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.

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Language, identity, fiction: an interesting seminar

October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week I was invited to assist to a meeting on language, identity and fiction, organized by the Institut d’Estudis Catalans. I could be at the first session on television in which Jaume Cabré (writer and scriptwriter), Núria Comas (language assessor), Carles Gené (executive producer) and Mila Segarra (expert) presented their thoughts.

It was an interesting meeting touching some of the recurrent topics regarding Catalan language and television fiction and almost exclusively focused on TV3. Some of these topics were dialect presence in the series, territorial representation, realism and resemblance or the production strains and conditionings.

Although the debate and discussion was fruitful, I saw that most of the matters that were the main focus five or eight years ago are still in the professionals and analysts’ agenda. I had the impression that we all should move on to new questions and aspects.

Scary visit to post-20N Madrid

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have been recently visiting Madrid for a conference on memory and public space. Strange and even scary feelings. I was presenting some overview on the trajectory of Catalan productions on historical fiction. The organization of the event was really nice and the discussions were, in general, rather productive. But I wanted to point an anecdotal situation when I talked to the participants about a recent production of TVC-TVE entitled ‘Tornarem’ (We shall return). I have been arguing the lack of interest showed by Spanish television in the Catalan productions, even they touch struggling topics in a quite innovative manner. The problem, for one student, was that the promo of the production was in Catalan (!) -although it is subtitled in English. Her argument pointed the following idea: ‘How do you expect to arise interest among Spanish television using Catalan language?’. I answered that I was not able to understand this rationale and, ‘although’ being in Catalan, you can dub the text into any desirable language. The rest of the assistants did not express any sign of being aware of the high degree of ‘nationalist rationale’ contained in the student contribution.

After the sessions, I walked to my hotel with a couple of colleagues talking on the post-20N scenario in Madrid, after PP have won the elections. I kept my mind in the debate with the student… and then we passed by the Arch of the Victory, a colossal monument in the memory of those who fought in the fascists part during the Civil War. It shows inscriptions talking about Franco as ‘Hispanorum Dux’. The people passed by with a hectic attitude around the great plaza and it seemed that we were the only ones annoyed by such a brutal and clear nationalist monument. There is something in this country I will never be able to understand. Madrid people walk routinely around the Arch of the Victory without doing any question -a perfect example of banal nationalism-, not asking themselves why to keep the exaltation of such ideals. Meanwhile, in the hotel I was able to dial dozens of TV channels (even from Italy, Germany… some private with ugly Shopping TV, Tarot…) but unable to tune a Catalan TV channel.

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