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Essay: Die lateinamerikanische Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft zwischen ideologischer Prägung und begrenzter Internationalisierung: Zeit für Selbstkritik

Patricia Carolina Saucedo Añez | PDF

Abstract: During the last three decades, Media and Communication Studies experienced a theoretical and empirical stagnation in Latin America, which requires a self-criticism from the Latin American Scientific Community. The reasons for this standstill are manifold: On the one hand, the ideological imprinting of the discipline in the region often leads to the rejection of North American theories and authors. On the other hand, there is only a limited internationalization of Media and Communication Studies in Latin America, which is linked to problems in “De-Westernizing” the discipline and the conditions for academic research in the region. The academic field suffers of funding shortage. Despite these barriers, the Latin American tradition can enhance global Media and Communication Studies: Latin American scholars can show their Western colleagues the importance of political and social commitment. Moreover, the critical tradition, of which Latin  American scholars are so proud, is still needed in order to analyze current social and media phenomena.

Is Topic Fatigue an International Problem? Four Theses

Christina Schumann | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Topic fatigue is a potential reaction to news topics that the media covers intensively. Recipients experiencing topic fatigue are annoyed and state that they do not want to hear or see anything about such topics anymore. As potential outcome, they strive to avoid such topics during their future news exposure. In this essay, we discuss the question of whether topic fatigue is an international problem. Based on initial empirical insights obtained via qualitative interviews, we establish four theses that underline the international meaning of the phenomenon. First, we argue that the level of press freedom can shape the intensity of topic fatigue and that fatigue experiences can be extreme in countries with low press freedom. Second, we discuss topic fatigue as a potential threat to political transitions and democratization processes. Third, we propose that topic fatigue may reinforce resentments against western societies. Regarding this point, the role of the international media in particular for English-speaking, non-western countries is addressed. Finally, we introduce the argument that topic fatigue may erode the deliberative potential of social media, which can be particularly problematic for countries in which the traditional news media is (politically) dependent. Ultimately, the key elements of these theses are used to propose a comparative research design for an international study on topic fatigue.

Kritik von Fortschrittsnarrativen im deutsch-türkischen Migrationskontext – Migrationskino und Diasporamoscheen im Integrationsdispositiv

Mehmet Bayrak & Ömer Alkın | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Der Artikel arbeitet die permanente Reproduktion eines progressiven Fortschrittsnarrativs an zwei Diskursfeldern des türkisch-deutschen Migrationskontexts heraus und zeigt auf, wie es von integrationspolitischen Motivationen geprägt ist.
Für das Feld des Films wird das Narrativ vom Wandel der Repräsentationen in den Migrationsfilmen über die Arbeitsmigranten seit den 1990er Jahren befragt. In dem Narrativ wird behauptet, dass es einen Wandel seit den frühen deutsch-türkischen Filmen zu den Filmen um die Jahrtausendwende gegeben habe: von einem bemitleidenden, viktimisierenden Betroffenheitskino zu einem transkulturellen Kino des Empowerments.
Der zweite Teil des Aufsatzes erörtert demgegenüber das transnationale Narrativ von der Wandlunsgerzählung im Moscheebau in Deutschland. Seine kritische Befragung zielt auf die Infragestellung des Wandlungsnarrativs, nach dem sich das Modell der Hinterhofmoschee der Migranten in ein Modell moderner Moscheeneubauten transformiert habe.
Der Beitrag skizziert die Narrative anhand der Erörterung von wissenschaftlichen und öffentlich-medialen Diskursen nach, stellt die Diskursdynamiken in ihrer integrationspolitischen Logik als unterkomplex heraus und eruiert einige praktische Folgen für die Filmproduktion und den Moscheebau in Deutschland. Es zeigt sich, dass die in beiden Diskursfeldern zirkulierenden Diskurse von einem Wandel filmischer Verhandlungsformen türkisch-deutscher Migration bzw. der Moscheebaukultur im migrantischen Kontext mit einer Vorstellung von Fortschritt, einer Zeitlogik von Linearität und ausgehend von einem Integrationsdispositiv her operieren, was zugleich für die Forschungen in den Feldern erhebliche Folgen hat.

Transformation der Mediensysteme in fragilen Staaten am Fallbeispiel Afghanistan

Kefa Hamidi | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: In diesem Beitrag wird die Transformation der Mediensysteme in fragilen Staaten analysiert und gefragt, ob die Liberalisierung und Kommerzialisierung der Mediensysteme in fragilen Saaten im Interesse der Staatsbildung ist. Dazu wird das Fallbeispiel Afghanistan betrachtet. Die Liberalisierung des Medienmarkts hat, wie man in Afghanistan sehen kann, auf unterschiedliche Weise eine starke Fragmentierung des Mediensektors zur Folge. Daraus wird die These entwickelt, dass die „Power to the market“-Strategie im Mediensektor der fragilen Staaten zwar eine Vielzahl an Medientiteln, aber selten qualitative Medienvielfalt hervorbringt. Dazu kommt, dass die Medienlandschaft von oligarchischen Tendenzen geprägt ist. In diesem Kontext entwickelt sich ein Journalismus, der von Polarisierung und Boulevardisierung gekennzeichnet ist.

Hitler and Humor: Coming to Terms with the Past Through Parody

Giuliana Sorce | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Recent developments in German television programming represent Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime through comedic entertainment. While these programs do not poke fun at the Holocaust itself, they are utilizing the image of Hitler for parodistic purposes. Similar to existing foreign media depicting Hitler as a foolish ruler with farcical mannerisms, newer programs such as the comedy show Switch Reloaded and the movie Hotel Lux show a clumsy and gullible Hitler. This essay argues that these recent representations of Hitler are contributing to the ongoing cultural conversation of the Holocaust, while also encouraging new ways in how Germans can culturally cope with their recent past. Drawing on parody and cultural trauma research, this essay offers evidence from German national media reviews and newspaper articles.

Boulevardisierung – Fernsehunterhaltung zwischen Quality und Trash? Eine feministische Perspektive

Elisabeth Klaus | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Der Diskussionsbeitrag reflektiert anhand zweier unterschiedlicher neuerer Fernsehangebote, die als Reality TV und als „Quality TV“ bezeichnet werden, wie Qualitätsurteile von Medienkritik und Medienwissenschaft gefällt werden. Unter einer feministischen Perspektive wird beispielhaft gezeigt, dass Geschlechterstereotype und die Trivialisierung von Menschen, die nicht der weißen Mittelschicht angehören, die Serien in beiden Angebotsformen dominieren und es gleichermaßen dazu auch andere Beispiele gibt. Für eine kritische Medienforschung ist es zwingend, die verschiedenen Momente des Medienprozesses – Produktionsprozess, Medientext und Rezeption – nicht in eins zu setzen und gleichermaßen ästhetische und ideologische Aspekte in Qualitätsurteilen zu berücksichtigen.

Results-Oriented Evaluations: Their Uses, Their Limits and How They are Driving Implementers‘ Coping Strategies

Michel Leroy | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: While the use of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) by media development implementers is well documented, organizations’ coping strategies to adapt to new environments in media and development still remain a relatively unexplored area. The article aims at showing how the theoretical lessons learnt by the industry have been put into practice and how a successful change can be driven within an organization using outside experts.
A results-oriented culture of performance and service has been enforced since the 1990s in the EU. Evaluation systems have been a powerful catalyst in driving the transition from media support to media development and in making the latter more independent from broadcasters and donors. In recent years, changes in media assistance procedures and aims have profoundly modified the traditional landscape. This article will not question these changes, their origin and motivations. It will focus on implementers’ coping strategies to adapt (or not) to these new procedures and aims and how results-oriented evaluations can drive the shift from outputs to outcomes in a changing media development sector.
Can capitalizing on experience be considered a learning process that prepares for change and improves the design and implementation of projects? To what extent can it help to empower the operator as an organization? Referring to various concrete case studies from British, French and German media assistance, the article will focus on virtuous change – the circumstances that encourage structures, as well as donors who fund them, to better define and operationalize their strategies.

Does Sustainability Require Transparency? The UN Divide Over Freedom of Information & Media in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Bill Orme | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly will adopt a new set of global development objectives to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire at the end of the year. A General Assembly working group has proposed 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” with 169 associated “targets,” including one committing all UN member states to “ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.” The UN Secretary-General and his many prominent “post-2015” advisors also advocate guarantees for freedom of information in the new global goals. The inclusion of a clear commitment to access to information in the SDGs – including factual “indicators” to monitor compliance – could have a profound impact on freedom of expression and media globally, advocates contend. Yet it remains uncertain whether any provision on access to information will survive the remaining months of negotiations before the final set of SDGs is agreed at the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Some developing countries oppose an access to information target, along with other proposed commitments to human rights and democratic governance in the SDGs. But others are strongly supportive, and UN debates on the new goals are likely to continue until the September deadline.

Media and Development: The Dysfunctional Alliance

Mark M. Nelson | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: This essay looks at the dysfunctional relationship between overall international development assistance and more specific support to the media sector. While the international donor community sees the potential of independent media in developing countries to contribute to societies’ economic and social progress, international development policies rarely have a coherent, integrated approach to the media sector, and foreign assistance often fails to achieve its goal of helping countries create a sustainable, independent media that acts in the interests of society as a whole. Indeed, leaders of many countries have decided that media—and especially unfettered, independent media—is more likely to be an obstacle, at least to their political fortunes, than a support.
The author proposes three ways that the international community could improve its work on media development and build stronger political commitment for independent media. First is strengthening country leadership and ownership of media development initiatives. This requires building local knowledge about the role of media in open societies and about how to manage a strong, independent media system. Second is integration of media development work within the broader development agenda, leveraging more of the $135 billion that donors spend annually on official development assistance. Third is improving data, diagnostics, and learning on the media sector, particularly in developing countries, and creating a better understanding of how country-level media sectors are evolving, and how they can be best supported.

The Western Way? Democracy and the Media Assistance Model

Daire Higgins | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: International media assistance took off during a time where the ideological extremes of USA vs. USSR were set to disappear. Following the Cold War, international relations focused on democracy building, and nurturing independent media was embraced as a key part of this strategy. Fukayama called it the ‘End of History’, the fact that all other ideologies had fallen and Western style democracy was set to become the one common ideology. The US and UK led the way in media assistance, with their liberal ideas of a free press, bolstered by free market capitalism. America was the superpower, and forged the way around the globe with its beacon of democracy. Under that guiding light they would bring truth, accuracy, freedom of expression and independent reporting to the countries which had so long lived under the shadow of communism, or authoritarian media systems. This is what propelled and justified American foreign policy, and their media assistance, for many years. Much work was thus carried out in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet satellites, but many now question the impact and legacy of these projects. When the US and UK spoke of media assistance they seemed to mean ‘free market’. These days, the ‘democracy promoters’ focus has turned more to Africa and the Middle East. The ideology is apparently the same: to help establish and support democracy with a stronger and more independent media. But with western economies, and their media systems, in crisis, the relevance of this media assistance model is questioned. This essay looks at the history of media assistance and the ongoing debate on the impact of media assistance over the long term, its motives and the new balance of power appearing in international media development.

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