How COVID-19 changed 2020: An important message from the NeFCA board

When we sent out the first newsletter of 2020 in early March, we did not yet realize that merely one week later our world would be completely different due to COVID-19. We first and foremost hope that you and your loved ones are in good health!

From mid-March on, we collectively started working from home, combining private and academic life. We had to adapt and stay sane in these difficult times. What a challenge that was… and still is! Conferences, workshops, summer schools, PhD defenses, and lots of other activities were canceled, postponed or reshaped to a virtual version. The yearly ICA conference went virtual and it was a great success! Professor Claes de Vreese (ASCoR), co-founder of NeFCA and winner of NeFCA’s Senior Career award was installed as the new ICA president. On behalf of the NeFCA community, we would like to congratulate him with this great honor and wish him a fruitful presidentship! Other big conferences in our field, like IAMCR 2020 will also be held virtually and ECREA 2020 in Braga will be postponed to 2021. For the next edition of our very own Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, planned in Brussels February 2021, we are discussing several options with the organizing committee from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. We will keep you posted and inform you in due course!

Meanwhile, the NeFCA board discussed the impact on our own organization, because due to current measures related to COVID-19, several NeFCA divisions unfortunately also had to postpone or cancel their planned events. First of all, the board would like to stress that there are still financial means to support online alternatives or new digital events. If you have plans, please do get in touch with us and your division heads! On the other hand, we are fully aware of the substantial financial implications of the current situation on our universities, colleges and individual members. Therefore, we decided to have a one-off adjustment to our membership fees for 2020. Concretely, we will grant a 50% reduction fee, thus charging 500 euro for institutional membership (i.e. 10 staff members and 35 euro for all additional members including free membership for all PhD-students at the department), 35 euro for individual membership of staff and 25 euro for PhD students who are willing to enlist for a one-year individual membership. As usual, our secretaries will be in touch with your administration offices towards the end of the year to make the necessary arrangements. As such, we hope to make a small or big difference in these difficult times, without forgoing our ‘normal’ organization and activities.

Dear NeFCA members, we wish you lots of courage in coping with these bizarre times. Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy your Summer and some well-deserved holidays! We will meet again J