Networking Knowledge Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network

Published by Networking Knowledge MeCCSA PGN Journal
Online ISSN: 1755-9944
Publications
Article
Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil is an investigation into the complexities of the relationship established between the media and the government in the aftermath of the Brazilian dictatorship. It examines the role of the mainstream press in the process of the democratization of the Latin American nation from 1984 to 2002 and questions to what extent the communications industry was able to offer contributions to the creation of wider democratic spaces for debate in the media's public sphere.
 
Article
The paper employs an interpretative discourse analysis, to investigate the cultural ideas evoked linguistically throughout the coverage of the Gaza War of 2008-09 (Operation Cast Lead). It aims to provide a historical context to better understanding Operation Protective Edge. To allow for a comparative dimension, the paper develops two ‘frames’ of analysis that systematically look at two recurring themes and scrutinise their discursive strategies and functions in the construction of meaning and ideology. These include Provocation, which examines questions of responsibility and culpability; and Proportionality, which embraces matters of legitimacy and authority in relation to the humanitarian aspect of the war. The findings indicate that the actions of a protagonist may be deemed legitimate with regard to provocation, but illegitimate with regard to their proportionality. The peculiar circumstances of the war pushed the media in the direction of greater separation from the predominant ideologies ensued by the Israeli Army. It suggests that BBC World Service lack a coherent discursive strategy at the level of the lexical in their reporting of Gaza.
 
Article
This article will deliberate on the political motives behind the stereotypical image of Arabs in Hollywood in the period before 9/11. Hollywood has always played a propagandist as well as a limitative role for the American imperial project, especially, in the Middle East. This study suggests that the evolution of this representation has been profoundly influenced by political events such as the creation of Israel, the Iranian Islamic revolution and the demise of the Soviet Union. Hollywood’s presentation of Arabs through a distinctive lens allows America, through Hollywood, to present the Middle East as ‘alien’ and so helps to make it an acceptable area for the exercise of American power. The interpretations of Hollywood’s representation of Middle Easterners involve different, often contradictory, types of image. They also suggest that the intensification of the Arabs’ stereotypical image over the last century from ‘comic villains’ to ‘foreign devils’ did not occur in a vacuum but, certainly, with the intertwinement of both political and cultural interests in the region. It is believed that this was motivated indirectly by U.S imperial objectives.
 
Article
The paper analyses the tensions in the text, production and reception of the children’s horror film The Gate (Tibor Takács, 1987) relating to the sustained ambiguity around the Motion Picture Association of America's PG-13 classification. I suggest that the late 1980s was a moment of transition toward new attitudes about the horror genre and children. To develop this argument, the paper explores the main issues raised in critical opinion about the film at the time of its release: notions on what the horror genre is or should be; the changing assumptions about its audiences (namely the shift away from an adults-only perspective); and moral panics triggered by transitioning social values. These struggles are suggested also in the creative clashes between the writer and director of The Gate: where one wanted to make a traditional R-rated horror, the other was adamant about it being a positive fairy-tale for pre-teens. The paper analyses the way this conflict is reflected in the film’s representations of children and suggests that its resolution in a vision of child empowerment (narratively and critically) indicates a move away from traditional assumptions about the horror genre, as well as childhood. Through this analysis, the paper also seeks to understand how PG-13 was perceived in the late 1980s, particularly in terms of its implied audience and its relationship with the genre of horror. Through this focus on the relationship between ratings, creative choices and conflicting attitudes, the paper proposes the idea of two intertwined cultural shifts: toward a more segmented view of childhood, in the emergence of the pre-teen as a demographic, and a more open definition of horror and its audiences.
 
Article
Fashioning is critical to explorations of television identities and American melodrama-thriller series Scandal (2012-17) provides opportunities to explore representations of ethnicity together with depictions of interracial romance and intercourse. Utilising semiotics I explore the contribution of costume designer Lyn Paolo to the construction of the Black-American heroine of the series, Olivia Pope, successful career woman and lover of a white, male President. Arguing for the potential of female spectacle and soft-core pornography as progressive I consider Paolo’s influences, suggesting that Olivia’s fashioning transformations illustrate her as dandy-flâneuse, one controlling the visualisation of her identity.
 
Article
This is a report on the 'Human Rights in the UK Media: Representation and Reality' conference, 19 September 2014
 
Article
This paper analyses the intimate space of politicians at home during lockdown through their personal Instagram accounts, using both live stories (which I have been saving daily), the pictures and videos they post and the accompanying text. In order to do so, it will focus on two young female politicians who have become iconic for left-wing movements around the world. They are Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona (Spain), and Alessandria Ocasio-Cortez, representative for New York’s 14th congressional district (USA). As previous political outsiders who are deeply involved in activism and belong to what some will call a left-wing populist wave, AOC and Colau interact with their followers in “an authentic way”, often posting very intimate and apparently uncurated images of their daily life. The goal of the paper is to examine how they construct authenticity and connect with their constituencies during the COVID-19 lockdown through a qualitative visual rhetorical analysis.
 
Article
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in India restricted ‘real world’ protests, shifting dissent to digital spaces. In this article we explore virtual environmental activism on Instagram by looking at two case-studies that gained prominence during this period. The first was the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala by consuming cracker-laden food meant to deter boars from crop-raiding. The second was an oil and gas leak in Baghjan, an ecologically sensitive region in Assam. Through content analysis of ‘Top’ posts, we thematically classified the representations of nature and non-humans constructed through Instagram visuals, identifying overlaps and contradictions in the two cases. Observing that the images of animals in pain generated massive response, we argue that Susan Sontag’s (2003) framework on the haunting power of images of human suffering can be expanded to include non-humans. These visuals highlight certain creatures, excluding other species and vilifying human communities belonging to the same landscapes. We show how unilinear models of economic development and progress, as well as hierarchical and casteist notions in Hinduism continue to shape environmental debates in India. The religious overtones discount the environmental discourse based on scientific knowledge, and disrupt nuances of community driven action. By tracing the online trajectories of the two protests, we also illustrate how virality limits Instagram activism by sidelining local voices and privileging short-lived consumer action over systemic change.
 
Article
War metaphors have been found to be the most frequently used metaphors for conceptualizing diseases, epidemic and medicine. During the COVID-19 epidemic, war metaphors have been found to be widely used in both online and offline coverage. This study mainly focuses on how war metaphors were used in Chinese social media coverage about the COVID-19 epidemic. Using the method of semantic network analysis and the account of The People’s Daily on the Chinese social media platform Weibo as an example, the findings show that war metaphors are widely used in the digital coverage of COVID-19. Compared with defensive metaphors and war process metaphors, offensive war metaphors are appearing much more frequently in digital coverage, and often with the use of national collective subjects. These two characteristics highlight how digital coverage uses militarized metaphors to mobilize and inspire enthusiasm among the Chinese people, and to strengthen the Chinese government’s control in dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic.
 
Article
This paper will consider cinematic depictions of the Irish between 1910 and 1930. American cinema during these years, like those that preceded them, contained a range of stereotypical Irish characters. However, as cinema began to move away from short sketches and produce longer films, more complex plots and refined Irish characters began to appear. The onscreen Irish became vehicles for recurring themes, the majority of which had uplifting narratives. This paper will discuss common character types, such as the Irish cop and domestic servant, and subjects such as the migration narrative, the social reform narrative and the inter-ethnic comedy. It will also briefly consider how Irish depictions in the 1910s and 1920s compared to earlier representations. While the emphasis will be on films viewed at archives, including the University of California, Los Angeles Film and Television Archive, or acquired through private and commercial sellers, the paper will also reflect on some films that are currently considered lost.
 
Article
The enthusiastic relationship between children, adolescents and early cinema was observed with some unease in 1910s Britain. The Cinema Commission, set up by the National Council of Public Morals in 1917, was the first enquiry into the impact of cinema on children and young people in Great Britain and marks a significant moment in the modern discourse on children’s media consumption and juvenile behaviour that is still on-going and transcends national boundaries. One of the Commission’s key concerns was to investigate the link between the popularity of cinema-going among children and rising juvenile delinquency. This article discusses in detail the contribution of Chief Constable Roderick Ross from Edinburgh to the Commission, who challenged the notion of such a link. The paper employs a historiographical research methodology, complementing the reading of Ross’s statement with an analysis of the Scottish press and local municipal archival material. In that way it contextualises Ross’s account in view of the distinct connotations of local censorship discourse in Scotland and reveals the ambiguities and complexity that it entailed.
 
Article
This paper examines the construction of the star image of Barbara Stanwyck from her first role at Columbia studio in 1930, until 1935, when she became a freelance actress. I will focus especially on Stanwyck’s status as a female performer and the possible models of womanhood she portrayed. The work she did, and the accompanying publicity, raises questions about female representation, which I seek to address through this research. I will mainly use archival resources such as fan magazines, press books, and studio publicity material, contemporary to the period to examine how Stanwyck’s star image was constructed in this period. Traditionally, scholars look at film stars as part of the filmic text. My research method includes the use of other material (publicity, studio documents, etc.) contemporary to Stanwyck, and demonstrates my intention to look at stars and their images from a different angle. This paper challenges the traditional way of looking at stars as fetishised objects, instead moving toward a more practical examination of the construction of the female star image.
 
Article
Within British women’s history, historians have illuminated the complexity of British post-war society and the particular role played by women within it. Studies show that the post-war woman was considered a significant citizen, crucial for the rebuilding of Britain, both as a worker and as a mother. Building on work within women’s and radio history, the aim of my research is to explore the relationship between the BBC and women in this period. In this paper, I will argue that, through radio, British women were given a voice, as workers and as housewives. This was, however, not without difficulties. The paper also highlights the complexity of the female radio audience and the struggle that faced broadcasters. The material under discussion reflects the changes and negotiations that were taking place in society at that time, and the paper emphasises the important role played by female listeners and by women’s radio in Britain.
 
Article
Fashion photographs are generally two-dimensional images showing one side of a three-dimensional model. This paper, however, deals with far less well-known stereoscopic fashion photographs. Stereoscopy is a technique that creates the illusion of a 3-D image. Based on the image collection of Swiss textile and clothes company HANRO, the article analyzes the composition of 3-D pictures by putting them in a broader media-historical context. The archived stereoscopic photographs date back to the 1950s and show a series of women’s fashion. In the same period, Hollywood experienced a 3-D-boom that may have had a technical and aesthetical impact on these photographs. Although fashion is not mediated in moving images in this case study, codes or formal languages of a film are inscribed in the images, as will be shown in the following text. Building on these findings, this paper further discusses the influence of cinematography and other media practices on the fashion industry’s attempt to free its fashion imagery from the confines of a two-dimensional page.
 
Article
The paper is based on the visual and sociological interpretation of the specific element of the Soviet everyday life within the period from 1950s till 1980s. From the very beginning, clothing styles and images were used by Communist authorities to impose some important ideological trends on society. There was collectivism, modesty, simplicity, unselfishness, obedience, respect for authority, and hard work in addition to a variety of features of Soviet morality, as well as even more controversial Soviet ideas. Popular culture in the Soviet Union, especially cinema and television, contained both entertainment and propaganda in different proportions. The presented analysis of stories from the selected Soviet movies concerns the specific perspective of the social identity creation, lifestyle construction and imitation strategies of the common Soviet citizens. Social differentiation within clothing styles as symbols of status is shown rather frequently in the movies, especially in the earlier period, as a way to delineate social and moral borders between working class, on the one side, and intelligentsia, on the other.
 
Article
The cultural iconography of Mark Antony has, in the two millennia since his death, been heavily informed by the revisionist historiography of his political rival (and conqueror) Augustus Caesar. Political expediency in the early principate reconfigured Marcus Antonius’ actions in the final years of his life in such a negatively gendered light that the projection of Antonius into Antony-on-screen can be considered a vehicle for the negotiation and exorcism of socio-cultural anxiety surrounding the performance of masculinity. So predictable and repetitive is the iconography of Antony-on-screen that its absence – indeed, its inversion – in Joseph Mankiewicz’ "Julius Caesar" (1953) requires detailed investigation. This essay interrogates the non-diegetic discourse of masculine performance brought to Mankiewicz’ movie through its star, Marlon Brando, and situates the movie in line with the socio-cultural and socio-political anxieties enacted in the Hollywood historical epic of the 1950s.
 
Article
Fan magazines, primarily aimed at female audiences, provide a lens through which to analyze attitudes about female sexuality. In the 1960s, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most popular stars in fan magazines. While coverage of her often focused on issues related to her marriages and children, another narrative about her health dominated headlines in the early part of the decade. Speculation about Taylor’s illnesses stood in for a larger discourse about female appetites, ambition, and containment. This illness discourse gave fans graphic access to Taylor’s body in ways that were gruesome rather than erotic as descriptions of her physical maladies reached ecstatic proportions. Public discourse about Taylor’s health functioned in complex ways that affirmed and challenged ideologically conservative constructions of femininity and motherhood. This essay explores Taylor’s appearances in fan magazines during the period 1960-1965 to examine the relationship between the star and notions of ambition, illness, and domesticity.
 
Article
Eric Schaefer, in his exploration of the American exploitation industry, has argued that exploitation cinema developed in opposition to mainstream Hollywood products. Furthermore, the topics and subject matter presented in early American exploitation films dealt with subjects Hollywood were unwilling to produce. As a result, the production, distribution and exhibition strategies developed by exploitation filmmakers differed markedly from the American mainstream film industry. However, in Britain (amongst critics and scholars) the exploitation film has no similar defining characteristics and is a term that has been applied to a wide variety of British films without regard to their industrial mode of production, distribution or exhibition. As a result, the cultural currency of the British exploitation film, as it is now understood, has no connection to the films they now describe, and often fails to take into account how these films were originally produced, marketed, distributed and exhibited. In the British film industry during the 1960s, the term ‘exploitation’ was used by the industry to refer to a wide variety of films which are now viewed differently by contemporary critics and academics. In other words, the currency of the term exploitation has changed from its original meaning. Therefore, this article is an attempt to reframe the debate around the meaning of the British exploitation film from the 1960s onwards, and to re-evaluate our understanding of the development of British cinema during this period.
 
Article
This paper explores the ways in which the coverage of the Muslim Other has changed over time outside the specific context of ‘Islamic’ terrorism. Three case-studies are examined: the Satanic Verses incident of 1989, the Bradford Riots of 2001, and the Gillian Gibbons incident of 2007. The analysis indicates that the British press tends to conflate British Asians and British Muslims, although this was mainly evidenced in the 2001 Bradford Riots sample. However, comparing the coverage of the 2007 Gillian Gibbons incident to that of the 1989 Satanic Verses, suggests that the representation of Muslims may have become more positive between 1989 and 2007. Although this finding may appear to be counter-intuitive given that this period included events such as 9/11 and 7/7, which are generally regarded as having worsened negative stereotypes of Muslims, this data is in keeping with existing studies, such as Featherstone et al. (2010), who argue that during this period the British press struggled to reconcile the need to ‘represent Britain as a unified multicultural imagined community’ with ‘“othering” the bombers as Islamic radicals who were nonetheless normal British citizens’ (179). This has led to a duality in coverage of Muslims in the British press, where Muslims can be either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but nothing in between.
 
Article
This paper engages with the concept of ‘elsewhere’ in the feminist philosophy of Luce Irigaray as a way to theorise the experience of viewing the audio-visual installations of Finnish artist, Eija-Liisa Ahtila. Ahtila’s work traces specific narratives concerning feminine desire and subjectivity across multi-screen apparatus in gallery environment. The space of exhibition and film form initiate a mode of encounter that motivates a different relation of projector, screen and viewer. Ahtila’s multi-screen installations insist that we look to the places of exclusion in discourse and to the silences in representation for meaning elsewhere, in excess and otherwise. The exclusion in discourse is for Luce Irigaray of course the feminine. Irigaray articulates a view that textually and performatively demands we recognise the impossibility of a feminine position. I take up this problematic with specific attention to how Ahtila’s audiovisual installation If 6 Was 9 (Jos 6 olis 9, 1995) produces and disrupts traditional cinematic representation to examine how the space of installation, multi-screen form and the filmic space lend itself to a different encounter with the cinematic. By tracing the concept of ‘elsewhere’ in philosophical and audio-visual texts, the article develops and refines a position from which one might view contemporary cinematic experience. KEYWORDS Luce Irigaray, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, feminism, feminist film, moving image installation, expanded cinema, gallery film
 
Article
Mobile media enable immediate and continuous connections as well as ubiquitous pro-ducing, sharing and consuming of audio-visual material. This article analyses the con-ceptualisation of ultra-short media forms and media convergence on Vine. The article is based mainly on the analysis of examples of the Vine users Thomas Sanders, the NBA and the America’s Funniest Home Videos, illustrating the aesthetics and content ena-bled by ultra-short communications. The term para-social interaction, as applied by Horton and Wohl (1956) in the context of mass media, is adapted to Vine as social me-dia, highlighting the performance of intimacy in communication mediated with digital tools.
 
Article
This essay discusses how socialnetworking site-styled “adult” websites facilitate online socialization throughshared “fantasies.” Moreover, and perhaps more crucially, this essay alsoexplores how users on these websites construct identity online. I argue thatthe development of Web 2.0 has changed significantly changed the form and useof Internet pornography, and those who engage in “Porn 2.0” are part of asignificant (if impossible to accurately measure) Web 2.0 community.Furthermore, I seek to interrogate the limits involved with the performance ofmicro-identity on the Porn 2.0 stage—focusing on sites that largely providepornographic video and live web chats—while also taking into account the ethicalconsiderations that accompany the Porn 2.0 landscape.
 
Article
The article discusses how the pornographicdesire for authenticity is realised on porn 2.0 websites like Cam4. Againstthis background the analysis focuses on gay masculinities and theirrepresentational politics within gay mainstream pornography. Gaying, asthe tradition of staging a utopian gay world without discrimination, as well asporning, the possible transformations of gay subjectivities throughporn, are presented as central concepts of gay pornography. The author connectsrecent developments of online pornography with analytical approaches of LindaWilliams' Porn Studies and locates porn 2.0 in the trajectory of gaypornography.
 
Article
This paper discusses the key findings of PhD research that analysed how four Irish national ‘opinion leader’ newspapers – The Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and the Sunday Tribune – framed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from July 2000 to July 2004 (O’Regan, 2007). Two sets of significant findings emerged from this research. Firstly, this research’s qualitative frame analysis found that the sampled newspapers acted as contested sites that variously displayed competing frames of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rather than exclusively transmitting hegemonic, or elitist frames. Secondly, it was concluded that the politics and dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself influenced newspaper coverage trends, as did the politico-cultural context supplied by Ireland’s ‘small state’ and post-colonial status and its consequent lack of ‘hard’ foreign policies towards the Middle East. A range of media factors, such as resource constraints, editorial judgments and news values, also had important constructivist implications for newspaper outcomes. Taken together, these findings strongly critique the propaganda, hegemonic and political control perspectives that have characterised research to date. Instead, this research concluded that competing conflict protagonists’ level of media access is best viewed as an achieved outcome, which changes in line with developments in the wider political and media environments and in the operation of news factors.
 
The three spheres of interest (consumer; citizen; and the 'grey area in between').  
The grey area as public interest; the citizen and consumer spheres as individual interests within the sphere of public interest.  
Citizens and consumers as individual members of the public.  
Article
By conducting a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of the Communications White Paper 2000, this article demonstrates the processes by which the government has socially and discursively reconstructed the public service ethos of broadcasting and the relations between citizenship and consumerism. Focussing on the occurrences of the citizen- and consumer-signifiers, the analysis confirms the claims of critical social theorists that there has been a shift in the government’s conception of the public from citizens to consumers. However, by adopting a cross-disciplinary methodology to the analysis of the texts, the complex processes and tensions involved in this shift can be made manifest, and the ways in which the differences between public and private oppositions are rhetorically reduced – so that the consumer becomes an active agent, able to act collectively, while the citizen becomes a passive individual – can be demonstrated.
 
Article
This paper presents preliminary findings from a wider study into the form that political debate takes in Scottish and English/UK newspapers’ reporting of the 2001 and the 2005 UK Elections. The research project aims to contribute to the discussion regarding the role played by the Scottish press in political deliberation after devolution and compares its contribution to the electoral debate with that of newspapers bought in England. This paper explores the results of a content analysis of articles from daily Scottish and UK newspapers during the four weeks of each election campaign period. This reveals that, despite some differences, the overall picture of the coverage of major election issues is consistent. A selection of the coverage of taxation, the most mentioned reserved issue in the 2001 campaign, is subsequently analysed using critical discourse analysis, and the results suggest more distinction between the two sets of newspapers.
 
Article
This paper is a critical textual analysis of two of the most popular and critically acclaimed non-documentary films on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The wide array of popular films on Israel and Palestine released in the past two decades, and the myriad perspectives they present, call for a more current critical textual analysis, as some of these films have been very well-received by audiences worldwide and have garnered numerous international film awards. These films include Divine Intervention (2002), Munich (2006), Miral (2010), Ajami (2010), and Waltz with Bashir (2009), to name a few. Film provides a popular medium through which we find an active Othering of Palestinians, sometimes even in films that have set out to upend dominant narratives. By undertaking a textual analysis of two of these films, Munich and Waltz with Bashir, and utilising works on collective memory along with elements of critical race theory, this paper discusses some problematic aspects of modern film representations of Arabs in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This study carries implications for both historical and political studies of this conflict, and for communications theory by delving more deeply into media depictions of race, ethnicity, and nationality amidst the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also raises questions as to the dominance of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism in media depictions of Palestine and Palestinians and how that may be changing due to an emerging ‘Palestinian narrative’ in recent films. Furthermore, by lending a critical eye towards these films, we can take a more accurate look at the larger historiography and media landscape surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict and observe how recent political developments ‘on the ground’ have, or have not, influenced depictions of the conflict and the region.
 
Article
The Mediterranean Sea is a historical stage of mobilities and has been a witness to important movements of people and goods since ancient times. In this liquid territory, different social processes of globalization can be observed; yet, in recent years, it has been predominantly depicted as an emergency scene, a crossing platform for those in search of refuge in Europe. This scenario becomes connected to a set of dimensions of securitization and quests for control that redirect the debates about national and European responsibilities regarding maritime territories. In this article, this issue is addressed exploring the construction and development of the social problem of refugees in the Mediterranean, departing from a frame analysis of news items thematically filtered from the digital platforms of two Italian newspapers in 2013-2015. The problem is contextualized in time and content progression, deepening the framing of some critical events, and reframing the Mediterranean as a referent/emergent territory of mobility.
 
Article
This is a report on the 'Becoming Scotland: Screen Cultures in a Small Nation' conference, 28-29 August 2014
 
Article
This article provides insights about the organization of the 2014 MeCCSA PGN conference that forms the basis for the publication of this special issue of Networking Knowledge. In this piece, the two organizers reflect on the organization and theme of the conference to contextualize the special issue through a report that blends a personal narrative with a visual essay.
 
Article
This is the editorial introduction to the MeCCSA PGN 2014 Conference Special Issue.
 
Article
This article is a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the representation of Palestinians in two online Israeli newspapers published in English during the 2014 Gaza War. The study attempts to conduct a language-based analysis of the political and ideological workings that underpin the representation of social actors. It employs tools from the Discourse Historical Approach (Reisigl & Wodak 2001) to explain the discursive characterization of fighters/ Hamas and civilians. Since the huge number of Palestinian civilian fatalities was a major aspect of controversy in the last war, this article tries to reveal the linguistic choices and discursive strategies used in representing each group of social actors. More importantly, the article detects the linguistic and discursive differences between two newspapers and explains how they may reflect different political orientations.
 
Article
This is a report on the 'Workshop on Creative Methods: Gender, Sex and Relating' conference, 15 October 2014
 
Article
Examining the Israeli military operation against Gaza during the summer months of 2014, this paper firstly examines how Israel ‘took language hostage’ to justify the multifaceted punishment of the Palestinian. I will identify how this use of language helps to frame Israel’s actions as democratic by acting in defence, a process articulated throughout previous military operations. Such a process is implicit within the dominant political imaginary that constitutes much of the popular discourse that shapes the Israeli relationship with the Palestinian. Secondly, I will draw attention to the critical documentary photography practice of Gianluca Panella’s 2013 World Press award winning series Black Out. Making comparisons to work produced in the West Bank by Israeli Photographer Gaston Ickowicz, I will highlight how Panella’s work goes someway to addressing how to visually articulate a society brought to the ‘brink’, while also being artifacts that communicate the trace of ongoing-catastrophisation.
 
Article
This paper examines how media and news reports in particular contribute to the construction of images on a particular event. For the purpose of it, the Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi were chosen as a global media event owning to its controversial nature and various issues connected with these Games. The data were gathered from two prominent English-speaking news bureaus in Europe and examined to establish how centers of traditional Olympic stream and Western ideology comment on the Games hosted by an ideologically, politically and culturally different country. In attempt to address the aim, the research explores the thematic organisation (topics coverage) and the resources of appraisal in the articles dedicated to Sochi 2014. Despite its manual nature, the research combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches to the analysis of data. The findings revealed that all news bureaus constructed a negative evaluation of Sochi 2014 by means of the use of emotive language and selective coverage of topics relating either to the Games or to the host country. The paper is aimed to contribute to the existing research of critical discourse analysis and systemic functional grammar and present a pioneering study on the Olympic discourse by means of these two theoretical models
 
Article
This is the editorial introduction to a special issue based on the MeCCSA-PGN 2015 Conference.
 
Article
In this visual essay, the organising committee look back on the MeCCSA-PGN Conference 2015 and reflect on the overarching theme, the organisation and the running of the conference. The conference’s theme, ‘Transformative Practice and Theory: Where We Stand Today’, forms the basis of this special issue of Networking Knowledge, with developed papers from the conference, as well as interviews with some of the keynote speakers, included in this issue.
 
Article
On 5th and 6th July 2018, MeCCSA’s Postgraduate Network held their annual conference at Canterbury Christ Church University. The event was organised by Nicholas Furze, Aurora Patera and Emma Kaylee Graves, all of whom have contributed to the creation of this special issue. The papers presented in this special issue are each based upon presentations given by attendees of this conference. With the inclusive theme of media, community and culture, the conference saw a wide variety of scholarship from contributors based in the UK and beyond. As a result, the four papers that make up this issue vary greatly, but are all related in that they each consider communities’ relationships to the media around the globe.
 
Article
Based upon an interview with the activist A.N.Onymous that was published on the Theory, Culture & Society website, this article seeks to indicate some of the ways in which the theory of Jacques Rancière might be useful for a critical and reflective understanding of Occupy (in) London. A.N.ON’s insights into the movement and the theory are elaborated throughout using Rancière’s concepts in order to suggest some of the ways that they might inform each other, covering such themes as: expertise; authority; horizontality and democracy; the politics of aesthetics; as well as the importance of space in resistance.
 
Article
Dr Crystal Abidin is a digital anthropologist and ethnographer who examines internet culture, based at Curtin University in Western Australia as a Senior Research Fellow and ARC DECRA fellow in Internet Studies. Her current research focuses on influencer cultures, online visibility, and social media pop cultures, especially in East Asia and the Asia Pacific, reflecting also on life as an anthropologist whose work traverses both online and physical spaces and relationships. In her visit to Bangor as a keynote speaker for the Evolution of Media MeCCSA PGN conference, Dr Crystal discussed one of her more recent projects about vulnerable communities on Tumblr, exploring the evolution of culture, practice, and her research within this space.
 
Article
This article considers the significance of social media platforms during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution to two small groups of Egyptian nationals. Interviews were conducted with small groups of Egyptians living in the UK and Egyptians living at home. It establishes how these citizens used social media during the revolution and whether during the days of civil unrest they became citizen journalists by accessing and sharing information and video content with family and friends via digital media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. This research found that the sharing of online revolutionary content was dependent upon the level of trust with which the interviewees regarded its source. Significantly, interviewees in the UK were reluctant to share any content they received through social media platforms, and trusted only sources that they judged were ‘reliable’, while interviewees in Egypt shared content that was posted by fellow citizens regardless of whether or not they completely trusted the source.
 
Article
This paper examines the ethics of ethnographic research for a practitioner turned academic. It looks at the use of contacts in gaining entry into newsrooms, the ethics of observation and participation, the use of the experiential to draw out journalists in interviews, the employment of insider knowledge to attain proximity to news producers and the resultant ethics.
 
Article
This article revisits the 71st Academy Award Ceremony in 1999 when Shakespeare in Love picked up seven Oscars from thirteen nominations, controversially beating Saving Private Ryan to be named Best Picture. It is rare for a romantic comedy to win this coveted award, but then this is not just a film about love; it is a film about Shakespeare in love. In its depiction of cultural heritage Shakespeare in Love foregrounds ‘the very business of show’, remaking the playwright and his theatre in the image of millennial Hollywood. By reducing the distance between the two, the film makes claims to cultural quality worthy of recognition and reward. Shakespeare in Love reflected and capitalised on taste culture of the time and cemented Miramax's reputation as a purveyor of ‘Oscar-bait’. This article looks closely at a production context of which this film represents an epitome. Peter Biskind has christened the period between Disney’s purchase of Miramax in 1993 and Shakespeare in Love’s Best Picture Oscar as a ‘Golden Age’, in which the company profited from the benefits of being a studio subsidiary while still enjoying the kudos they had cultivated as an indie. Thanks to the financial weight lent by their parent studio, Miramax was able to market and distribute the film widely – it played on nearly two thousand screens in America at the peak of its theatrical run, during Oscar season – and to forcefully promote it among the ranks of the Academy voters. Complementing the authoritative cultural pedigree of the film’s subject matter was Miramax’s own reputation for ‘quality filmmaking’, which the film simultaneously drew upon and sought to perpetuate. In this way Shakespeare in Love offered mainstream studio production and romantic comedy content, while also projecting an aura of superior substance thanks to the connotations of the names Shakespeare and Miramax. Cultural hybridity is at the root of the film’s Oscar-winning success.
 
Article
The paper presents data from the research Interrelationships Communication and Education in the Context of Basic Education, which involved 3.7 thousand students and more than 500 Brazilian teachers, and addresses the theme of social acceleration of time. Developed by the Educommunication Mediations group (MECOM), which is linked to the School of Communications and Arts of the University of São Paulo (ECA / USP), the survey extended from September to December 2018. The results show that educators are subjected to stressful working hours and that the media, especially mobile devices, cross the school ecosystem. Through their smartphones, even accessed in the classroom, students rearrange and re-signify the experience and time of education.
 
Article
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are seen as the pathway not just to(economic) development, but key to ensuring good governance and removing social inequality.At the heart of this narrative is the assumption that technology is neutral and an a priori sourcefor good which can be used for the inclusion of marginalised communities. Through in‐depthinterviews with working class women in New Delhi, India, my paper seeks to understand howan intersectional social location affects women’s experiences with ICTs, and argues that theyare mired in complex ways with structures of caste, gender, class and education. The studybuilds on feminist insights that technology must be seen as a set of practices, deeply implicatedin power relations. Thus, young women’s usage of mobile phones is shaped by upper-castenorms of femininity. For other women, ICTs become a nuisance which allow employers moreaccess to them. This paper underscores the importance of a more bottom-up understanding ofthe ways in which technology and society shape each other, and reflects on implications forpolicymaking and future scholarship.
 
Article
This article examines how the NBC show Heroes (Tailwind Productions/Universal Media Studioes, 2006-10) and its use of product placement across multiple platforms represented an early response by networks and advertisers to concerns over ad-skipping and alternate viewing platforms by attempting to reconfigure how brand flow operates across multiple platforms. Not only did the series employ ‘second shift aesthetics’ (Caldwell 2003, 135), which represents networks bringing viewer-users back to the programme by ‘further engag[ing] and activat[ing] the text’ (Caldwell 2004, 50), but the products integrated within the text are pulled into the available world of Heroes’ alternative platform’s textual world, particularly Nissan branded cars. As Henry Jenkins writes: ‘Old media are not being displaced. Rather, their framework and structure shifted by the introduction of new technology’ (2006, 3-4). How these products are used within Heroes' storylines and its interaction with characters and platform goes beyond simple placement to make the product another character within the show. Further, I examine the way in which Heroes, as a transmedia text, provided many points of entry for viewer-users to interact with it. While an analysis of fan activity is not the focus of this article, it is important to note these possibilities because of the ways in which the promotional apparatus of the network utilized these types of convergences for the series. Yet, in the case of Heroes, this was achieved by suturing new technological abilities of brand extension with an older model of ad- supported television (namely, the single-sponsorship model of early American television), both within the terrestrial television series and across multiple platforms. With the 2008 writers’ strike derailing narrative television for that season—leading to prematurely ended or truncated seasons, or outright cancellations—these transmedia elements became both contentious and useful on both the production and narrative level.
 
Article
In Werner Herzog’s 2005 documentary Grizzly Man, charting the life and tragic death of grizzly bear protectionist Timothy Treadwell, the medium of documentary film becomes a place for the metaphysical meeting of two filmmakers otherwise separated by time and space. The film is structured as a kind of ‘argument’ between Herzog and Treadwell, reimagining the temporal divide of past and present through the technologies of documentary filmmaking. Herzog’s use of Treadwell’s archive of video footage highlights the complex status of the filmic trace in documentary film, and the possibilities of documentary traces to create distinct affective experiences of time. This paper focuses on how Treadwell is simultaneously present and absent in Grizzly Man, and how Herzog’s decision to structure the film as a ‘virtual argument’ with Treadwell also turns the film into a self-reflexive project in which Herzog reconsiders and re-presents his own image as a filmmaker. With reference to Herzog’s notion of the ‘ecstatic truth’ lying beneath the surface of what the documentary camera records, this article also considers the ethical implications of Herzog’s use of Treadwell’s archive material to both tell Treadwell’s story and work through his own authorial identity.
 
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Carolina Matos
  • City, University of London
Kaja Joanna Fietkiewicz
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Lukas R.A. Wilde
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Carolina Silveira
  • University of the West of Scotland
Michelle Proksell
  • Maastricht University