An official post-conference to the International Communication Association conference, May 2020

This post-conference is affiliated with the Activism, Communication and Social Justice Interest Group (ACSJ); and Ethnicity and Race in Communication (ERIC) Division of the International Communication Association.

For all enquiries, please contact Professor Susan Forde, Griffith University or Dr Tanja Dreher, University of New South Wales.

Venue: The Ship Inn, a historic Brisbane venue on the South Bank of the Brisbane River

10 am - 5 pm followed by optional drinks and dinner

Registration fee: None

Convenors: Professor Susan Forde, Griffith University and Dr Tanja Dreher, University of New South Wales.

Organising Committee: Tanja Dreher (UNSW); and Susan Forde, Heather Anderson, Bridget Backhaus (Griffith University)

Sponsors: Griffith Centre for Cultural and Social Research, Griffith University; and the Media Futures Hub, UNSW School of Arts and Media

For ICA delegates traveling to and from the Gold Coast for the post-conference in Brisbane, a free shuttle bus will be available. The venue is also very well served by public transport within Brisbane, and between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline Monday 20 January 2020

Explore the challenges and opportunities

From the resurgence of white supremacy and authoritarian rule to rapidly changing technologies and the rise of social media; and from the precarious state of journalism to state crackdowns on dissent and the ‘free press’, community and activist media face multiple ‘disruptions’ and challenges. While the 21st century media environment offers increasing opportunities for ‘voice’, the challenges for radical, dissenting or alternative media are practical, political and fundamental. This post-conference will bring together engaged scholars to explore the challenges and opportunities for community and activist media at a time of unprecedented pressures – considering new resurgences, and enhanced opportunities for resistance.

Paper proposals at the intersection of research and activism are most welcome.

Key questions to be explored

  • What is the role of activist and community media in contemporary social justice struggles – including anti-racist work in the context of resurgent racisms, and intersectional work in the context of anti-feminist backlash? What are the possibilities for resistance and transformation?
  • How can we best analyse and respond to white supremacist and far-right media?
  • How do community and alternative media enable voices that are marginalized or excluded from the ‘mainstream’ to be heard – what can we learn (or not) from their practices?
  • What is the role and value of established ‘community’ media when social media platforms enable a proliferation of voice?
  • What is the state of news and current affairs – including news journalisms and issues-based talks programming – at a time of both technological and professional ‘disruption’?
  • What does ‘community’ or ‘alternative’ media mean in the current digital media environment, which features a proliferation of non-mainstream voices?

Australia has a 40+ year history of publicly-funded, volunteer-run community broadcasting that serves as a benchmark for developments around the world. Despite chronic funding pressures, the sector is a platform for diverse and dissenting voices, including an extensive network of First Nations media, ethnic community media, radical radio, women of colour collectives, media by and for people with disability, prisoners’ radio, alternative journalism and much more. This post-conference will include invited practitioner panels to showcase key local community and alternative media organisations, including the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association, Radio 4EB Community Ethnic Radio; and 4ZZZ FM Community Radio. These outlets, in the digital media environment, extend well beyond their standard ‘radio’ programming to new forms of media communication -- podcasting, live web streaming, social media accounts and news feeds, announcer blogs, and activist media collaborations.

The post-conference welcomes participation from researchers and practitioners across community and activist media very broadly defined – including alternative media in all its guises, community media interventions, alternative journalism initiatives, citizens media, media activism and more.

Authors will be given the option for their papers to be considered for a themed issue of the Journal of Community and Alternative Media, to be published by Intellect Books from 2020.

Participants who register for this post-conference are also welcome to participate in visits to community and activist media organisations on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 May.

This activity will be co-badged with the OURMedia network. Further details will be announced shortly.

Participants will be invited to informal drinks and dinner by the Brisbane River, at their own expense, following the post-conference. The shuttle bus will return delegates staying at the Gold Coast to their hotels following the dinner.

Abstract submissions

Please send abstracts and bio by email to: gcscr@griffith.edu.au no later than Monday 20 January, 2020.

Paper abstracts (150 words) should include a title and clearly address the post-conference themes. Author bio(s) (100 words) should include institutional or organisational affiliation.