Forthcoming article in TVNM

July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

I am willing to see my next article in Television & New Media on the public channel (regional and statewide) coverage of the massive demonstration in Barcelona in September 11, 2012 (claiming for the self-determination). The article offers a mixed (quantitative & qualitative) textual approach to the issue and reveals how citizen’s political engagement was minimized by most of the channels. In the text, I discuss how the processes of mediation and mediatization of the event resulted in a narrative that displaced the political, meanwhile offering a frame close to what scholars have identified as ‘strategic’, focusing on politicians statements (with a relevance of official/governmental sources) and secondary aspects around the march. As stated in the text, this also tended to offer a ‘depoliticized’ account of the demonstration:

The result of this type of depoliticization is that “the political” is reserved as a sphere for politicians, while organized citizens are excluded from the political logics. This is part of a wider professional phenomenon in Western societies, where almost everything is susceptible to being explained in economic and financial terms.

… from the concluding remarks.


Masking Political Engagement: Television Coverage of a Mass Demonstration in Barcelona

Enric Castelló, Universitat Rovira i Virgili

This article analyzes how statewide and regional public television in Spain handled the demonstration held on September 11, 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia), in Barcelona under the slogan “Catalonia, a New European State.” The author performed a content analysis of fifty-eight news programs and a narrative analysis of eighty-nine stories. The results indicate that the majority of the channels offered limited coverage of the demonstration. The television narratives also minimized the role of citizen agency in the achievement of goals through democratic participation and displayed a depoliticized account. The author argues that the coverage of the march and its consequences resulted in a masking of citizens’ political engagement; far from promoting an understanding of why the march was so massively supported, it instead presented a story on politicians’ strategy. The author relates this case with a wider trend of media coverage of citizens’ protests in a Western post-democratic context.


democracy, demonstrations coverage, mediatization, political conflict, public television, television news

Television & New Media, DOI: 10.1177/1527476414545890


Nations and Nationalism in Lleida

December 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last week I attended to a conference in the Universitat de Lleida entitled ‘National Imaginaries of the Modernity (c. XIX-XXI)’. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts on the representations of Catalaness in the media. Specifically I had the chance to talk about how Catalan television (TV3) has dealt with the national identity in three fields: fiction, edutainment and historical programmes. I also introduced the topic of how journalism is dealing with the political struggles arising from the current conflicts between Catalan and Spanish governments.

image One of the curious happenings during my session was the intervention of  Gonçal Mayos, who noted the coincidence in the date of publication (1983) of three of my sources used in the speech: Gellner’s Nation and Nationalism, Hobsbawm’s The invention of the tradition and Anderson’s Imagined Communities. All three are key texts for the study of nationalism and the media/cultural systems.

The fact is that I had not noted this coincidence since the moment I was preparing the speech, and he asked whether this date (1983) was a special turning point in the study of nationalism. I wasn’t able to respond, but what seems unquestionable is the relevance of Anderson’s work for the study of the national identity and media representations and its influence in the last 30 years. Of course, it is enought time to have been used and also critizided by some scholars (see, i.e. Mihelj Media Nations p. 11-17)

The conference, organized by the research group GECIEC from UDL, was a chance to gather some of the people interested in the topic of national identity and culture and specially focused on how the notion of Catalaness has evolved through the last three centuries through media and cultural discourse.

Mediatizing conflict in Spain

September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

We have recently published a book on the mediatization of political conflict within the Spanish context. La mediatización del conflicto político, which I have edited, offers a deep analysis on several political and sociocultural conflicts and its treatment by the Spanish press and radio. The book is leaded by a theoretical approach to the concepts of mediatization and political conflict, which also tries to update the last international advances in the field. A set of nine case studies are analysing aspects like the constitutional trial of the Catalan statue and the massive demonstrations in Barcelona claiming for the independence, the processes of legalization of the Basque political parties, or the controversies in Galicia and the reform of the regional statute. The book is also touching other topics, like the political controversies on the so-called ‘Papepeles de Salamanca’, the banning of bullfighting in Catalonia or the politization of football in Spain.

Overall, I think that with this book we have contributed to a better understanding of how media in Spain, and specifically newspapers, offer a politized and polarized narrative which not always help in a better knowing of the political reality.

Memory in conflict

July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The field of the mediatisation of memory is of great interest and impact in contemporary configurations of popular history.  In recent times, I have been researching on how Spanish Civil War has been accounted in several documentaries produced by the Catalan public television TVC. In brief, an article on this will appear in a book on the televisualization of the war in the Spanish context, edited by Sira Hernández (Universidad de Navarra). My vision is that the Catalan TV produced a set of documentaries in the 2000’s that raised a set of topics silenced since that moment. Some of these serious facts were the stolen children of Francoism or the desaparecidos during the war/post-war in Spain. Far from presenting a Manichean story, and consistently grounded in journalistic and historical research, some of the TVC documentaries –worthy to mention those by Montse Armengou and Ricard Belis– are an unquestionable heritage of contemporary journalism in Europe. During the next months I will go on investigating in this matter, under the umbrella of the research project I am leading, as the memory has been a great battlefield for the political conflict in Spain during the last decades.

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