Call for Papers

MIA no. 169 (August 2016)

Rethinking Public Relations in the Australian and New
Zealand Communication Landscape

Theme Editors: Kate Fitch, Donald Matheson and Michael Bourk

Public relations plays a central role in the production of public knowledge in Australia and New Zealand, yet the practice remains weakly defined and the field of study is still too reliant on functionalist perspectives drawn from primarily USbased theorisations. Public relations has struggled to develop academic legitimacy and, despite its alignment primarily with communication studies in the Australian academy, it has had limited impact on other communication disciplines.

However, for almost two decades, scholars from Australia and New Zealand have played a pivotal role in resisting the dominant paradigm founded on mainstream symmetrical approaches. For example, a special issue of the Australian Journal of Communication promoted radical and diverse perspectives in public relations scholarship, and the University of Waikato was – and still is – a significant institution in the development of critical public relations scholarship globally. Drawing on the 2015 ANZCA conference in Queenstown, ‘Rethinking Communication, Space and Identity’, this special issue of MIA sets out to describe and make sense of the identity and practice of public relations in Australia and New Zealand.

We seek articles that approach public relations from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that go beyond functional, applied work. The issue represents a new and welcome dialogue between public relations scholarship and other communication disciplines and theories. It aims to contribute to the re-theorisation of public relations for Australia and New Zealand, asking how the practice can best be understood in terms of the critical concerns, public domains
and social contexts in these countries and exploring societal and ethical impacts.

It also provides greater specificity about how public relations practice has developed in the region, about the local identity of the PR practitioner and how the practice interrelates with other key producers of public knowledge in these two countries, particularly journalism and government information. We therefore seek fresh and critical perspectives on public relations in Australia and New Zealand in order to ensure this special issue offers a much needed forum to share diverse, interdisciplinary and critical public relations scholarship.

Abstracts (150 words) are due by 23 December 2016.

Full articles (5000 words maximum) of accepted abstracts must be submitted by 1 February 2016.

Abstracts and queries should be sent to Kate Fitch at


Call for Papers

MIA no. 161 (November 2016)

Gendered Labour and Media

Theme Editors: Jeannine Baker and Justine Lloyd

While gendered divisions of labour persist in media industries, media forms also constitute a new sphere of ‘work’ that reflects and refracts historical shifts in categories of gender..

This special issue’s focus on ‘gendered labour’ seeks to offer a new perspective on the kinds of work that are central to media industries: the diverse symbolic and transformative activities that are implicated in the recognition of gender as a social category. In this vein, we encourage contributors to explore media representation and production as being intimately connected, rather than as separate stages of linear economic cycles.

This issue of MIA will explore the following questions:
• What is the role of gendered labour within media industries and institutions?
• How can we understand contemporary debates around this role from a historical perspective?
• How is gendered work mediated?

We are seeking contributions that:
• discuss media framing of paid and unpaid work in historical and current contexts
• examine critical events and moments in women’s employment in media industries
• document media representations of disputes and struggles in female-based industries
• look at social media as tools for organising around gender-based issues
• provide historical accounts of women’s work in particular programs and sectors (i.e. commercial, public service and community broadcasting, as well as new media industries, including gaming, etc.)
• consider intersectionality and the convergences of gender, class and
racialisation in working lives in media industries, and
• give accounts of representations of gendered labour in particular media forms (film, print, photography, radio, television, video games, etc.).

We would be particularly interested in studies of these topics outside Australian context, or in a transnational setting.

Abstracts (150 words) are due by 15 January 2016.

Full articles (5000 words maximum) of accepted abstracts must be submitted by 15 April 2016.

Abstracts and queries to: Justine Lloyd: or Jeannine Baker:




Call for Papers

MIA no. 162 (February 2017)

Media Geographies:
Spatialising the Entertainment Industries

Theme Editors: Bronwyn Coate, Deb Verhoeven and Alwyn Davidson


Like many contemporary disciplines, media and entertainment studies has recently rediscovered the spatial and location-related questions that have more broadly come to characterise a ‘spatial turn’ in the humanities. As a result, many specific, industry-level media geographies have been undertaken in areas of study such as cinema, television, music, the internet, advertising and gaming. One cause of this spatial turn is the abundance and availability of geographic data and software. By stressing the spatial significance of the media and entertainment industries, it is possible to look beyond the spaces/geographies that these industries create towards a critical analysis of what these geographies tell us about the spatial nature of media and entertainment practices. This encourages a move from simply using data to map localities of venues, events and other related occurrences to addressing questions around the significant geographical patterns and relationships discovered through exploring the spatial side of these industries. This issue of MIA will place geographical inquiry and analysis at the forefront of investigations into the production, distribution, exhibition and consumption of media and entertainment industries. It will trace the growing convergence of interest between geographers/geoscience and media/entertainment scholars towards understanding media practices, institutions, and industries within and across both disciplines.

We invite original submissions from a range of disciplinary perspectives including (but not limited to) media studies, cultural studies, geography, geospatial sciences, economics,
and sociology. We particularly encourage co-authored, interdisciplinary, data-driven papers offering critical insights that enable the issues of geography and various aspects of the entertainment industries to be considered in innovative ways.

Potential topics for consideration include (but are not limited to):

• the role of GIS and geovisualisation in media and entertainment studies
• the changing geography of media and entertainment industries
• spatial analysis of media or entertainment data
• the spatial organisation of media market territories in either historical (e.g. zone-runclearance) or contemporary settings (e.g. geo-blocking)
• the itineraries and flow of cultural products between places
• specific creative industries, such as live music performance and entertainment events, linked to place or compared across locations
• the cultivation of audience tied to place and in a globalised entertainment market
• new media and the productions of place/space.

Abstracts (150 words) are due by 29 February 2016.
Full articles (5000 words maximum) will need to be submitted by 4 July 2016.
Abstracts and queries should be sent to Bronwyn Coate at:

General Articles

In addition to its quarterly themed sections, each issue of MIA also contains several peer-reviewed general articles, dealing with issues relevant to the journal's constituency.

The journal's editor, Professor Sue Turnbull, is now calling for general articles on a diverse range of areas, including:

  • cultural and media policy
  • media industries
  • internet, online gaming and online media
  • cultural and creative industries
  • the media and society
  • Indigenous media and arts issues
  • television, radio and film
  • new media and new technology
  • media regulation
  • cultural institutions and education
  • globalisation and networks

Please contact Susan Jarvis, Production Editor, Media International Australia, at:


Professor Sue Turnbull, Editor, Media International Australia, at:




Themed Issues

MIA is also calling for proposals for themed issues to be published in 2016 and 2017. We are particularly interested in areas where new and dynamic research is occuring and in subjects of contemporary relevance.

Submitting a Theme Issue Proposal

The MIA Board is keen to encourage proposals for themed issues on topics that will be of interest and value to the journal’s readership.
MIA has a broad remit across the field of media and communications in Australia and welcomes papers with an international focus. Once submitted, proposals are reviewed by the Board as a whole. While some submissions may be accepted as they stand, in some cases modifications may be required. Occasionally, the Board may determine that a proposal is not suitable for MIA


MIA prefers proposals that come from two or three editors, as this ensures a division of labour and a fall-back position if, for any reason, one editor has to drop out at some time during the process. 


The proposal should consist of a submission of about 500 words, which explains what the issue will be about, looks at why this topic is of relevance and importance, and outlines the key issues to be addressed, together with a list of possible contributors (at least six) and short abstracts of their proposed papers.

Call for Papers

Once the proposal is accepted and a possible publication date established, MIA would normally include a call for papers in a relevant issue to attract more submissions to the issue.  Should the theme issue editors not be able to include all such submissions (for reasons of length), such papers may be included in the general papers section of subsequent issues of MIA.



Please contact MIA's Editor, Professor Sue Turnbull, to discuss possible proposals at:
or send proposals to:
Susan Jarvis,
Production editor, Media International Australia, at