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Getting up close globally and doing distance locally Alison Duguid University of Siena.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting up close globally and doing distance locally Alison Duguid University of Siena."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting up close globally and doing distance locally Alison Duguid University of Siena

2 In the beginning there was… BBC World CNN These broadcast worldwide and were seen by travellers in hotels and airports in all time zones at all hours Rolling news was pioneered by CNN BBBC World had regular news bulletins and other programmes of general interest Advertisements aimed at travellers with an income Alison Duguid University of Siena

3 Not like National News National News (e.g. BBC, ITV) means: A fairly geographically defined immagined community We recognise consonance and relevance to this community Local references, proximity news values Prime time synchrony, day-defined recency new values Alison Duguid University of Siena

4 Role of evening news Evening news plays a pivotal role in political communication, as it is involved in the construction of political meaning, the formation of the political agenda and public opinion (Hallin 1994: 10; see also GUMG 1993; Jensen 1998; Mc Combs, Einsiedel and Weaves 1996; Robinson and Levy 1986). Alison Duguid University of Siena

5 The social function of news, “social constructionist” studies (Schudson 1991: 149) have drawn attention to the social function of news as a vehicle for the transmission and reproduction of dominant ideologies (GUMG 1976, 1993; Hallin 1994; Langer 1998; Manoff and Schudson 1986; Robinson and Levy 1986; Romano 1986; van Ginneken 1998 Alison Duguid University of Siena

6 World news World news meant “ a different relationship between discourse and the audience and discourse and the event” (Montgomery) References to time and place change E.g. specific day reference ‘early on Tuesday’ rather than deictic ‘yesterday’ Alison Duguid University of Siena

7 Like National News Claiming objectivity and neutrality but with Global reach Anti-parochial Sensitivity But these channels have been much criticised for bias, Western value system, cover up of real events in a war, a different kind of parochialism Alison Duguid University of Siena

8 A response New channels set up to give a different perspective Al Jazeera English Russia Today CCTV News France 24 English Alison Duguid University of Siena

9 Soft power A vehicle for public and cultural diplomacy, or soft power, in world politics. - these channels appear to offer nation-states a means to project their voice, their policies and their interpretations of events in the global media – to assert and maintain a presence in the global Anglosphere. Alison Duguid University of Siena

10 A sense of belonging A means to reach diasporic audiences - first generation migrants often sustain close attachments to their country of origin through satellite television, but as the mother tongue becomes hard to maintain for second and third generations, so new ways are being found to reach them and create a sense of diasporic nationhood and belonging across geographical distance. Alison Duguid University of Siena

11 The line between diplomacy and development A tool for development - arguably, the line between diplomacy and development is becoming increasingly blurred in UK and US foreign policy. To what extent do transnational English language channels like Al Jazeera English and Press TV challenge UK/US foreign policy and development goals? Alison Duguid University of Siena

12 Some questions These questions will become more important in the coming years as these channels are used increasingly to shape world affairs. Does the huge growth of channels mean that they are popular or that people are watching them? In their struggle for exposure, credibility and legitimacy, questions can also be raised about the independence of such channels from, and accountability to, home governments. Alison Duguid University of Siena

13 A guarantee of power? “Given that many of these English-language media channels are being funded by governments, we should be asking what these channels are for. Are they simply to attract audiences, or do governments expect to influence international affairs through TV stations? Given that France, Russia, Iran and China have all recently launched English-language TV stations, does this mean countries only feel they count as a ‘power’ if they have a voice alongside the BBC and CNN in the emerging ‘Anglosphere’?” Alison Duguid University of Siena

14 Spin opportunities Assad s: From leaked s it was revealed that Assad’s father-in-law gave advice from the UK during the government crackdown on protestors Cardiologist told Bashar al-Assad how to “spin” the Syrian uprising, including rebuttal of apparent child torture footage Guardian 15 March 2012 Alison Duguid University of Siena

15 A project for Assad? On 16 January this year, as international pressure grew on Assad to stand down and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, described the casualties as "unacceptable", Akhras urged Assad to launch an English language Syrian state news network "to enable us to address the world of our case in their own language and mentality". He told Assad it was "an extremely important project to be considered at the highest level". Alison Duguid University of Siena

16 What are they for??? Self presentation “All the news all the time” “Your link to Asia Alison Duguid University of Siena

17 New boys on the block Al Jazeera mission statement: The network's stated objective is "to give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge established perceptions.“ AJ : “reversing the north to south flow of information” So you can hear the voice …. and the other voice Alison Duguid University of Siena

18 France 24 France 24: France 24's journalists have signed a mission statement "to cover international news with a French perspective... and to carry the values of France throughout the world". But the channel insists it is independent and will not just follow the government line. "Our mission is to cover worldwide news with French eyes," said the channel's head, Alain de Pouzilhac. France 24 intends to present a view of the news different from that of the leading Anglophone international news channels CNN International and BBC World. France 24 wants to put more emphasis on debate, dialogue and the role of cultural difference. Alison Duguid University of Siena

19 power President Sarkozy announced on 8 January 2008 that he was in favour of reducing France 24's programming to French only. In January 2012 AEF announced a merger between France 24 and Radio France International, a procedure finalised on 13 February Alain de Pouzilhac, president of AEF stated in Le Monde: "We have just created a French audiovisual group of international dimensions, that aspires to be powerful and ambitious” Alison Duguid University of Siena

20 Don't be so CNN! China: A Chinese website accused CNN and western media in general of biased reporting against China, with the catch-phrase "Don't be so CNN" catching on in the Chinese mainstream as jokingly meaning "Don't be so biased". Pictures used by CNN are allegedly edited to have completely different meanings from the original ones. Alison Duguid University of Siena

21 CCTV Mission statement CCTV: China’s contribution to greater diversity and wider perspectives in the global information flow. The target audience is foreigners both inside and outside China. Alison Duguid University of Siena

22 credibility? CCTV News relies on foreigners as news presenters, some of whom have extensive experience, Jiang Heping has defended the policy of putting foreigners on air, arguing that “we feel international on-air personalities boost the credibility of CCTV News and befit its image as an international channel. In this regard, CCTV News will not restrict the origin of its employees and choose to build its unique identity through its programming. Alison Duguid University of Siena

23 Al Jazeera The New York Times stated in January 2011: "The protests rocking the Arab world this week have one thread uniting them: Al Jazeera,... whose aggressive coverage has helped propel insurgent emotions from one capital to the next." The newspaper quoted Marc Lynch, a professor of Middle East Studies at George Washington University: "They did not cause these events, but it's almost impossible to imagine all this happening without Al Jazeera." [49]New York TimesGeorge Washington University [49] With Al Jazeera's growing global outreach and influence, some scholars including Adel Iskandar have described the station as a transformation of the very definition of "alternative media."Adel Iskandaralternative media Alison Duguid University of Siena

24 Even the secretary of state…. Hilary Clinton: Alison Duguid University of Siena " viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and—you know—arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which—you know—is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners."

25 The information war In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the United States was "losing the information war" abroad to foreign channels like Russia Today, Al Jazeera, and China Central Television [37] and that they are supplanting the Voice of America. [37]Voice of America She said "Al Jazeera has been the leader in that [they] are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective,” she said. [ [ Alison Duguid University of Siena

26 Editorial independence? Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. [ While Al Jazeera officials have stated that they are editorially independent from the government of Qatar, [ this assertion has been disputed. In 2010, United states Department of State internal communications, released by Wikileaks as part of the 2010 diplomatic cables leak, claim that the Qatar government manipulates Al Jazeera coverage to suit political interests. [ In September 2012, The Guardian reported that Al Jazeera's editorial independence came into question when the channel's director of news, Salah Negm, stepped in at the last minute to order that a two minute video covering a UNdebate over the Syrian civil war include a speech by the leader of Qatar. Staff members protested that the speech was not the most important aspect of the debate, and that it was a repetition of previous calls for Arab intervention. The Guardian also claimed in September 2012 that Qatar has taken steps in recent years to consolidate control of Al Jazeera English. [ [ Alison Duguid University of Siena

27 Russia Today At the time of RT's founding, director Svetlana Mironyuk stated: "Unfortunately, at the level of mass consciousness in the West, Russia is associated with three words: communism, snow and poverty," and added "We would like to present a more complete picture of life in our country."Svetlana Mironyuk Alison Duguid University of Siena

28 RT designed intentions When Vladimir Putin visited the new Russia Today broadcasting centre in June 2013 he recalled "When we designed this project back in 2005 we intended introducing another strong player on the international scene, a player that wouldn’t just provide an unbiased coverage of the events in Russia but also try, let me stress, I mean – try to break the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the global information streams. And it seems to me that you’re [referring to RT editor-in- chief] succeeding in this job. Alison Duguid University of Siena

29 He added… I’d like to emphasise something of key importance. We never expected this to be a news agency or a channel that would defend the position of the Russian political line. We wanted to bring an absolutely independent news channel to the news arena. Certainly the channel is funded by the government, so it cannot help but reflect the Russian government’s official position on the events in our country and in the rest of the world one way or another. But I’d like to underline again that we never intended this channel, RT, as any kind of apologetics for the Russian political line, whether domestic or foreign." Alison Duguid University of Siena

30 Broadcast talking How do these Broadcasters talk the talk and walk the walk? How is the pre-announced ‘attitude’ played out? Comparative data Methodological problems: representativity and comparability Alison Duguid University of Siena

31 Investigating World TV preparation Form a group of four persons Assign one of the channels to each person (RT,F24,CCTV, AJ) Start finding out as much information about your channel as you can. Bring the information to the other members of the group and prepare a chart to highlight main differences. Watch the news bulletins for several days. Alison Duguid University of Siena

32 Action – getting your data Plan a day to record your news bulletins from all four channels Download and record one approximately half hour bnews bulletin for your channel. (make sure the others have done so for the same day) Make a contents list for the news bulletin with timings. Transcribe the news Alison Duguid University of Siena

33 Analysing and comparing Choose a news item that all four channels have in common Try to describe your own channel’s version (in terms of framing, focusing, realising, closing; in linguistic, visual, discursive terms) Compare transcriptions and descriptions with the other members of the group Be prepared to discuss the differences and comment on salient features. Alison Duguid University of Siena

34 Time and space 3 days + 5 days Approximately same time Who covers what Covering local Covering global Area news Alison Duguid University of Siena

35 France 24 Cote d’Ivoire Middle East Burqa law Alison Duguid University of Siena

36 Al Jazeera English Middle East Cote d’Ivoire Burqa law Alison Duguid University of Siena

37 CCTV News Middle East Cote d’Ivoire Alison Duguid University of Siena

38 Omissions highlighted AJ with news about gas explosion in Beijing not covered in CCTV China with news about French arrests in Pakistan not covered by France 24 France 24 with item about protests in 12 cities in China not covered by CCTV Alison Duguid University of Siena

39 Visuals and verbals AJ has ‘in your face’ footage – very close up and more post production tweaking CCTV has a lot of footage in a split screen which doesn’t match with the verbals France 24 doesn’t present its reporters verbally – a banner does it. Most reports are done in voice over They all use footage from each other and from a variety of sources Acknowledgements often omitted NB The money factor Alison Duguid University of Siena

40 Attitudes in headlines The Arab Awakening (AJ’s heading to all Middle East coverage) Surprising evaluations ‘ a spiteful attack’ Alison Duguid University of Siena


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