Volume 7, Number 12-13 (2011)
A publication of the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies and the University Research Institute of Applied Communication National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
WHAT DEFINES A MEDIA GENERATION?
In a 2009 New York Times article, the author was interpreting results from a Pew Survey as follows: “Technology is just the start of the old-young divide”. The conventional empirical evidence for this conclusion was the diffusion of new communication technologies as well as the time devoted to different media devices referring to the age of adopters. In the past, we decided to define media generations as for example “people who had television since their infancy” or “people who grew up with a computer”. Even today, we still prefer the assumption of common characteristics when talking about “digital natives” meaning a young generation growing up in the “digital age”. In a historical perspective, the slow progression of media technologies allowed us to think in terms of media generations as life time cycles. With the speeding up of innovation processes, life time cycles necessarily do not correspond with “media cycles”. And, meanwhile, we expect differences within one specific age cohort. If there are distinct experiences and behaviours among siblings, among younger and older students, among succeeding peer groups, and the like, the assumption of media generations in a classical sense includes far more variance and diversity than estimated.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TERRITORY COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC SPHERE
In the building of relationships between Europe and national governments, the territorial dimension is becoming a strategic stake and a crucial issue for the Political and Communication strategies of the main European Institutions. The local dimension, within the post modernity and globalization age, is becoming the matrix for social and cultural experiences, because it gives back social sense to the growing complexity of relationships (Castells, 1996; Bauman, 2001). There are many signs of this trend, the most crucial of which is the EU Communication Policy, which places the local dimension at the core of Brussels strategies to both fill up the gap between citizens and European Institutions and overcome opposition by national Member States. The aim of the White Paper on Communication (2006) is to reach citizens in their own territories, according to local interests and identities. Hence the efforts to implement a series of communication tools aimed at encouraging the development of a European public sphere at the local level. This is the declared goal to narrow the democratic gap involving citizenship processes. This article will present the project “Going Local”, the European local communication strategy in Northern Italy, supported by the Commission Representation Office for Northern Italy, which is in charge of 8 regions and about 20.000.000 citizens and will analyze the Piedmont case, one of the Regions involved. It shows the EU’s efforts to increase the amount of information about Europe in the local context, according to the guide-lines of the Europe Direct network that views the local information as a strategic tool in the construction of a European public sphere.
POLITICAL COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNICATIONS POLICY: LIAISONS DANGEREUSES
This article explores the pivotal relation between communication and media policies, on the one hand, and political communication on the other. These distinct processes of exercising power feed into one another and, provided there is a balance of power, they determine mutually one another to the benefit of the public interest. Currently, however, communication policies do not safeguard the proper function of democratic political communication, due to well-entrenched policies of competition, deregulation and self-regulation of the media and the advertised industries. As a result of an incongruent EU communications policy, a number of incompatible premises apply today with regard to political communication. There is a plethora of media outlets which transmit torrents of “quasi political information” or infotainment. Yet, essential and factual political ignorance is high and on the increase among citizenry across the EU. Indeed, “abysmal ignorance” is demonstrated as prevailing in parts of the EU. This paper argues that the norms of market competition –as originally imposed by the Television Without Frontiers Directive of the EC/EU (EC/1989/552)– in the field of political knowledge provision have proved to be lethal for a democratic political communication. In adopting such policies, political leaders entrapped themselves, since these policies undermine democratically adequate political communication. The “market” in politics and in political communication is the public itself; the people. As regards the congregation and the maintenance of the “Agora of the Demos”, the battle should be to congregate it and to allow its participation and integration. However, existing structures tend to segmentalize this public market utterly. At the same time, dominant processes of competition tend to trivialize and alienate political information from their constituents. As political media contents are evacuated from their essence and alienated from their very nature, they not only segmentalize audiences, shuttering the public, worse still, they produce political ignorance, disaffection and depoliticization. Yet, democratic Politics is impossible to exist outside the collectivity of “the public”. So, the crucial contention at stake is whether this politically dangerous cul-de-sac could be reversed by communication policies that do not undermine, but favour Politics.
THE GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE “FUTURE” OF THE EU IN THE EUROPEAN PRESS
Georgios Pleios, Stamatis Poulakidakos, Korina Kalpaki Aliki Marinaki, Grigoris Kappas
The Greek financial crisis, since its emergence, has become an important issue both in the field of politics, economy and society, as well in the European media. The effects of the crisis –real and potential– turn it to an event of great journalistic importance, bringing it the focus of media coverage. What features does this coverage have? How and to what extent the Greek crisis is depicted as something that affects the state of the Eurozone and by extension the EU? This study aims to present an aspect of the European media coverage concerning the Greek crisis, analyzing the articles of the online editions of newspapers from three different European countries.
INTERNET USE, POLITICAL EFFICACY AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
THE CASE OF GREEK CYPRIOT AND TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITIERS IN CYPRUS
Nicolas Demertzis, Vassilis Gialamas, Dimitra Milioni
The concept of political efficacy has been used widely as an indicator of a healthy and functioning democracy. Yet, empirical results reported in the relevant literature so far are mixed. This paper seeks to explore internet usage and its relationship to political efficacy and freedom of speech online, focusing on the case of Cyprus. It also explores differences between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots in terms of digital divides and internet users’ attitudes towards freedom of speech and surveillance on the internet. The study draws on quantitative data from the World Internet Project (WIP) survey in Cyprus, conducted in May and June 2010.
DELINQUENT ONLINE BEHAVIOURS AND THEIR NEUTRALIZATION:
THE CASE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY Constantinos Kasaras, Georgios Michael Klimis, Martha Michailidou
Consumer experiences of cultural products are nowadays inextricably connected to Internet related experiences, prominent of which is downloading from the Internet and P2P file sharing. The main argument of the cultural industries is that copyright, the mainstay of their business models, should be respected and enforced even when consumers seem to think otherwise. Meanwhile, a consensus seems to be formed on the basis of which it is considered normal for law-abiding citizens and ordinary members of contemporary societies to engage in “deviant” behaviours when they are online. These actions usually termed “digital piracy” are usually thought of as normal. These attitudes have been recently examined in the light of neutralization or drift theory (Sykes & Matza, 1957). Studies applied to the cases of music, film, and software piracy, attempt to determine which techniques of neutralization or rationalization are used by consumers to neutralize or rationalize illegal downloading. This paper proposes a shift in perspective in how we analyze consumer behaviour, revising and updating the categories used by neutralization and rationalization models advised by the diffusion of innovations framework proposed by Rogers (1962).
EUROPEAN CRISIS AND THE THEORY OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE: AN ANALYTICAL MODEL Asimina Michailidou, Hans-Jorg Trenz, Pieter de Wilde
The key premise of this paper is that financial crisis accelerates the transformation of the political order in the European Union at national and transnational level. We expect that public debates of crisis facilitate this transformation, as they bring to the fore contestations of political legitimacy and allocation of power. In order to understand the impact of crisis communication on the legitimation of political order, we need to move beyond evaluations of crisis management strategies. Building on the concept of the public sphere, the paper presents an analytical innovation in empirical legitimation research that aims to capture the interrelation between a) public contestations of the political order in online media and parliamentary debates, and b) public contestations and crisis decision-making.
NEWS MEDIA AND PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE Stelios Papathanassopoulos, Elias Athanasiadis, Achilleas Karadimitriou, Ioulia Daga, Maria Xenofontos
This study, which is part of a wider international study, aims to investigate what affects the supply of news, on the one hand, and attentiveness to the news, on the other, in order to investigate the conditions that contribute to informed citizenship. It combines a quantitative analysis of major news sources (broadcast, print and web) during three pre-determined, non-sequential weekdays in the period May-June 2010, as well as a survey administered to a representative sample of the population (1,000 adults).