Javnost - The Public, Vol. 17 - 2010, No. 3
There have been developed various methodologies of measuring media concentration. The appropriate measure depends on the objective of the measurement which might be on the one hand the examination of economic power, or on the other an assessment of whether market structure might restrict diversity in the media industry. Frequently media academics borrow measures that have been developed by economists. Regarding the examination of economic power, economists have used companies’ market share, shares of assets, value-added, sales, advertising revenue or even number of employees in forming an opinion of their bulk in the economy. To overcome the limitations of economic-based measures media analysts have proposed a number of media concentration measures which take into account their importance to the public. This article focuses on the non-economic types of concentration measures and assesses their appropriateness in the broad context of media concentration’s impact on the pluralism and diversity. It suggests that assessing shares in the political/cultural markets is notoriously difficult and concludes that, given that economic power and pluralism (especially in the range of material offered) are closely linked, a combination of economic-based and culturally-based units apply.
Internet Policy and Regulation through A Socio-Cultural Lens: A Dialogue between Society`s Culture and Decision-Makers?
This article argues that a dialogue of society and its culture with decision-making practices is taking place in the information society and with respect to phenomena such as digital divides. The article reports on focus group research conducted in Greece. This qualitative research concerns Internet policy and regulation in particular and examines the dialogue of policy and regulation with society’s culture as reported by users and non-users of the Internet. The research finds that the perceived role of Internet policy and regulation passes through society’s everyday culture, with significant implications for the implementation, efficiency and future course of Internet policy and regulation. These findings aim to fill in the relevant gap in the literature which often neglects the interlinkages between society’s cultural traits and mindsets and the practices applied in the complex field of policy and regulation for the information society.
The media blockade imposed by Israel during its 22- day invasion of Gaza in December 2008 - January 2009 barred foreign reporters from entering Gaza. Eye witness reports were restricted to the invading Israeli military and to Palestinian and Arab journalists in Gaza. The blockade influenced media coverage and public opinion around the world. Two Norwegian aid workers and medical doctors managed to enter Gaza on the fifth day of the war to work at the Hamas-controlled Al Shifa Hospital. As the only Western doctors, they were interviewed repeatedly by global media. They frequently appeared also in Norwegian media, including Dagsrevyen, the prime time evening TV news of NRK - The Norwegian State Broadcasting Corporation. They attributed their media appearances to their “white voices,” i.e. local Palestinian and Arab voices were less interesting to Western media. Drawing on framing theory, content analysis and interviews, we first discuss possible bias and framing in Dagsrevyen’s coverage of the Gaza War as it ran its course. We also reflect on post-war developments, before addressing the two Norwegian doctors and their media relations during and after the war. Were their interactions with the media “source-driven journalism,” and how justified is their “white voices” claim?
The Narrative Reconstruction of 9/11 in Hollywood Films: Independent Voice or Official Interpretation?
This study examines the relationship between Hollywood and American Politics by analysing two significant films about the September 11 attacks: United 93 and World Trade Center. The Bush Administration was undoubtedly aware that cinematic versions of history endure in the memory of people far better than other modes of historical explanation. In November of 2001, they sent Karl Rove, President Bush’s well-known political advisor, to Los Angeles to meet with Hollywood filmmakers. Rove clearly articulated the official, Washington DC, version of these attacks to his elite audience: the war should be fought on both a “military” and an “idea” front; the global problem of terrorism requires an international collaborative response; the principles of freedom and democracy must be heard over the totalitarian ideas of Islamic fundamentalists; and we are fighting against militant factions, not against Islam itself. The authors compare the official “narrative” expressed by Rove with the narratives of United 93 and World Trade Center in order to evaluate whether Hollywood echoed the voice of the Bush Administration or exhibited independence in their interpretations of September 11.
The result of media reform in China has led to the profit-driven popular press, instead of the Party press, developing rapidly and heavily influencing the public life in the country. How do the people negotiate with the political power and form their own “public” in daily life through reading the popular press? On the one hand, as the ordinary Chinese people keep their distance from public affairs, they fail to respond to the coverage that is always controlled by the power of the state; this leads to people’s dissent from or indifference to the headlines or important news in the popular press. On the other hand, compared with the stuffy and always-positive news of propaganda that is far from their daily lives, trivial news happens under circumstances that are more sensible and meaningful for them. People refer to their reason and sense in daily life to criticise what the truth is. In the meantime, the “public” is aroused through controversy and disagreement.