.icahdq.org/page/ICA21CFP   

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