News & Announcements

Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award – A Call For Nominations

Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award – A Call For Nominations

The annual Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award recognizes an outstanding book, published in English, which exhibits excellence in addressing issues of urban communication. It is named in honor of the late social activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. All entries must be published between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019. The book award brings with it a $500 prize.

To nominate a book, please send a short letter of nomination or self-nomination (in the form of an email attachment) to Timothy Gibson, chair of the Jane Jacobs Book Award review committee, at by July 15, 2019. The letter of nomination should describe the book and explain how it addresses issues central to the field of urban communication. For more information on the field of urban communication, and to determine if your nomination fits the award call, please review the Urban Communication Foundation’s mission statement (at

Review process: We will review all letters of nomination after the July 15, 2019 deadline and choose a short-list of finalists. This short-list of finalists (or their publishers) will then be asked to send copies of the book to the award committee.

Timothy Gibson (Department of Communication, George Mason University)
Chair, Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award Committee

Email nomination letters to:

AEJMC Gene Burd Award Winners Announced

AEJMC Gene Burd Award Winners Announced

Jiwon Kim and Ariadne A. Gonzalez, faculty members at Texas A&M International University, are the recipients of AEJMC’s $2,000 Gene Burd Award for Research in Urban Journalism Studies. Their research project is titled “LaGordiloca’s Live-Streaming on the Streets of Laredo: Social Media and Urban Journalism on the U.S.-Mexico Border.” The purpose of this new, annual grant is “to stimulate research that explains, enlightens, inspires, and improves the practice and study of journalism and communication, in order to advance our understanding of journalism in urban environments.”

The award, which honors Gene Burd, professor emeritus of Journalism at the University of Texas and a pioneer in urban journalism studies, is jointly sponsored by AEJMC and the Urban Communication Foundation (UCF).

The Kim-Gonzalez project will explore the current status of border-city journalism through a case study of Priscilla Villareal, the controversial citizen journalist in Laredo, Texas, known as “LaGordiloca.” The scholars intend to examine new forms of urban citizen journalism – focusing on controversial, uncensored, social-media formats – and to explain how journalism functions in border cities. They will present preliminary findings and analysis during the session sponsored by the Urban Communication Foundation at next summer’s AEJMC conference in Toronto.
A three-member panel of judges, representing AEJMC and UCF, made the award. The judges praised the overall quality of this year’s entries. “Many of the submissions were excellent,” one judge stated. “However, the winning proposal was distinctive in its timeliness, its creativity and its commitment to shedding light on communication dynamics in border cities.”
The full call for the program will be issued in mid-2019. For the grant’s second year, research proposals will be due on or before Oct. 18, 2019. The grantee, who will be selected in December 2019, will present preliminary research results at the AEJMC conference in San Francisco in August 2020.

Julia Guarneri Awarded 2018 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

Julia Guarneri Awarded 2018 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

The UCF is proud to present Julia Guarneri with the 2018 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award for her book, Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans.

Brian Lehrer Awarded 2018 Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award

Brian Lehrer Awarded 2018 Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award

The Urban Communication Foundation is awarding broadcast journalist Brian Lehrer the 2018 Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award.

The award recognizes high quality urban media reporting, critical analysis and re- search relevant to city problems, programs, policies, and public priorities in urban life and culture. Lehrer is being recognized for his two-hour daily call-in radio program at WNYC and for being an “insightful and enduring presence in broadcast journalism dedicated to the urban condition.”

The award will be presented during the Urban Communication Foundation’s meeting at AEJMC’s Washington, D.C., conference.

Matthew Bui Awarded UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant

Matthew Bui Awarded UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant

2018 Recipient of the UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant

Matthew Bui

The International Association for Media and Communication Research -IAMCR- and the Urban Communication Foundation are pleased to announce that the 2018 UCF/IAMCR Urban Communication Research Grant will be awarded to Matthew Bui, a doctoral student and Graduate Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, for his project (Re)Claiming the Smart City: Los Angeles, Racial Capitalism, and Sociotechnical Representations of Space.

Matthew Bui’s project problematizes the degree to which big data governance tools can, and will, deliver on their promises to foster inclusive and equitable outcomes within urban communities. Namely, it examines the datafication and mediatization of place-based communication through open data portals and commercial geospatial platforms, and argues that, without any deliberate intervention, the integration of these tools within urban governance processes will likely perpetuate and exacerbate the logics of racial capitalism embedded within digital infrastructures.  These issues of race and class are particularly important for the segregated technopolis of Los Angeles.  Moreover, this project calls attention more broadly to the racial and class-based politics of (mis)representation, (in)visibility, and (post)colonialism within sociotechnical productions of space and geospatial databases.

Matthew N. Bui is a doctoral student and Graduate Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, and an inaugural Randall Lewis Data Science Fellow at the Southern California Association of Governments.  His scholarship focuses on the racial and cultural politics of big data and data systems, especially in relation to issues of urban planning and policymaking.  In particular, he is interested in advancing “urban data science” as a method of critique and critiquing urban data science as a field.

Honorable Mention: Bob Hanke and Rebecca Finkel

Bob Hanke

Bob Hanke’s project, A Smarter, Smart City? Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Toronto’s Quayside, begins with an October 2017 decision by Waterfront Toronto to partner with Sidewalk Labs, a sibling company to Google, in co-producing “Quayside,” a 12-acre site on Toronto’s eastern waterfront. The aim is make Toronto a global hub in urban innovation that takes the lead on the “smart city.” The goal of the project is to examine how Toronto’s implementation of the “smart city” will produce social space and contribute to an emerging platform urbanism.

Bob Hanke teaches media studies in the Departments of Communication Studies and Humanities at York University. Among other courses, he teaches Mediaspace and the Modern City. In 2002, he co-authored a case study of “Signs of a New Park” that examined the planning process and cultural struggle over the meaning of a “park” in the context of new urbanism and a post-modern approach to urban space and nature. He has published in various journals and books, and co-edited “Out of the Ruins: The University to Come” in TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. His recent research interests include film-philosophy and the co-existential film trilogy of Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson and U.S. political communication and culture with a focus on Trump’s populist politics and micro-fascism.Rebecca Finkel

Rebecca Finkel will receive an honorary mention for her Examination of Police Communication and Public Interpretations of Safety at Scottish Urban Festivals. Given the current global geopolitical climate and related public safety incidents, security at festivals is now one of the most significant areas of events management, and it is impossible to run successful cultural events or encourage healthy tourism economies if people feel unsafe. However, there is a fine line between creating safe public spaces for celebration and those that are overtly socially controlled. This interdisciplinary research evaluates Police Scotland’s communication, and the public’s interpretation, of safety messages at Scottish festivals.

Dr Rebecca Finkel is an urban cultural geographer and Reader of Events Management in the School of Arts, Social Sciences & Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Main focus of research frames critical events studies within conceptualisations of social change. Main research interests centre on equality and diversity, social justice, and cultural identity as it relates to urban festivals and major events. New research investigates post-humanism in events, tourism, and leisure contexts.

Urban Communication Foundation to Sponsor Its Spotlight Session at the 2018 ICA Conference in Prague

Urban Communication Foundation to Sponsor Its Spotlight Session at the 2018 ICA Conference in Prague

Voices in the City, Voices of the City

The 68th Annual ICA Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, May 24-28, 2018
Fri, May 25, 17:00 to 18:15, Hilton Old Town, M, Mozart II

Cities have voices. Cities speak in many ways. The Urban Communication Foundation works to place communication in the foreground of concerns for the city. The communicative city was developed as a construct to measure and recognize urban municipalities that provide or facilitate the creation and maintenance of a healthy communicative environment. Cities not only support human communication but are living organisms that speak themselves. The communicative city initiative espouses the axiom that a community is shaped by communication. A city is a site for communication and an artifact of communication. This panel lends an urban communication perspective to the examination of voices, spotlighting the voices of the host city of Prague. Prague offers lessons in traditional voices of architecture and urban street life while meeting challenges of a changing global media landscape. This panel brings together urban communication scholars and representatives of the Prague community to discuss issues of tourism, its impact on residents and communities, and social enterprises that focus on city tours from a homeless perspective.

Chaired by:

Gary Gumpert, Urban Communication Foundation


Susan Drucker, Hofstra University
Petra Jansa, Charles University
Tereza Jureckova, Pragulic
Veronika Marianovská, Charles University
Casey Man Kong Lum, William Paterson University

Click Here to View ICA Conference Schedule



Communication at Play in The Urban Environment

Communication at Play in The Urban Environment

Urban Communication Foundation

Submission Deadline Dates:  Mon, 1/15 2018 12:00 AM – Thu, 3/29 2018 3:00 AM EDT

Urban Communication Foundation


NOVEMBER 8 -11, 2018
Communication at Play in The Urban Environment

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific
Program Planners: Peter Haratonik,
Erik Garrett,

The Urban Communication Foundation promotes research that enhances our understanding of communication patterns in the urban environment and encourages collaboration between communication scholars, urban planners and policy makers. We support diverse research strategies, recognize noteworthy scholarship in this area and invite participation from all scholars and practitioners studying the various forms of urban communication.

We encourage submissions that connect to the conference theme, “Communication at Play” in relation to the urban environment  We invite individual papers, paper sessions and panel discussions that links communication scholarship to our understanding of the urban environment.  We welcome theoretical and applied research and panels that explore how our work as communication scholars can have an impact on social and public policy in urban centers. We actively seek new opportunities  to disseminate our work  We are intentionally ”eclectic” and open to new and alternative approaches.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  •         The communication of cultural and social differences in the city (e.g. gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality)
  • Negotiations, divides, conflicts in urban contexts (e.g. political, religious, economic, ethnic)
  • Identity politics and intercultural communication in the city
  • Political, countercultural, and social movements in the urban environment
  • Power and urban space (e.g. urban regeneration, segregation, gentrification)
  • Aesthetic, semiotic, rhetorical and discursive dimensions of urban spaces and places
  • Visual, material, aural, sensorial, and multimodal aspects of urban space
  • Urban space and the communication of memory, heritage, tradition
  • Spaces of production, consumption and/or citizenship
  • The relationship between urban, suburban, and rural spaces
  • Representing and communicating the city (e.g. tourism and travel media, city and place branding, cinematic and televised urban spaces)
  • Urban media ecologies
  • Media and technology usage in cities and their role in the experience of urban space (e.g. geo-location, new public and private spaces, augmented reality)
  • The presence of media and technology in the urban environment (e.g. new forms of architecture, security/surveillance technologies, screens, mobile media and communication devices)
  • The relationship between cities and the media, cultural, and creative industries (e.g. strategies of attraction of media companies into cities, impacts on communities and urban landscapes, connectivity and infrastructure, the local/global nexus)

Submission Method and Deadline
Online submission will be accepted through the NCA Convention Central website beginning January . The link is available on the NCA Convention website:

Types of Submissions 
Interested colleagues are encouraged to submit individual papers, paper sessions, and/or panel discussion proposals that address the convention theme as it relates to urban communication. (Conformity with the NCA convention theme is not a requirement for submission). UCF has limited program times but will consider the following three types of submissions: individual papers, paper sessions (common theme paper presentations); and panel discussions (common topic roundtable discussion).

  • Individual Papers: All paper submissions should include an uploaded file between 20 and 25 pages (double-spaced) in length, including references and tables, and have (a) a title; (b) a 250–500-word description; and (c) no personal identification of the author in the abstract or throughout the paper upload. Please remove all personal identification before uploading the document online.  If your submission is a student paper, please be sure to indicate this.
  • Paper Sessions are composed of a group of authors with papers to present centered upon a common theme. Paper Session proposals must include (a) a session title and description describing the session’s overall focus; (b) indicate the session chair and respondent; (c) the title of each paper on the session and author information; (d) an abstract of no more than 75 words for each paper; and (e) a rationale of no more than 250 words for the session.
  • Panel Discussions are composed of a group of panelists who discuss a specific topic. Submitters may use the exact same text for both the description and rationale if they do not wish to create a separate rationale (reviewers will use the rationale when evaluating this type of panel). Complete panel discussion proposals in this format will therefore include (a) a panel title describing the panel’s overall focus; (b) a list of all presenters, with their affiliations; (c) an description of no more than 250 words; and (d) a rationale of no more than 250 words.

All panel discussion or paper session proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: (a) solid organization and preparation, with clear indication of the focus and rationale of the panel; (b) clear, strong integration/coherence among the topics of the individual papers or presentations; and (c) relation to UCF mission. All submitters are also asked to consider creative collaborations and co-sponsorship with other units.

NCA Policy: Audio/Visual Equipment
NCA policy entails providing reasonable A/V support of presentations at its annual convention. However, equipment requests must be kept to a minimum because of their high cost. Submitters must therefore adhere to the following guidelines:

  • A/V equipment requests MUST be made at the same time as the paper or panel’s submission, and will be screened by the program planner.
  • NCA will normally approve requests for the following equipment: laptop audio, Internet connection and LCD projectors.
  • NCA will NOT normally approve requests for equipment such as laptops, transparency projectors, VCR or DVD players, camcorders, satellite links, or teleconference/webinar equipment.

Individuals may, of course, elect to rent equipment for/at the convention at their own expense.

All submitters are encouraged to review the Professional Standards for Convention Participants prior to submission. Helpful resources (including the Professional Standards for Convention Participants), such as live and recorded step-by-step instructions on how to submit, are available in the NCA Convention Library (

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