The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) has successfully conducted its 24th International Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on June 10-13, 2015.

Hosted by the American University in Dubai (AUD), the Conference carried the theme Communicating in an eAsia: Values, Technologies, and Challenges. It was AMIC’s first time to hold its annual conference in the Gulf region. The event was widely covered by the Dubai media.

The Conference was honored by the presence of university officials led by President Lance de Masi, Provost Jihad Nader and Associate Dean Carol Moufarrej.

The Conference was attended by about 180 participants, two-thirds of whom were foreign delegates from various continents, including Asia-Pacific, North America, and Africa.

The conference featured three plenaries and 31 parallel sessions. (See Highlights and Papers here.)

Speakers

The keynote speakers were Ms. Erin Burnett of CNN, and Professor Philip Seib, Vice Dean of the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California.

The AMIC Distinguished Forum was also held, with the theme Communication and Media Education in an ‘e-Century’: Future Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges.

Speakers for the AMIC Distinguished Forum were leading educators Dr. Janet Wasko (University of Oregon, USA/President of the International Association for Media and Communication Research), Professor Ang Peng Hwa (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore/President-elect, International Communication Association), Mr. Daoud Kuttab (Community Media Network/International Press Institute, Jordan), Professor Binod Agrawal (TALEEM Research Foundation, India), and Dr. Juhad Nader (Provost, American University in Dubai) as confirmed panelists. 

The UNESCO Emeritus Dialogue, with the theme Changing Roles, Shifting Perceptions:Gender and Diversity in the Digital Environment, was also held as a special section during the Conference.

Speakers in the UNESCO Emeritus Dialogue included Dr. Abeer Al-Majjar (American University of Sharjah, UAE), Dr. Pirongrong Ramasoota (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand), Professor John Lent (Temple University, USA) and Associate Professor Pradip Thomas (University of Queensland, Australia).

Special breakout sessions were also include in the conference, with the themes Media and Health in Asia: Exploring a Core of Asian Cultural Issues(with Dr. Muneo Kaigo of University of Tsukuba, Japan, as session chair), and Challenges for Emerging Media in the Arab World (with Dr. Moussa Barhouma, AUD).

The plenary closing session was held with the theme E-Communication in the Arab World: Technologies, Opportunities and New Frontiers.

AMIC Asia Communication Award

During the Conference, AMIC honored three communication icons with the AMIC Asia Communication Award. These were Juan L. Mercado (2014 awardee), and Dr. Alan Hancock and Prof. David Robie (2015 awardees).

While he was cited in 2014, Mercado received the AMIC Communication Award only this year. The 2014 International Conference slated to be conducted in Bangkok, Thailand was cancelled following the May 2014 coup in this country.

AMIC also recognized the significant contributions of three institutions that nurtured and sustained the organization in the past 44 years—the Government of the Republic of Singapore, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, and Nanyang Technological University.

Eminent Filipino communication scholar Dr. Crispin C. Maslog took over from Arun Mahizhnan as chairman of AMIC’s Board of Directors.

With his appointment, Dr. Maslog comes full circle at AMIC. He was part of a select group of Asian scholars and practitioners who conceptualized AMIC in Singapore in 1971.

Annual General Membership Meeting

AMIC convenedits Annual General Membership Meeting on June 11, during which the members agreed to ratify the earlier decision of the Board of Directors to transfer the AMIC headquarters from Singapore to Manila, Philippines.

The Philippine Women’s University-Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (PWU-AIJC) consortium will host the new headquarters.

In his letter to the AMIC members, Secretary-General Tuazon said that while AMIC’s transition is fraught with daunting challenges, he hopes continuous dialogue will bind the members together and strengthen the organization. He thanked the members for their continued support since his interim appointment in September 2014.

He also reiterated AMIC’s gratitude to AUD for hosting the conference and “for coming forward at a crucial time when AMIC needed help in boosting its membership andin expanding its frontiers to other parts of Asia.”

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Photos of the 2015 AMIC International Conference can be viewed at:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1n8JBgUuzs3fmw2RzlldzBUaW0zbkpIRmRGUFhoaEV6UHpSQzBaVERtaG50WEl0TUY5MnM&usp=sharing

Credit should be given to the AUD.