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IAMCR 2007 Congress. 23-25 July, 2007. Paris, France.

IAMCR celebrates its 50th anniversary this year in Paris where it was founded. The conference theme is “Media, Communication, Information : Celebrating 50 Years of Theories and Practices”. Together with the local organizing committee in Paris, I am very pleased to welcome you to this special conference year. When it was founded IAMCR provided a meeting place which enabled many of its members to become involved in research that aimed to contest Cold War ideologies. Over 50 years, IAMCR members’ work has been informed by an awareness of the need to challenge mainstream viewpoints that frequently become ‘naturalised’ within our universities and other sites where members are active.

Our statutes state that our aims are to provide a meeting place for academics and others with an interest in our field of study and to improve media and communication research, policy and practice, especially from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. As we celebrate our first 50 years, these goals are as important as they have always been. When we meet in the UNESCO building in Paris we can reflect on what has been achieved, but we must ensure that we also meet the challenges of the future. This means we must think about what it means to be ‘internationally’ oriented and committed to interdisciplinarity. What kind of interdisciplinarity, to what end and for the benefit of whom ?

In renewing our commitment to IAMCR, we will need to foster research that unveils the contradictory ways in which the media and communication are implicated in today’s world. We will need to be concerned about power, its reconfiguration and its redistribution through time and with the different consequences of this for those who find themselves in distinct situations around the world. If we want our membership to grow and we want to provide a meeting place that is more inclusive, then our greatest challenge will be to each other, to each of us to work to ensure that we achieve it. I am honoured to be President at this important time in IAMCR’s development. And I look forward to the celebrations !

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