The 11th Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia2020)

Join us online for MediAsia2020!

November 12–14, 2020 | Online from Kyoto, Japan

Special Announcement: MediAsia2020 will be held Online

Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, IAFOR has made the decision to hold MediAsia2020 entirely online via Zoom.

View the Conference Programme

Welcome to The 11th Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia), held in partnership with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan.

MediAsia2020 encourages academics and scholars to meet and exchange ideas and views in an international forum stimulating respectful dialogue. This event will afford an exceptional opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, networking, and facilitating partnerships across national and disciplinary borders.

Since its founding in 2009, IAFOR has brought people and ideas together in a variety of events and platforms to promote and celebrate interdisciplinary study, and underline its importance. IAFOR continues to engage in many cross-sectoral projects across the world, including those engaging leading universities (Virginia Tech, UCL, Singapore Management University, University of Belgrade, Lingnan University, Barcelona University, University of Hawai’i, Moscow State University), think tanks, research organisations and agencies (the East-West Center, The Center for Higher Education Research, The World Intellectual Property Organization), and collaborative projects with governments, and international governmental organisations (Government of Japan through the Prime Minister’s office, the United Nations in New York), media agencies (The Wall Street Journal, JWT, HarperCollins).

With the IAFOR Research Centre at Osaka University, we have engaged in a number of interdisciplinary initiatives we believe will have an important impact on domestic and international public policy conversations and outcomes.

IAFOR's unique global platform facilitates discussion around specific subject areas, with the goal of generating new knowledge and understanding, forging and expanding new international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research networks and partnerships. We have no doubt that MediAsia2020 will offer a remarkable opportunity for the sharing of research and best practice and for the meeting of people and ideas.

MediAsia2020 will be held alongside The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2020). Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.

We look forward to seeing you online!

The MediAsia2020 Organising Committee

Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Bradley J. Hamm, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, USA
Virgil Hawkins, Osaka University, Japan
Celia Lam, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
Timothy W. Pollock, Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan
Paul Spicer, Hiroshima Jogakuin University, Japan
Gary E. Swanson, University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

MediAsia is organised by IAFOR in association with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in Osaka University, Japan.

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: Online from Kyoto, Japan
  • Dates: Thursday, November 12, 2020 ​to Saturday, November 14, 2020
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: June 26, 2020*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: August 28, 2020
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: October 02, 2020

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.


  • Gary McLeod
    Gary McLeod
    University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • Vincent Ni
    Vincent Ni
    BBC, UK

Our Response to the Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Present, Publish, Participate On-site or Online

Continued excellence in service, wherever you are

Our commitment to you; academics, scholars and educators around the world, is to continue to run conferences where and how possible, but in the full knowledge that in these unprecedented and changing times, we must engage as much as is possible online, allowing those who choose not to travel, or who cannot travel, opportunities to present, publish and participate online.


Given the uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and related and evolving government responses, we understand that potential delegates’ plans may be subject to change beyond their control, and indeed many people may not be able to travel to our conferences. We will be as flexible as we can our side to allow delegates to switch registration types between “on-site” and “online” depending on their circumstances, up until one month before the conference, so that you can be assured that whatever your situation, you can still present, publish and participate.

Special Themes and Areas of Focus

Authors have the optional opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2020 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus.

IAFOR 2020 Special Theme: “Embracing Difference”

At a time when nationalism and ethno-centrism have become ascendant ideologies and provide easy refuge from the anxieties generated by globalisation and economic uncertainty, it is far too easy to see “difference” as a problem rather than an opportunity. Yes, cultural, religious, linguistic, and social differences can make us uncomfortable. They can be frightening, unsettling, and intellectually challenging. At the same time, they are enormously generative. It is only through encountering cultures and belief systems unlike our own that we learn anything about the flaws and limitations inherent in our own perspectives.

“Difference” is the source of innovation and change. While negotiating the difficulties of seemingly incompatible belief systems may pose tremendous challenges to us all, the payoffs for actively seeking out, celebrating, and working to converse across profound differences are manifold. As we learn about others, we learn about ourselves. And through those encounters, we have the opportunity to chart a future in which difference does not lead to violence, intolerance, or retrenchment, but instead is celebrated as the source of our collective strength.

IAFOR Special Areas of Focus

In line with its organisational mission, IAFOR encourages, facilitates and nurtures interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on international and intercultural perspectives. Current areas of focus of the organisation include the following ongoing collaborative programmes and initiatives.

Innovation and Value

The Innovation and Value Initiative is housed at the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan. It was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in a special collaborative UN/IAFOR session at the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018) on June 6, 2018, and has included various conferences and seminars, including the October 2018 IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit (GIVS), organised in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. This theme invites reflections at the intersection of innovation and value as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the Innovation and Value Initiative, click here.


IAFOR was asked by the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan to collaborate on the launch of the Kansai Resilience Forum. The forum was held in February 2019 and looked at how resilience is built in individuals and communities, through education and experience, as well as through various physical and logistical structures, enhanced by innovations in engineering and technology. This theme encourages interdisciplinary studies on the concept and reality of resilience as it relates to the conference areas of study. For more information about the Kansai Resilience Forum, click here.

The Silk Road

The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative is an ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative that uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges. The initiative is a collaborative endeavour which includes the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University (Japan), Belgrade University (Serbia) and The École Normale Supérieure (France). This theme encourages submissions on Silk Road Studies and international cooperation in general as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.


“Inspiring Global Research Collaborations”

Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange, principally through educational interaction and academic research. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research centre is in the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan. Read more about IAFOR.

International | Intercultural | Interdisciplinary

About Kyoto and the Kansai Area

IAFOR is excited and proud to be able to Kyoto is one of the most storied and beautiful cities, and was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years from 794 until 1868.

The Kansai area, 500 km east of Tokyo, boasts the cities of Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and Nara. Kansai represents the inherent strength (sokojikara) of Japan as the vortex of Japan’s cultural, political and commercial activities for nearly 13 centuries. In times past Kyoto and the older capital Nara were the repositories of religion, knowledge, technology, and civilisation that reached Japan by way of the Silk Road. Osaka has been the biggest commerce centre since the Edo period (1603 – 1868), pioneering in futures trade and giving birth to many large trading houses that would provide the social capital for rapid industrialisation in the Meiji era (1868 – 1912). Even though the capital has moved to Tokyo, Kansai continues to flourish in this rich cultural heritage and tradition of innovative thinking, as a place where East mingles with the West over time and space in ways that Tokyo cannot match.

Gary McLeod
University of Tsukuba, Japan


Gary McLeod is an assistant professor at the University of Tsukuba, Japan where he teaches photomedia. Receiving a Ph. from London College of Communication in 2016 for practice-led research into photographs made during the Challenger Expedition (1872-1876), much of his work continues to explore applications of rephotography, particularly in relation to temporal and visual literacy. Currently, he is completing a book for Routledge that surveys rephotography as an expanded practice and is undertaking a JSPS funded rephotographic study of tsunami-affected areas in response to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.

Keynote Presentation (2020) | Finding Time in Iwate
Vincent Ni


Vincent Ni is the co-founder of Asia Matters podcast. He is also a Senior Journalist at the BBC in London. Over the past decade, he has reported from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. He regularly appears on the BBC’s domestic and international TV, radio and online platforms, providing analysis mainly on China’s foreign policies to the broadcaster’s global audience. He has also worked on Newsnight and Newshour, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programmes on TV and radio respectively, and has been a speaker at international forums such as Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Asia Society and Columbia University in New York. Prior to the BBC, he was a correspondent for Caixin Media, tracking China’s global footprint in the Middle East, Europe and North America. Born and raised in Shanghai, Vincent is a graduate of the University of Oxford. In 2018 he was selected as one of the 16 Greenberg World Fellows, a highly-competitive mid-career leadership development programme at Yale University.