Four Communication faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Letters who are also fellows from the UST Research Center for Culture, Arts and Humanities (RCCAH) recently presented papers at the 27th Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) conference held at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.  The UST group was composed of RCCAH Director Prof. Joyce L. Arriola, Ph.D., Dr. Maria Gwenetha Pusta, Communication and Media Studies Chair Asst. Prof. Jose Arsenio Salandanan and Dr. Beyan Hagos. 

AMIC, an international non-government organization (NGO) committed to communication media development in the Asia Pacific region, is guided by its mission to nurture and promote communication media research, capacity building, knowledge management and dialogue among academic, industry, government and civil society.  

Aptly themed ‘Communication, Technology, and New Humanism,’ the conference drew a number of communication scholars and practitioners as they delivered papers covering a wide range of topics which included Arts and Culture: Rediscovering Forms and Platforms; Communication, Human Rights, and Democracy: Enablers and Disruptors; Mediated Learning: Outside the Classroom Box; Understanding Post-humanism: Artificial intelligence, Robotics and Dataism; Finding Humanism in Business and Marketing Communication; Social and Behaviour Change Communication for Development; and Communication in a Post-truth Era: Disinformation, Misinformation, and Fake News, among many others.   

In her research titled ‘The New Humanities as Research Agenda: Exploring Loci for Communication and Allied Fields,’ RCCAH Director Arriola argued that new research areas may be explored in view of the obsolescence of old sites of inquiry due to the changes wrought by the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. The universal call for New Humanism, spearheaded by the UNESCO, is meant to recuperate the human amidst the depersonalizing effects of new communication technologies. In the long run, the new communication culture will adjust to the challenges posed by technological shifts and will even be the most critical catalyst in ushering the fifth industrial revolution, which is purported to be centered on innovation and moral purpose.  

In their collaborative work, ‘A Research Policy Study on Innovation, Communication and Technology in Designing a Communication Style Guide,’ Dr. Pusta and Asst. Prof. Salandanan opined that the practice of quality research in communication is instantiated through a model with elements like innovation, communication and technology.  The research paper hoped to address and crystalize issues, debates and paradigm shifts in creating a standard presentation of communication researches in the Communication program.  

Dr. Hagos’ paper ‘The Moro (Muslim Mindanao) Question and the Media Coverage: The Philippine Daily Inquirer’ focused on how the Islamic South’s issue transformed from armed confrontation against the Republic to a long process of negotiation.  State-sponsored negotiation needs public support to arrive at some form of settlement, Hagos stated as he underscored the pivotal role of media as a tool for information dissemination which would bring about a better understanding of the issues.

During the three-day conference, the keynote and plenary speakers, led by Professor Emeriti Eddie Kuo and Tapio Varis challenged the scholars to develop new communication theories and frameworks which would clearly exhibit the Asian context and urged everyone to engage in collaborative research undertakings.  The 28th AMIC conference will be held at the Communication University of China.