Javnost - The Public, Vol. 17 - 2010, No. 2
Political negotiators require privacy instead of publicity to achieve compromises. Triggered by the spread of governance and the media’s increasing relevance to the legitimation of political decisions, democratic negotiators face challenging bargaining conditions in terms of publicity. This applies particularly to political systems whose decision- making relies on majority- rather than on consensusbuilding. In this article we raise the question whether and how bargaining offi cials perceive and respond to media scrutiny. By referring to negotiators’ media-related thinking, we introduce the concept of mediatised negotiation which goes beyond the traditional understanding of mediatisation as an impact on political processes and outcomes. Based on interviews with 32 German political negotiators, it is shown that bargaining offi cials have an increased awareness of simultaneous negotiation and media management. Even though a set of (in)formal measures is available to cope with this twofold challenge, ineff ective and selfi sh public communication by individual negotiators proved to pose major obstacles to bargaining, not caused but facilitated and intensifi ed by media reporting. We conclude, therefore, that the mediatisation of negotiations is for the most part negotiators’ self-mediatisation.
Understanding the Problematic Relationship between Economics and Communication Studies and Potential Solutions
This article argues that communication scholars should collaborate with pluralist economists rather than traditional ones, as alternative economic theories are better suited to understanding the evolution of communication industries and to integration into multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks. In order to illustrate this point, fi rst the main features of traditional economics that are incompatible with the study of the communication sector are outlined, then, a selection of theories and concepts from complexity economics, service innovation studies and the neo-Schumpeterian approach are presented. Moreover, as an example of the effi cacy of alternative economic theories for explaining change in the communication sector, these concepts are used to provide arguments for the convergence of media and communication industries and to describe the main innovation drivers of the video tape and disk rental industry.
An Institutionalist View of Public Relations and the Evolution of Public Relations in Transition Economies
The paper provides an institutionalist view of public relations as a refi ned mechanism for maintaining corporate power. The institutionalist theory of the fi rm, based on Galbraithian and Marxist tradition, off ers a convenient framework for including public relations into economics. The authors present the role of public relations managers, the creation and management of issues as well as methods of fi nancing the public relations activities. The institutionalist approach bears also relevant aspects for the analysis of the developments of public relations in transition economies, which is shown in a tentative periodisation of the evolution of public relations. During the past twenty years the public relations practices in transition economies have evolved through several stages. After having “successfully” assisted in neutralising the turbulent social consequences of transitional processes in the initial phases of transition, the public relations departments of transitional fi rms now tend to apply the proactive public relations strategies in order to enhance corporate power.
Political Discussion and News Use in the Contemporary Public Sphere: The “Accessibility” and “Traversability” of the Internet
This article is directed toward understanding the impact of Internet use on the accessibility of politically relevant online discourse (news and political discussion) and about the extent to which these forms of discourse are meaningfully and intimately connected. Through the use of nationally representative survey data, fi ndings suggest: (1) when compared to offl ine counterparts, SES and political knowledge are equally, if not more relevant to frequent use of online news and engagement in online political discussion, suggesting that Internet use has contributed to a slightly less accessible public sphere; (2) when compared to offl ine counterparts, the relationship between online news and online discussion is the strongest, suggesting an especially intimate and important connection between the two forms of discourse.
This paper explores the use of new media by the BBC as a strategy for sustaining institutional legitimacy under a new regulative regime favouring open market competition. Focusing on the case of Capture Wales, a BBC Wales internet-based project that describes Wales from the citizens’ autobiographical perspectives, and using a discourse analysis approach, we examine how the BBC re-positions itself in the emerging digital cultural sphere by using technology in the service of public participation. We observe a sense of empowerment in the opportunity participants were given arguing that such empowerment is no small thing, insofar as it clearly demonstrates that the public value produced through technological innovation lies in re-negotiating the power relations between institutional authority and ordinary people – in allowing the latter to appropriate the “means of media production” and to tell their own stories in public. Ultimately the article suggests that competing interests give rise to crucial tensions between ethico-political (serving society) and instrumental (justifying the licence fee) conceptions of benefi t within Capture Wales, which in turn produce constant struggles over the visibility as well as the vision of/for this digital storytelling project by the stakeholders involved in its execution.