The 40th Anniversary Conference & AEJMC KACA Research Sessions
August 6-9, 2018, Washington, D.C.
Renewed Role of the Press in Building, Transforming, and Restoring Democracy: Korea and Beyond
The Korean American Communication Association (KACA) invites paper submissions for its 40th Anniversary
Conference on August 9, 2018 and for KACA Research Sessions during the annual meeting of Association for
Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), August 6 – 9, 2018. Both KACA’s 40th
anniversary conference and KACA research sessions will be at Renaissance Washington DC.
For the 40th anniversary conference, papers that address the conference theme are particularly welcome,
but submissions in any areas of communication research on Korea-related topics are encouraged as well. For
AEJMC’s KACA sessions, any communications research on Korea-related topics is welcome.
The theme of the 40th Anniversary Conference, “Renewed Role of the Press in Building, Transforming, and
Restoring Democracy: Korea and Beyond” aims to facilitate our scholarly discussions on renewed role of the
press in changing media and political environments in Korea and elsewhere. Though compromised from
time to time, freedom of the press has become an essential part of Korean politics. Nonetheless, the
contribution of the press to Korean democracy continues to be the subject of intense debate among
scholars, political elites, and average citizens. Particularly, the recent turmoil in Korean politics presents
need to reassess the role of the press not only in building but in transforming and restoring democracy. Also,
the wide availability of digital platforms for social networking has fundamentally changed the way citizens
become politically engaged, redefining the notion of democratic citizenship. Any potential mismatch
between new democratic citizenship and current journalism further justifies need to investigate renewed
role of the press in Korea and in other democracies.
As the media have power to influence national political discourse, the notion of free and open media is
essential to a healthy democracy. KACA seeks to bring together regional and international media scholars to
discuss issues relating to media and democracy and to propose solutions to problems (if any) identified in
Korea and in Asian and other countries. Our emphasis on democracy is intended to link up with various
communication theories and research approaches that take on the interplay of democracy and media as
presented through any forms of data or perspectives. Any topics linking the media to democracy are
welcome, including but not limited to:
- Whether/how free media serve or harm democracy once they have been established.
- How to conceptualize and operationalize media’s contribution to democracy. What are potential
- How traditional and/or emerging media have (re)shaped democratic citizenship, particularly the way
citizens obtain and share information and the way they participate in democratic decision making.
- How to (re)conceptualize freedom, democracy, and justice in the 21st century media and political
- How to (re)conceptualize the watchdog, guard dog, and lapdog role of the press in the 21st century
media and political environment.
- How new technology affects the principles of democratic journalism and the notion of freedom of the
- How market principles and competitions affect journalistic practices.
- The relationship between the media and the government and its potential consequences.
- How new democratic citizenship and changing media environment affect political campaigns and
- The relationship between the media, political activism, and social movement.
- How to preserve freedom of expression and the public sphere in the new media environment.
- Private and public ownership of media organizations and implications for democracy.
- Unintended outcomes of new technologies (e.g., digital divide, fake news, data journalism, Virtual
Reality, Artificial Reality, Mixed Reality) and implications for democracy.
- How social and mobile media have changed political communication and how traditional media can
complement or compete with the newer forms of technology.
- The role of alternative and independent media outlets as they relate to democratic processes.
- Histories of media reform movements
- Media policies and regulations designed to arrange for democratic communication.
1. Deadline: All submissions must be made no later than Friday, April 13, 11:59 pm, EST, 2018.
2. Categories of Submissions: Two categories of submissions will be accepted: full papers (20 pages plus
tables, figures, and references) or extended abstracts (4-5 pages plus references, tables, and figures),
though full papers are preferred. Extended abstracts should contain literature review, research
questions/hypothesis, method section, and findings. Abstracts only with literature review or research
questions/hypotheses will not be considered.
3. Author Identification: Names and other information that may identify the author(s) should not appear
anywhere in the paper other than on the cover page.
4. Cover page: The cover page should include the following information: Title, names of the authors,
affiliations, mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.
5. Submission Method: All submissions should be in either MS Word or PDF format and sent by email to
Seok Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org).
6. Selected papers will be assigned to either the 40th Anniversary Session (August 9) or the KACA-AEJMC
Session (date TBD) for presentation. Papers that received the best reviews will be recognized in the
sessions (for both the Anniversary Conference and AEJMC KACA Research Sessions).
Additional information about the KACA and the conference can be found at KACA website: