A great issue (5.1!) is coming

April 11, 2013 § 3 Comments

We are about to see the next issue of the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies. It will start the fifth volume and is containing eight articles and eight book reviews.

This issue is counting with a research on the news report during the Catalan elections in 2010. Nereida Carrillo (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) and Carme Ferré-Pavia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) are opening with a research work on how news combined entertainment elements and presented a hybridization of genres. Political actors and language uses of media are inquired in order to develop a debate on infotainment and electoral communication.

This article is followed by Elena Oroz (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) studies on early Francoist propaganda documentaries. Oroz offer an insightful text on the documentaries produced by the Sección Femenina at the end of the Civil War (1939) and during the early Francoism (1944). The comparative analysis reveals the changes that occurred in the discourses and images offered about feminity and the role of the women in the Movimiento.

Next work is the one signed by Núria Araüna, Iolanda Tortajada and Arantxa Capdevila (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) about the analysis of the Spanish fiction serial Sin tetas no hay paraíso (STNP). The researchers studied the affective and sexual relationship in the series and realised several focus groups among youngsters to see how they identified with the story and the characters. The authors develop an argument to explain how characters cruelty is not incompatible with the sense of “cool”.

The issue follows with the article of Brian Smith (Purdue University) on the public relation profession in Spain and the adaptation of Grunnig paradigm on excellence. The author extracts some interesting results from a set of interviews with public relation managers about the influence of USA sector on the Spanish professional practices.

The Articles’ section is closed with two added texts. The first is the one of Dimitri Prandner (University of Salzburg) about the presence of young female journalists in Austria and the difference in their role and work conditions regarding their male colleagues. The second is a suggesting text from Isabel Simões about the media coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The author analyses the dual process of mediation: the staging of the ceremony and the discursive representations.

Altheide’s thoughts

We are proud to have in this issue the presence of David Altheide‘s (Arizona State University) article ‘Shielding Risk’. This text is an approach to risk communication, media and society, exploring concepts like media logic, politics of fear and surveillance society. The article, which we are sure will became a key text in the field, is included in the Gateway section, as it is extracted from the conference which Altheide gave in 2012 in the Universitat Rovira i Virgili during the 3rd Congress of the Spanish Association of Communication Research. In a feedback with the author he stated: “This paper was written a year before the massacre at Newtown, Ct., but the public debates about gun control are good examples of the efforts to shield risk”.

The issue is completed with a Viewpoint research note from Alexander Dhoest and Sara Bastianesens (University of Antwerp) about how Belgian press reports on Catalonia. They did an interesting content analysis on topics and a discourse approach to the coverage of Catalonia in a country, Belgium, which is also crossing in-dept political struggles involving identity issues.

Finally, this issue is enriched with a set of eight book review in which several authors offer their commentary on new titles on media theory, race representation, journalism, political communication and transnational fictions. Among the authors: Joaquim M. Puyal, Guillermo Orozco and Maria Immacolata Vassalo or Manuel Palacio.

All in all, I see with satisfaction the issue which will be the first stone of a volume that we will complete with a special issue on food and communication, which is already in reviewing.


Reading: the death of Belgium

July 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

These days I am reading a book about Belgium, well it is indeed devoted to “the death of Belgium” (La mort de Bèlgica. La gradual emancipació de Flanders, author: Marc Gafarot). I am involved in a research and some of the news are dealing with how Flemish and Walloon newspapers treat the Catalan topics and vice versa. We are exploring this topic and still deciding whether we have an object of study well delimited… And I felt that I needed some more context about Flanders. Therefore, I am getting some from this book quite easily.

The work has a similar objective to the still recent El mirall escocés (The Scottish mirror), authored by Xavier Solano, which is to offer an up-to-date account of the nationalism achievements in both countries and to establish points of comparison with the Catalan case. Of course, both authors give historical, sociological and political clues to understand processes of separatism in Flanders and Scotland. In the Flemish case, one of the most striking aspects are the questions related to cultural policies, and specifically linguistic policies. Reading this book, my understanding is that some of the existing laws and norms regarding language protection, delimitation of cultural communities and regulation of cultural life are rather strong and this made me think about the Catalan case: Catalan nationalism policies are today more liberal than the practices in some other parts of Europe. Both works, Solano’s and Gafarot’s, are very didactic, but in both cases I missed some more room for the media and cultural analysis, which are crucial to understand current political and social realities in these (still) stateless nations.

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