Using National Geographic's coverage of Puerto Rico, this article presents a case study of journalistic authority and collective identity in the context of the changes in mass communications prompted by web interactivity. The analysis demonstrates the challenges in representing culture when discussion about the other cannot be confined to insiders (“us”) because “they” may be networked and able to both access material and respond to it, demonstrating how digital media interactivity allows groups to publicly dispute their representations and thereby challenge journalistic authority.
This edition features select journal articles published between July and October 2016, on topics such as postcoloniality and cultural representation in dominant media and film, international policy debate on freedom of the media, and creative industries & cultural policy, among others.
National Geographic and Puerto Rico: A Case Study of Journalistic Authority and Collective Identity in the Digital Age
Communication, Culture & Critique
Volume 9 | Issue 3 | 2016
When postcolonial studies meets media studies
This essay addresses, on the one hand, how postcolonial studies might inform and enrich media studies, especially as the latter is situated in the Communication discipline, and on the other hand how media studies may productively expand the terrain postcolonial studies that has been dominated by the fields of Literature and Comparative Literature. Focusing on, and challenging, issues such as the North Atlantic temporal logics that inform the received history of media studies, as well as contesting the narrow boundaries of literary studies for engaging in contemporary postcolonial media/ted cultures, this essay attempts to argue for the importance of postcolonial media studies.
International broadcasting by a middle-size country: The case of Belsat TV from Poland to Belarus
Belarus, Poland’s eastern authoritarian neighbor, limits citizens’ access to information while controlling state television and persecuting oppositional media and journalists. Belsat TV, financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish public service television, has been run as a station substituting for the domestic, Belarusian sources of information. This article sheds light on the Polish government’s motivations in launch such alternative media for Belarus as well as on the political and media landscape in which these media operate, understanding international broadcasting as one of the components of Polish public diplomacy used as leverage to strengthen the position of the country as an actor in international communication.
Mainstream media’s coverage of the Gezi protests and protesters’ perception of mainstream media
This article seeks to analyse how different sets of media covered the Gezi Park protests in Turkey, whether the protest paradigm model varied according to the ideological leanings of newspapers, and whether social media created an alternative way for citizens to gather information while bypassing domestic news media. Furthermore, the study examines protesters’ perceptions of mainstream media coverage of the protests, an important part of understanding how the exchange of information and idea flows in a polarized media environment and social media tools affected this process in Turkey.
Defining media freedom in international policy debates
The article anchors global understanding of the media element of the ‘freedom of the media’ concept in key international legal documents, arguing that notions of what exactly should be protected under the umbrella of media freedom have been transformed during three distinct periods in post-war history. The related definitions are placed in the hierarchy of universal human rights, and with the contemporary international debate illustrated through an example of current challenges to the scope of freedom of the media, the analysis of conventions and other international legal and political documents leads to a possible solution to the present intergovernmental argument.
Diasporic films and the migrant experience in New Zealand: A case study in social imagination
International Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume 19 | Issue 4 | 2016
Drawing upon interviews and focus groups with Asian migrants, this article interrogates responses to ‘diasporic’ films that seek to represent multicultural experiences in contemporary New Zealand, arguing that these responses provide an effective demonstration of the operation of the ‘social imagination’—a discursive process that articulates the fundamental linkage between symbolic representation, community formation and social action. As respondents narrated the personal meanings that they construct around ethnically specific media, discussions around migrant stories revealed a series of deeply personalized notions of self and place that were always situated in juxtaposition with externalized projections of community formation and the ‘mainstream’ culture, a dynamic reflects what can be conceptualized as the central preoccupations of a ‘diasporic social imagination’.
The international transfer of creative industries as a policy idea
International Journal of Cultural Policy
Volume 22 | Issue 4 | 2016
This article examines the transfer of creative industries as a policy idea to Lithuania, tracing the stages of the transfer and analyzing its consequences in the local cultural policy field, and arguing for the importance of studying cultural policy process. The findings reveal that the process of the international transfer of creative industries generated wider transformations in cultural policy field by through effects on local power relations, opening the cultural policy field to new actors and, as a result, increasing competition for scarce state funding and opening access to the European Union structural funds, thereby significantly transforming Lithuanian state cultural policy by stimulating a reassessment of both the practices and identities of cultural organizations.
Soft power, global governance of cultural industries and rising powers: the case of China
This article addresses the importance of cultural industries for the strengthening of the soft power of the rising powers and seeks to understand how cultural industries allow rising powers to shape the structures of their international environment. Focusing on the current evolution of the relationship between the Chinese authorities and the film industry as well as on the development of the domestic film market, the article aims to draw up an inventory of China’s role within the global governance of cultural industries and to highlight the global cultural competition that China faces emphasizing the practices of the US administration and Hollywood, arguing that even if China is the current centre of gravity within the world economy, it still has a long way to go in order to shape the distribution of resources within the global governance of cultural industries and to play a crucial role in the international battle of cultural symbols.
Participation, Poetry and Song: Anand Patwardhan and New Latin American Cinema
This paper approaches Anand Patwardhan’s work from the fact that, according to him, both his critical theorizations (1984, 2007, 2012) and his films’ political, aesthetic and industrial foundations are inspired by radical New Latin American Cinema. Scholarship around Patwardhan’s cinema confirms this resonance between Patwardhan and the Latin Americans since each view cinema as an instrument of social intervention, and, beyond investigating the intersections between the two practices, the article explores the transnational flow of ideas and practices in the area of social documentary cinema and the subsequent interpretation and application of internationally circulating ideas to national realities and contexts.
Ethnic media, conflict, and the nation-state: Kurdish broadcasting in Turkey and Europe and mediated nationhood
Drawing on fieldwork among Kurdish broadcasters in Turkey and Europe (Roj-TV, Gün-TV, and TRT-6), this article shows how ethnic media mediate nationhood in a conflict context, an area about which little is known—especially as regards conflicts involving state and non-state actors—despite rising interest in the media-nationhood nexus and the expansion of studies on ethnic media. Employing data derived from expert interviews and informal conversations with employees, and implementing a grounded theory approach that develops a model proposing four modes of mediated nationhood in which the relation to the state and the role of ethnicity are key elements, the study goes on to demonstrate the multiple constraints characterizing mediated nationhood in conflicts and how this affects the perceived roles and ethnic belongings among media professionals.