Three-D Issue 22: MeCCSA 2014: Media and the Margins

Paper Submissions, Peer Review & Programme

In terms of mere numbers the 2014 conference seems to have been the largest MeCCSA event to date. Some preliminary numbers from MeCCSA 2014:

Abstracts received: 324
Papers presented: 198
Film screenings: 3
Registered delegates: 231
(inc. keynotes and BU delegates)

Einar Thorsen was responsible for managing the CFP, peer review, scheduling the programme and communicating with delegates.

CFP and peer review

The call for papers was published end of April with a deadline for abstracts of 16th September, which was then extended to 23rdSeptember. It was sent to all MeCCSA members, the MeCCSA and MeCCSA networks’ Jiscmail lists, ECREA list, IAMCR list and other subject specific network or association lists. Regular reminders were sent over the summer and early autumn.

We already had enough abstracts by the original deadline (about 250), but some people emailed as they had problems with logging in to the system so we agreed to extend it by a week. This yielded only a moderate number of additional submissions.

Peer reviewing took place in October, with the outcome announced to authors on 21st October. The initial panel composition meeting took place on 29th November, with Einar Thorsen responsible for scheduling.

Given the large number of abstracts we had 13 peer reviewers, some of whom also contributed to the initial meeting to discuss panel compositions. From BU: Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson, Shelley Thompson, Hugh Chignell, Darren Lilleker, Iain MacRury, Nathan Farrell, Trevor Hearing (Practice), Anna Feigenbaum, and Julian McDougall. From MeCCSA Exec: Joanna Callaghan (Practice), Anita Biressi, and Heather Nunn.

All abstracts were submitted using the MeCCSA Open Conference System (OCS), which
was also used for handling the peer review process and emailing outcomes to authors. Whilst the system is extremely helpful in streamlining this process, there were some quirks that required additional work.

Abstract breakdown

In total we considered 324 papers, of which 17 were part of panel proposals.

Accepted abstracts (papers) =189
Accepted abstracts (panels) = 17, with a total of 61 papers

Rejected abstracts (all) = 74
Rejection rate (papers and abstracts) = 23%

This means we accepted 250 papers in total. Some failed to register and were never included in the programme. Others had to withdraw prior to the conference despite registering (usually due to illness).

In total there were 198 papers presented across 49 panels (7 panel sessions with 7 strands each), and 3 film screenings. There were four plenary sessions with 10 speakers, plus the mini-plenary at the AGM with one speaker.

Programme

The programme was composed initially with panels consisting of four papers, at least three of which had registered. The idea was that any dropouts could be absorbed by having the odd panel with only three papers, thus minimising the amount of disruption caused by last minute changes. Crucially the public draft of the programme contained only registered
delegates.

The main problem, as expected, was a series of requests from people wishing to change day or time after the initial draft was published. Whilst these were in the minority, they caused significant headache to accommodate. All requests were eventually accommodated and no delegates were unable to attend due to scheduling.

Each session had a chairperson allocated, which unfortunately did not make the printed programme. This was due to the cut-off time for this initially being given as December, when not all the details were confirmed. As a principle we tried to ensure people only
chaired one session each, to avoid unnecessary burden on any one individual.

meccsa
Prizes

This year we had three prizes that were awarded at the conference. The first two awards were judged based on submission of full papers.

Best Paper Award:

Media & the Margins
Awarded by the Media School, Bournemouth University
Presented to: Balázs Boross, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Journalism Research Prize
Awarded by the Centre for Journalism & Communication Research, Bournemouth University
Presented to: Lisette Johnston, City University London

Postgraduate Twitter Award
Awarded by the MeCCSA Executive Committee
Presented to: Motilola Akinfemisoye, University of Central Lancashire


Edited Collection

We are currently working with a publisher on two edited collections addressing the Media and the Margins theme: one focused on journalism and politics, the other on (identity) politics and cultural texts. Each book will have between 15-20 chapters, based on
selected full-paper submissions, keynotes and especially commissioned chapters.

The editorial team for both books consists of Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson, Heather Savigny, and Jenny Alexander (all Bournemouth University).

Website
meccsa2014.bournemouth.ac.uk

The conference website project was led by Dan Jackson, and work began in December 2012. After having decided on a bold creative theme, we then took our brief to the university web design team. This meant working within a restricted number of WordPress templates, which we soon realised would not fulfil the vision we had for the site.

We then put out a call to Media School students to work with us. We were very lucky to have an extremely talented web develop

Posted by Auguste Janutaite