Monday, July 1, 2013

CFP: The Role of Advocacy in Media and Telecom Policy

A by-invitation experts’ workshop
New America Foundation
September 29-October 1, 2013

What is the role of advocacy in the formation of media and telecom policy and how do we study the engagement of advocates in policy change? Scholars have studied the work of media policy advocates analyzing their framing practices, mobilizing strategies, and how they create (or hinder) political opportunities for policy reform. There seems to be a growing need to study the structural, cultural, and cognitive factors that shape the work of media policy advocates, the processes by which they build capacities, and the impacts of their work on the policies they try to shape, and on inclusive and democratic media governance structures. Should media and telecom policy advocacy be seen as central to the “laboring of communication” (Mosco & McKerger, 2008), a critical form of knowledge work that seeks to redraw the material, symbolic, and normative boundaries defining media fields and practices, or are they merely another “pressure group” whose impact needs to be evaluated in the analysis of the policy process? Does policy advocacy labor serve only a taken-for-granted conception about the policy process or does it challenge and change such conceptualizations? Can the notion of policy advocacy work refocus attention on institutional pressures faced by advocates and researchers of media and telecom policy?

The Institute for Information Policy at Penn State University, the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, and the New America Foundation are pleased to announce this call for paper proposals discussing the role of citizens, grassroots organizations, community organizers, action researchers, practitioner-advocates, consumer interest advocates and any other form of advocacy in the media and communications policy field and their work in this field.

Authors of the selected papers will be invited to present and discuss them during a 2 day by-invitation-only experts workshop designed to bring together up to a dozen experts to be held at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC between September 29-October 1, 2013. This workshop is part of a series of events focused on “Making Policy Research Accessible,” organized by the IIP, with the support of the Ford Foundation and the Media Democracy Fund. (For programs of previous workshops see: Presenters at the workshop will be invited to submit their completed papers for review by the Journal of Information Policy (

Topics of papers may include, but are not limited to issues such as:
  • Methodologies for the assessment of capacity building and/or policy advocacy projects.
  • Analysis of the configuration of advocacy networks and advocacy work.
  • Case studies assessing policy advocacy efforts and initiatives
  • Theories of policy advocacy and evaluation.
  • Impacts of advocacy and activism on changes in media and telecom policy.
  • Proposals for meaningful indicators and frameworks of policy advocacy impacts.
  • Comparative case studies of advocacy training and capacity-building programs and activities.
  • Evaluation of policy advocacy work focused on historically unserved or underserved communities.
  • Assessment of policy advocacy initiatives directed at community and civil society institutions
  • Historical assessments and lessons learned from previous policy advocacy battles.
  • Philanthropic and practitioner roles and perspectives on policy advocacy challenges and solutions.
  • Case studies of academic-advocate-practitioner collaborations.
  • The niche of media activists within the political economy of U.S. media/telecom policy.
  • Funding and disclosure in media advocacy and collaborations with political organizations.
  • Policies to support media policy advocacy and organizations.
  • What are the obstacles to successful media policy advocacy?
  • “Best practices” for citizen media policy activist groups
  • The role of social media in the process of policy advocacy.
Abstracts of up to 500 words and a short bio of the author(s) should be submitted to by July 31, 2013. Please write IIPNAFCCAMTP: YOUR NAME in the subject line. Accepted presenters will be notified by August 15, 2013