AMIC  Newsletter: November 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward      

Is  the discipline of development communication a spent force or one on the  ascendancy? That’s the subject of a keynote article in the latest issue of  AMIC’s quality quarterly publication, Media  Asia. In The rise, fall and revival of development communication,  Associate Editor, Rachel Khan, plots the course of the subject since the  Lerner, Schramm and Rogers days of the 1950s and 1960s. Drawing on a variety of  sources, including the proceedings of the UNESCO  Emeritus Dialogue session on development communication at this year’s AMIC  annual conference in Yogyakarta, the author traces a series of experiences from  Asia and Africa.

Media Asia also features a  ‘special issue’ research section headed Global  networks, global divides: research  and views from the Antipodes. Guest edited by AMIC's Country Representative  in Australia, Dr. Terence Lee from Murdoch University in Perth, the content includes  papers from several Australian scholars.

Professor  Emeritus at Temple University and former winner of the prestigious AMIC Asia Communication Award, John Lent, is the subject of Media Asia’s highlight Interview. “I didn’t apply for grants”  Lent tells interviewer Dr. Cherian George, “because I didn’t want to be beholden to  anybody else.”  His passion for academic  independence, not to mention comic art, has made Professor Lent an entertaining  conference presenter and a global leader in the intellectual field of comics and popular culture. His Interview is full of wisdom and  surprises.

Elsewhere, Media Asia includes an Insights article on media  self-regulation and the Indian press by Singapore-based law and policy expert, Professor  Ang Peng Hwa, and a case study by Dr. Usha Harris on the use of media in  assessing climate change impact in the Pacific. AMIC Secretary-General, Martin  Hadlow, contributes a reminiscence on media development in Afghanistan, where  he was based for almost three years.

Media Asia, Vol. 40, No.4,  2013, is now available for purchasing on-line at

China and The Internet 01 What’s so Chinese about the  Internet in China? That's one of the intriguing questions proposed for  delegates to discuss at next year's Chinese  Internet Research Conference (CIRC) to be held in Hong Kong.

When the first CIRC conference  was held back in 2003, less than 25 million people in China had access to the  Internet.  By July this year, that number  had increased to almost 600 million and the use of the new technologies has  influenced Chinese society and culture in a multitude of ways.  But what do we know of the way in which  people in China access the Internet and how this has changed their work,  leisure, relationships, families and studies?

The 12th CIRC, to be held at  the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (19th-21st June, 2014) has the overall  title Situated Practices on China's  changing Internets: from the users of mobile ICTs and Apps to Weibo posters and  Social Networkers. It will bring together academics, journalists, market  researchers, industry analysts, legal practitioners and business leaders to  discuss the latest developments on the Internet in China.

In recent years, CIRCs have  been held at Peking University, Georgetown University, University of Southern  California and the University of Oxford. In June, 2014, the conference will  return to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, described by the  organizers as "a place both inside and outside China, with the world's  fastest broadband Internet next to the world's most openly censored one".

The call for papers for CIRC 12 is now open at

AMIC Collaborates on ASEAN Journalists' Workshop

4The proposed establishment of an ASEAN Community in 2015 is a key topic  for discussion at a forthcoming Singapore workshop for senior ASEAN  journalists.

ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, is on-track to  launch its next stage of integration, namely the ASEAN Community, in just over two years time. To engage journalists  on this and other key issues, the EU Centre in Singapore, in collaboration with  the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and AMIC, is planning a workshop on Reporting ASEAN and Regional Community  Building (13-14 Dec 2013, Singapore).

Regional cooperation and institutional  developments in South-East Asia are gaining greater prominence and the launch  of the ASEAN Human Rights Charter, the ASEAN Institutes of Peace and  Reconciliations as well as various intergovernmental initiatives to bring  member states closer together, are significant steps in ASEAN's history.  How do all these developments and initiatives  fit into the greater scheme of community-building in ASEAN, and what would ASEAN Community 2015 mean for the  millions of individuals in South-East Asia?

Given the importance of the public interest in issues related to  economic growth, development, human rights and other trans-boundary and cross  border issues, the role of the media to inform, analyse and critique the  developments in ASEAN is indispensable. It is with this in mind that the EU  Centre, KAS and AMIC are collaborating to engage journalists and correspondents  in Southeast Asia. The workshop will enable journalists to share some of the  difficulties they encounter when reporting on ASEAN and will also be a forum  for ASEAN and regional experts to speak on the challenges faced by ASEAN in  constructing an ASEAN Community by  2015.  The workshop will also look at the  role of external partners and discuss the experiences of other regions, such as  Europe, in their struggles towards region-building.

The workshop outcomes and reports provided by the delegates will also  feature in a book to be entitled Understanding  the challenges of region-building – ASEAN in 2015 and the role of media in  building an ASEAN Community.

India Research Goes Pacific

The changing nature of the  Indian media economy is to be explored in a research symposium and workshop to  be held next year in New Zealand.

Under the title The Indian Media Economy: New Perspectives  from New Zealand, the three day event will explore the way in which India's  emergent media economy has been shaped by progressive deregulation in sectors  that were previously characterized by State monopolies and traditional family  businesses. While multi-national actors now play a major role in India,  domestic media empires like Essel, Bharti and Reliance have come to be a  dominant part of the local scene. Several New Zealand firms, especially those  involved in film production and digital cinema technologies, have made significant  contributions to the media boom in India.

The symposium and workshop  hosts, the University of Waikato in Hamilton, are now calling for papers. The  event will be held in Raglan (near Hamilton) from 25th-27th February, 2014. For  more details please visit the conference website.

AMIC Sends Condolences to Typhoon Victims

During the month, AMIC communicated  a message of support and hope to AMIC members in the Philippines affected by  the recent, highly destructive, Typhoon Haiyan (known also as Typhoon Yolanda).

"On  behalf of all AMIC members, Board and Secretariat", wrote  Secretary-General, Martin Hadlow, in a letter to AMIC's Country Representatives  in the Philippines, "please accept our deepest condolences and concerns  about the dreadful typhoon tragedy now impacting parts of your country. The  human toll involved is truly appalling and we understand how overwhelming it  must be for individuals, the Government and civil society organisations in  coping with the catastrophe."

AMIC's  Office Manager, Ivy Alcantara, who is originally from the Philippines,  travelled with fellow Church members from Singapore to the typhoon area to  reach out and assist. The group flew from Manila to Ormoc then travelled  overland to Tacloban. "It  broke my heart to see so many people, especially children, traumatized and  requiring psychological counseling" she said. "By simply providing  hope, food, lifting them up and asking them “how are you?" or giving them  a pack of noodles, is already psychological first aid." Ivy said that this  was the most unforgettable trip in her entire life and she stands ready to  assist again. Her graphic photographs of the destruction accompany this  article.     

Gender and Media: AMIC 'A Publishing Leader'

44In light of the forthcoming UNESCO Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) to be held in Bangkok, Thailand  (2nd-4th December, 2013), it is opportune to remind academics and researchers  interested in the topic that AMIC has been a leader in Asia in publishing and  research in the gender and development discipline for many years.

Asian Women in the Information Age: New Communication Technology,  Democracy and Women and Changes and  Challenges: Women in Newspapers in South Asia are just two of the AMIC  back-titles still available for interested readers.

To recognize the importance of  the UNESCO Global Forum on Media and  Gender, AMIC is offering these two books at a 50% discount (+ postage).  More details at     

Have You Renewed Your AMIC Membership?
We don't want you to miss all the advantages of being an AMIC member!

AMIC membership operates on a calendar year basis, with  the 31st December being the date on which renewals are due. Early-bird renewals  will receive a complimentary copy of the AMIC book Asia’s March towards  Freedom of Expression and Development. [K. Seneviratne and S.Singarayar, Eds.]

AMIC membership provides for a range of other benefits  and advantages, including discounted rates on AMIC publications, along with  access to free on-line journals. It also enables academics and students to  attend AMIC conferences and workshops at privileged registration fee rates.

Come join us!  AMIC  membership details are available at or please download the forms for: Individual  Membership Institutional  Membership for Asia (Apart from Japan) Institutional  Membership for all other countries.


      If you need any further help, please email us at

Asian Media Information and Communication Centre  (AMIC)         CS-03-46, WKWSCI Building, Nanyang Technological  University, 31 Nanyang Link, SINGAPORE 637718         + 65 6792 7570


Upcoming Events

Asian Journal of Communication