Archive for ‘journalism’

24 September 2011

Twitter @discoursology

At least one of the Berlin-based discoursologists is now able to communicate in less than 140 characters…. @discoursology #discourse #media #ethnography #russia #theory

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22 September 2011

Making bankers human

Fascinating!
A Dutch anthropologist explores London city bankers. Blog at The Guardian.

19 September 2011

Pirates: Redistributing the sensible

The Piraten Partei, with their 8.9% results in the Berlin election, have already massively reconfigured what counts as politics and election issues. Now they’re tweeting on what the other side of the camera looks like.

“Ein neues Blickregime” said a Berlin-based discoursologist.

10 August 2011

London vs. Moscow

I can’t stop the “imagine this is Russia” thing going through my head. The police are announcing they will act “robustly”, including bringing in water cannons and rubber bullets; police officers all over the city questioning young people about what/who they know; possibility of night curfew being brought in; apparently 333 deaths in police custody since 1998 and not one police officer convicted.

And very very little talk in major news media of exclusions, inequality, racism, cutbacks, etc. Instead, lots of individualising/personalising talk instead about “bad parenting”.

Imagine this was Russia. What would the UK media be reporting? Strong hand tactics of the police. Soviet-style clamp down. Medvedev (or more likely: Putin) rolling back democracy – no-one listening to citizens voice their greivances and/or a generation disenfranchised by the nation’s anti-democratic policies, thus they have turned to violence as the only way of being heard.

 

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9 August 2011

London civil unrest

A lot of words flying around in the “mainstream media” to describe the events in London over the last three days. “Anarchists” being my favourite misnomer (Sky News). “UK riots” has become the key phrase to google, recalling the classic CDA comparison: “10 rioters shot in vilent clash” vs. “Police shoot 10 demonstrators dead during peaceful march”.

It seems the news media and commentariat have forgotten the concerns which have been voiced since the Conservatives and LibDems came to power and started making their radical cutbacks to social services, including but not limited to closing many youth centres before the summer.

And, of course, the widespread corruption in the police which has been receiving major coverage during the Murdoch case – and would unsurprisingly fire up existing tensions between police and local residents.

These cutbacks and revelations,  added to long-standing (institutionalised) social inequalities, are not serving to increase “community cohesion” in today’s UK.

Context and comment here: Nina PowerGavin Knight; Stafford Scott.

Update (see Penny Red):

In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

“Yes,” said the young man. “You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?”

“Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you.”

Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere ‘’’

There are communities all over the country that nobody paid attention to unless there had recently been a riot or a murdered child. Well, they’re paying attention now.

(…thanks to miriyam aouragh on mediantho for the motivation to write… she recommends:

The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better for Everyone“. By Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett)

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10 July 2011

Diversity of Journalisms

New book, with 28 original papers on a broad range of aspects of Diversity of Journalisms. Includes papers on wikileaks, narratology, ipad journalism, convergence, balance as a source of misinformation, twitter, news agencies, community and audience participation.

Download the eBook (8.25 MB)

Diversity of Journalisms. Proceedings of the ECREA Journalism Studies Section and 26th International Conference of Communication (CICOM) at University of Navarra, Pamplona, 4-5 July 2011, edited by Ramón Salaverría, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
8 July 2011

Big Loss for Big Media

Another success for Free Press in the US – and for the individuals who took action to save public media!

We won!

Today, in a sweeping victory for communities across the country, a federal appeals court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to weaken media ownership rules.

Had these rules gone into effect, it would have unleashed a new wave of media consolidation across the country.

In 2007, the FCC ignored letters and calls from millions of Americans and tried to rewrite its media ownership rules to let companies own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in the same town. This change would have opened the floodgates to new media mergers, leading to even more layoffs in newsrooms while thinning out diverse perspectives from local news.

We sued the FCC for ignoring the public outcry. Today, we won. The court tossed out the FCC’s flawed rules, but also upheld all other media consolidation restrictions and told the FCC it needed to do better to support and foster diverse voices in the media – all crucial decisions for our fight to build better media.

This isn’t just our victory – it’s your victory, too.

The court pointed to public comments from people like you as deciding factor in overturning the FCC’s attempt to change its rules. Today it’s clear: Your voice and actions make a huge difference.

This court decision should send a wake-up call to the FCC: It must listen to the public and stand up against media consolidation in all its forms.

But the fight doesn’t end here. Right now around the country, local stations are using loopholes and backroom deals to get around media ownership rules and consolidate their coverage of local news. This court case makes clear that the FCC needs to strengthen their rules and address this growing epidemic as well. Click here to tell the FCC to stop this covert media consolidation.

Today’s victory is a big moment for the movement to build better media. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Onward,

Craig Aaron
President & CEO
Free Press

2 July 2011

Jon Stewert a discoursologist

On yesterday’s Daily Show (Thurs 30. June 2011), Jon Stewart commented on one story: “I used to think reality shapes politics, now it’s clear: politics shapes reality.” Dynamic critical journalism meets discourse theory.

28 May 2011

Niggemeier. Spiegel. Sex. CDA.

Once again, Stefan Niggemeier presents a fast, enertaining, thoroughly critical discourse analysis, including metaphor analysis, chronological analogies, three-part lists, etc. This time of a Spiegel article on Strauss-Kahn: Spiegel. Sex. Power. Bullshit.

24 May 2011

Journalism and the Political

New book announcement:
Macgilchrist, Felicitas (2011): Journalism and the Political: Discursive tensions in news coverage of Russia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, Vol. 40) (full price; slightly less expensive)

Summary: Journalism is often thought of as the ‘fourth estate’ of democracy. This book suggests that journalism plays a more radical role in politics, and explores new ways of thinking about news media discourse. It develops an approach to investigating both hegemonic discourse and discursive fissures, inconsistencies and tensions. By analysing international news coverage of post-Soviet Russia, including the Beslan hostage-taking, Gazprom, Litvinenko and human rights issues, it demonstrates the (re)production of the ‘common-sense’ social order in which one particular area of the world is more developed, civilized and democratic than other areas. However, drawing on Laclau, Mouffe and other post-foundational thinkers, it also suggests that journalism is precisely the site where the instability of this global social order becomes visible. The book should be of interest to scholars of discourse analysis, journalism and communication studies, cultural studies and political science, and to anyone interested in ‘positive’ discourse analysis and practical counter-discursive strategies.

The thing is, critical discourse analysis has done a huge amount to draw attention to the role of language, and other forms of semiosis, in shaping what counts as politics, as acceptable, as thinkable and “normal”, i.e in what becomes (however temporarily ad precariously) hegemonic. But, how do we now respond to for instance Latour’s call to re-arm? Using very military metaphors, he worries that the critical spirit, now ensnared in deconstruction, may no longer be aligned to the right target.

To remain in the metaphorical atmosphere of the time, military experts constantly revise their strategic doctrines, their contingency plans, the size, direction, technology of their projectiles, of their smart bombs, of their missiles: I wonder why we, we alone, would be saved from those sort of revisions. It does not seem to me that we have been as quick, in academe, to prepare ourselves for new threats, new dangers, new tasks, new targets. Are we not like those mechanical toys that endlessly continue to do the same gesture when everything else has changed around them? Would it not be rather terrible if we were still training young kids–yes, young recruits, young cadets–for wars that cannot be thought, for fighting enemies long gone, for conquering territories that no longer exist and leaving them ill-equipped in the face of threats we have not anticipated, for which we are so thoroughly disarmed? (Latour, Bruno. 2004. “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.” Critical Inquiry 30(2): 225-48.)

Journalism and the Political is one attempt to retool. It uses a pinch of deconstruction, a splash of CDA and a dash of (other) post-foundational political/cultural theories to explore the fissures and gaps in what seems to be hegemonic discourse. Perhaps a critical spirit, which forces these fissures into the foreground, can widen the gaps, target new threats, and broaden new possibilities?