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Mediating Europe

Mediating Europe: New Media, Mass Communications, and the European Public Sphere

Jackie Harrison
Bridgette Wessels
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 340
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  • Book Info
    Mediating Europe
    Book Description:

    The on-going constitutionalization of Europe has led to various changes in media and communications, opening up areas of debate regarding the role of traditional and new media in developing a specific European public sphere as part of the wider European Project. This timely volume addresses the little understood relationship between old and new media, communications policy at the European level, issues of regulation and competition within the EU, the role of the European Parliament in media policymaking, and the questions emerging about the sustainability of traditional public service broadcasting. To understand the concrete significance of these debates two contributions address specific practical areas, i.e. the potential of online environments and specific developments in European media contexts, such as channel strategies, web-related services, iDTV and community networks. Consequently,Mediating Europeprovides an original and important contribution to understanding the role of the media in shaping a European public sphere.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-935-2
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Chapter 1 Introduction: Mediating Europe and the Public Sphere
    (pp. 1-24)
    Jackie Harrison

    Any attempt to understand a process called mediating Europe¹ needs to consider the following two points, either particularly, or as they interrelate to each other. First, the range of economic, political, social and cultural agendas set by or for the media,² and second, the constantly changing technical reconfiguration, content and service capacities of the media, accompanied by ever-emerging forms of new media. The former is no more than the current European habitat of the media and their local regulation by the European Union (EU) and its member states; the latter their current stage of development and their evolutionary adaptability. It...

  5. Part 1: New Media, Mass Media and the European Public Sphere

    • Chapter 2 European Cosmopolitanism or Neo-liberalism? Questions of Media and Education
      (pp. 27-46)
      Nick Stevenson

      The idea of European identity has a long and mutable history. Many have sought to resolve the ambiguities generated by this by producing a European myth of origins that ultimately stamps its citizens with a definite identity. These identities include Europe as the origin of civilization, racially supreme, or as the founding place of Christianity. As Julia Kristeva (1993) reminds us, the cult of origins produces a rejection of the Other and cancels the possibility of development through inclusion of the Other. The risk of this is that we remain shackled to the past, unable to transcend our own historical...

    • Chapter 3 Transformation of the Public Sphere: Law, Policy and the Boundaries of Publicness
      (pp. 47-72)
      Damian Tambini

      Do new technologies usher in a new age of equal, active citizenship or will they lead to new inequalities and forms of unaccountable power? Clearly, technologies alone are not decisive. How they are used depends on how they are managed, regulated and institutionalized in a changing socio-political context.

      This chapter¹ examines how media and communications law and policy are being reformed in Europe during this process of technological and market change in the media sector, and how this impacts on the ‘publicness’ of communication in Europe. I treat the public sphere as an ideal: the idea that there should be...

    • Chapter 4 Exploring the Online European Public Sphere: The Web and Europeanization of Political Communication in the European Union
      (pp. 73-98)
      Renée van Os, Nicholas W. Jankowski and Fred Wester

      This chapter commences with a sketch of the manner in which the notion of the Europeanization of political communication and the related concept of a ‘European public sphere’ have been formulated and investigated during the past decade. We elaborate on our interpretation of what constitutes a European public sphere by placing emphasis on political actors, including citizens, communicating about Europe. We review a number of studies related to this interpretation, mainly performed within a mass-mediated environment.

      The first part of the chapter considers the potential of the Web to contribute to or enhance a European public sphere. Particularly in the...

    • Chapter 5 Entertainmentization of the European Public Sphere and Politics
      (pp. 99-127)
      Erkki Karvonen

      Media intrusion into private lives of politicians is an internationally observed phenomenon. The British journalParliamentary affairsdedicated its issue 1/2004 on this topic and editors James Stanyer and Dominic Wring wrote:

      Matters once deemed personal are now widely reported and commented upon in ‘quality’ as well as ‘populist’ media formats. This has led to the boundaries that once defined the public and private being significantly redrawn. . . . The transformation of the media environment inevitably changes the political nature of communication. Personality has, for instance, become a more central aspect of modern election campaigning. . . . Here...

    • Chapter 6 A European Model of the Public Sphere: Towards a Networked Governance Model
      (pp. 128-149)
      Christiano Bee and Valeria Bello

      In the last decade, the development of the globalizing phenomenon has threatened the political life of the modern nation state, which has become incapable of managing inside its boundaries all those problems arising in an ever more interdependent world. Indeed, particularly in the economic sector, the mechanisms through which modern societies have exercised political control over economic constraints have been inhibited by the centres of private economic power that dominate the global market.

      In this context, the European Union (EU) has been considered a new kind of institutional entity organizing the socio-political space, which could be able to face the...

    • Chapter 7 Exploring the Role of European Information Society Developments in the Europeanization of Public Spheres
      (pp. 150-180)
      Bridgette Wessels

      In this paper I discuss the idea of a European public sphere (EPS) in relation to three historical processes, namely: the concept of a ‘public sphere’; the relationship between nation states and the European Union (EU); and changes to forms of communication. A public sphere is shaped through forms of public participation, the role of the state within socioeconomic conditions, and the means of communication. At this historical moment, both the public sphere and Europe lack a clear and unambiguous definition, rationale and vision. A key dimension in the development of an EPS involves considering the influence of the global...

  6. Part 2: EU Audio-visual and Information Society Policies:: Developments and Challenges for the Mediation of Europe

    • Chapter 8 EU Audio-visual Policy, Cultural Diversity and the Future of Public Service Broadcasting
      (pp. 183-212)
      Peter Humphreys

      Since the 1980s in the audio-visual sector new forms and arenas of regulation have developed, as policymakers have sought to adapt to new market and technological realities, principally: globalization, trans-frontier broadcasting by satellite, and the digital convergence of broadcasting, telecoms and the internet. One key element of regulatory change is the European Union’s (EU) accumulation of regulatory influence in the audio-visual field, in part to re-establish problem-solving capacity that is escaping the national level as the result of the new technologies (satellite broadcasting, etc.). At first sight, the regulation of cross-border broadcasting appears to be an excellent example of the...

    • Chapter 9 EU Information Policies: A Case Study in the Environmental Sector
      (pp. 213-237)
      Max Craglia and Alessandro Annoni

      The creation of a European public sphere is a very topical issue at the current stage of development of the European Union. It has gained a particular momentum since the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in the public referenda held in France and the Netherlands in 2005, but the emerging gap between the European institutions and the citizens of Europe had already been recognised in the early 1990s at the time of the Maastricht Treaty, and has been well documented since by successive public opinion polls organised by the Commission through its Eurobarometer surveys. The purpose of this chapter is...

    • Chapter 10 Defending Communicative Spaces: The Remits and Limits of the European Parliament
      (pp. 238-261)
      Katharine Sarikakis

      With the internationalization of communications policy, the role of international and supranational institutions in the process of decision-making has attracted the attention of academic research but also of actors in civil society. Surprisingly, perhaps, the European Parliament, given its special position as a unique institution of representational politics at an international level, has not been given the same degree of attention. There is a profound lack of studies of the role, potential and dynamics of European Parliamentary politics in issues of communications policy, whether these are related to media, telecommunications or more broad cultural policies.

      This chapter examines the role...

    • Chapter 11 Supranational Regulation: The EU Competition Directorate and the European Audio-visual Marketplace
      (pp. 262-285)
      Mark Wheeler

      The European Union’s (EU) regulation of European television and audio-visual services was developed within a number of vague provisions in Article 151 of the basic European Treaty (EU 1997b), which defined a role for the EU in the field of culture. Recently, the European Commission’s competence for audio-visual services has grown as technological reforms enabled operators to develop at a pan-European level and there has been a positive harmonization between the revised versions of the Television Without Frontiers (TWF) Directive with the extension of supranational communications packages. In developing a regulatory approach to television and audio-visual services, the EU’s response...

    • Chapter 12 The Process of Neo-liberalization and the Transformation of the Turkish Media Sector in the Context of the New Media Architecture
      (pp. 286-318)
      Gülseren Adakli

      In the 1950s, when Turkey started intensively integrating with the capitalist world, the industrialization of the Turkish press also gained pace, as it both expanded in size and advanced technologically. In the 1980s, however, the press lost its relative autonomy vis-à-vis the state and ‘capital’ very quickly and the traditional patterns of ownership and control in the sector transformed drastically, as will be further discussed.¹

      The economic stabilization measures enforced on 24 January 1980, a milestone in Turkish economic and political history, appeared prominently throughout the process of transformation from press to media (Kaya 1999).² The 12 September 1980 coup...

  7. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 319-326)
  8. Index
    (pp. 327-332)