Six student papers, several panel sessions, and plenary presentations together created a significant presence for the Department of Communication, UoH, at one of the discipline’s most prestigious conferences. The International Association for Media & Communication Research (IAMCR) conference, 2022, held online from July 11 to 15, was hosted by Tsinghua University and Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, Beijing, China, and featured 1142 papers from scholars across 86 countries, apart from several panel discussions and five plenaries that broadly addressed the theme: ‘Communication research in the era of neo-globalization: reorientations, challenges, and changing contexts’.
Two teams of MA students from the department presented work emerging from their final thesis projects. Poulami Seal and Nikhil Kondam Reddy’s paper titled “Indian women entrepreneurs’ use of Facebook Live: an exploratory study” drew on the team’s in-depth look at how women have made use of e-commerce opportunities and was selected as part of the Gender and Communication Section. Varsha Manoj Nair and Praveen M presented their paper “Narratives of surveillance and workers’ imagination: a study of food delivery platforms in India” under the Communication Technology & Policy Section.
Papers by PhD research scholars included the following:
- Information Disorder in India: Tracing the emergence of fact-checking initiatives, by Vamshi Potluri in the Emerging Scholars Network Section
- Disaster Communication and Community Radio: The Case of Cyclone Yaas in Odisha, India by Manas Kanjilal (with supervisor Kanchan K Malik as co-author) in the Community Communication and Alternative Media Section
- Fissures in Cyberspace: The creation of national interests by Manisha Madapathi, in the Communication Policy and Technology Section.
- Measuring toxic masculinity in journalistic performance: Developing a monitoring tool by Anuja Premika (co-authored with supervisor Usha Raman, and collaborating authors Shweta Singh and Amritha Mohan) in the Gender and Communication Section
Professors Vinod Pavarala, Kanchan K. Malik and Usha Raman also played multiple roles in the conference, ranging from organizing and moderating panels, to helping curate and review papers and special sessions. Prof Pavarala moderated a special video panel of the Community Communication and Alternative Media (CCAM) Section on “Shifting notions of community in community media” and was a speaker in the special plenary titled “Research Extensions: when academia meets policy.” As Chair of the CCAM Section he was responsible for organizing this year’s papers and interactive sessions, with nine panels bringing together some 36 papers, and three interactive sessions. Prof Malik served as chair of a panel on “Local journalism and collective ownership” in the CCAM Section.
Prof Raman, who is Vice-President of the association, served as chair and discussant on a panel in the Gender and Communication Section titled “[Alternative] Reporting: Intersectionality and [Non] Conformity in Newsrooms”. She also co-convened the special plenary mentioned earlier. In addition, several recent alumni from the department also participated in the online conference.