The origins of this paper lie in the formation of the Film Industry Research Group in the Business School at the University of Hertfordshire. This was driven by the re-emergence of film production as a high profile industry within the county. Subsequently, the importance of the film industry has, along with other cultural and creative industries, been stressed by the present Labour Government at a national level.
This article examines the multifaceted roles of provincial media and officials in China’s Guangdong province in the national policy process, and their patterns in articulating policy influence through policy implementation and learning. Key issues are (1) the role of the Province in policy formulation, implementation and learning; (2) the mechanism whereby provincial media can influence national policy makers; and (3) the function of policy learning in the overseas television channels policy process. Analysis has found: (1) despite there being little space for provincial media to participate in national policy formulation, they have practised great discretion in policy implementation; (2) policy input is primarily through the policy learning process; and (3) the policy learning process in Guangdong not only functioned as a response mechanism to the legacies of previous policies, but also provided a legitimate platform for provincial media to negotiate with central government for both policy change and policy incentives.
Most media scholars that analyse post 9/11 events in Afghanistan and Iraq base their research predominantly on how both wars were represented in Western media sources. This study, however, will not discuss media coverage but instead will focus on a much neglected issue: the foreign support system provided to indigenous media outlets in both Afghanistan and Iraq. More specifically, it will critique the influence of US-based democracy promoting organizations on the development of potentially independent media outlets. These organizations, like the National Endowment for Democracy, often play an integral role in shaping the media environments of foreign countries; however, their motives for promoting democracy are at best ambiguous and in some cases even counterproductive. Evidence provided in this paper supports the contention that the main goal of various 'democratic' activities is not to encourage deliberative forms of democracy, but to promote low-intensity democracy or polyarchy instead.
How have journalistic ideals of public service arisen? To what extent do journalists live up to these ideals? Can we make any claims as to the social conditions that this performance depends on? Using Bourdieu’s theory of fields of cultural production, this article addresses these questions with evidence from the history of journalism in the United States. What is most distinctive about modern journalism is a specific practice: active news-gathering or reporting. This practice became common in the 1860s and 1870s with the emergence of journalism as a field with its own stakes, relatively independent from political advantage or literary merit. The power of field-specific capital to organize practices in the media has varied since then. The field consolidated in the era from 1890 to 1914, with the newspaper industry expanding. In the interwar years, the boundary between PR and journalism became blurry and the institutional basis for active news-gathering declined. Under favorable economic and political conditions reporting practices, including local and investigative reporting, flourished between 1945 and1970 across media forms. In the past 40 years the importance of active news-gathering has declined.
Music plays an important role in the BBC World Service. This article shows how, across sixty five years, notionally global music has been broadcast as a pragmatic way of reaching audiences beyond Britain. There is a contradiction here. The scheduling of 'world music' undoubtedly represents a cosmopolitan imperative to embrace cultural difference. Yet it is also an instrumental means of framing programmes and appealing to those audiences which are particularly significant for the funders of the Service, namely the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Through analysis of music programming and commentary at three conjunctures (World War Two, the 1980s and the contemporary period) a changing, yet in certain respects continuous, pattern in the use of music for public diplomacy is discerned. The article concludes by suggesting that optimistic readings of cosmopolitanism fail to account sufficiently for the contradictions at stake here, contradictions which arise from persisting unequal relations of global power
During the 1940s a media reform movement of grassroots activists and a progressive Federal Communication Commission (FCC) emerged to challenge the commercial interests consolidating control of US media. A key initiative born out of this movement was the so-called Blue Book, a high-water mark for FCC progressive activism that mandated social responsibility obligations for broadcasters in return for their use of the public airwaves. Ultimately, red-baiting tactics defeated the policy initiatives outlined in the Blue Book and the media reform movement was largely contained. The following analysis draws from archival materials to illuminate the resulting arrangement for US broadcasters.
In the more than 50 years following World War II, the concept of ‘push-button warfare’ has continually metamorphosed in media discourses as a symbol of technological warfare from a distance. This rhetorical transformation has occurred within the context of complex social, cultural and historical shifts, and along the way news sources have played a key role in framing debates for readers. Acting as a translator of uncertainty and future scenarios, journalists and others have deliberated on values of and risks posed by automated forms of war and their potential impact on the United States and the world. This article examines nearly 500 print media stories in order to make sense of the shifting dialogue around push-button warfare both in times of tumult and relative calm. The longitudinal study investigates how reporters frame predictions, prophecies, forecasts and expectations when trying to assess future technologies for war and peace.
The Spanish Civil War ended with the imposition of a dictatorship (1939–75). During those years, Spanish was the only official language throughout Spain. However, in the 1960s the Basque language (spoken in the Basque Country, between Spain and France) would enter into the sphere of public communication thanks to the new rising media. Nevertheless, the Basque language was still generally viewed as a poor and marginal language. This article’s main object of study is the Popular Radio of Loyola, located in the province of Gipuzkoa. This radio station was the first general-service broadcasting medium using the Basque language, and the precursor of the modern Basque Radio and Television Corporation (EITB).
British television has a long tradition of broadcasting ‘political fiction’ if this is understood as telling stories about politicians in the form of drama, thrillers and comedies. We identify and discuss three genres in which UK political TV fiction has been shaped throughout the decades: comedy, thriller and drama. We examine the characters, themes and narratives in these genres and assess whether they invite political engagement from their audiences. Across time and genre, the main characters turn out to be mostly plain men of uncertain age – around 40 or over – somewhat grumpy, somewhat clumsy and hardly ever in full control of their situation. The dominant themes across time and genre link closely to these types of main characters: in most thrillers they are overwhelmed by sinister outside forces or inside political machinations. The narrative of the political machinery that exerts its inescapable corruption over all individual politicians runs strongly through the three genres across the whole time period. A further similarity across time and genre is that most series are firmly linked to real-life politics. It is this particular aspect that produces their potential relevance for affecting people’s political understandings, judgements and engagement.
Using both content and critical discourse analysis, this article traces the emergence of and changes in the ways feminism has been discursively constructed in 998 British and American news articles between 1968 and 1982 – which I define as the ‘height’ of the Second Feminist Wave, and 2008 – marking 40 years after feminism began gaining momentum in both nations. In analysing the British Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, and Guardian newspapers, as well as the American New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, I argue that not only has there been an erasure of feminist activism from these newspapers over time, but that discourses of feminism have become both de-politicized and de-radicalized since the 1960s, and can now largely be considered neoliberal in nature – a problematic construction for those seeking collective social change.
From 1968 on, the state of Israel deployed television as a tool in the service of its ongoing project of reproducing the nation and as a propaganda tool that targeted the population of the newly occupied territories and the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. With the collaboration of the scientific elite, the televising of original popular science programs, aired on the sole government-controlled channel at prime time, contributed immensely to these projects. Through these programs, the state disseminated a specific image of the nation’s scientific prowess for popular consumption in the euphoric aftermath of the Six Day War. This article examines the first 20 years of the state’s projects, during which the grip of Zionist collectivism was still strong, the monopoly of the government-controlled channel was not yet challenged, and the programs enjoyed astonishingly high ratings. My examination focuses on the ideology and motivations of the producers; the ways in which the communication elite and the scientific elite, enjoying a position of hegemony, collaborated by disseminating the nation’s accomplishments in both the Arabic and Hebrew programs; and the actual content of the programs at large and specifically that of four episodes of Tazpit, the popular science program of the 1980s.
The collapse of the Soviet Union marked the beginning of a search for a national identity in Russia. This article investigates whether the Russian State recognized cinema as a cultural good for nation-building purposes. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative methods, it is demonstrated that after 1994, films with a national claim became more likely than other films to obtain state support. This was not the result of a deliberate policy, but rather an expression of a prevailing common sense whereby filmmakers and other stakeholders were preoccupied with a national identity. From 2000 onwards, stimulating the construction of a national identity became one of the primary policy goals. Paradoxically, the communication of such policy goal provided no guarantee for an increased output of national films. The case of the post-Soviet Russian film policy shows that the creation of a common sense often has a greater impact than policy measures.
The 1995 Rugby World Cup was held in South Africa just one year after the country's first democratic elections. Throughout the tournament, the importance of competition victory for the South African team — playing under the banner of `One Team, One Nation' and endorsed by President Mandela — was articulated by the team, the local media, politicians and by its supporters in terms of its centrality to the project of nation-building. This discourse dominated all others. What made this articulation of the event all the more remarkable was the historic connection of the game with Afrikaner popular culture and with the political interests of the previous apartheid regime. Drawing on Dyan and Katz's (1992) model of the `media event', the article examines the processes behind this attempt to rearticulate the meaning of `South African rugby' away from narrow, race-specific interests towards those of the newly elected non-racial ANC-led government's nation-building project.
Social movements, like every other aspect of life, have become increasingly reliant on the internet for networking, information sharing and coalition building. This is the case even for disadvantaged groups with few resources and less capacity for utilizing computers and the internet. Aboriginal activists in Townsville have been slow to exert their presence on the web, but are gradually becoming savvy in the use of electronic networking in furthering their cause. They rely on listservs, blogs and, more recently, social networking sites to make their struggle known to a wide audience. In addition to the use of Web 2.0 to supplement ‘offline’ activism, there is a new form of ‘virtual’ activism emerging. The rise in ‘push-button activism’ increases the opportunities for everyday engagement with the state by social movement participants. However, it also changes the notion of participation as marches and demonstrations give way to electronic petitions and Facebook fan pages.
Although the 2003 Iraq invasion was not wholly framed as a ‘humanitarian intervention’, the rhetoric of bringing liberation, democratization and human rights to the Iraqi people was widely advanced by the coalition and supporters as a legitimating reason for war. This article assesses the role played by press photography in legitimizing or challenging this crucial framing during the invasion across a range of UK national newspapers. Privileging visual content in research design, the study presents selected results from a comprehensive content and framing analysis of press photography during the invasion period (March–April 2003), specifically examining the prominence and treatment of photographs in the humanitarian-related visual coverage, along with the accompanying words used to define, support or detract from the events depicted. While finding that the rationale of humanitarianism generally played well for the coalition during this study period, this article explores the problematic nature of the narrative of liberation.
The regulation of media and communications in the UK has recently been subject to reform resulting in the creation of the Office of Communications (Ofcom). This statutory body, established by an Act of Parliament, is a new, sector-wide regulator, protecting the interests of what has been termed the ‘citizen-consumer’. This article charts the discursive shifts that occurred during the passage of the Communications Act through Parliament and in the initial stages of its implementation to understand how and why the term ‘citizen-consumer’ came to lie at the heart of the new regulator’s mission. By critically analysing the various alignments of ‘citizen’ and ‘consumer’ interests within the debates, the underlying struggles over the formulation of power, responsibility and duties for the new regulator and for other stakeholders – industry, government and public – are identified. The article concludes that the legacy of these debates is that regulatory provisions designed to further the ‘citizen interest’ contain significant and unresolved dilemmas.
In July 2009, the Special Olympics Great Britain National Summer Games for athletes with learning disabilities were held in Leicester. Uniquely the Games achieved considerable television news coverage. This article offers a preliminary analysis of television representations of the Games. National TV coverage of the Paralympics is now established, but Special Olympics – and sport for people with learning disabilities in general – receives little media or research attention. This is partly because Special Olympics remains located outside mainstream national sporting networks and its ethos stresses the importance of participation over sporting excellence. The 2009 Games’ television coverage projected complex and ‘mixed’ messages reflected in the language, tone and images typically employed by broadcasters. We identify three key themes: first, the problematically relentless ‘positive’ tone of the coverage, which echoes wider public discourses concerning learning disability; second, the media emphasis on ‘human interest’ narratives and so, via these, the invidualizing of learning disability questions and the general absence of any wider discussion of political or social agendas linking sport and disability; finally, how television in its occasional focus on the families of athletes with learning disabilities articulated values and tensions which characterize the unusually conflicted status of the Games.
This article explores the links between transnational media flows and social and political change in authoritarian regimes through a conjunctural study of Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), a Burmese exile media organization. Drawing on observation and interviews conducted at DVB’s Oslo studio during the 2010 elections in Burma as well as documentary research, the article explores how diasporic media may contribute to democratization in a military regime where press freedoms and political expression are severely curtailed. The first section draws on Appadurai’s theory of global flows to scrutinize transnational flows of people, capital, media, ideas and technology contributing to DVB’s operations from 1992 to 2010. The next section engages with theories of media and democracy in order to examine DVB’s innovative satellite television coverage of the 2010 elections. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the ongoing relevance of opposition media based outside of Burma amid liberalization measures undertaken by Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government in 2011.
In our contemporary mediatized societies, philanthropy seems to be part of celebrities’ ontology, while celebrities have become indispensable for the charity industry. This has provoked both negative and positive appraisals, although the specific nature and consequences of celebrities’ involvement remain unclear. This article contributes to these debates by providing a systematic analysis of the roles celebrities play in telethons, which we redefine as charity media events, allowing us to study the shows in their full contextual complexity as ideological constructs. Applying qualitative content analysis, we have analysed two charity media events following the 2010 Haitian earthquake. In general, four distinct roles have been discerned: celebrities add an aura of exclusiveness and glamour, they render distant suffering relevant to domestic audiences, they function as principal motivators, and also contribute to the commodification of charity. Celebrities’ involvement thus reinforces charity media events’ dominant discourse of charitainment, in which a disaster is portrayed as a short term problem that can be remedied by supporting relief aid. Although this analysis does not disregard the usefulness and impact of fundraising campaigns and the contribution celebrities can make, it criticizes the oversimplified representation of complex issues and the decontextualized and depoliticized interpretations of distant suffering.
Since the early 1990s, Malaysian society has displayed a deepening concern over steady increases in reported cases of child abuse in the country. For many Malaysians, knowledge of this issue comes from the mainstream media. This research analyses media coverage of child abuse in two mainstream English-language daily newspapers throughout 2010. The analysis focuses on how this issue is presented and ‘framed’ in the media. Through the use of simple episodic framing and a distorted focus on extreme cases of child abuse, media coverage internationally obscures the reality of child abuse as it occurs within the context of contemporary social, cultural, religious or political systems. This hinders any genuine understanding of the problem, leading to flawed solutions. We find these international patterns largely replicated in Malaysia. Furthermore, gendered socialization processes in Malaysia make women and mothers principally responsible for family life and there is a tendency to blame and punish mothers for child abuse even when they are not the perpetrators. Internationally, child welfare experts and academics have advised the media to focus reporting on the underlying causes of abuse so that the issue can be better understood and addressed and this advice is pertinent for Malaysia today.
The article studies the domestication of foreign news by identifying the different ways in which the Egyptian revolt was reported and discussed in Britain, Finland and Pakistan. The data comprise the press coverage of the 2011 events in three newspapers: The Times in Britain, Helsingin Sanomat (HS) in Finland, and the Daily Times in Pakistan. We argue that, in addition to journalists, there are other agents who contribute to domesticating foreign news items. This makes understandable the unexpected differences between the three newspapers. One might assume that coverage of the Arab Spring would have been more impartial and less emotional in Britain and Finland than in Pakistan, which is culturally closer to Egypt. The opposite was true, however. The coverage of the events in Daily Times primarily consisted of hard news. The Times and HS, on the other hand, sent their reporters onsite, and the news stories used several discursive means to bring the events experientially closer to their readers. Yet, the Egypt uprising was used as a lever in domestic politics more forcefully in Pakistan. That is because the uprising was domesticated to local politics by other actors than just journalists.
This article studies media coverage of the ‘921’ Earthquake in Taiwan during two periods in 2009, ten years after the disaster, which occurred on 21 September 1999 (the date which provided the event with its compressed identifier). First it looks at coverage in the wake of another major disaster (Typhoon Morakot) that occurred just before the tenth anniversary of the earthquake, and then during the regular tenth anniversary commemorations of the earthquake. Using narrative analysis, this article notes that during the first period, journalists responded to a disaster event with an historical precedent by adopting the 921 Earthquake as a benchmark, ‘villain’, and moral allegory to explain the current disaster and forecast future closure. During the second period, this study shows how journalists used regular commemorative features on the 921 Earthquake to describe that event based on survivor testimony and present commemorative events. By portraying two interpretations of a single past event back to back, this study demonstrates how news media selectively employ the ‘usable past,’ and the implications of this for the formation of collective memories of past events.
Being perceived as family-engaged is assumed to benefit politicians, augmenting moral capital they can trade for votes and power. Moral capital benefits of family engagement are particularly salient for male politicians, whose relationship to family generally invokes responsibility and strength. Is family engagement a moral capital resource for female politicians, whose stereotypical associations with family invoke dependency and support? This manuscript examines the fictional television series Commander in Chief, the first to seriously engage the issue of a female US president, juxtaposing her political life with her domestic life as a working wife and mother. Analysis of gender stereotypes deployed in the family narrative suggests that family engagement may not represent a moral capital resource for this fictional female politician, undermining the audience’s ability to see her as moral capital-worthy in the political sphere. Application is made to actual female politicians in the United States.
In 1978, Gaye Tuchman pointed to women’s ‘symbolic annihilation’ from the public sphere as the media focused overwhelmingly on the activities of men. Has anything changed since then? This article presents findings from a longitudinal content analysis of 1252 news photos from two widely read American newspapers – one elite and one non-elite – between 1966 and 2006. Findings show that pictures of men dominated the news in both papers over this period. Nevertheless, women made more gains in the elite paper than in the non-elite paper. This article argues that these trends were the product of divergent paths towards tabloid journalism, where papers replace politics and business coverage with sports, entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle coverage. The elite paper expanded entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle coverage, where women show up just as often as men. The non-elite paper expanded sports coverage, where women are virtually absent.
Digital information and communication technologies feature prominently in programmes to promote social inclusion and to implement extensive reform in public service provision across Europe. The transition to an all-digital communications environment and the digital ‘switchover’ of public services bring to the fore a need to rethink access as a goal of public policy. This article probes patterns of internet diffusion among disabled people using capabilities framework and resource-based models of access. The analysis highlights the multi-dimensional character of media access capability as the space to evaluate policies for social inclusion; the relational character of disability as a phenomenon of the interface between personal circumstances and structural disadvantage; a capability failure resulting from a gap in policy commitment to promote universal access for disabled people and other excluded groups; and a requirement for policies sensitive to the need for additional resources to equalize the media access capabilities of these individuals.
Based on a mixed-method case study of online communication about the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, this article argues that online communication plays out as a centrifugal narration process with centripetal consequences. Through a content analysis of communication about Novo Nordisk, three dominant online meaning constructions that present themselves as narratives are identified and their convergence into one overarching meta-narrative is identified. The meta-narrative of Novo Nordisk as the ruthlessly profit-seeking socially responsible heavenly work place is made up of the three interrelated, yet disparate tales about Novo Nordisk as (1) a socially responsible organization, engaged in society at large; (2) an organization primarily concerned with fulfilling its own objectives – profit maximization; and (3) a great and employee-centred workplace. The article then discusses the theoretical and methodological implications of the empirical findings. It is argued that although the findings are not in themselves surprising, they adequately reflect that online meaning formation is, indeed, a collaborative process in which centrifugal forces have centripetal consequences. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the chosen mixed-method case study successfully navigates the dilemma of studying online collaborative processes through the traces they leave behind.
This paper addresses questions about the processes involved when viewers "make sense" out of the diverse visual and aural signs of a television program and then render that sense in a spoken account. A pilot study was conducted to explore the manner in which modes of viewing, and talk about viewing, include or exclude recognition of non-fiction television as motivated discourse despite its conventions of naturalistic representation. Sixteen Liverpool respondents representing a mix of gender, class, and occupation, were individually interviewed in one-to-one sessions of about an hour's duration immediately after he/she had watched a British Broadcasting Company (BBC) 2 documentary about life on the dole in their city. Responses were categorized as transparent, mediated, displaced, or manipulative. The contributions of one particular participant/speaker are used to illustrate the findings of this preliminary research because of the important classic structural, stylistic, and thematic features that appeared in his responses. Reactions of other participants to this individual are then described in terms of the connections they make between their attitudes toward him, their understanding of the program, and his function in their reactions to the program. It is concluded that, in exploring the social character of media reception, a much more extensive literature of documentation and attempted analysis will be required. (17 references) (CGD)
The article focuses on a frequently used but under-researched protest medium through which transnational movement networks express their collective demands – what are termed here ‘global group petitions’ (GGPs), and activists themselves call ‘sign-on statements’ or ‘joint statements’. GGPs are online petitions typically framed as ‘global’ and linking sometimes hundreds of advocacy groups behind a common set of critical statements contesting global politics. Despite a burgeoning literature examining the use of digital media by movement networks, the article shows that GGPs are a distinct form of activism which to date has been overlooked by social science. Studying GGPs helps explore a series of issues central to understanding the role of advocacy groups in global politics, including their internal power relations (i.e. between North and South). Presenting empirical analysis and interviews with activists relating to five GGPs used in the course of a single transnational movement network – against negotiations to expand the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade-in-Services – the article concludes that whilst GGPs are not as ‘global’ or representative of a movement network as they may claim, their value is in facilitating momentum and a process of dialogue between potential advocacy partners.
Anger motivates people to engage in political action, fuelling collective struggles for justice and recognition. However, because of its close association with irrationality and aggression, the public expression of anger has historically been discouraged. This article focuses on expressions of anger in British disaster coverage between 1952 and 1999. In particular, we look at the relationship between anger, journalistic practices and opportunities for ordinary people to express themselves politically. Our article concludes that anger opens up a space for ordinary people to critique power holders, allowing victims and those affected by disasters to raise questions of systemic failure and blame. And such questions, it appears, are increasingly part of the emotional management style of disaster journalism.
The concern with the role of media in cultivating cosmopolitan sensibilities among audiences inevitably raises questions about the textual quality of mediation and the moral power of representation: what sense of responsibility and care do media stories cultivate vis-a-vis far-away others? Can the spectacles of suffering, most common on our home screens, go beyond wishful thinking and lead to forms of public action towards these distant others?
This article considers how we are to understand democratic media activism, which has recently burgeoned in Canada, the UK and the USA. What is its political significance and potential? Is it a new social movement, a new style of politics cutting across movements, or are new concepts needed? Drawing illustratively upon interviews with media activists, notably in Vancouver, we explore insights offered by social movement theory - including resource mobilization formulations and the new social movement theories of Melucci, Habermas, Cohen and Arato, and Fraser. While all these traditions offer valuable insights, media activism reveals limitations in existing conceptualizations. It has some of the characteristics of a movement, but lacks a distinct collective identity or niche within movement ecology. It may be destined to be a boundary-transgressing nodal point for other movements, articulating a coherent project for radical democracy, rather than a movement-for-itself.
In China as elsewhere, netizens have made new demands upon government and challenged conventional media to respond to popular concerns. Established approaches to controlling the media may be otiose; Party leaders are stressing the value of cooperation rather than confrontation and calling for a new relationship between media and authority. This article examines how the department of a city government traditionally tasked with controlling the media and shaping opinion is seeking to come to terms with the calls from the centre and, in the process, think up a different kind of relationship with the media. From dealings with press officers over four years, the authors identify a reflective and dynamic response to the present challenges. The respondents speculate that arrangements being put in place to deal with the new media environment may change fundamentally the relationships between authority and citizen, and the authors evaluate this.
This article aims to expand on the currently popular practice of conducting ethnographic studies of individual online fan groups to find other ways of using the internet ethnographically for television studies. The example of the Antiques Roadshow is used to explore a strategy for ethnographic attention to the diversity of mundane engagements with a particular television text via the internet. The development of this strategy draws on recent thinking on the constitution of ethnographic field sites, focusing on conceptualization of the field as a made object, and development of multi-sited approaches as appropriate forms of engagement with contemporary culture. This strategy also builds on recent debates about the significance of ‘found’ digital data for social research. Potential problems with this approach include loss of depth and contextualizing information, and the risk of only focusing on that data which is easily found by dominant search engines. These problems can be offset to some extent by increased focus on reflexivity, and by allowing the field site to spill out beyond the internet as the ethnographer finds it necessary and useful in order to explore particular practices of meaning-making.
This article renews Dallas Smythe’s ‘blindspot’ argument by examining the economy of Google advertising. I argue that Google sells at least three types of commodities: keywords, statistics of keywords, and search results. Through a vertically integrated system, Google sells to advertisers commodities that have no exchange value outside the Google ads system. Moreover, Google creates an ideology that the world’s information is at the users’ fingertips, which encourages users to search more, and hence view more advertisements.
Public opinion has embraced social media as a vital tool to reach U.S. emerging adults, but this generation has not universally adopted social media technologies. Using in-depth interviews, this study examined the characteristics of 20 emerging adults (18 to 23 years old) who were non-adopters of social media. Compared to social media users, non-adopters had less economic stability, more fractured educational trajectories, and weaker support from parents and friends. Non-adopters did not use social media because they lacked access or leisure time, were not socialized into their use, lacked skills, or did not want to maintain social contacts via social media technologies. If social media are increasingly used in attempts to to improve young people’s lives, practitioners must understand who is left behind in the wake of these technologies.
Most analysis of political advertising questions how it matches up to the normative standard of providing information to voters. It tends to treat advertising as a core, and often debased, resource for deliberation. However, advertising as a form is less suited to complex information and more to engagement of interest. Despite this, political advertising normally is both constructed and analysed as information carriers. While commercial advertising attracts interest through pleasure and popular discourse, political advertising remains wedded to information. The persuasive strategies of political and commercial advertising are marked as much by dissimilarity as by similarity, the former aiming at plausibility and the latter at pleasure. The article analyses party election broadcasts in the UK over two general elections, according to a scheme that elicits both the informational content and its aesthetic and emotional appeals. Both the analysis design and the underlying rationale may have application beyond the UK. They help answer the quuestion: why does political advertising seem so dull and so bad to so many people?
This article looks at the question of offence in UK advertising. It examines what constitutes offence, who claims to be offended, and on whose behalf. The article highlights the flaws in the current system of advertising regulation and concludes that efforts to regulate offence should be abandoned.
This article investigates the role of archaeology in the visual and discursive economies of ancient world documentary with reference to recent output from the BBC. By identifying and examining four primary modes – archaeology ‘as evidence’, ‘in performance’, ‘in action’ and ‘dramatized’ – it demonstrates how the on-screen presentation of ancient sites, monuments and artefacts, and the practices of archaeological investigation and excavation generate historical knowledge, and authorize it. Fundamental to this is the resonance between documentary representations of the past and viewers’ experiences of antiquity through archaeology in other television programmes and alternative media and contexts: for example tourism and film. Knowledge gleaned through one cultural encounter with the ancient world encourages or conditions the viewer to accept the historical facts presented on screen. By analysing the rhetorics of a distinctive and understudied strand of history programming, this study demonstrates its place within the construction of historical knowledge in contemporary society. This allows a fresh consideration of the merits of historical documentary on television.
The oppression of Afghan women by fundamentalist groups was barely addressed by the corporate media until it proved rhetorically useful for US elites to argue for military intervention as a means to liberate the women of that country. This article critically interrogates this claim, and analyzes media coverage of Afghan women before and after the US invasion on 7 October 2001. First, we present an overview of conflicts in Afghanistan, focusing on the US’s economic and strategic interests in the region, and its role in supporting and funding Islamic fundamentalism. Attention to this context, absent from media accounts, is essential to understanding the plight of Afghan women in all its complexity. Second, we examine news frameworks and the ways in which Afghan women figure in imperialist agendas in a thoroughly Orientalist manner. Finally, we turn to the outcome of the war and the situation for Afghan women today.
This article critically examines the development of an innovative approach to educational broadcasting in post-apartheid South Africa. Examining the policy background and the public debate sparked by the controversial drama series, Yizo Yizo, it is argued that the spatial restructuring of media markets re-articulates the sites and scales at which media practices and citizenship are connected. Yizo Yizo makes creative use of globalised media genres to address pressing social issues in ways that connect to national public policy debates. It does so by mainstreaming educational broadcasting, and by recognising children’s complex media literacies and competencies. It is argued that the series is an example of a new rationality of media citizenship developed in the distinctive context of post-apartheid transition that has broader significance for understandings of the implications of media globalisation for citizenship, culture, and participation. Yizo Yizo is a practical example of mediated deliberation aimed at empowering citizens. It is indicative of subtle but important shifts in the dimensions of public culture in a highly divided society.
This article analyses the increasing emphasis on multi-stakeholder approaches in the development of public broadcasting policies. The European Commission, in particular, reinforces this trend, having pointed to the necessity of ‘third parties’ being involved in procedures that allow public broadcasters to expand activities to new media markets. The article’s research question is twofold. First, what type of multi-stakeholder approach has been advocated for by the Commission? Second, are multi-stakeholder approaches, implemented by Member States after an encounter with the Commission, adding to more democratic (understood as more inclusive) decision-making on public service broadcasting or, rather, simply providing an additional forum for private sector interests? Evidence derives from two case studies in the Netherlands and Flanders, where some form of ex ante evaluation has been developed and a multi-stakeholder consultation has been set up in preparation for management contract renewals. Findings show that the newly developed multi-stakeholder policy practices are far from inclusive and fail to meet several aspects of deliberative democracy. Essentially, they have been created in response to market pressures (and, hence, over-focus on market questions) and rarely take as their starting point the improvement of public service broadcasting as a democratic policy project.
In 2002, the third generation of the EU’s support programme for the European film industry, the MEDIA Plus Programme, was launched. Despite 12 years of integrated efforts, European cinema still does not seem to be able to compete with its American peers. This led us to question the effectiveness and strategy of MEDIA Plus. As we point out in our analysis, the present approach addresses the film industry’s symptoms rather than its problems. We draw the conclusion that the lines of action taken by MEDIA Plus may well have counterproductive outcomes as they are not designed to overcome the structural fragmentation that holds back the industry. Possible corrections to MEDIA’s strategy are then outlined.
Despite the enormous changes in the music industry in recent years, some things have persisted. Payola, the exchange of money or promotional consideration for radio airplay, has persisted if not increased over the past decade in the United States. This is due to the corresponding persistence of a series of contradictory social relationships between broadcasters, their sponsors and the audiences they seek to construct and maintain through the targeted deployment of music. I show here that payola, and its more legitimate cousin deregulation, are forms of ‘inter-elite communication’ designed to make the market in music more manageable and stable.
This paper analyses Albert Hirschman's Exit, Voice and Loyalty (Hirschman 1970) as a basis for understanding the relationship between media and citizenship. It considers the significance of Hirschman's concept of voice in relation to media policy, media participation through user-created content, and the rise of 'citizen media' and 'citizen journalism'. It associates these developments with a 'de-centering' of both media practice and media studies, as considered by Couldry (2006a, 2006b). It concludes by suggesting that voice and participation, rather than citizenship, may constitute a more suitable foundation for understanding new digital media initiatives.
This article confronts a foundational problematic in Western-inflected scholarship on media and democracy by investigating the emergence, structure, and operation of OhmyNews, a Korean primarily online publication that hybridizes features of both commercial and ostensibly ‘alternative’ media. After an analysis informed by the social and historical context of Korean politics, economics, and society of the past 40 years, the article concludes that OhmyNews is a unique response to unique enabling conditions, and that its commercial features are inextricably a part of its progressive nature. While the assumed mutual exclusivity of commercialization and progressive politics should be subjected to critical analysis, the dynamics of neoliberal globalization may still increase the relevance of this Western problematic.
This article explores the relationship between political clientelism and the development of media systems in southern Europe and Latin America, considering the cases of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Common characteristics of the media systems in these countries include low newspaper circulation, a tendency towards political instrumentalization of the media, limited development of journalism as a differentiated and autonomous profession, and regulatory agencies that are at the same time party-politicized and relatively weak. We argue that these media-system characteristics must be understood in relation to a broader history of political clientelism - though a number of forces, including commercialization of media industries and globalization, have tended in recent years to undermine clientelistic relationships.