Revitalizing Communication and Literacy Concepts in the Digital Era

“With the revolutionary development of ICTs, transition to knowledge societies, and the new learning mode of the Net Generation, it is proposed that the concept of media literacy should be extended to media and information literacy (MIL). “

Alice Y.L. LEE

Professor, Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University

Digitalization, globalization, and individualization have introduced sea change to people’s work and lives in the 21st century. In the academic world, these changes also post significant conceptual challenges to the fields of mass communication and media education. In February this year, a group of media and communication scholars gathered in Brussels to attend a conference on “Revitalizing Concepts in Mass Communications.”

Brussels conference 1

These scholars came from different parts of the world, but their concern was the same – how to update the traditional concepts and make them relevant in the new age. They discussed priming and framing, called for rethinking about media policy, proposed new journalistic concepts and suggested a new paradigm for media education. The conference chair, Professor Tim Vos, pointed out that traditional terms such as audience, journalist, and even mass communication have no longer capture the media reality nowadays.

In the conference, I am particularly interested in discussing with the participants about renewing the literacy concept in the knowledge society. With the revolutionary development of ICTs, transition to knowledge societies, and the new learning mode of the Net Generation, it is proposed that the concept of media literacy should be extended to media and information literacy (MIL). MIL is a compound concept integrating media literacy, information literacy and ICT skills. A media-and-information-literate person is expected to be able to master messages coming from all information sources.

Regarding the conceptual change, Professor Vos put forward several types of (re)conceptualization such as concept transformation and concept creation in his concluding remarks. Conference participants agreed that for those concepts which are still fine, we need to find new empirical referents while for those concepts which are outdated, we have to abandon them or develop new ones to capture the new social phenomena.

The media landscape in our world has already had a new face. It would be nice for members in the academic community regularly match the existing concepts with the empirical world to see whether those concepts require modification or appropriation.



Technologies and Second Languages (preprints)



We are very pleased that the preprints of our thematic proposal “Technologies and Second Languages” have now been published. It has been a very hard selection and edition as manuscripts arrived from all over the world. The final print and online version won’t be till the 1st. January 2017.


In the meanwhile, you may enjoy

Buyse, Kris and Fonseca Mora, M.C. (Thematic editors, 2016 preprints). Technologies and Second languages, Comunicar 50 (1)


Seamless Language Learning: Second Language Learning with Social Media/Aprendizaje de idiomas «sin costuras»: Aprendizaje de segundas lenguas y redes socialesLung-Hsiang Wong, Ching Sing-Chai & Guat Poh-Aw. Nanyang (Singapore) DOI:10.3916/C50-2017-01

Original Language Subtitles: Their Effects on the Native and Foreign Viewer/Subtítulos en lengua original: sus efectos en el espectador nativo y extranjero Jan-Louis Kruger, Stephen Doherty & María T. Soto-Sanfiel. Sidney & Barcelona (Australia & Spain) DOI:10.3916/C50-2017-02

Teachers’ Use of ICTs in Public Language Education: Evidence from Second Language Secondary-school Classrooms/La enseñanza de lenguas extranjeras y el empleo de las TIC en las escuelas secundarias públicas Jesús Izquierdo, Verónica de-la-Cruz-Villegas, Silvia-Patricia Aquino-Zúñiga, María-del-Carmen Sandoval-Caraveo & Verónica García Martínez. Ciudad de Villahermosa (Mexico) DOI:10.3916/C50-2017-03

Mobile Instant Messaging: Whatsapp and its Potential to Develop Oral Skills/Mensajería instantánea móvil: Whatsapp y su potencial para desarrollar las destrezas oralesAlberto Andújar-Vaca & Maria-Soledad Cruz-Martínez. Almería (Spain) DOI:10.3916/C50-2017-04

The tablet for Second Language Vocabulary Learning: Keyboard, Stylus or Multiple Choice/La tablet para el aprendizaje de vocabulario en segundas lenguas: teclado, lápiz digital u opción múltiple Stephanie Van-Hove, Ellen Vanderhoven & Frederik Cornillie. Gante & Lovaina (Belgium)

The Audiovisual Content Downloads among University Students

Internet has set the pace for the 21st century, also known as ‘digital era’. The spread of the Internet in any electronic device allows us to be communicated at all times, with its advantages and disadvantages. This revolution has made possible for the society to have easy access to Internet at home. In Spain, for example, 78.8% homes had Internet connection in 2015 (INE, 2015). Being able to be ‘online’ 24 hours a day provide not only free online programmes, but also downloadable films or series at no cost. Whether these practices are legal or moral is questionable.

The article in this post gives a thorough reflection on the uses that university students make of these downloads. Some of the results are eye-opening. In the survey undertaken, 67.3% of the participants said that their downloads were ‘pirated’, free and with no permission from the authors. Have they been informed about this matter? Are they really aware of the legal constraints in their uses?

I highly recommend reading this study that has received almost 1,000 online visits and whose aim is ‘to analyse the habits of audio-visual (movies and television series) consumption via the internet of university students; to detect their attitudes, knowledge and abilities as related to illegal downloading of content from the web; and to describe the education/training they perceive to have in relation to legal and ethical issues on the subject’ (Duarte-Hueros et al., 2016:52). How can we educate the new generations to look after the increasingly amount of audio-visual material ‘available at any time and any place’?


Duarte-Hueros, J., Duarte-Hueros, A. & Ruano-López, S. (2016). The Audiovisual Content Downloads among University Students [Las descargas de contenidos audiovisuales en Internet entre estudiantes universitarios.] Comunicar, 48, 49-57. (DOI


[Comunicar]Last Call for Papers issue 51 “E-Innovation in Higher Education”

Comunicar Journal has now launched the Call for Papers for  issue51, which is focused on the topic “E-Innovation in Higher Education”. Beside the special issue, the journal has another important Miscellanous section for other issues related to Education, Communication and Technologies. The Editorial Board invites you to submit your research paper for the upcoming edition of the journal.

The central topic of this special issue is related to:

  • ICT and innovation in higher education.
  • E-governability in the university setting.
  • E-training for teaching staff.
  • Good practices in e-innovation.
  • Communicating innovation: university responsibility in the e-society.


Thematic editors are Dr. Ramón López-Martín (Vice Chancellor of University of Valencia, Spain), Dr. Paulo Dias (Rector of Open University of Lisbon, Portugal) and Dr. Alejandro Tiana Ferrer (Rector of National Distance Education University, Spain)

Access the Call for Papers

Full guidelines for publication are available here:

Closing date for submitting articles: 2016-09-30

Date of publication of this issue: Pre-print version: 2017 1st quarter 2017/ Print version: 2017-04-01

Other next issues are accessible in:

«Comunicar» is indexed by JCR-WoS (IF 1.438, Q1). Scopus classifies it in ‘Cultural Studies’ as Q1, ‘Education’, and ‘Communication’ as Q2 (SJR 0,472). It is Journal of Excellence RECYT 2016-19 and also indexed by ERIH+. Google Scholar Metrics 2015 categorizes «Comunicar» with an H5-index 27 and a h5-median 44.

Best wishes,

Dr. M.Carmen Fonseca-Mora

«Comunicar» Media Education Research Journal (English) (Spanish)

ISSN: 1134-3478 e-ISSN:1988-3293




COMUNICAR ISSUE 48:Ethics and plagiarism in scientific communication


 48 We inform you that the latest issue of «Comunicar», 48, has been recently published with the suggestive title: «Ethics and plagiarism in scientific communication». As on previous occasions, the journal has a monographic section and a wide variety of items in its miscellaneous section. All articles are available full text and free of charge on our official website.
Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in Germany
Germán Ruipérez | José-Carlos García-Cabrero
DOI Editorial Policy in Spanish and Latin American Scientific Publication: JCR Social Sciences Edition
Alejandra Hernández-Ruiz

Chinese University EFL Teachers’ Knowledge of and Stance on Plagiarism
Guangwei Hu | Xiaoya Sun

The Impact of Activity Design in Internet Plagiarism in Higher Education
María Gómez-Espinosa | Virginia Francisco | Pablo Moreno-Ger

The Audiovisual Content Downloads among University Students
Juliana Duarte-Hueros | Ana Duarte-Hueros | Soledad Ruano-López

Internet Use and Academic Success in University Students
Juan-Carlos Torres-Díaz | Josep M Duart | Héctor-F. Gómez-Alvarado | Isidro Marín-Gutiérrez | Verónica Segarra-Faggioni

Cyberbullying: Social Competence, Motivation and Peer Relationships
Eva-M. Romera | Juan-Jesús Cano | Cristina-M. García-Fernández | Rosario Ortega-Ruiz

Gender Stereotypes 2.0: Self-representations of Adolescents on Facebook
Úrsula Oberst | Andrés Chamarro | Vanessa Renau

Youth and the Third Sector Media in Spain: Communication and Social Change Training
Isabel Lema-Blanco | Eduardo-Francisco Rodríguez-Gómez | Alejandro Barranquero-Carretero

A Comparative Study of Handwriting and Computer Typing in Note-taking by University Students
Estíbaliz Aragón-Mendizábal | Cándida Delgado-Casas | José-I. Navarro-Guzmán | Inmaculada Menacho-Jiménez | Manuel-F. Romero-Oliva

«Comunicar» is a quarterly, bilingual Spanish-English research journal, with Chinese and Portuguese abstracts. Articles, authors and topics have a decidedly international outlook. The journal is now in its 23rd year and has published 1671 research and studies articles. The journal appears in 312 international databases, journal impact assessment platforms, selected directories, specialized portals and hemerographic catalogues… A rigorous and transparent, blind reviewing system manuscripts audited in RECYT. It has an international scientific editorial board and a broad network of 445 reviewers from 33 countries of all over the world. Professional management of manuscripts via the OJS platform from the Science and Technology Foundation, with ethical commitments published for the scientific community that ensure transparency and timeliness, antiplagiarism (CrossCheck), reviewing system… It is a highly visible publication available through numerous search engines, dynamic pdfs, epub, DOIs, ORCID… with connections to Mendeley, RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and scientific social networks like, Researchgate. A specialized journal in educommunication: communication and education, ICT, audiences, new languages…; there are special monographic editions on the most up-to-date topics. It has a printed and an online digital edition. The entire digital version can be freely accessed. It is co-edited in Spain for Europe, and in Ecuador and Brasil  for Latin America. Comunicar has also an English and a Chinese co-edition.  In 2016, «Comunicar» is indexed by JCR-WoS (IF 1.438, Q1). Scopus classifies it in ‘Cultural Studies’ as Q1, ‘Education’, and ‘Communication’ as Q2 (SJR 0,472). It is Journal of Excellence RECYT 2016-19 and also indexed by ERIH+. Google Scholar Metrics 2015 categorizes «Comunicar» with an H5-index 22 and a h5-median 41.


Youngsters’ Watching and Tweeting Habit Calls for Media Education

Torrego-Gonzalez and Gutierrez-Martin’s research indicates there is a massive ground yet to be covered for critical media education in younger generations. “Watching and Tweeting: Youngsters’ Responses to Media Representations of Resistance” sampled youth audiences’ Twitter response to two films loaded with political implications—“V for Vendetta” and “The Hunger Games”. The finding is rather disheartening. The sampled tweets show that many youth audiences only stop at expressing their preference of the film or descriptions of plot details, rather than engaging in serious, in-depth political reflection intended by the films.

Social media can be a powerful tool with its ability to reach and mobilize incredibly large populations. Its transformative power was witnessed in the Arab Spring movements. In this case, however, its power to strike up serious political conversations as a second screen media seems to be limited. Social media can be a powerful tool to reflect and educate, but few seems to know how to harness it.

Some scholars like Henry Jenkins, as mentioned in the article, view digital cultures in a positive light. In Jenkin’s theory of Convergence Culture, it is theorized that the emergence of participatory culture and collective intelligence, which is central to Gee’s idea of “affinity spaces,” will grant media users a new form of media power. It is true that Web 2.0 users are given a voice, but the research finding reveals the potential of the voice is yet to be realized.

Indeed, many factors can contribute to this outcome, including the nature of Twitter as a social media platform as well as the individual film’s presentation itself; but as media scholars, what can be done to change this scene is to push for more substantial media education. Providing guidance to youths in how to critically engage such films not only will increase their appreciation of the media, but what is more important is the construction of a far-reaching public sphere that is well-informed and politically aware. With this goal in mind, hopefully media education can inspire younger generations to make better use of the new-found media power with social media.


Torrego-Gonzalez and Gutierrez-Martin. “Watching and Tweeting: Youngsters’ Responses to Media Representations of Resistance.” Comunicar 47 (2016).

youth tweeting.jpg


CFP Comunicar 52 (2017-3): The Social Brain and Connective Intelligence


Comunicar 52 (2017-3): The Social Brain and Connective Intelligence

   Thematic Editors:
Dr. Jesús Timoteo-Alvarez, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)
Dr. Fabio Babiloni, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
Dr. Angel L. Rubio-Moraga, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)

Last call: December 30, 2016

Applications from Neurosciences to other scientific fields and specifically to the social sciences have been done for over ten years. The best known are the investigations of Damasio on the ability of emotions to access and organize information, Lakoff‘s research on neurolanguage and its derivations to political action, Schreider’s neuropolitics or applications of mirror neurons to the voting decision process, or also experiments around the topic of “neuromarketing / neuroshopping”, and the relationship between brain, advertising and choice purchasing carried out in laboratories Iacoboni at UCLA, to name a few. The conclusions of neurosciences and related sciences are radically changing everything on access for individuals to information and knowledge. We are interested in the conclusions of these cutting-edge science regarding the basic organization of social communication: for example the idea that the environment is not a structure imposed from the outside but a creation of living beings themselves, or how the network model manifests and expresses a “distributed intelligence”, a “swarm intelligence” or “connective intelligence”, with its neural leads to the extent that the communicative act is not a simple message transfer but an interaction of codes with commonalities. This has exponentially been sponsored by the advent of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). In fact, it would not be too much to say that the “connective intelligence” embodies the best way of thinking and relating in the new network society, because it establishes a simultaneous and significant connectivity between multiple users, according to CALL FOR PAPERS, 52 (2017-3) the diagrams “one-many”, “many-one”, or “many-many”, because it drives a playful interactivity between users, because it replaces the variable “geographical proximity” for that, typical of cyberspace, where the connection is established based on interests and shared preferences and because it seeks to accelerate the synergy of the decentralized knowledge processes. The objective of this CFP is to promote research that contributes to the understanding of how the social brain or connective intelligence affects the functioning of the process of creating an opinion, setting behaviors, changing perception, attitudes and habits, and as derivatives, understanding how public opinion is formed, how purchasing or voting decisions are established. Topics  Access to channels of information and knowledge  Formats derived on education and training  The creation process of Public Opinion  The configuration of behavior in current society  The change of perception and the evolution of attitudes and habits  The process of Purchase decision-making  Mass Media and voting choice  Entertainment and leisure channels in the hyper-connected society  Uses and effects of Information and Communications Technologies in decision-making process  Social Networking and opinion configuration process  New strategies and trends in the field of Neurocommunication and Neuromarketing  Neuropolitics and new communication strategies in the electoral field  Research proposals in the context of applications of neuroscience to Social Sciences (Economics, Psychology , Education, Politics, Law … ) As priority, research papers on communication and education are requested, especially the intersection of both: media education, media and educational resources, educational technology, computer and telematic resources, audiovisual technology… and also reports and studies on these same subjects are accepted.





1. Comunicar 50 (2017-1): Technologies and second languages
Thematic Editors: Dr. Kris Buyse, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Dr. Carmen Fonseca, University of Huelva (Spain)
Last call: May 30, 2016

2. Comunicar 51 (2017-2): E-Innovation in Higher Education
Thematic Editors: Dr. Ramón López-Martín, University of Valencia (Spain)
Dr. Paulo Dias, Open University of Lisboa (Portugal)
Dr. Alejandro Tiana Ferrer, The National Distance Education University Madrid (Spain)
Last call: September 30, 2016

3. Comunicar 52 (2017-3): The Social Brain and Connective Intelligence
Thematic Editors:
Dr. Jesús Timoteo-Alvarez, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)
Dr. Fabio Babiloni, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
Dr. Angel L. Rubio-Moraga, Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)
Last call: December 30, 2016

4. Comunicar 53 (2017-4): Critical Citizenship and Social Empowerment in the Emerging Cybersociety
Thematic Editors: Dr. Antonio Sampayo-Novoa, University of Lisbon (Portugal)Dr. Guillermo Domínguez-Fernández, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville (Spain)
Last call: February 28, 2017

For further information, visit


Community media in Hong Kong


Echo to Cerbino, M. & Belotti, F. (2016). Community Media as Exercise of Communicative Citizenship: Experiences from Argentina and Ecuador . Comunicar, 47, 49-56.

Recently, members of the Community Communication section in IAMCR (International Association of Media and Communication Research) have had intensive discussion about the “branding” of the section.

According to the section chairman, Dr. Arne Hintz, “‘community’ was regarded by most respondents as highly important for the section, followed by ‘citizen’, ‘social movement’, and ‘alternative’. The term ‘participatory’ was seen as significant, too”.

From this brief discussion, we could see some fundamental elements of community media. First of all, it is not only simply about a physical and territorial community, but about the organic integration between human activity and the community. Secondly, it projects an essential part which is closely related to social movement, or at least related to participation of citizenship. I would say, this is highly Marxist. This approach of community media emphasises the bottom-up social change and the active role of human beings. What’s more, it also connotes the pursuit of “alternative”, which, again very Marxist in terms of anti-capitalism. To deduce the simplicity, I would like to add, community media tries to create a platform for citizen empowerment, whose efforts are seldom valued by the mainstream society. More often than not, community media is for those marginalised groups, who are neglected or stigmatised by the mainstream society, suppressing the outlets for them to speak out. That’s why they need a unique platform to express their concerns, as well as to gain the empowerment through mutual-aid among their community peers and cross-community activists.

I would like to introduce several community media platforms in Hong Kong.

v-artivists: returning art to people. art is part of everyday life; art is full of diversity and locally based; art could be as popular as everybody can take control of several resources; art is based on mutual respect and appreciation.

grass-media: interns join this platform to learn how to discover the hidden voices in the society and how to let grassroots people make use of media tools.

ODAAG: old district autonomous alliance group to fight against gentrification.


together to empower

[Comunicar] Call for papers issue 51 open “E-Innovation in Higher Education”

Subject editors  Dr. Ramón López-Martín, Universitat de València, Spain  Dr. Paulo Dias, Universidade Aberta of Lisbon, Portugal  Dr. Alejandro Tiana Ferrer, National Distance Education University, Spain

Starting from the premise that it is education that makes innovation possible, the development of the ‘learning to learn’ competency is the key to understanding how to innovate. At a time when communication and exchange of information via new digital technologies are subject to immediacy, good educational practices are needed to enhance pertinent, excellent learning within the higher education setting. On the implementation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the university opted for a competency-based learning approach focused on the student. The idea that one-way transmission of knowledge exclusively taught on campus was no longer enough. Human knowledge can only be enhanced by making the transition from education focused on teaching to education focused on learning, which has consolidated the…

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