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The Return of the Cultural Exception and its Impact on International Agreements

Marlen Bartsch | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: This essay examines the influence of the French concept of the “cultural exception” on European media policy and international agreements. After briefly reviewing the historical background of the cultural exception in France, the essay describes how demands for the cultural exception and those for diversity affect inter-/transnational agreements within the European Union and around the world. Special focus is placed on the current secret EU/US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) negotiations that nearly failed because of France’s insistence that media and culture be exempted. The author argues that the concept of the “cultural exception” has been revived in recent years. However, due to the dual character of media (which is both a cultural and economic good), and the lack of a global media policy, the culture and trade debate will continue.

New Trends of Social Media Use in Iran: Candidates’ Campaigns on Social Networks in the 2013 Presidential Elections

Mina Naeli | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: On June 14th, 2013, Iranians headed to the polls to cast their votes for the country’s next president. The unexpected turnout, that followed months of debates between those who wanted to go back to ballot boxes and those who did not, resulted in the election of Hasan Rouhani, the moderate cleric. About three months after the election, in his interview with NBC NEWS, Mr. Rouhani explained social networks’ role in his victory as undeniable and appreciated his supporters for promoting his campaign on these platforms. This commentary reviews Rouhani’s and the other state candidates’ use of formally blocked social networks during the recent presidential election in Iran, as a very recent shift toward planned and targeted use of social media by the government.

Comparing Media Systems in the ‘West’ and beyond

Sarah El Richani | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Hallin and Mancini’s book Comparing Media Systems has been hailed as seminal work sparking several attempts at applying both the models and theoretical framework to media systems around the world. The following essay discusses important considerations on taking this framework beyond the confines of the Western world.

Communication Studies beyond the National: Connections and Disconnections between Research Communities and How to Study Them

Stefanie Averbeck-Lietz | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: This essay is dealing with a self-reflection incommunication studies on existing blind spots between national communication research communities and milieus. The author presents recent debates on communication studies under international comparison, including their focus on historical developments and disciplinary boundaries of the field. She discusses the lack of knowledge about transnational influences between scientific communities in the field of communication research as well as central categories to grasp the social as well as the body of knowledge in Science (like “generation” a term which understands scientific milieus as experience communities in the sense of Karl Mannheim). The underlying argument is, that only a meta-science perspective from an historical viewpoint allows the understanding of our actual theory building and methodological settings which is confronted with future problems, especially the transnationalisation of communication flows as well as of scientific knowledge.

Internet(forschung) in der arabischen Welt: Laute Hoffnungen, leiser Wandel

Ein Essay von Ines Braune | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Seit der Einführung neuer Medien in der arabischen Welt werden immer wieder die Hoffnungen und Visionen genährt, der veränderte Zugang zu und Umgang mit Informationen bringe die starren Systeme ins Wanken.

Satellitenfernsehen versprach erstmals Zugang zu Informationen (und Unterhaltung), die nicht von den jeweiligen nationalstaatlichen Fernseh- und Rundfunkanstalten für die Bevölkerung konzipiert waren. Standen die Entstehung und Entwicklung der Rundfunk- und Fernsehsysteme in engem Zusammenhang mit der Etablierung der Nationalstaaten nach ihrer Unabhängigkeit, so versprach der Zugang zu Informationen über auswärtige Kanäle neue Impulse für die Entwicklung. Die Regierungen der arabischen Staaten reagierten in den 1990er Jahren zunächst mehr oder weniger restriktiv auf die Einführung des Satellitenfernsehens bis sie selbst Satellitensender entwickelten.

Viel unbeherrschbarer scheinen die Konsequenzen, die mit der Einführung des Internets verbunden sind. Losgelöst von raumzeitlichen Grenzen werden Informationen für jedermann verfügbar, auch für die politischen Oppositionsbewegungen, die sich mit Hilfe des Internets sammeln und vereinen können.
Gerade mit Blick auf die aktuellen Entwicklungen in Tunesien und Ägypten scheinen die Vernetzungsmöglichkeiten des Web 2.0 von besonderer Brisanz. Viele politische Systeme in der arabischen Welt geraten ins Wanken, nachdem zunächst der tunesische Machthaber Ben Ali abgetreten ist. Aber welchen Anteil haben daran die Medien? Um zu polarisieren, behaupte ich: keinen ausschlaggebenden.

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The German Edition is edited by Prof. Dr. Carola Richter and Dr. Christine Horz and hosted at Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Erfurt.

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