On February 4 & 5, NeFCA organized the virtual Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2021. Despite, or maybe because, the conference being completely virtual, we had a great turnout in both presenters and attendees. Well over a 100 papers were presented, spread over more than 20 sessions, involving topics such as algorithmic persuasion, fake news, and health communication in the current COVID-pandemic. Some sessions were attended by over 50 participants!
In addition to these sessions, Vrije Universiteit Brussels organized a plenary session on ‘Algorithms, diversity and public service media’, which was attended by over a 100 people. The plenary started with a keynote by prof. Jonathon Hutchinson (University of Sydney), followed by a panel discussion of media experts: Ms. Lotte Vermeir (Adjunct-manager Eén/Canvas/VRT.Nu at VRT), Dr. Bob van de Velde (co-chair of the AI and Data Initiative at the EBU/Lead big data engineer at NPO), and Prof. Ike Picone (professor at VUB and head of the Journalism, Trust and Participation unit at imec-SMIT-VUB). If you wish to (re-)watch the plenary session, you can do this here: https://youtu.be/00ak0dHPwyE.
Moreover, Political Communication organized junior-senior meetup sessions, Organizational Communication kicked off their sessions with a keynote by prof. Ansgar Zerfass on strategic communication, and the Young Scholars Network organized a panel on ‘Diversity Issues in Academia’, together with our the Intercultural Communication & Diversity division.
During NeFCA’s general assembly, which was attended by more people than ever before, our temporary work groups on Science Communication and Intercultural Communication & Diversity were approved to become divisions. Congratulations to our two newest divisions! Also congratulations to award winners prof. dr. Jan Kleijnenhuis (senior career award) and dr. Yosha Wijngaarden (dissertation award 2019).
The NeFCA board wants to thank the steering committees of all divisions for their efforts in organizing this virtual Etmaal. We greatly appreciate their help in organizing the sessions amidst all their other work in these unprecedented times.
We look forward to seeing all of you in person in Brussels at the Etmaal 2022!
The NeFCA board
Karolien Poels, Margot van der Goot, Stijn Joye, Stephanie Welten, and Alexander Schouten.