Programme

Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • When All the Research Says Otherwise but Fear Remains: On the Role of Facts in Dealing with Future Fears
    When All the Research Says Otherwise but Fear Remains: On the Role of Facts in Dealing with Future Fears
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
  • Indifferent Publics – The Challenge of Japanese Media Today
    Indifferent Publics – The Challenge of Japanese Media Today
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Kaori Hayashi
  • Fearful Futures: Are we Awoke?
    Fearful Futures: Are we Awoke?
    Keynote Presentation: Keiko Bang
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2018
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2018
    Winners Announcement
  • A Past Worth Saving: Reflections on a Lifetime of Cultural and Film Preservation in Hollywood and Japan
    A Past Worth Saving: Reflections on a Lifetime of Cultural and Film Preservation in Hollywood and Japan
    Featured Presentation: Stuart Galbraith IV
  • The State of Film Studies in Japan
    The State of Film Studies in Japan
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Chie Niita, Tim W. Pollock & Professor Yutaka Kubo

Full Programme

The online version of the Conference Programme is now available to view below via the Issuu viewing platform. The Conference Programme can also be viewed on the Issuu website (requires a web browser). An Issuu app is available for Android users. Alternatively, download a PDF version.

The Conference Programme contains access information, session information and a detailed day-to-day presentation schedule. All registered delegates who attend conference receive a printed copy of the Conference Programme at the Registration Desk on arrival. Only one copy of the Conference Programme is available per delegate, so please take good care of your copy.

For an overview of the conference schedule, please see the Conference Outline page.


Previous Programming

View details of programming for past MediAsia conferences via the links below.

When All the Research Says Otherwise but Fear Remains: On the Role of Facts in Dealing with Future Fears
Keynote Presentation: Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst

The future was, is and always will be fear-filled for most of us, worrying about such things as climate change and intolerance for cultural differences. The pressing question for communication is how to portray such fears. One approach is to argue against certain fears with numbers, facts and statistics. But as we know from examples like the fear of flying or test-taking anxiety, it does little good: fears persist.

The reason is that fear is controlled by our unconscious while facts are processed in our critical mind; system 1 versus system 2 in the categorisation of Nobel laureate, Daniel Kahneman. The two systems work very differently and independently of one another. Reason, that is, system 2, evaluates and decides whether something makes sense and is logical and correct; the unconscious, system 1, decides whether we like something. Fears are thus guided by system 1. The challenge behind addressing fears is that system 1 functions unconsciously – consciousness does not process the information.

Studies show that good judgement and decisions occur when the two systems are synchronised: when people judge things objectively and critically, but also with regard to positive or negative consequences.

Communication must answer three important questions:

  1. How can we access system 1 and thereby the assessment of fears?
  2. How can we communicate with both systems?
  3. How can we synchronise both systems?

Read presenter biographies.

Indifferent Publics – The Challenge of Japanese Media Today
Keynote Presentation: Professor Kaori Hayashi

Recent years have seen the growing diffusion of "fake news" via Facebook and other online channels. This disinformation is interfering with the citizens' ability to acquire accurate knowledge about politics, something essential for the functioning of democracy, and accelerates social divisions. But in Japan, the current state does not exhibit the same levels of polarisation of political opinion, as seen by the growing populistic protests of other nations or high level of distrust in the media. Rather, the Japanese challenge can be summarised as something constituting "disinterest", "apathy" and "inertia" in the public.

In Japan, unlike in most Western nations, media institutions generally avoid controversy and partisanship. This means that the major concern is not the public's distrust, but instead, indifference.

Read presenter biographies.

Fearful Futures: Are we Awoke?
Keynote Presentation: Keiko Bang

The digital paradigm shift is creating disruption across numerous industries, and none so vividly and remarkably as that of media and its ubiquitous platforms of engagement and play. These rapid transformations may challenge many as the speed of change supersedes the ensuing critical questions we have about ethics, transparency and the infinitely sexy world of big data, and many others. But as we step back, pull out and take a wide pan of society today, it is clear that convergence is a two-edged sword: That for each compromise of our privacy and stormy debate on ethics, there is an equally harrowing story about those rescued from death; for each of our first world problems of digital obsession, there are thousands of communities transformed by knowledge and experience through their digital connections; and that for all the fear we exhibit in the West about robots and AI, the fear some Sith Lord lies awake in the darknet, we have given people a candle in that darkness, too. Tools to gather evidence of mass genocide live as it unfolds, voices of regimes that used to be silent, the unleashing of a creative syncopation onto a digital canvas that reinvents the concept of engagement and yet, in contrarian fashion, has given birth to a movement inspired by consciousness, wisdom and even paganism.

Read presenter biographies.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2018
Winners Announcement

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Simon Roberts, Simon Norfolk, Emma Bowkett, Monica Allende and Jocelyn Bain Hogg as Guest Judges.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Now in its fourth year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, British Journal of Photography, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

Winners of this year's IAFOR Documentary Photography Award will be announced at The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia) in Tokyo, Japan. The award follows the theme of the conference, with 2018’s theme being “Fearful Futures”. In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Access to the Award Announcement is included in the conference registration fee.

Image from the series "Single Mothers of Afghanistan" by Kiana Hayeri, 2017 Grand Prize Winner

Visit Award Website
A Past Worth Saving: Reflections on a Lifetime of Cultural and Film Preservation in Hollywood and Japan
Featured Presentation: Stuart Galbraith IV

Mr Galbraith will join the conference by Skype from his beautiful renovated home in Kyoto to discuss Japan’s attitude towards its past, his efforts to shine a light on some of the lesser-known and less well-regarded areas of Japanese film history, and his work in Japan and abroad to preserve its cinematic and physical history.

Read presenter biographies.

The State of Film Studies in Japan
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Chie Niita, Tim W. Pollock & Professor Yutaka Kubo

WJT Mitchell writes of the “pictorial turn” in Western culture and academia, which, broadly speaking, refers to the shift in Western culture from communicating by written text to communicating through images (or in more contemporary terms, communicating through a new multimodal format that features both written texts and images). The acknowledgment of this cultural shift took decades in academia, with the critical study of images finally entering the Western academy through the field of semiotics, and by the early 1970s, film studies.

In Japan, just like in America, the introduction of film in the first two decades of the 20th century led to criticism and calls for censorship, as film was seen as a degraded form of popular culture only suitable for the uneducated masses who made up the bulk of the audience. This panel will focus on the study of images and film in the Japanese academy, including the related theoretical frameworks of critical theory, semiotics and neoformalism. It is obvious that Japanese society as a whole has made the pictorial turn, this panel will discuss whether the Japanese academy has embraced this cultural shift as worthy of study.

Read presenter biographies.