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ICA Postconference Call for Proposals on Digital Media Policy

The International Communication Association (ICA) Postconference is issuing a Call for Policy Proposals: Building Bridges Between Scholarship and Advocacy for Digital Media Policy with a deadline of Friday, January 18, 2019 at 5:00pm EST. The ICA Postconference will take place at American University on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 from 9:00am-4:45pm.


Digital communication has produced extraordinary changes around the globe. Whether for our personal communication, the operation of media industries, or countless daily tasks, internet access and the rules by which companies providing internet service and those that that rely on the internet to provide services, structure daily activities for billions of people. This situation has also led to a number of new policy issues and exacerbated old ones. New issues like network neutrality and global internet governance compete for regulatory and popular attention with enduring issues such as ownership concentration and universal service. Lastly, this scenario has introduced new policy actors and stakeholders into the regulatory process and allowed scholars, policymakers, and activists to contemplate multistakeholder governance in ways not possible in an era of analog regulation.

These developments, and many others, have often times stymied national regulators and hampered global policy conversations. Multistakeholderism has been difficult to actualize in communication policy. Regulators have struggled with how to apply regulations made for broadcasting to over the top services like Netflix. Countries around the world have failed to achieve universal broadband; and many of these same countries are grappling with how to apply existing competition policies to the digital behemoths of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.

Taking note of the many outstanding policy issues - both new and old - that come to the fore in the digital age, and the importance of multistakeholderism in digital communication policy making, this preconference focuses on some of the major policy issues surrounding internet communication and brings together experts on these topics from the ranks of both scholars and policy activists.

Call for Policy Proposals:

Rather than the traditional working paper, this open call invites applicants to submit brief policy proposals oriented around particular themes. Accepted proposals will be circulated to attendees in advance of the postconference so that the day can focus on engaged discussion and provide ample opportunity for attendees who are not presenting briefs to also participate in the day’s events.

3-5 page policy proposals related to one of these three topics:

  1. Broadband access/universal service

  2. Antitrust/competition policy for media industries

  3. Audiovisual/broadcast policy in an age of internet-distributed video

Policy proposals should be no more than 5 double spaced pages (approximately 1,000-1,500 words) and may be directed towards any local, national, regional or transnational jurisdiction. They should explain the policy issue at stake, offer a concrete intervention, and justify this intervention vis-à-vis relevant legislation, regulation, and markets. Please also indicate to which of the three topics above your proposal is best suited.

Panels will be comprised of selected proposals, an invited established scholar in the field, and an invited member of the advocacy community for a day of discussion and planning. Those selected will be asked to present their policy intervention in a 5 minute talk and expect responses from the invited scholars, advocacy member, and the audience.


Deadline for proposal submissions: January 18, 2019, 17:00 EST.

Submissions should be sent via email to

Please submit your proposal as a PDF-format labeled “Last Name Digital Policy Postcon 2019”

Notifications of acceptance will be sent in early February 2019.

The event will be held at American University on Wednesday, May 29 from 9:00am to 4:45pm. A registration fee to cover coffee, lunch, and room fees will be required of presenters and non-presenters.

Confirmed Participants (more to be added):

Eleonora Mazzoli, London School of Economics, formerly European Broadcasting Union

Sally Broughton-Micova, University of East Anglia

Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin

Representative from Free Press

ICA Division Endorsers:

Communication Law and Policy

Media Industry Studies

Activism, Communication and Social Justice

Communication and Technology

For questions, please contact one of the post-conference organizers:

Christopher Ali, University of Virginia,

Amanda Lotz, Queensland University of Technology,

Philip Napoli, Duke University,