Posted on October 27, 2015

The Department of Mass Communication at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) hosted on October 25-26 the 20th Annual International Conference of the Arab-US Association of Communication Educators (AUSACE). Organized for the first time in Qatar and in conjunction with AUSACE, the 2-day conference aimed to bring together researchers and media experts from over 21 countries to share their research findings and ideas on topics related to global trends and prospects in mass communication.

Attending the opening ceremony were QU President Dr Hassan Al-Derham (pictured left) AUSACE  President Prof Mohammed El-Nawawy, CAS dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi, CAS associate deans --  for Research and Graduate Affairs Dr Mohamed Ahmedna, for Planning and Quality Assurance Dr Steven Wright and for Academic Affairs Dr Hassan Abdel-Aziz, and Department of Mass Communication head Dr Mahmoud Galander (pictured right),as well as a number of QU faculty and students.

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Keynote speaker Indiana University Journalism Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Weaver gave a presentation on “Journalism and Mass Communication Research in an Age of Globalization: What do We Know and What Should We Know?”. He emphasized on broadening narrowly-focused journalism research into a more general study of mass communication processes and effects. The program agenda featured 74 research papers on various topics such as the gamut from representations of the Middle East in Western media, US foreign policy as communication about the Middle East, Arab Spring and Arab Gulf media, electronic media in the Arab Gulf and maintaining Islamic cultural values, among many others.

In his opening remarks, Dr Al-Derham said: “It is an honor to have been chosen this year to host the annual conference of the Arab-US Association for Communication Educators (AUSACE). We are delighted to play a role in supporting AUSACE’s mission by providing an opportunity for showcasing media research and advancing professional relationships among Arab and US university faculty, students, and media professionals. Indeed, by hosting international conferences such as today’s, Qatar University is working towards its strategic objective to advance research and ensure that research efforts address contemporary challenges in Qatar and beyond.”

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Prof El-Nawawy said: “We, as AUSACE, are very excited to be here, particularly given the increasingly important professional and academic roles that Qatar has been playing in the regional and international news media and mass communication scenes, and given the prominent academic and media projects that have been initiated in Qatar.” Dr Mustafawi said: “The conference comes in line with the college’s ongoing goals of broadening students’ educational perspective. I hope our students will get to sample the various presentations and learn about the important issues facing mass media around the world.”

Dr Galander said: “The Department of Mass Communication is one of the most sought after departments at QU. Currently, more than 600 students are enrolled in three programs that include print and online journalism, online radio and TV, and strategic communication. The department is proud to be the first school of communication in the region that has earned accreditation from the prestigious ACEJMC. Since our accreditation, several Middle Eastern universities have consulted us in the process, and three have got the accreditation.”