October 06, 2004

Program launches Global Media Research Center

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - Researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be taking on some weighty subjects soon with the formation of the Global Media Research Center in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

A colloquial program to launch the center is set for Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 7-9, on campus.

SIUC is one of four universities that make up the Global Fusion Consortium, which will hold its 2004 conference Oct. 29-31 in St. Louis. The others are Ohio University, Purdue University-Calumet and the University of Texas. The annual conferences bring together scholars and communications professionals with the aim of promoting academic excellence in international-intercultural communications studies worldwide.

"The crucial significance of global media at the present time is directly linked to the dizzying expansion of the global economy," said John H.D. Downing, professor and director of the Global Media Research Center.

Global media encompasses a vast number of entities - - foreign news reporting, international sales of television programs and recorded music, global advertising and public relations industries, world cinema, and business telecommunications. It also includes small-scale alternative media and social movements of all kinds, he said.

Included in the center's mission, Downing said, is fostering a core group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students engaged in substantive research initiatives in global media; establishing national and international partnerships for research and creative exchange; providing an active visiting scholars and artists program; developing international exchange programs for faculty and students; and developing new courses addressing global media issues.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activities is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence ThroughCommitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

The schedule for the colloquium program is:

Thursday, Oct. 7, Lesar Law Building Auditorium

  • 7 p.m., "The Fourth World War," a 2003 documentary. Co-director Richard Rowley of Big Noise Tactical Films will take questions and comments in the discussion afterward.

Friday, Oct. 8, Dean's Conference Room (CMCMA 1032)

  • 9:15 a.m., "The long roots of international study in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts," by Leo A. Gher, Walter B. Jaehnig and Gary P. Kolb, SIUC faculty members.
  • 9:45 a.m., Keynote address, "Globalization, Communication and Culture: Findings That Are Begging for Answers," by Georgette Wang, dean of the School of Communication at Hong Kong University and a 1979 SIUC doctoral alumna.
  • 11:15 a.m., "Portrayals of 'terrorism' in Arab media," by Mohammed el-Nawawy, a faculty member in communications at Georgia State University and a 1999 SIUC doctoral alumnus.
  • 1:45 p.m., "Transnational Documentary," Patricia R. Zimmerman, professor of cinema and
  • photography in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College
  • 3:30 p.m., "U.S. Media and Global Conflicts," a panel discussion by CMCMA faculty members

Saturday, Oct. 9, Dean's Conference Room (CMCMA 1032)

  • 10 a.m., "Global issues and local actions: indigenous Australians and the media in the new conservatism," by Andrew Jakubowicz from the University of Technology in Sidney
  • 11:45 a.m., "Intellectual Property and Global Media," a panel discussion by SIUC faculty
  • 2:30 p.m., "Ethnographic Research on Global Media," a round table discussion by SIUC faculty
  • 4 p.m., "Accounting for the unaccountables: An agenda for the study of global media industries," by Andrew Calabrese from the University of Colorado at Boulder
  • 5:15 p.m., "Reflections on the center's direction and potential," by John H.D. Downing, director of the Global Media Research Center.