2021 BEA Research Symposium: Media and Crisis Communication | BEA - The Broadcast Education Association
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2021 BEA Research Symposium: Media and Crisis Communication
The Research Symposium will take place in Las Vegas during the BEA2021 conference on Sunday, April 11, 2021
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2020
(Submission site opens late-July 2020 – guidelines are below)

Research Symposium Chair:
W. Timothy Coombs, Abell Professor of Liberal Arts, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University |

This year’s research symposium theme centers on the relationship between media and crisis communication.  The recent experience of COVID-19 and the needs for public health crisis communication has heightened the need to address this theme.  Broadly speaking, a crisis is a disruption to a system that causes stress.  Crisis communication are the interventions (words and actions) taken by those seeking to manage the crisis in some way.  Crisis communication is complex because it is multi-vocal.  There can be multiple voices engaging in crisis communication.  At times, those voice work in concert while at other times they can be in conflict.  Moreover, research in a number of fields has begun to explore the various effects of the media in crisis formation and crisis communication.  The goal of the symposium is to illuminate the role of media in crises communication within this complex environment.  Media include both traditional and digital, including social media platforms.  There are an array of crisis contexts including political crises, public health crises, disasters, and organizational crises.  The symposium is interested in research that approaches the effects of media in any of the possible crisis contexts.

The research symposium welcomes theoretical and/or research works that relate to the theme of media and crisis communication including the following sub-themes:

  • Social media platforms as assets and liabilities in crisis communication
  • Media and the social amplification of risk in crisis communication
  • Understanding “conflicting” media and voices in crisis communication
  • The application of media for enhancing internal crisis communication
  • Media and the social amplification of risk in crisis communication
  • Understanding “conflicting” media and voices in crisis communication
  • The application of media for enhancing internal crisis communication
  • The potential of various media to enhance resilience during public health crisis or disasters
  • The potential of various media to disrupt public health crisis communication
  • Understanding if there really are channel effects in crisis communication
  • The relationship between media and the generation of various emotions during a crisis
  • The role of media in the emergence and management of paracrises
  • The role of media in the scandalization of a crisis situation
  • The role of media in the politicization of a crisis situation

Submissions to this research symposium can be: (1) full research papers, which typically run between 5000-7,000 words, excluding references, tables and appendices; and (2) extended abstracts, which typically run 1500-2,000 words and include a clear presentation of the study’s theoretical foundation, hypotheses, methods, and (potential) results. Extended abstracts must note the (actual/anticipated) dates of data collection. Feasibility of project completion will be considered in evaluations of extended abstracts.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed and, if accepted, will be considered for inclusion in Routledge’s Electronic Media Research Book Series.

The 2021 BEA Research Symposium will sponsor a paper competition for which faculty and students are eligible.

Paper Submission Process 
BEA Members will be able to upload papers to the 
BEA2021 All Academic site with their BEA membership login and password.  If you know your BEA login information login to your All Academic account.  If you forgot your BEA membership password, click here to reset.  If you ARE NOT a BEA member, create an All Academic account by clicking here. 

Once you login with your BEA membership login and password, follow the steps below:
1. Submit a paper… Click on the link for “Submit or Edit a Paper or Program Proposal.”
2. Select 2021 Research Symposium – Political Communication, Culture and Society
3. Submit the title & abstract… Follow the guidelines to add a title and abstract
4. Adding co-authors… At the prompt, add any co-authors to the paper. Note: If your co-author(s) aren’t BEA members, have them create All Academic accounts first so you can easily search and link them to the paper.
5. Review & Upload… Review your information and upload your paper.

Editing Abilities… You can edit and/or re-submit papers up until the deadline at 11:59 pm ET on December 1, 2020.
Length & Style… Papers normally do not exceed 4,000 words excluding references, tables and appendices.  Use APA style.

The Research Symposium paper competition is BLINDLY REVIEWED. Do NOT include a cover page with author and contact information and remove ALL author information from internal pages. Judges need to blindly review your papers. Your paper information will be directly linked to your profile.

 Research Submission Information

  1. Please indicate the author(s) status: (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate student)
  2. You may submit different papers; however, conference organizers reserve the right to select papers to ensure greater representation in published proceedings.
  3. Papers must be written using APA Style.
  4. Papers accepted and presented are eligible for publication in the BEA Routledge book series, contingent on standard revision procedures.