AMIC 2023 General Assembly

AMIC 2023 General Assembly

AMIC 2023 General Assembly: A First in Two Years

AMIC’s first in-person general assembly in two years was held on 29 September 2023, Day 02 of the three-day annual conference in Bandung, Indonesia.  The 2021 assembly was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic while the 2022 event was done online. The 2023 general assembly was attended by AMIC regular members, country representatives, AMIC board members, and the Secretariat.

AMIC Secretary-General Ramon R. Tuazon facilitated the almost three-hour meeting. AMIC Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Dr. Crispin C. Maslog, welcomed the members. He thanked them for their presence and encouraged them to sustain their interest and support for AMIC in the coming years.

One of the highlights of the meeting was a short program to honor the memory of AMIC BoD member Dr. Binod Agrawal who passed away on 28 March 2023. Several members and officials recalled Dr. Agrawal’s steadfast commitment to AMIC especially his contributions to communication education and research. He was the 2009 AMIC Asia Communication Awardee.

During the meeting, Secretary-General Tuazon updated the members on completed and continuing programs and projects for 2022 to 2023, particularly in the areas of book and journal publications, forums and webinars, research, the annual AMIC Asia Awards, advocacies, and networking.  SG Tuazon recalled that over the past two years, AMIC was able to publish Communication Theory: The Asian Perspective (2nd edition), AMIC @ 50: Turning Gold: A History of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, and the 28th AMIC Annual Conference Book of Abstracts with the conference theme, Science Communication: Managing the Now and the Future. AMIC’s journals, Asian Journal of Communication (AJC) and Media Asia were regularly published by Routledge Taylor & Francis and have remained among the world’s top indexed academic and professional journals, respectively.

Added to the roster of AMIC Asia Communication laureates was 2022 awardee Dr. Ronny Adhikarya (see related story on conferment of the award).

During the two-year period, AMIC pioneered the global and regional discussions on the impact of artificial intelligence with two forums on the topic held on 28 October and 24 November 2022.  It also sustained its commitment to pursue the development of Asian communication theories and models with two online forums on the issue held on 26 January and 07 July 2023.

For 2024, new programs will complement AMIC’s regular programs. The AMIC Asia Communication Award for Young Leaders will complement the 17-year-old AMIC Asia Communication Award. It aims to recognize exemplary Asian communicators below 40 years old. On the other hand, the AMIC Centers of Excellence will recognize communication campaigns and tools that significantly contribute to the attainment of social good in the Asia Pacific region in areas such as agriculture, health and wellness, basic education, gender, and peace, among others.

An AMIC podcast is envisioned to provide a platform for dialogue between veteran and young Asian communicators. Discussions also aim to amplify youth voices on current and emerging communication and media issues.

AMIC’s almost 100 publications produced over the past 50 years will be uploaded to AMIC’s online library which will be accessible to AMIC members.

The 169 abstracts presented by 237 parallel session presenters will be published in the 29th AMIC Annual Conference Book of Abstracts to be issued by end-2023 and published online.

To be Truly Asian, AMIC will be reaching out to all parts of Asia. According to SG Tuazon, since its creation in 1971, AMIC’s footprint has somehow focused on South and East Asia. It is time to reach out to communication professionals from other Asian regions including Oceania and the Pacific, Eastern Asia, Western Asia (mostly countries in the Middle East), Central Asia, and Northern Asia. AMIC members will be invited to nominate AMIC representatives from countries and territories located in these regions.

An animated discussion ensued among the members on the planned publication of Communication Research Methods and Tools: The Asian Perspective which will complement the Communication Theory book. AMIC country representative to India Dr. Chandra Pattanayak, who was earlier assigned to edit the proposed book, presented his initial concept. He admitted that conceptualizing such a publication is very challenging because of debates among Asian scholars and researchers on the feasibility of Asian-centric research methods and tools including those framed from Asian theories and models.

UNPAD to launch Asian-African

UNPAD to launch Asian-African

UNPAD to Launch Asian-African Studies Programme in 2024

At the 29th AMIC Annual Conference, the Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD) bared its plan to launch an Asian-African Studies Programme as one of the concrete outputs of the conference.

Rizky Abdullah, PhD, UNPAD’s Director of Research and Community Service said that the AMIC “will be a leading partner of UNPAD” in this programme which will be formally introduced in 2024 in time for the 70th anniversary celebration of the Bandung Conference.

Recognizing that the Asia-Africa cooperation is part of the global trend toward internationalization of education, Abdullah said that UNPAD believes that “before we seek global cooperation with higher education institutions (HEIs) from different continents, we should prioritize partnership with HEIs from the African continent because Asia-Pacific and Africa HEIs have many commonalities in terms of development issues, challenges and opportunities.”

Among the initiatives being primed for the Asian-African Studies Programme are sharing and exchange of lessons and experiences in addressing common development issues and concerns, especially in communication and information; sharing and exchange of lessons and experiences, especially best practices, in development work and in Communication for Development (C4D); and the promotion of Afro-Asian communication scholarship through collaborative academic initiatives.

Abdullah added that they want the programme to foster networking among Asian and African professionals and institutions for collaborative programs/projects in research, publications, forums, and faculty/student exchanges. At the same time, he expressed willingness to explore the feasibility of adopting a mechanism for inter-continental consultation toward consensus-building for current and emerging global communication issues.

“These action points are aligned with the Bandung Communique which provides that ‘the promotion of cultural co-operation among countries of Asia and Africa should be directed towards the acquisition of knowledge of each other’s country, mutual cultural exchange, and exchange of information’,” he said.

The UNPAD and AMIC will also invite the UNESCO to be a major partner in the proposed Asian-African Studies Programme. “We have noted that UNESCO’s global priorities are Africa and Gender Equality,” Abdullah said.

He also called on different government agencies, higher education institutions, professional associations, and media agencies to partner with UNPAD to “realize the vision of the 1955 Bandung Conference especially in the area of communication and information.” (END)

Media Asia experiences

Media Asia experiences

Media Asia Experiences More Submissions, Early Issue Releases and Increased Citations in 2023

By Danilo Araña Arao
Editor, Media Asia

Media Asia celebrated its golden year in 2023 with more manuscript submissions, early issue publications and higher citations.

From January 1 to December 18, 2023, new manuscript submissions increased by 64.55% compared to the same period in 2022. This could be attributed to the journal’s respectable turnaround time in handling manuscripts. On the average, the articles included in Volume 50 were published online in 206.46 days (refereed articles) and 52.67 days (non-refereed commentaries and reviews) from the date of submission. The authors’ trust in the journal is apparent even if the acceptance rates are 10.11% (refereed articles) and 30.35% (non-refereed ones) based on the final editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted from 2020 to 2023.

The quarterly journal’s Volume 50 issues were published two to three months ahead of schedule. The issue titles are Education and Perception (March 2023), Challenges (June 2023), Framing (September 2023) and Relevance (December 2023). With a cumulative total of 674 pages, these issues have 52 articles (i.e., 24 refereed articles, 8 commentaries, 16 reviews and 4 editorials). Following an early view system, all articles in Volume 50 were already published online from May 2022 to July 2023 even before the assignment of volume, issue and page numbers.

Notwithstanding the low acceptance rates, this situation shows that the journal has enough articles not only to produce upcoming issues in 2024 and 2025 but also to publish the issues ahead of time. In fact, the March 2024 and June 2024 issues are already 100% complete as early as the third quarter of 2023. The September 2024 issue, on the other hand, is 91.67% complete and only needs one more refereed article to complete the line-up. Articles have also been included in the December 2024 issue, making it 41.67% complete. As regards the 2025 issues, there are already 6 non-refereed reviews lined up for the March and June issues.

Media Asia has a Q2 CiteScore Best Quartile with a score of 0.9 in both Scopus CiteScore 2022 and Scopus CiteScore Tracker 2023 (as of December 9). From 2019 to 2022, the journal had 57 citations from 64 documents. As regards latest data in 2023, the journal had 92 citations from 100 documents. This is an improvement from the journal’s Scopus CiteScore 2021 which was pegged at 0.5 (i.e., 30 citations from 66 documents). The journal’s Q2 status means that it is ranked in the 25% to 50% group in the same field.

Media Asia is a peer reviewed journal that focuses on practices in journalism, advertising, public relations, entertainment and other aspects of media in Asia. The journal’s editorial board is composed of eight women and four men who are based in nine locations in Asia, Europe and North America.

The Editor is Danilo Araña Arao (University of the Philippines Diliman, Philippines). The Associate Editors are Lisa Brooten (Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA), Roselyn Du (California State University Fullerton, USA), Eunice Barbara C. Novio (Vongchavalitkul University, Thailand), Sheau-Wen Ong (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China), Paromita Pain (University of Nevada Reno, USA) and Nick Y. Zhang (Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong). The Editorial Advisory Board is composed of Sarah Cardey (University of Reading, UK), Ataharul Chowdhury (University of Guelph, Canada), Minjeong Kim (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea), Deborah N. Simorangkir (Swiss German University, Indonesia) and Tom Sykes (University of Portsmouth, UK).

SG Tuazon keynotes 7th National Media Conclave

SG Tuazon keynotes 7th National Media Conclave

SG Tuazon Keynotes 7th National Media Conclave

AMIC Secretary-General Ramon R. Tuazon gave the keynote address in the 7th National Media Conclave organized by the Institute of Media Studies of Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in India. Another keynote speaker was Dr. Chandrabhanu Pattayanak, AMIC representative to India.

The theme of the conference was Digi-Tech, Media, and Democracy. AMIC was an academic partner of the event which was held on 21-23 November 2023.

According to SG Tuazon, the theme is most urgent considering that digital technology has emerged as the major disruptor of freedom and democracy worldwide. As a disruptor, it either facilitates or hinders the enjoyment and exercise of inviolable freedoms guaranteed in a democracy.

SG Tuazon described issues related to digital technology and democracy as two sides of the same coin. One side looks at the applications of technology in sustainable development initiatives. The other side examines equity issues including access to digital technology. He lamented that there has been considerable interest in the applications side but not much attention is given to equity issues.  

He reminded conference participants that discourses on the impact of digital gadgets are incomplete if the mobile phone is not included as a “democracy icon” of the 21st century. He recalled that while many social scientists believe that mobile phones facilitated the 2010 Arab Spring that toppled a dictatorship, it has become difficult to repeat this “formula” as many autocratic regimes have developed their own “playbook” to counter-strike or stifle dissent through cyber surveillance, cyber-attacks, online censorship, internet shutdowns and blackouts, and website blacklisting.  

According to SG Tuazon, while digital technology provides enormous opportunities for the common good, the same digital platforms have also been used as vectors for disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and other content harmful to democracy and human rights. Current regulatory systems have yet to catch up with these challenges. This is the reason why UNESCO recently released the Guidelines for  the Governance of Digital Platforms. The Guidelines are the result of extensive global multi-stakeholder consultations that started in September 2022 including the Internet for Trust Conference organized by UNESCO last February 2023.

SG Tuazon, who is also UNESCO communication and information consultant for Myanmar, encouraged the conveners of the conference to organize another forum to discuss the features of the Guidelines which impact significantly on how people deal with digital technologies in their daily lives and in the lives of their nations.

UNESCO Releases Global Guidelines

UNESCO Releases Global Guidelines

UNESCO Releases Global Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms

The UNESCO has released the Guidelines for  the Governance of Digital Platforms. 

The Guidelines are the result of an extensive and collaborative effort that started in September 2022. It brought together a wide array of stakeholders through three global consultations, including one held during the Internet for Trust conference organized by UNESCO last February 2023.

The consultative process involved the engagement of people from 134 countries, including marginalized and vulnerable groups, generating over 10,000 comments. This made it one of the most extensive consultation projects ever conducted by a UN agency.

What are the Guidelines?

The Guidelines aim to safeguard freedom of expression and access to information online in the context of the development and implementation of digital platform governance processes. Specifically, the Guidelines outline a set of duties, responsibilities, and roles for states, digital platforms, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, media, academia, the technical community, and other stakeholders to enable the environment where freedom of expression and information are at the core of digital platforms’ regulatory processes.

Who will benefit from the guidelines?

The Guidelines will serve as a resource for a range of stakeholders – policymakers in identifying legitimate objectives, human rights principles, and inclusive and participatory processes that could be considered in policymaking; regulatory and other governance bodies dealing with the implementation and evaluation of policies, codes of conducts, or regulation; digital platforms in their policies and practices; and other stakeholders, such as civil society, in their advocacy and accountability efforts. News media can also benefit from these Guidelines in their ongoing efforts to hold powerful actors accountable.

An initiative within the UN Framework to Combat Global Information Threats

The Guidelines align with UNESCO’s commitment to the UN on the development of Our Common Agenda Policy Brief “Global Digital Compact” which sets the stage for a global, multi-stakeholder framework to ensure an open, free, and secure digital future based on the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 2030 Agenda. They also echo to the UN’s Code of Conduct for information integrity on digital platforms, currently being developed, which seeks to guide Member-States, digital platforms, and other groups in their efforts to make the digital space more inclusive and safer for all. 

What’s next?

UNESCO is supporting the creation of a network of networks of regulatory authorities including electoral management bodies and the epistemic community that together will work to monitor and evaluate the efficient implementation of the Guidelines at the global, regional, and national levels.