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05 2011

Media Transformations

2011

Media Transformations

MEDIA TRANSFORMATIONS MEDIA TRANSFORMATIONS

Vytautas Magnus University

Vytautas Magnus Faculty of Political Science and University Diplomacy Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy Department Communications Departmentof ofPublic Public Communications

ISSN 2029-865X


MEDIA TRANSFORMATIONS Vol. 5 / 2011


UDK 316.77 Me-31

ISSN 2029-865X

MEDIA TRANSFORMATIONS EDITORS: Auksė BALČYTIENĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Peter GROSS, University of Tennessee, USA EDITORIAL BOARD: Péter BAJOMI-LÁZÁR, University of Oxford, UK Rasa BALOČKAITĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Bogusława DOBEK-OSTROWSKA, University of Wroclaw, Poland Mykolas DRUNGA, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Stig HJARVARD, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Kristina JURAITĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Epp LAUK, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland Nelija LOČMELE, IR.lv, Latvia Gintautas MAŽEIKIS, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania J. D. MININGER, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Tom MORING, University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science, Finland Laima NEVINSKAITĖ, Vilnius University, Lithuania Lars W. NORD, Mid Sweden University, Sweden Audronė NUGARAITĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Henrink ÖRNEBRING, University of Oxford, UK Artūras TEREŠKINAS, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Aušra VINCIŪNIENĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania Jaromír VOLEK, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic 

This special issue includes original papers presented at the international conference “Critical Media Transformations: Practices, Challenges, Perspectives”, organized by the Department of Public Communications at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas in cooperation with “Interlinks10.Net: Nordplus Network of Journalism Schools” on October 7-8, 2010. The publication was funded by the grant (No. MOR-30/2010) from the Research Council of Lithuania. ISSUE EDITORS: Auksė BALČYTIENĖ | Aušra VINCIŪNIENĖ | Kristina JURAITĖ | J. D. MININGER LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Alina BUTRIMĖ

SPONSORS:

© Vytautas Magnus University, 2011


CONTENTS Auksė BALČYTIENĖ and Aušra VINCIŪNIENĖ Editors’ Introduction: How to deal with uncertainty in modern communications

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Sanna KIVIMÄKI Is there any class in this class? Class sensitivity in higher media education

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Mykolas J. DRUNGA Is a picture worth a thousand words?

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Ilze ŠULMANE Latvian daily press journalists: Between or together with commercialization and partisanship? Ieva BEITIKA Development of public service broadcasting: Local and global challenges and the public value

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Vaida PILIBAITYTĖ Nuclear energy discourses in Lithuania and Belarus

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Elisabeth Kirkeng ANDERSEN and Harald HORNMOEN Mediating science in Norway: Practices and transformations in major newspapers

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Inesa BIRBILAITĖ Topic of climate change in communication and media research: The past, the presence, and the future Viktorija RUSINAITĖ Taking over the Net: Constructing celebrity leadership discourse in virtual social networks

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EDITORS’ INTRODUCTION: HOW TO DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY IN MODERN COMMUNICATIONS Auksė BALČYTIENĖ and Aušra VINCIŪNIENĖ The primary goal of this issue is to broaden our understanding about the scope and characteristics of diverse challenges that media is facing in rapidly changing economic, technological, social and cultural conditions. The scale, the scope and the speed of change that our societies are going through are indeed striking. We live in the times of diverse transformations, crises, devaluations and disillusionments. Our closest surrounding realities are becoming very ambiguous and uncertain. We do not have adequate social models and metaphors that could explain the consequences of changing economic conditions, technological influences and new social relationships have on how we communicate, whom we trust, what we relate to and who we keep in close touch with. The questions that scholars and professionals encounter in the fields of contemporary media and communications are facing very similar uncertainties. Media and journalism must be prepared to address the requirements of the new modernity. Contemporary media must develop new forms, it must offer audiences individualized access, design and sustain social relations, offer networking experiences and guarantee choices for consumers. At the same time, no matter how inspiring and liberating these new communicative practices may be the consequences and effects of these changes and their impact on the quality of democracy is still questionable. Editors’ introduction: How to deal with uncertainty in modern communications


Media Transformations

The prospects for increasing individualization and virtual networking are unclear indeed. The goals, ideals and expectations of being publicly visible in virtual social networks are often not so much of searching for the common causes and principles of life as the desperate need for networking, bonding, socialization and relationship-building. Individualization indeed brings power of experimentation, but it is short lived and gradually disintegrating. Different researchers have sounded the warning bell reminding us that modern societies are at the risk of being divided into too many different niches, into too many ideologically-shaped virtual and physical associations and formations. Participation in such networks and niche associations can be very inspiring and offering solace, but leading to societal fragmentation and social polarization rather than a common space for meeting, discussion and public dialogue. An exceptional attention in this collection of articles is dedicated to contemporary media developments in the countries around the Baltic Sea. Quite a few motives inspired the choice of young Baltic democracies as a comparative example here. First, these countries already have a historical experience of approaching and dealing with very rapid change. Significant changes and transformations that these countries needed to address date back to the early 1990s. They date back to the times when new media structures and business models as well as media regulation policies were designed and their implementation started. These many local transformations in those countries were gradually complemented with new challenges that all actors of modern communications (media professionals, policy makers and audiences) needed to confront. Among those new challenges were the globalization of media markets and ideas, economic fluctuations and other uncertainties associated with questions on how to commercialize the media business, how to approach technological diffusion and how to deal with all the consequences linked to the changing roles and habits of the new audience, especially of young readers, and the evolving culture of participatory and dialogical communication. By addressing developments and fashions in the media of young Baltic democracies, by also comparing and contrasting these with media developments and changes in the West, the chapters of this issue also show that other questions may be at the stake when assessing the value of change (aside to, for example, economic and technological descriptors of one particular country, e.g. its market size or technological awareness of its population). Therefore, it pays a very close attention to the role of journalism culture and communication traditions as well as enduring values and norms in communication practices, which are becoming increasingly significant when approaching uncertain situations and dealing with

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the consequences of a very rapid change in the area of modern communications. The geographies of journalism in all seven chapters of this issue are quite restrictive and move around the boarders of the Baltic Sea. One of the chapters brings social class into the discussion of media representations of social class and their implications in higher media education in Finland. However, suggestions for teachers on how to be more class sensitive without compromising other differences, including gender, race and sexuality, extend well over the national boarders. Another chapter in this issue covers journalism changes in Norway which is a Nordic country, but the reference to changes in this country goes very well in line with the analysis of science communication in the Baltic States. In the first chapter, Finnish researcher Sanna Kivimäki questions the role of social class in media studies, arguing that social class marks everyone involved in learning process, both students and teachers, but it remains an invisible issue. Therefore, it is important to be aware of social background of your students, as well as your own position as a teacher, which enables you to explain and interpret different phenomena in media and communication studies. The second chapter in this issue asks a fundamental question in the development of professional journalism tradition. Mykolas Drunga poses a philosophical question and asks whether “a picture could be worth a thousand words”. The author is interested in the way journalists see and perceive the surrounding reality. He assesses how journalists grasp and report it and how they do it using words as well as pictures and images. From a different perspective, but also addressing very similar concerns that contemporary journalism is facing in young democracies, Ilze Šulmane assesses the relationship between the economic, journalistic and political fields in Latvia. Her study confirms the tendency of Latvian media being closely associated with partisan as well as business interests. As this study succinctly shows, in such a complex and clientelist combination of different interests and manipulations, commercialism rules in media and editorial contents is subjected to the power holders’ as well as direct editorial interests. Ieva Beitika questions the value of public interest in young democracies and seeks to identify possible ways to manage public service broadcasting in Eastern European countries. Three other articles deal with science journalism, environmental and climate change reporting in particular. Vaida Pilibaitytė analyses environmental and nuclear discourses in the media of the two neighboring but politically very different countries (Lithuania and Belarus). She argues that such issues as climate change or other environmental concerns are emphasized and addressed in media internationally, while geopolitics is more important on a national level. At the same time and in both countries, the political and corporate interests coupled

Editors’ introduction: How to deal with uncertainty in modern communications


Media Transformations

with unspecialized reporting have a universally constraining effect on national public discussions on nuclear energy. Discourse analysis performed by Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen and Harald Hornmoen concentrates on how journalism that covers and uses scientific research has been practiced in major Norwegian newspapers in certain periods of time. Their research results illustrate how representations of scientific research in Norwegian press have changed from resembling science’s own discourses to a more distinct adaption of the research, adjusting it to journalistic requirements of angles and storylines. Finally, in her study Inesa Birbilaitė gives an in-depth literature review of sampled peer-reviewed articles dealing with climate change communication issues and aims to sketch the past, the present and the future of this particular research area in a broader field of communication studies. And finally, the last article in this issue takes a closer look at the emerging role and increasing public use of social media and networks. In her study, Viktorija Rusinaitė examines how celebrity culture is sustained online and how celebrity leadership discourse is constructed virtual networks.

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IS THERE ANY CLASS IN THIS CLASS? CLASS SENSITIVITY IN HIGHER MEDIA EDUCATION Sanna KIVIMĂ„KI sanna.k.kivimaki@uta.fi MA, Researcher, Coordinator Department of Journalism and Mass Communication University of Tampere Tampere, Finland ABSTRACT: We all live surrounded by media representations of social classes. The aim of this article is to reflect the implications of class differences in higher media education. The challenges of social class in media studies are bidimensional: what is taught and how it is taught. First I ask how to focus more on social class when analyzing media contents in higher media education? Secondly I ask, what does it mean, that class marks everybody involved in learning situations, both students and teachers? Thirdly, I try to make some concrete proposals for teaching. KEYWORDS: social class, higher education, media studies

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INTRODUCTION In a course called Teaching in English, teachers and tutors from Finnish universities and polytechnics are shocked. Our British teacher advises us to find out about the students’ social backgrounds – the occupations of their parents, for instance, to understand students better. There is a brief silence in the class room and our minds are full of questions. Isn’t it very impolite to talk about class differences between people – in a Nordic welfare state? Why should I know something about the status of students’ parents – students are adults, living their own life, aren’t they? The aim of my article is to reflect the implications of class differences in higher media education. I am highly aware of the context-bound tensions connected to the concept of social class. For instance in Finland, since the 1980s the concept of social class has not been very popular in the field of media studies. “After all, we all belong to the middle class” has been a dominant way to think and much of the research interests is directed towards questions like nationality, gender, sexuality. In addition to this, the definition of the social classes of a welfare state is often problematic, despite the fact that in everyday life we can easily recognize the positions of the relatively rich and the relatively poor. Instead of using several pages to the complex class-discussion, I refer to ‘social class’ loosely; to the recognisable differences in housing, education, health care, ways to behave etc. Sometimes I replace ‘social class’ with ‘social status’ or ‘socio-economic background’. My theoretical background lies mainly in feminist and critical pedagogies, in their many-sided ways to discuss differences in general; class distinctions are strictly connected with other differences, such as gender, race and sexuality. It is important to think about all kinds of oppressions, because comparing and ranking them with each other leads nowhere. But it is a real challenge to take into account these multiple effects. In this sense academic subjects like communication and media studies are especially interesting, because identities and subjectivities are often argued to be highly media bound. We all live surrounded by media representations of social classes. Cultural products like movies, television programs and literature create those differences, make them visible and recycle more or less stereotypical representations of social classes all the time. Discussing interpretations on contemporary culture – with no axiomatic right and wrong interpretations - can make teaching and learning situations challenging. The challenges of social class in media studies are bicentric: what is taught and how something is taught.

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First I ask how to focus more on social class when analyzing media contents in higher media education? How to concentrate on uncomfortable themes, which are paradoxically present, but often silenced at the same time? Secondly I ask, what does it mean, that class marks everybody involved in learning situations, both students and teachers? Thirdly, I try to make some concrete proposals for teaching. LOST/SILENCED/HIDDEN CLASS? Nowadays it is often argued that academic research in general – and even cultural studies and feminist studies – have lost its interest in social, economic and political questions and because of that, also its relation to everyday life (Ferguson & Golding, 1997, Ruoho, 2002, Skeggs, 2004, Herkman, 2006). On a general level, modern identities are understood to reside at the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, nationality and class, but the truth is that since the 1990s, social class has been much less reflected than the other distinctions. Also in media studies and in media education, we are used to recognizing and discussing differences such as “gender” and “race”, “sexuality” and perhaps “age”, but “class” is often fated to be absent – or something, which takes place only in the past or in the UK. Until recently, social classes are even much less discussed in Finland than for instance in Sweden. We have eagerly repeated the phrase: us Finns, we are all middle class. The obvious disappearance of “society” and “social class” from the Finnish research agenda during the 1990s is a really interesting because at the beginning of the 1990s Finland suffered from a catastrophic economic depression. According to sociologists this decline dramatically changed the Finnish society (Julkunen, 2001, Heiskala & Luhtakallio, 2006). One interesting point is that if “social class” is taken into account, they are usually more easily recognized somewhere else, in other people or in different lifestyles, especially in the lower classes. The middle class is not as clearly defined and transparent as the working class is. At least a Finnish word ‘keskiluokkaisuus’, ‘middle classness’, can refer to very many different aspects with no clear signification. In this respect middle classness is similar to such concepts as masculinity and whiteness: they are like empty boxes and not so clearly qualified as the other ones, i.e. working classness, femaleness or blackness (Dyer, 1997). There is a lot of axiomatic aspects in middle classness which is easily presented as a model for everybody, for instance certain kind of individuality, self-government, dynamics, freedom to choose and express oneself. For instance, refusing to attend upward mobility races and higher education may mean that you are branded a looser in your life (Skeggs, 2004, Käyhkö, 2006).

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SOCIAL IMAGINARY AND MEDIATED SOCIAL CLASSES Putting class back into media studies curriculum is the main point, of course; the challenge lies mainly in the content which is taught and how this content fits in current society and current university. In media studies, class arguments are usually accepted when researching for instance British Reality TV, but class is not so popular in media studies in general – which I think, refers to the lack of social theory, to the inconvenience of the concepts of class and to certain general carefulness of talking about complex classes. First of all, class has to be taken seriously: class matters (Hooks, 2000), even in the Nordic welfare states – and even in the Nordic media. According to British sociologist Beverley Skeggs (2004), social classes are constructions, the result of different kinds of making, like gender and race. According to Andrew Nestingen (2008), American researcher in Scandinavian Studies, media culture and popular culture in general are at the heart of the development of publics in Scandinavian welfare states. Media and popular culture serve continual representations and debates over national homogeneity, collectivity and individualism, over the changing nature of civil society. In this sense, media does not merely work as a technology of nation or as a technology of gender, but also as a technology of the social. Nestingen (2008: 42–43) refers to the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor (2002) and his idea about modern social imaginary. Taylor ‘s (2004: 23–24), modern social imaginary refers to several ways to imagine one’s own social place and relations to other people. Social imaginary can also refer to anything, with which commonalities, like common and shared habits and stories about “us” are legitimated. Social imaginary shapes the background understandings against which our self-understandings, values, beliefs, moral and ethical distinctions are formulated. Regarding this, social status is at least as interesting object of research as gender and sexuality. There is a massive proliferation of popular culture output devoted to class relations and – as we know - the power of repetition is huge. According to Beverley Skeggs, who analyses class and gender in many of her books (e.g. Formations of Class and Gender, Becoming Respectable, 2002 and Class, Self, Culture, 2004), the media is often helpless with class questions – as it has also been with feminism, homosexuality and racial issues. Media produces substances which lean on the most stereotypical clichés because it really does not know any alternatives. Here are some examples, mainly focusing on working-class representations. Absence and invisibility are perhaps the most essential points in (working) class representations. Like the American Barbara Ehrenreich (1995), I can only wonder where the average working people have disappeared from media culture. The

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majority is silenced, when e.g. the television fills its screen with fictional doctors, detectives and lawyers. If you want to see some other characters, you have to pay attention to the minor characters that are located in the background of these “real subjects”. There is an army of secretaries, postmen, waitresses and drivers who contribute to the activities of the main characters. Skeggs (2004) has paid attention to the negative and worthless value of working class in stereotypical representations in the Anglo-Saxon media. The respectable modern middle-class is hindered in its progress by the atavistic block. Working class representations are connected to excess, waste, disgust, authenticity, tastelessness, entertainment, non-modern, escapism, danger etc. Excess and exaggeration are marked in many-sided ways. For instance, the concept of white trash is connected with the idea of excess. Trash is something like dirt, something too much in the wrong place (Douglas 2000). As Skeggs (2004) argues, exaggerated sexuality is something very usual and conventional when representing working class women – and working class men, too. In addition to this stereotype, they are also often represented tasteless and unstylish. Outward appearances and clothes seem to be an essential part of social classes and of changes in subjectivity. So, social class seems to be a performative construction, too. With its close ties to appearance, especially clothes, it reminds me of the concept of cross-dressing, which is usually connected with the desire for wearing clothes associated with the other gender (see also Tasker 1998). In stereotypical representations, working-class masculinity seems to be much more valuable than working-class femininity. Also in Finnish media culture working-class men seem to be admirable because of hard work. The homo-social admiration of other men is clearly seen e.g. in the television program called Äijät (Old geezers or Real guys) which was shown on Finnish television a couple of years ago. The idea of the program was that two rock-stylish guys met “the real, cool work”, such as mining, garbage collection and chimney sweeping. We rarely see cleaners, nannies, supermarket cashiers or lower clerical workers on screen or on television, at least not too often as the cool characters of the centre stage. In this sense, the cleaning reality-show called How clean is your house presented a few years ago on Finnish television, was an unusual exception. Anyway, class is intertwined with different kinds of fiction and fantasies in many ways, as for instance Valerie Walkerdine (1997) has argued. For instance, individual upward mobility stories seem to be very popular in fiction: they can combine the idea of social structures and individual stories, which fit in well in the current neoliberal climate. Variations are many, from Cinderella – stylish fairytales and

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from rags to richness stories. We all know Cinderella and My Fair Lady, often mentioned as the typical examples of an upward mobility story – or, to be exact, a feminine upward mobility story supported by a male benefactor. A poor, but beautiful girl meets a wealthy and powerful man, falls in love, changes her dress and behavior and tries to “pass” as in such movies as Working Girl (1988), Pretty Woman (1990) and Maid in Manhattan (2003). TEACHERS AND STUDENTS WITH BACKGROUNDS Education is considered as democratic space, where the desire to study and learn makes all equal. The underlying assumption is that all are equally committed to get ahead. Still, students with not so privileged background may have totally different ideas about money, attitudes, social relations, values and biases (Hooks, 1994: 177). We all come from somewhere, but social backgrounds are rarely talked about in classrooms in Finland. Class is often seen as a difference, which can be changed up to a certain point: everybody has the study opportunity in the welfare states. Anyway, social classes are present, even if we don’t talk about them. In this sense, class is “a different difference” compared with “gender” or “race”, which are usually thought to be something you can’t change. For this reason, it’s somewhat easier to interfere with gender or race related discrimination than discrimination connected to social classes, sexuality or religion. One tension in the classroom might be, that university teachers tend to be middle class people. Middle class people are usually more educated; they have more space for action and agency that is social and cultural capital, not necessarily money. Middle class people often have the possibilities and power to name and interpret cultural phenomena. On the other hand, higher education often means changes in students’ class position, especially if they come from lower classes. For them, higher education often means bigger investments, bigger economic risks and withdrawal from their own background. For students with the middle-class background, higher education means usually confirming the middle-class position. Anyway, the official and academic discourses assume that all students develop personalized educational projects for self-improvement, but hardly recognize the material exigencies (Reay, David & Ball, 2005). According to Paula Saukko (2003: 45), a Finnish cultural researcher working in the UK, scholars’ interpretations of oppressive structures might tell more about their theoretical and political commitments than about the structures. Saukko (2003: 12) has also asked if cultural studies is capable of doing justice to and understanding radically different cultures, such as working class or non-western

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cultures. Falling in love with words like empowerment, optimism, surviving and feel-good might need a reality-check and the capability to face also miserable situations. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu is perhaps the best known critic of academic intellectuals. According to him (1984) researchers and teachers should be much more self-reflective and they should avoid unreal and alienated interpretations of life. The world is not only meanings but also problems to solve. The liberal slogan “live and let live” is not enough. The challenge is how to implement all kinds of different perspectives on the courses at the same time. How to act in a way, which doesn’t exclude any students with “different” background? Especially working-class students might feel themselves outsiders easily when attending universities. Anyway, we should be more interested in all kinds of outsiderness, whether it is related to class, nationality, sexuality or age. BUT HOW TO DO IT? IDEALISTIC IDEAS ABOUT PEDAGOGICAL ACTS How to be more class sensitive – without declining other differences? What kind of pedagogical acts would be significant to handle this difficult class question? I have borrowed some ideas from two Americans, Karen Robertson and Susan Zlotnick, whose workshop Putting class back into women’s studies curriculum was held in Uppsala in June (Challenging Education – Feminist and Anti-Oppressive perspectives on teaching and learning 14.-16.6.2009). First of all, a media teacher should be very aware of her/his own position in the power system – a position, which allows to name and rename phenomena and evaluate different kinds of students’ interpretations. As a teacher, you shouldn’t suppose that students think like you do, or that they try to think in your way. You have to give up the assumption of sameness and you can’t suppose anything about students’ social class, gender, sexuality, race or religion. You can’t assume that students are white, heterosexual and from the middle-class background – despite the fact that probably most of the university students fill these criteria. One concrete step towards more class (and gender) sensitive teaching is to pay attention to some classified, gendered and radicalized contents in teaching: the taken for granted presumptions of “a good student” or “a good media researcher”, for instance. A teacher should reflect the language and especially metaphors used in academic discourses, teaching situations and text books, as well as all kinds of examples which are used. One essential point is to understand that class does not mean only working-class (Ruoho, 2002).

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Getting to know one’s own middle-classness might meet resistance, as well as reflecting one’s own working-classness in public. In this sense, teaching and learning situations should be very safe and all participants should be very committed to them. Also certain kind of slowness is important: it takes time to be honest with uncomfortable class questions, and working with them is highly emotional. Like gender and race, social classes are also constructed with emotions and affects, e.g. rage, agony, suffering, frustration, anger, shame and displeasure (Skeggs, 2004). Researchers and teachers often speculate about the possible empowering effects of media content and write about therapy, pleasure and enjoyment. Stressing pleasure, enjoyment and the therapeutic function of the media is a very onesided way to interpret media contents. But I think that if you speculate about empowering, you should also take into account the possibility of disempowering. Technologies such as movies are highly involved in the process of constructing subjectivity, but probably also with the processes of deconstruction – they might be breaking, too (de Lauretis, 2004). A teacher has to challenge her/his self, and maybe students’ identities, too. Talking about differences makes vulnerable – how much a teacher should tell about her/his self? Robertson and Zlotnick (2009) proposed memory work, which aims to understand the social construction of individual identities by writing short memories. The method was originally developed by German Frigga Haug (1987) in order to resist dominant cultural ideologies, which leave something essential invisible. In Haug’s case that was female ‘experience’, but the idea could fit in with the class question, too. Memories are written with or without photos to surpass emotional load and to get to the point – and teachers participated in this activity, too. Anyway, if a teacher is not willing to go so far, the framework of one’s own thinking should be at least visible. There is a lot of challenges in putting class back into media studies curriculum. For instance, what to think about interpretations, which are students own, but much more conservative than teachers’ own? How to challenge conservative students? They are not going to love you, if you split their middle-class subjectivities. In Finland, and perhaps in the whole Scandinavia, we usually have quite short courses, which make difficult to create safe spaces to handle these kinds of uncomfortable contents, to discuss likes and dislikes. But why? What kind of knowledge is useful at the university? Is “class” useful in current university? As for instance Päivi Naskali from University of Lapland has argued (2009), the basic values of the Finnish university have changed from general

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and social good towards individual good, productivity and efficiency. The main target of the whole education system seems to be the “enterprising self ”, and new citizens are supposed to be active and flexible, risks taking and responsible for their own success and failures, she continues. In an environment like that, discussing in public for instance your lower background might be very oppressive. Still, I am optimistic. At her/his best, a media teacher can generate a creative space for new ways of knowing, for new knowledge, for change, too. If we can’t find a proper and useful language to talk about socio-economic status, we should try to create that, new concepts and new vocabulary. New vocabulary might mean something like class-cross-dressing, capitalist realism or romanticism or disempowerment. There is a great number of problems to solve, a lot of new concepts and expressions to create.

REFERENCES Bourdieu, P. (1984). Homo Academicus. Paris: Minuit. Douglas, M. (2000). Puhtaus ja vaara. Ritualistisen rajanvedon analyysi. Tampere: Vastapaino. De Lauretis, T. (2004). Itsepäinen vietti. Kirjoituksia sukupuolesta, elokuvasta ja seksuaalisuudesta. Toim. Anu Koivunen, suom. Tutta Palin ja Kaisa Sivenius. Tampere: Vastapaino. Ehrenreich, B. (1995). The Silenced Majority. Why the average working person has disappeared from American media and culture. In G. Dines, J. M. Humez (eds.). Gender, Race and Class in Media. A Text-Reader. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp. 40–42. Ferguson, M., Golding, P. (1997). Cultural Studies in Question. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications. Dyer, R. (1997). White. London: Routledge. Heiskala, R., Luhtakallio, E. (2006). Uusi jako. Miten Suomesta tuli kilpailukykyyhteiskunta. Helsinki: Gaudeamus. Herkman, J. (2006). Kriittinen kulttuurintutkimus valinkauhassa. In J. Herkman (toim.). Tutkimusten maailma. Suomalaista kulttuurintutkimusta kartoittamassa. Jyväskylä: Nykykulttuurin tutkimuskeskus, pp. 21–32. Is there any class in this class? Class sensitivity in higher media education


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Hooks, B. (1994). Teaching to Transgress. Educations as the Practice of Freedom. New York, London: Routledge. Hooks, B. (2000). Where We Stand: Class Matters. New York, London: Routledge. Julkunen, R. (2001). Suunnanmuutos. 1990-luvun sosiaalipoliittinen reformi Suomessa. Tampere: Vastapaino. Käyhkö, M. (2006). Siivoojaksi oppimassa. Etnografinen tutkimus työläistytöistä puhdistuspalvelualan koulutuksessa. Joensuu: Joensuu University Press. Naskali, P. (2009). Uusi yliopistolaki, yliopiston identiteetti ja tasa-arvo. Kasvatus, Vol. 1, 89–91. Nestingen, A. (2008). Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia. Fiction, Film, and Social Change. Washington: University of Washington Press & Museum Tusculanum Press. Reay, D., David, M. E., Ball, S. (2005). Degrees of Choice. Social class, Race and Gender in Higher Education. Trentham Books. Robertson, K., Zlotnick, S. (2009). Workshop: Putting class back into women’s studies curriculum. Challenging Education – Feminist and Anti-Oppressive perspectives on teaching and learning. Conference held in Uppsala, June 14–16. Ruoho, I. (2002). Medianarsistin sortonostalgiaa vai feminismin politisointia? Tiedotustutkimus, Vol. 4, 42–53. Paula, S. (2003). Doing research in cultural studies: an introduction to classical and new methodological approaches. London: Sage Publications. Skeggs, B. (2004). Class, Self, and Culture. London, New York: Routledge. Skeggs, B. (2002). Formations of Class & Gender. Becoming Respectable. London: Sage. Taylor, Ch. (2002). Modern social imaginaries. Public Culture Vol. 14 (1), 91–124. Walkerdine, V. (1997). Daddy’s girl. Young girls and popular culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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IS A PICTURE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS? Mykolas J. DRUNGA m.drunga@pmdf.vdu.lt Lecturer Department of Public Communications Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, Lithuania ABSTRACT: Journalists and scientists seek to grasp reality and to understand it. Print journalists use the vehicle of the word; radio journalists do so too; TV journalists also rely on words, though their principal vehicle of communication is the picture, the image, as is that of moviemakers and of still photographers. But recently the importance and power of photography has been exaggerated. It’s time to put things aright again. KEYWORDS: objects, photographs, reality, realistic, seeing, transparent

Is a picture worth a thousand words?


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Still, there’s a way of understanding realistic photography that minimizes the difference between looking at it and visual perception of the world. Kendall L. Walton has articulated such an understanding masterfully. It’s high time to “deconstruct” this alluring but faulty conception, sentence by sentence. In the abstract to his famous paper, Walton (1984: 67) writes: “Photographs are transparent; in looking at a photograph of something one sees the thing itself ”. No, in looking at a photograph of something one sees just a photograph; one thereby sees a picture, an image, of that thing, but not directly that thing itself; the thing itself one sees, at best, indirectly, which in some crucial respects isn’t nearly as good as seeing the thing itself directly. You can’t, for example, hold up the photograph in one hand and with your other shake hands with the “indirectly seen” woman pictured in it unless she herself is standing right next to you; in which case you’d be shaking hands with the (directly seen) real woman, not with her image. And being able to shake hands or otherwise interact with the persons (things) you see is absolutely essential to direct seeing, which is part of the reason why in looking at things photographically you’re not really seeing them. “Photography is not just a new means of producing pictures”. True; but it is principally that. “It is also an aid to vision, as are eyeglasses, mirrors, telescopes, and microscopes”. True again. But there are big differences between these mere aids to vision, on the one hand, and both photography (as a means of producing pictures) and photographs (the pictures produced thereby), on the other. Whereas the main use of the above-mentioned aids to vision is merely instrumental, photographs and photography can have important aesthetic functions as well. They (photographs and photography) are also useful in criminal and historical investigations of all kinds: visually comparing photographs of people with the people themselves by looking at both photographs and people can help, e.g., policemen and historians to identify accurately both photographs and people. All this presupposes that mere aids to vision (on the one hand) and photographs (on the other) belong to essentially different kinds of human artifact. “Mirrors enable us to see around corners. Telescopes and microscopes make distant and small objects visible”.

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But when you look at things in mirrors or through eyeglasses, telescopes, or microscopes, even if you directly see only their images, you also automatically gain knowledge about where you’d have to go and what you’d have to do to see them without these aids, i.e., directly. Looking just at photographs of things never by itself tells you any of that. “With the help of photography we can see into the past as well”. Not really. We can see into the past only in the way of seeing pictures of it; but we can’t see the past itself; the past we can only remember. “We must resist the tendency to water down this claim, to take it as a colorful and exaggerated way of saying that in viewing a photograph one has the impression of seeing the thing photographed, or that the photograph one sees is some sort of substitute or surrogate for the object. Watering it down in any of these ways endangers both its interest and its truth. We really do, literally, see our deceased ancestors when we see photographs of them”. No, we don’t, not really and not literally. In this life, we really and literally don’t see our dead ancestors at all. We last saw them, really and literally, some time before they passed away, while they were atill alive. (And my last three sentences would be true even if there were no afterlife, even if this life were all there is.) Now, to be sure, in viewing a photograph one does not have the impression of seeing the thing photographed – “impression” is the wrong word here. But neither does one actually see the thing (that was) photographed; what one may have is the illusion of seeing the thing in the photograph. Notice how Walton subtly slips from talking about “seeing the thing photographed” when denying it (the thing photographed) is an impression to talking about “the photograph one sees” when denying it (the photograph) is a substitute or surrogate for the object. Of course, the photograph is no substitute or surrogate; it’s more of a memento of the object: a reminder rather than a replacement. Nothing is a substitute for a dead person, especially if you loved her or him. Finally, why must we “resist the tendency to water down” Walton’s claim if in so doing we merely “take it as a colorful and exaggerated” – and figurative – way of saying that enjoying a piece of realistic photography is like veridical perception. They are alike in that both present the world as it is, although perception does it incomparably more powerfully and resourcefully. Looking at photography is to real perception of the world somewhat as a computer is to a human being. There are likenesses here without the former becoming a form of the other, as Walton claims.

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“Slippery slope considerations give the claim an initial plausibility. If we see through eyeglasses, mirrors, and telescopes, don’t we also see via closed circuit television monitors and live television broadcasts? If so, on what grounds would it be reasonable to deny that we see athletic events when we watch delayed broadcasts of them, or that we see through photographs and photographic films?”. We do see objects through eyeglasses, in mirrors, and through telescopes. But in the first case we see them directly, and in the second and third, indirectly, by seeing their images. When I see something through my glasses, I usually know just in virtue of seeing it how much and in what direction I have to move in order to touch that thing. I usually don’t know this, and not in the same way, if I just see a live television broadcast of that thing. Much less do I see that thing if I only watch a delayed broadcast of it, or see a photograph or photographic film of it. A few criticisms similar to mine of Walton’s main thesis (that photographs are transparent) have also been voiced earlier by Gregory Currie and Noël Carroll. “With ordinary seeing we get information about the spatial and temporal relations between the object seen and ourselves. (…) Call this kind of information “egocentric information”. (…) Photographs, on the other hand, do not convey egocentric information,” claims the former (Currie, 1995: 66), although agreeing that “photographs can serve, along with information from other sources, in an inference to egocentric information”. According to the latter, as quoted or paraphrased by Walton, “I can ‘orient my body’ spatially to what I see, either with the naked eye or through a telescope or microscope. But when I see a photograph I cannot orient my body to the photographed objects. The space of the objects is ‘disconnected phenomenologically from the space I live in’ (Carroll, 1995: 71). Currie and Carroll are right, I think, and Walton’s response seems unpersuasive. He admits that an “account of what it is to see should explain how seeing enables organisms to acquire information about their surroundings.” But then he claims that “there is no reason to assume” that such an account “must limit seeing to cases in which that is done”. However, it seems obvious and indisputable that cases in which organisms are not enabled to acquire information about their surroundings just aren’t cases of seeing, period. Being enabled to get information about the percipient’s environment constitutes the very essence of visual perception, at least when consciously undergone by humans above the age of infancy.

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In “regarding viewers as actually seeing things when they see photographs of them” Walton claims that he “was not especially concerned to be faithful to the ordinary sense of the word “see” (if there is such a thing).” Well, there certainly is; it’s been around in languages and cultures for thousands of years; and that’s what we’re concerned with here. So, to return to our title question: Is a picture worth a thousand words? For journalists and scientists, it usually isn’t. Journalists and scientists see reality and then report on it – that’s their most important function. They create reports for the public on the reality they see – but they do so in words, occasionally interspersed with pictures. These pictures need to be interpreted, and only words can do that. Words themselves need to be interpreted with words, as do mental pictures. Mental pictures are important; but they are nothing and have no effect unless they are translated into words. However enjoyable and even informative looking at pictures may be, looking at reality directly is even more important, at least for scholars and journalists. For them, words still are the primary vehicle of communication.

REFERENCES Carroll, N. (1995). Towards an Ontology of the Moving Image. In C. Freeland and T. Wartenberg (eds.), Film and Philosophy, New York: Routledge. Currie, G. (1995). Image and Mind: Film, Photography, and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Walton, K. L. (1984). Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism. Nous, Vol. 18, No. 1.

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LATVIAN DAILY PRESS JOURNALISTS: BETWEEN OR TOGETHER WITH COMMERCIALIZATION AND PARTISANSHIP? Ilze ŠULMANE Ilze.sulmane@lu.lv Lecturer, ASPRI Researcher Faculty of Social Sciences University of Latvia Riga, Latvia ABSTRACT: This paper presents a comparative study of Latvian daily press journalists from three Latvian and three Russian language papers (during two time periods, 2006 and 2010). Data from thirty in-depth interviews with chief editors, observers, analysts and correspondents of socio-political themes during both periods, as well as observation of situations at the editorial offices and recent changes in the ownership show the different ways that news industries cope with losing the readership of daily newspapers. This data also demonstrates the impact of recent economic crisis and shows the relationship between the economic, journalistic and political fields in Latvia through the eyes of media professionals. The study confirms the tendency of commercialization being closely related with partisanship and the power holders’ use of economic problems and some professional flaws of media organizations in subjecting editorial contents to owners’ direct economical and political interests. KEYWORDS: Latvian daily press, journalistic roles, commercialization, partisanship, ownership, editorial policy

Latvian daily press journalists: Between or together with commercialization and partisanship?


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INTRODUCTION As the media in many countries face crises caused by the development of new technologies and more general economic difficulties, researchers try to assess the undergoing changes in journalistic practice and news business (Levy & Nielsen, 2010). The development of new media, the economic and political crises, as well as diminishing trust within Latvian society of institutions, politicians and printed media, raise questions about how to cope with these situations. These developments further question the role of media professionals and what media system model – liberal, democratic corporatist or polarized pluralist (Hallin & Mancini, 2004) – is most characteristic of Latvia’s media system. Indeed, they raise the question as to which of these models, or other more specific ways (Jakubovitz, 2007), could and should be the most legitimate perspective for Latvia as a post-communist country. Comparative content and discourse analyses of Latvian and Russian language media has for a long period showed differences in media agendas, political sympathies, identity representations, and attitudes towards historical events. The existence of two information environments has been named as a disintegration factor in society by political and media experts as well as representatives of the common people (Šulmane, 2010: 239–252). Divided and small media markets also make competition for advertising money and audience attention very sharp. Field theory (Bourdieu, 2005: 30–39) is used here in order to explore journalistic cultures in their diversity and in its relationships with other fields, mainly economics and politics, where the objective relationship of symbolic domination exists. Although the field of journalism is not autonomous, journalists struggle within the field for the power to impose their vision of the social world. Therefore I study the system of presuppositions inherent to journalists and editors (specific “doxa”, according to Bourdieu). Those who are professionally engaged in producing discourses, offer their “vision and division”, as well as struggle for this vision to be acknowledged as legitimate categories of constructing social reality. To exist in a field means to differentiate oneself. Field theory enables one to discuss outside forces (audiences, political and economic pressures), as well as to take into account the impact of media organizations and the socio-economic, cultural and educational background of journalists themselves. With regard to political communication, we should recall political journalists who have partly lost their status, as they nowadays have to combine civic and hedonistic values and have to compete with other representation spheres and many other mediators in order get into the news (Blumler & Gurevitch, 2005: 108). Therefore it is important to explore what professional ideologies are characteristic for Latvian press journalists, as printed press used to be the platform for communication between political and journalistic elites.

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Professional journalistic cultures that can be deconstructed in terms of ideology are connected with journalistic epistemology, ethics and such functions in society. Following M. Deuze (2005: 442–464) I explore such professional values as public service ideals, objectivity, autonomy and ethics, and try to compare those manifested in interview discourses with practice.

1 The interviewed journalists are from the following papers: Diena (The Day), Latvijas Avīze – LA (Latvia’s Newspaper), Neatkarīgā” – NRA (Independent Morning Paper) in Latvian and Telegraf, Chas (The Hour) and Vestji Sevodnja” – VS (News Today) in Russian.

METHODOLOGY I have compared journalistic discourses obtained in in-depth interviews with newspaper journalists from six national dailies during two time periods – early Summer, 2006 and Summer and Autumn, 20101. Thus both interview sets took place before the intensive Saeima election campaigns had started and in 2010 also shortly after the elections which took place at the beginning of October. Interviews in 2010 were gathered during a longer period, as the changes in ownership caused changes in the editorial boards and allowed me to follow the reactions and attitudes of journalists to these developments and compare relationships among different actors during the crisis and in a more stable period. Respondents for the first interview series were chosen to meet the following characteristics: from each of six editorial boards’ chief editors, columnists, editors and correspondents writing on social political themes (representative and influential in the paper) were chosen. For the second interview phase I tried to interview the same persons, if they had the same position. If not, I spoke with journalists who had taken over the job of my respondents. I also interviewed those journalists that had moved to other dailies (those under my study) as well as those who had to leave their job after ownership change. Questions about professional roles, professional values (objectivity, independence, separation of facts and opinions, need of common code of ethics), self-identity and journalistic styles and editorial policy were also posed. THE IMPACT OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS A survey of Latvian journalists in 1998 showed that Russian language journalists were the first to feel and explicitly verbalize the economic pressures and self-censorship due to pressure from their chief-editor. Stabilization in the Russian language press market had come later than in the Latvian language press, where big foreign investors ensured stability and editorial independence. The survey results showed that a lack of Latvian language knowledge limited the use of sources and that Russian journalist mostly lived in one-language information space. It also showed direct interdependence between language use (nationality) and political and professional views of journalists.

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The interview discourses in 2006 show slight changes: the respondent’s (and paper’s) language did not always predict the possible answers of the journalists. Some views about professional ethics, journalism as a business or vocation, were closer if Diena and Telegraf journalists or NRA and VS journalists were compared; therefore, differences in journalistic cultures did not lie any more only in the ethnic division. Economic difficulties most often were mentioned in the interview discourses of journalists from Telegraf. Some of them pointed out that they felt worried about the continued existence of their paper, considering that three dailies (plus a business paper) is too much for the Russian language market, and that the Russian speaking audience demanding a quality paper is very small. Compared with the situation in 2006, the interviews in 2010 show that governing bodies as well as correspondent-level journalists both from Latvian and Russian dailies feel the impact of the economic crisis, which is expressed in the lack or decrease of advertising income, lower salaries of journalists, reductions of journalistic and technical personnel. For example: “Unfortunately economic crisis has impact on salaries for journalists. [...] The quality of people (journalists) who can be hired for the money we have is decreasing. Therefore the quality of the newspaper falls,... it affects all papers” (Editor-in-chief, NRA). The editor-in-chief from LA points out: “Like other papers we had to reduce number of journalists, amounts of honorarium, salaries, reduce the [ newspaper] structure. Number of pages is diminished. [There is] less space to write, more themes per person to cover. A journalist has no time. Investigation and deep investigation is not paid for. The work is for daily quick news. We try to give the gifted journalists the possibility to write these deep, serious articles”. A Diena journalist noted: “It is difficult to say if it is a conscious tendency to popularity… materials become ‘lighter’, more yellow. To a certain degree it is connected with lack of money [needed] to keep people who practice qualitative journalism”. Journalists mentioned not only time constraints, which were caused by more work for less money and which resulted in a decrease of content quality, but also writing both for the print and Internet versions of the newspaper. Tendencies of developing Internet versions of the dailies are evaluated differently. Some journalists indicate that working for the Internet allows them to better feel in contact with audiences, but they evaluate this job as less prestigious than for the printed version. A journalist from Diena admitted that she tries to keep the best publications for the printed

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version, while a journalist from NRA stressed that the print and Internet version are two completely different products with different audiences. The economic crisis has made the papers reduce other expenses, e. g.: the VS editorial office has moved to a less expensive place; renovation of the newspaper’s editorial premises (in Chas) has been postponed; many more journalists have to work in the same space (journalists from the Diena and Dienas Bizness). Journalists from competing papers, e. g. LA, expressed some kind of malicious satisfaction and disapproval about the great financial losses experienced by Diena, because they felt Diena’s journalists had long lived too lavishly. Several journalists from Latvian language papers, particularly in 2006, expressed their firm belief that VS and Chas are partly financed from Russia. In 2006 journalists were quite critical of their competitors’ editorial policies and contents. They stressed the differences in writing style of Latvian and Russian journalists in Latvia and also clearly defined characteristic traits of different newspapers of the same language, being extremely critical of their closest competitors: Diena versus NRA; Chas and VS versus Telegraf, and Chas versus VS. The main conclusion was that it seemed impossible for the journalists to move, for instance, from Diena to NRA or vice versa, or from Telegraf to Chas or VS. In 2010 the borderline is not so sharp any more. This can be viewed in the personnel change: a journalist who specialized in economics moved from the Russian language Telegraf to Diena, and some professional journalists were bought by richer newspapers (e.g. from Chas to VS). This can be evaluated as a tendency of the falling “purchasing difference” of the daily papers’ brands and of the unification of form and content in the newspapers. In the case of Diena, already beginning in 2006 hiring journalists from a Russian language background has been also a part of editorial policy. In a 2006 interview Diena’s editor-in-chief did not acknowledge any changes toward the simplification of contents in order to obtain larger audiences. Widening of themes was admitted, but not at the expense of serious topics, such as politics, economics and culture. Some concern about late awareness of the newest competitor – the Internet – was expressed, but, regardless, Diena was the first to establish its Internet version. Some of the rank and file journalists, however, already at that time pointed to some commercialization tendencies connected with the need to earn more money (to enlarge audiences) and thus to losing some characteristics of quality journalism in Diena. Among the difficulties partly caused by the economic crisis, journalists name the wide use of public relations materials (due to the time constraints of journalists) and also pressures from PR firms and advertising departments: Latvian daily press journalists: Between or together with commercialization and partisanship?


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“You are against public relations specialists who offer you surrogate information... to learn to differentiate it... needs very delicate organs of sense. The fight with surrogate information is very important. (…) Advertising pressure is immeasurable, crazy. For example, interview with Ainārs Šlesers as the chairman of Riga free port - advertising department wanted very much not to put [words] “paid publication” below” (Editor-in-chief, NRA). The interview discourses show that journalists even from the same paper do not share similar opinions: already in 2006 a journalist from NRA, the president of the Latvian Journalist Union, spoke about “advertorial” – a tendency to merge editorial and advertising content as a “normal development” in the press. As in many other countries all the national dailies except the Russian language VS changed their format to tabloid; as well, they have more colors, bigger photos, and flashy headlines. VS journalists and the editor-in-chief in 2006 stressed their difference from other dailies, mentioning half-naked women and anecdotes on the front page together with serious political and foreign news and socially oriented content in other pages as a distinctive characteristic of the paper and admitting that they had to make people aware of that erroneous, “hooligan style” which has been unsuccessfully copied by others. “A quality yellow newspaper” was the self-identification of VS in 2006, and, as the paper with largest audience among Russian language dailies; it has not experienced serious changes. In 2010 many of the interviewed journalists admitted some tendencies of unification and commercialization of the daily papers. They point out that they had become more popular, sensational, trivial in content, etc., that the “research” goes on about less important themes and that a lack of deep analysis of processes is going on in society. A journalist from VS points to the possibility that newspaper quality is closely connected with the quality of readers: if their purchasing power diminishes, if they lose a job or emigrate, there will be fewer people who need a newspaper or will be able to buy one. The editor-in-chief of LA (2009) is also quite pessimistic: “I am worried about the fact how big – and it seems to me it is small, – is the part of society which demands the intellectual, high quality journalism. Who has the growth – all yellow magazines, commentaries in the Internet, populism in LNT and TV3 news?!”. TNS data and media experts confirm that the global tendency of decreasing readership for daily papers is true also for Latvia: from 48-53% of readers of dailies in 2006 to 26% in Autumn 2010 (Rožukalne, 2010a). We can see that the tradition and prestige of reading daily newspapers continues to diminish, and it is

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connected not only with peoples’ lower purchasing possibilities, but also with the quality of papers, the readers’ lost trust in daily papers, as well as the growing habit of Internet use for obtaining daily news free of charge. THE CHANGING ROLES OF JOURNALISTS IN NATIONAL DAILIES Already in 2006 some journalists were quite sure that the journalistic style and role should change. While most Latvian journalists considered the practice of dividing facts and opinions, and balanced representation a must, most of the Russian respondents emphasized that this is not characteristic for Russian literary journalism, which is more emotional and opinionated. Some Latvian journalists acknowledged that separation is an ideal that is difficult to acquire. Others said that Internet growth makes journalists reconsider their writing style and that the concept of separating facts and opinions is outdated. The Editor-in-chief at LA said: “My personal feeling about how newspapers can compete in times when Internet and TV are taking away audiences, is by two things – opinion leaders, when the reader seeks for opinions with which he can identify himself… in this case they should be representing similar position. And the second thing (…) is not quick, instant news, but you show the issue all the way to its roots. Consequences, causes, that we name as investigative articles are the values a newspaper can give”. Journalists in 2010 have become more conscious about the fact that the Internet and the print version of a paper are two different publications with partly different audiences and that working for the portal is on the one hand very interesting, as it gives the possibility to “feel the audience”, and is much easier, but on the other hand writing for the print version of the paper is more prestigious and self-rigorous (journalist from Telegraf). The interview discourses from 2006 presented similar views about activity – most of them confirmed that an active position of the paper was preferred to neutrality or objectivity. What differed were the ways to reach it. Diena journalists pointed out that the decisions were obtained in debates with the editor-in-chief, and commentaries and the editorial line was worked out collectively. Diena’s editorin-chief was the only one among the respondents who suggested that an important role of a paper is to serve as a platform for public discussions. Telegraf ’s editor-in-chief pointed out that there were questions in which journalists had to be careful – they could not afford to criticize Russia and Putin, for instance, since due to immediate audience reaction a fall in circulation would follow. Correspondent-level journalists from NRA explained that they were independently writing socio-political news and did not feel any pressures from the top, Latvian daily press journalists: Between or together with commercialization and partisanship?


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but there were two to three persons (“court writers”) who represented owner’s position in their articles. Most of them mentioned the diversity of viewpoints and writing styles, as well as unclear editorial policy in NRA to be the paper’s characteristic feature(s). The paper’s top-level officials said that “a journalist’s work is like carpenter’s”, and that working in a paper “is pure business; if serving society does not trouble business, [such a role] may be [played]”. In 2006 a commentator from Chas related that he had an agreement with the owner that he could write anything he wished, but if it was criticized by the owner the commentary simply did not appear in the newspaper. Its editor-in-chief pointed out the journalist’s role as an agitator and organizer. A journalist from Chas, an NGO activist writing about education reform and related topics, in 2006 told me that he did not feel like a journalist, but used his journalistic role to fulfill political goals: “[Russian] Journalists have a special mission – they are not just journalists, but also workers in the awakening. The first phase of the third awakening ended with the victory of Latvians. The Russian community is being established, it is bubbling and simmering, and I would call this the second phase of the third awakening. I want this to be a serious process”. Journalists from LA named their mission as the only newspaper in Latvia that was constantly defending Latvian national interests – language, economics, and historical justice. But the editor-in-chief divided her personal, more moderate views from those of the paper’s audiences and owners. She also noted that if the generation who feels these questions important for them “dies out” the paper would have to think about what should be changed in the editorial policy. Representatives from other dailies mentioned that LA had lately become “less nationalistic”, and possessed a wide range of information and sources that fulfilled its audience’s needs. Journalists from Diena and Telegraf underscored their professional roles similarly; however, attitudes towards some professional values were quite different among representatives of other papers. Most of the differences are about the possibility of a journalist being a journalist and a politician at the same time and about the ethical code for journalists. For Dienas’s representatives it was unacceptable for a journalist to have a leading position in party and to be a Saeima deputy simultaneously (but he/she could be a member of a party). Similar views were expressed by LA, NRA, Telegraf journalists, only in less categorical form. Journalists from Chas and VS demonstrated this both practically and verbally: in 2006 some of them were standing as candidates for the elections; also in the

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interviews they either stated that such practice is only for a short period while they are fighting for their rights (Chas), or that it is also good from the business point of view – i.e., the newspaper does not lose a good journalist and the paper does not have to pay an extra salary to a parliament correspondent, since he also writes for the paper (VS) as a deputy. 2

There existed a formal code as early as 1992, but several other codes exist in separate media organizations and the Latvian Journalists’ Union. But both the Union and its code of ethics is evaluated as being without prestige by many journalists, and a very small part of them are members.

In 2006 journalists showed very different attitudes towards the need for a common ethical code2 and a more active Journalists’ Union. If Diena’s journalists expressed concern about the situation and unsuccessfully tried to gain a majority in the congress of Latvia’s Journalist Union, thus trying also to establish a selfregulating press council, many of the interviewed journalists acknowledged that a common code in Latvia is impossible. For part of them it seemed improbable due to differences in journalism (Latvian and Russian), while others said that a code is not needed because it is human morality that guides a person, not a set of professional regulations. Some Russian journalists were afraid that such a code could be used as an instrument to criticize and beat them (Chas, VS). Still others were sure that a code is impossible in a situation where competitors in the media field (and behind them – the owners) were fighting with different means and the code could be a barrier to this competition (NRA). From the time when the head of the Latvian Journalist Union became a journalist at NRA (who said in 2006 that no code is needed) there has been a discussion in the professional environment whether to try to join the Union and to gain the majority or to organize an alternative. The latter was done in November, 2010 – the Latvian Journalist Association was founded with the aim to improve journalists’ professional environment, to defend press freedom, to foster discussion about professional and ethical problems, to defend professional, economic and social rights, to take care about the lifelong education of journalists and to cooperate with international and other journalistic and media industry organizations. The declared aims of both organizations seem common, though the Union has declared that it is more a trade union, not a watchdog for journalists. The professional ideologies standing against them are different. And like the example from the political field where different views are not discussed inside a party in order to gain majority but a new party is organized, journalists do the same. The experience of the first professional organization shows that it is difficult to do truly active work if the organization does not have at least some full-time officials, which is impossible with low membership. If political issues (topoi) were dominating in comparison with professional ones in the journalistic discourses in 2006, the interview data from 2010 and recent

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observation show that journalists have become more and more concerned not only with political and identity issues, but they are also preoccupied with their own fate and the possibilities of working in circumstances with internal and external pressures. This is another argument for the need for an organization that could actively protect its members. It is similar to the situation in society where there are well-organized employers’ organizations (and in media sphere Publishers’ Association) and weak trade unions (and journalist organizations). Clearly journalistic discourses show individual differences and a mixture of partisan and market driven journalism when characterizing themselves, their competitors and audiences. The latest interview set also shows a new tendency: some representatives of the younger generation of journalists conclusively point out that the differences are ideological, not professional: “There is one journalism [not “Latvian” and ”Russian”], different is only the way in which it is packed, and different are ideologies it represents” (former editor from Telegraf). ROLE OF OWNERSHIP A lack of transparency in who the real owners of Latvian press are has been named by media experts for quite a long time as a drawback, causing distrust, and preventing audiences from realizing what political and economical interests hide under the agendas of different newspapers (Dimants, 2004, Šulmane & Bērziņš, 2009). The views of journalists and editors themselves regarding the role of owners and editorial autonomy have been quite different. Explicitly formulated editorial policy(s) and teamwork can influence the individual freedom of journalists, but it is evaluated differently. For some journalists it serves as a guideline, helping in their work, while others view it as a factor restricting their freedom (a former Diena journalist now working in NRA). The impact of the owner is sometimes felt in specific cases (covering specific issues, depending on the position of a journalist in media organization), but in the case of a laissez-faire (liberal) leadership style it may not be felt as consistent demands (journalists from NRA in 2006). Journalists from Chas and VS stressed that they have never felt pressures from their owner (as the owners of these papers represent two Russian parties). The editors-in-chief (Chas, VS, 2006) have expressed the opinion that a local owner whose only business is media business is always more independent (e. g., owners of both Russian publishing houses have joined parties and have taken part in elections 2010 as candidates for the Saeima), and view Diena as dependent from foreign capital and “Swedish social-democratic ideas” (NRA journalist, 2006).

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LA and NRA are owned by companies connected with port of Ventspils and Lembergs (mayor of Ventspils) and his opponents, but top managers have denied their dependence from their owners in interviews of both periods. Diena’s editors and journalists have always stressed that belonging to the Bonnier group guarantees independence and editorial autonomy. Owners have been interested only in circulation data and their positive influence is connected with professional growth and high professional and a organizational culture in the editorial office. 3

They were journalists

belonging to the paper’s elite: former leader of Dienas Mediji, chief of department of commentaries, analytical journalist etc. Shortly after losing his job they founded a new socio-political weekly magazine and portal Ir (“It is”) which hopefully will have a more successful fate than its predecessors in Latvia. 4 Ainārs Šlesers, Andris Šķēle; Ainārs, Andris and Aivars (Lembergs). They represent interests of Latvian First Party/ Latvian Way (LPP/LC), People’s Party (TP), Latvian Peasant party (ZZS) and Ventspils group. In 2010 national businessmen organised the election bloc For Good Latvia (PLL) with a massive election campaign and the direct support of the private TV channel LNT. The result was not as successful as planned. In the Riga municipality LPP has coalition with Harmony Centre (SC), representing Russophone party bloc

CHANGES IN DIENA Respondents from Diena and former journalists from this paper pointed out that Diena had gradually lost its impact already from the moment when permanent editor-in-chief S. Elerte left the paper. The interviewee who took over her job argued that new editorial politics had almost lived up to expectations (stabilizing audiences and reducing the costs), but selling the paper by new Bonnier representatives to an unknown buyer (the Rowlands family) was a new shock that had an impact on the paper’s reputation, circulation, quality and the community of journalists. Those who did not like Diena’s “fighting liberalism”, “sorosite propaganda” and the tone of the “last instance of truth” publicly expressed their joy and praised the changes that might stop the paper’s explicit political sympathies. However, the first entry by representatives of the new owners was implemented very unskillfully and was met with resistance and protests from the journalists and was made public, showing popular commentators and editors being thrown out of their former workplace within an hour3. It demonstrated for the interested public that journalists and an influential media brand could simply be sold and bought like any other product. The new editor-in-chief from the Latvian business paper Dienas Bizness was met with caution, both editorial offices were merged, and the editorial board was represented by persons who were not thought to be capable of editing a daily by media professionals. Already at that time interviewed journalists were quite sure about the real owners of the paper – they and also commentators in Internet portals used the phrase “AŠ2” or “3A”4, referring to two or three of Latvia’s oligarchs who had thought to be the real owners. The period of stabilization was quite short. Readers had scarcely got used to the names of new authors in the commentary and news pages when more changes took place: national businessman V. Koziols, who is believed to be one of the oligarch’s “men”, was announced as the owner of the largest part of Dienas Mediji.

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Media Transformations

The above-mentioned story about ownership change has several consequences. On the individual level interviews from Diena showed that for some journalists it has been difficult to decide to stay or go. For most of them it was a distressful process of waiting for changes and administrative decisions: are they on the black list or not; what and how to write in order to “understand the new frame of permissible”; feeling the distrust from audiences and sources; asking themselves what level of self-censorship will be demanded or acceptable; and how to keep one’s name and professional reputation. The process was also collectively frustrating and humiliating, as representatives of management publicly announced that they would “cleanse all shadows of S. Elerte”, the former editor, and that everybody outside is waiting for the paper’s death. Even taking off artists’ posters that for a long period decorated the editorial office was perceived as a demonstrative abjection from the new bosses. My respondents also emphasized that the fact of “giving the sack” to some of the best journalists and commentators after ownership changes shows that the new management works against business logic. This says that in the situation of reduction of workforce the first ones who are asked to go are the less experienced journalists, not the best commentators, specialists in serious topics or editors who can also train and lead newcomers. Still it should be noted that some really professional, analytical and objective journalists, like political reporter I. Egle, who has written on politics under different editorial leadership and in times of different political sympathies of the paper, has maintained her place. The developments have also had an impact on the position of journalists and the possibilities of growth of young inexperienced journalists. The new owner does not have a journalism background; a weakening at the editorial level (e. g., heads of department and authoritative journalists) makes the editorial politics less explicit and affects the quality of the content. It fosters an attitude of seeing the journalists as an ordinary workforce with little additional value – reputation, trustworthiness, and brand name. The latest changes are more skillful, gradual and less publicly observable. The editor-in-chief is a former Diena photojournalist. Changes in the editorial staff are not public any more, and some former columnists’ names can be found under simple news items. The paper’s twentieth birthday (November 23) was arranged in such a way as to create the impression of continuity and stability, but quite aggressive self-advertising in the paper and other media show that new managers understand the importance of trying to bring back readership during a subscription campaign. As a former journalist from Diena underlined – state-level, commonwealth thinking, which was characteristic for S. Elerte, was changed to

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noisy and superficial social “investigations”. Perhaps more socially oriented content is advisable for the paper during a time of economic crisis, and such editorial policy can help to enlarge readership. But the active and well-informed public intellectuals and representatives of civil society, perhaps, will proceed to the new magazine Ir. We already have two popular dailies in the Latvian press market; journalists have labeled both as national-conservative. To some extent it can also be evaluated as a certain disillusion in liberal ideology that is publicly expressed in media and interviews with journalists. If it is not a good decision for media business, it may be a political decision to reduce criticism to oligarchs and parties connected with them. Possible confirmation of this suggestion is hidden in the following quotation:

5

Vienotība, the election bloc of New Time (Jaunais Laiks) and two other parties, won the Saeima elections and is represented by prime minister V. Dombrovskis.

I asked the owners, chairpersons of the board what and how – passive or active operation. Passive means less critics, active operation is when you start propagating some needs. And the answer is that rather [it should be] passive position, [we] should take away those big stones that could come. (…) Not to glorify [bloc] For Good Latvia, but to [ensure] that the ideas of Vienotība5 do not appear. The new owners, they [should] formulate these things. Then I know whom I may hit and whom I may not. Otherwise it can happen that I hit those whom I should not, as it can turn out. Media position themselves in all parts of the world, and it is not a sin. I think it is hard to take a position, because these politicians have not themselves normally positioned. (…) But Diena will not defend liberal values any more, because there is nobody liberal in our political spectre any more. And I think that from business point of view it is not profitable to defend liberalism” (Chief editor of Diena Mediji, for a short time Diena’s chief editor, author of its new concept). Journalists from competing newspapers have also expressed their attitudes towards developments in Diena: I feel that it is a very negative process, as Diena for all these years has been a flagship, a market leader... in the sphere of socio-political influence. That what is happening is bad not only for the Diena, it is very bad for all of us – during last few years the trust in printed press has been falling. The shock wave to one, it comes to us, too. Trust in us falls also. Diena’s readers will not come to us, I understand that, they can be lost for all printed press (editorin-chief of NRA). Several respondents mentioned that Diena has partly lost its role as standard of comparison for journalists and its face of a liberal paper for readers of liberal worldviews. A journalist from LA stated:

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“Latvijas Avīze came with its national-conservative position which is exceptionally necessary. Diena had its own priorities. Its position was a manifest struggle against corruption and for elimination of corruptive ties, it was Diena’s accent. And this set-up of democratic principles. (…) As it has disappeared from the media agenda, it is a great loss for Latvia’s political and social environment”. In spite of that journalists of LA have considered the possibility of taking over Diena’s readers in case of the death of the paper, but the editor from Telegraf had noticed readership growth for Telegraf during the crisis at Diena. CHANGES IN TELEGRAF In 2006 Russian journalists from competing papers criticized Telegraf for its support of liberal party Jaunais Laiks (New Time), calling this a mistake, because it was not acceptable to Russian audiences and that “this political project” was very bad business, as it was losing money. After ownership change when the paper was taken over by an anti-Lemberg group in Ventspils, the new editorial staff was represented by well-educated journalists of the post-soviet generation, and a period of stabilization started. In spite of that Telegraf, financed by Ventspils millionaire O. Stepanov, had ownership change once again. The new owner, most probably, is the daughter firm of Bankas Snoras, indirectly connected with Russia’s banking tycoon V. Antonov (Margeviča, 2010). At the end of November 2010 A. Krasnitsky, chief editor of Telegraf, resigned. He named the main reason for the resignation as differences in opinions with the newspaper‘s new publisher regarding the freedom of the media, and the newspaper’s content and structure. Only a year ago O. Proskurova, the previous chief editor of this newspaper, quit due to similar reasons.6 L. Lapsa, who has worked in Publisher’s Soviet of the Telegraf from 2008, also decided to resign. He has stressed that during two year’s time Telegraf had become a professional, respectable and independent newspaper. This view was expressed also in my interviews with journalists – several representatives from Latvian and Russian dailies stressed that Telegraf lately had become “a representative of qualitative journalism, I sometimes quote it. Sometimes they are first to find something new, there are some analytical journalists” (journalist from Diena). As a respondent for my study A. Krasnitsky before elections said that he had become the chief editor in order to reanimate “the corpse”, as Telegraf already in 2006 and afterwards had the lowest circulation among Russian dailies. He expressed his belief that a part of Russian non-readers do not have a paper that they need and admitted that he had a sentiment to work for media where Cyrillic

6

O. Proskurova worked together with A. Krasnitsky on the new concept of the Telegraf. Both of them represent the post-soviet generation of welleducated multilingual journalists who do not have the experience working in soviet media system or as party instructors like the editors-in chief of other Russian language dailies.


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alphabet is used. His aim was to address the paper to average families who felt themselves responsible for their fate, who were not as aggressive as readers of VS, who were not blaming only Latvians or outside forces for all their difficulties (as Chas and their readers). A. Krasnitsky acknowledged that the paper has “instinctive feelings” towards Harmony Centre (Russian parties’ bloc): “Political sympathies, it is not love, just sympathies. But strangely – with those we have good feelings, we do not have the best relations, because we also criticize them as the largest and power party in Riga municipal government. We praise them for good deeds. But the main principle is to verify everything, not to trust anybody. …To think ourselves, to separate our position from the popular beliefs”. The paper has criticized the mayor of Riga for breaking some promises to voters, for the case when the mayor of Riga had used swearwords during s municipality meeting. The last straw, the pretext for firing him, was the publication of material about a boy who was in danger of being expelled him from his school for naming the mayor of Riga “a fool” (“durak”). J. Breslava, a representative of the publisher in an interview to BNS said: “We think that in these times one has to write to support efforts to take this country out of the crisis, society needs directions, connected with economic development, and not identification and emphasis of problems. Mr. Krasnitsky has a different opinion. He thinks that journalists are the public‘s watchdogs”. 7

Portal Pietiek. com (It is enough) was founded by two journalists who had to resign from Diena after ownership change and a former Diena journalist who has worked re in Telegraf ’s Publisher’s Soviet. He is also the author of critical books about Latvia’s ex-president and several of Latvia’s oligarchs. The portal is seeking financial support, and in a short time period has become popular and is often quoted

Is Mr. Antonov, a Russian businessman who is rumored to have bought Telegraf some time ago, the person who is going to tell the right “directions of development” for Latvia, asks V. Dombrovsky, expert in economics and author of the blog in portal Politika.lv. He also stresses that it is not an exaggeration to say that independent Russian language newspapers in this country have become nearly extinct (Bizness & Baltija, perhaps, being the last one). In recent years we have seen similar developments in the Latvian-language newspapers. As some notable “pockets of resistance” he names Ir (weekly magazine) and Pietiek.com (new portal)7. V. Dombrovsky does not end his blog on a pessimistic note. He admits that “big boys have interests, and they see media as an investment to influence the simple-minded voters” and that economic power seeks to acquire political power to further its economic interests. Although many countries “ended up in the feudal pit where political power is the same as economic power (and vice-versa), some countries have escaped from this predicament. Why?” And the author answers:

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“I think it happened because the sum of the many acts of individual courage reached a certain critical mass. Like the one committed by Mr. Krasnitsky, who preferred to lose his job, rather than agree to peddle the new owner‘s vision of what‘s good for Latvia. Like the group of journalists that walked away from captured Diena and established Ir. Like (some) of the remaining journalists at Diena who often refused to do what they were told by their new masters. Like those who are putting their efforts into Pietiek.com. The list is quite long, really” (Dombrovsky, 2010). According to Krasnitsky in an interview to Ir (Ločmele, 2010) similar processes have taken place in all the Baltic States: behind these processes of owner-change stand the same people, the oligarchs being “downgraded to operator level” and the order coming from Russia. Still, in his opinion, they also have guarantees for maintaining their own interests as the latest elections have shown that primitive advertising does not work and oligarchs need a “media machine”. These cases show that first-rate journalists and editors either quit and establish their own media (e. g., the weekly magazine Ir (It is) or the portal Pietiek.com), or try to work under new conditions. The situation of un-transparent ownership change and the loss of professional journalists during a short period of time, as well as swift changes to the editorial staff, have several consequences. It has an impact on the quality of journalism in the daily papers: it deepens insecurity, which in ordinary journalists fosters self-censorship. It also shows that media owners view their business as a business where profit is not and cannot be connected with notions of responsibility and independence. Those changes in two daily papers have not been on the agenda in most of the other daily newspapers (only in blogs and commentaries), they also up to now have no dramatic losses in readership. Therefore I can agree with one media expert’s thesis (Rožukalne, 2010c) that society is used to thinking that the media working for narrow interests of their owners is a normal way of their existence. PARTISANSHIP No including the soviet times when journalists were seen as party loud-speakers, a tradition that is not so easy to change in the minds of people, the period of awakening showed many journalists becoming leaders of the Latvian People’s Front and politicians more generally. Sixteen or twenty years after gaining independence most of the journalists from Latvian-language newspapers clearly define the line of division – one can be either a politician or a journalist, but not play both roles at the same time. Those who are politically very active become deputies, ministers, or start working for NGOs.8

8

Diena’s former editorin-chief S. Elerte is now minister of Culture (party bloc Unity); A former journalist from Telegraf, then a special correspondent for media in Russia has become mayor of Riga (Harmony Centre bloc).


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9 Saeima regulations allow deputies to have scientific or creative extra jobs, but only some of media inhouse regulations say that it is not permissible. 10

Sports journalist and commentator from Chas and head of department of publicistics of VS in 2006. Kabanov from VS was elected as a deputy from PCTVL in 9th Saeima, but from Centre of Harmony bloc in the 10th Saeima in 2010.

11

For example in portal Politika.lv (Rožukalne, 2010b), or magazine and portal Ir (Ozoliņš, 2010).

Ilze ŠULMANE

Some journalists from Russian newspapers admit that it is not a very good practice and from an ethical point of view rather undesirable; but it is a reality, possible under specific conditions in Latvia. Some representatives from VS and Chas concede it as congruent with market journalism principles and not against the existing laws.9 Not only several journalists from Chas and VS have stood as candidates10 to the Saeima, but also owners of publishing houses become politicians. The director of the publishing house Fenster (publishing VS), A. Kozlov, who works at Riga municipality (Harmony Centre bloc), the only owner of publishing house Petit (publishing Chas), A. Sheinin, as well as its journalist, former editor-in-chief of Chas K. Zagorovskaya, were candidates from the bloc For Good Latvia in 2010 (but were not elected). Instead the editor-in-chief now is an experienced journalist, a former communist party secretary, and head of the press department during soviet times. Editors and journalists from both editions never denied their close relations with parties: “informational support for parties with whom we have a contract” (VS, in 2006), free access to media, e. g., first page column in Chas went to its owner during the campaign in 2010, talking only to “their” party members, using only “their” deputies as sources. During several election campaigns researchers monitoring the process found out that mostly in Russian-language papers the possible hidden advertising cases could be observed. N. Kabanov, who has managed to combine his work as a deputy and politician with journalism, has an impact not only on the VS readers, but also influences the minds of wider society about the close relationships of politicians and journalists. It has been a topic of public discussions mainly in liberal press and portals.11 The habit of serving politicians is acknowledged by leading journalists from VS: “We do not like it very much [owner being in party], but there is no way out, as a rule our press in general is politicized by indication of party affiliation”. Ownership change has put to silence a paper that has supported Vienotība; an influential Chas journalist suggest an open recognition of editorial line – not to criticize “our” politicians and give them free access to media. She also discovered that both Russian parties and even bloc PLL can be evaluated as similar, expressing uncritical sympathy and support of its leader A. Šlesers. The interview discourses show different types of journalists working for the Russian media: from open party mouthpieces to representatives of well-educated bilinguals of mixed ethnic background (fearing of assimilation). The latter ones have had to leave their job.

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Media Transformations

SOME CONCLUSIONS As there are several Latvian parties representing both the position (government) and the opposition, different Latvian-language media have criticized them from different perspectives and the government is criticized both by Latvian and Russian media. The so- called Russian parties for quite a long period have got used to uncritical support of Russian-language press. After becoming a position party (in Riga municipality), having lost the predicted first place in the Saeima elections, they take offence at the Russian media for trying to start being critical watchdogs and for putting politicians in the unusual role of being criticized by Russian journalists. Losers (national parties, their sponsors and business circles) are seeking ways about how to win the media in order to impose their vision of the social world. The process of ownership change has not been transparent, which does not allow the real beneficiaries to be seen. It has also not been a very smooth process at the very beginning because of lack of experience of buying a valuable newspaper brand (which is not fully like buying other ordinary products) and because of the fact that journalists publicly expressed resistance. However businessmen learn quickly. The existing journalism culture in Latvia, where there are no real means of self regulation – i.e. a common code of ethics, a platform for the discussion of doubtful practices – together with quality decrease in printed journalism caused by economic crisis, makes the journalistic field more vulnerable. A lack of journalistic solidarity, of basic common values for the journalistic community, of generation change or the loss of experienced middle (editor) level journalists in daily press has resulted in the diminishing of role of national dailies. To exist in a field means to differentiate oneself. As processes of concentration become more definite both in the field of journalism (bigger owners of more media) and in political field (parties’ blocs) the fight among different power forces become more explicit (intolerant discourses about “other”, out-group), as in order to obtain symbolic power they must become visible and trustworthy. If journalistic, economic and political fields are compared we can observe that the Latvian case validates Bourdieu’s thesis of the journalistic field becoming less autonomous and more dependant on political and economical fields (Bourdieu, 2005: 29-47). We can view contradictory tendencies. On the one hand we see the approximation of political and journalistic elites as they have a common habitus – journalists become deputies, party advisors or PR officers. Media commercialization has fostered conservatism, advocacy, bias and censorship in media organizations. On the other hand we can see that forces in those fields become more adverse: as media feels the abuse of power from economic and political fields, journalists from mere reporting and interpreting turn to sharp criticism,

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muckraking or advocacy (which was seen in Diena’s commentaries before ownership change, but now can be found in the new portals, blogs and commentaries) thus becoming independent political actors, a tendency marked also by other researchers (McNair, 2006: 57). Effective evaluation of political elites can become a marketing instrument that could help to differentiate media organizations, as visual demonstration of freedom and independence has a commercial value. Tendencies in Latvia’s national daily press do not certify this. Commercialization and the growing tendencies of political parallelism causes me to express doubt about the optimistic prediction that the media in Latvia is developing in the direction of a democratic corporatist model. Several facts both from the interviews and recent events show some Italianization tendencies and struggle between journalistic professionalization and clientelism. The economic crisis causes a decrease of outside and inside pluralism but the habit of serving and need in positioning foster partisanship. Therefore, the answer to my question as found in the title, is that processes in the Latvian press can be characterized both by commercialization and partisanship tendencies.

REFERENCES Blumler, J. G., Gurevitch, M. (2005). Rethinking the Study of Political Communication. In J. Curran, M. Gurevitch (eds.), Mass Media and Society, London: Hodder Arnold. Bourdieu, P. (2005). The Political Field, the Social Field, and the Journalistic Field. In R. Benson, E. Neveu (eds.), Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field. Cambridge: Polity Press. Deuze, M. (2005). What is Journalism? Professional Identity and Ideology of Journalists Reconsidered. Journalism, Vol. 6, Issue 4, 442–464. Dimants, A. (2004). Pašcenzūra pret paškontroli Latvijas presē: mediju pētījuma atklājumi. Valmiera: Vidzemes augstskola. Dombrovsky, V. (2010). The Telegraf Story. Retrieved December 3, 2010, from http://politika.lv/blogi/index.php?id=62128. Hallin, D. C., Mancini, P. (2004). Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

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Jakubowitz, K. (2007). The Eastern European / Post-Communist Media Model Countries. Introduction. In G. Terzis (ed.), European Media Governance, Bristol: Intellect Books, pp. 303–313. Levy D. A., Nielsen, R. K. (2010). The Changing Business of Journalism and its Implications for Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ločmele, N. (2010). Atsaldētais liberālis. Ir, No. 36, pp. 27–29. Margeviča, A. (2010). Jauno Telegraf īpašnieku pārstāve: cenzūra ir pastāvējusi vienmēr. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from http://www.pietiek.lv/raksti/ jauno_telegraf_ipasnieku_parstave_cenzura_ir_pastavejusi_vienmer. McNair, B. (2006). Cultural Chaos: Journalism, News and Power in a Globalised World. London, New York: Routledge. Ozoliņš, A. (2010). Stratēģiska andele. Retrieved December 17, 2010, from http://www.ir.lv/2010/12/15/strategiska-andele. Rožukalne, A. (2010a). Avīžu histērija. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from http://www.politika.lv/temas/mediju_kritika/mediju_efekts_rozukalne/avizu_ histerija/. Rožukalne, A. (2010b). Mediju atbildības “jā “ un “nē”. Retrieved December 3, 2010, from http://www.ir.lv/2010/12/3/mediju-atbildibas-ja-un-ne. Rožukalne, A. (2010c). Partijas prese. Retrieved December 16, 2010, from http://www.politika.lv/temas/mediju_kritika/mediju_efekts_rozukalne/ partijas_prese/. Šulmane, I. (2007). Kurš uzraudzīs sargsuni: nacionālo dienas laikrakstu žurnālistu attieksme pret profesionālo ētiku Saeimas vēlēšanu kontekstā. In Politiskā komunikācija, ētika un kultūra Latvijas Republikas 9. Saeimas vēlēšanās / S. Lasmanes redakcijā. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, pp. 207–222. Šulmane, I. (2010). The Media and Integration. In N. Muižnieks (ed.), How Integrated is Latvian Society? An Audit of Achievments, Failures and Challenges. Riga: University of Latvia Press, pp. 223–252. Šulmane, I., Bērziņš, I. (2009). Mediju atbildīgums. Grām. In J. Rozenvalds un I. Ījabs (eds.), Latvija. Pārskats par tautas attīstību. Atbildīgums (Latvia. Human Development Report. Accountability). Riga: LU SPPI, pp. 163–171.

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DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING: LOCAL AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND THE PUBLIC VALUE Ieva BEITIKA ievabeitika@gmail.com PhD Candidate Department of Communication Studies Faculty of Social Sciences University of Latvia Riga, Latvia ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to explore global and local challenges of public service broadcasting (PSB) development and to identify possible ways to manage these challenges in Eastern European countries (post-Soviet space). The study encompasses three main contextual dimensions: (1) local challenges of PSB, characterized and influenced by different political, social, economic and cultural conditions, experiences, traditions, norms, and the development of the democracy between countries, including transitional influences and consequences of media system development in post-Soviet space; (2) global challenges of PSB, including a continuing debate on the role, place and identity of PSB within media and political systems, by taking into account ongoing processes of digitization, technological development, media convergence, privatization, competition, commercialization, and their consequences; (3) a theoretical concept of the public value and its further developed approaches that emphasize strategic operation, performance, assessment and the development of public sector organizations (including PSB) by deliberating public needs and interests, as well as creating public value in an accountable and transparent way. It leads to the need for new commitments to the public and stresses the role of civic participation, support and trust in the work of PSB. The research is based on secondary literature studies, qualitative analysis of documents, semi-structured interviews, and a case study of Latvia. KEYWORDS: public service broadcasting, strategic development, public value, deliberation

Development of public service broadcasting: Local and global challenges and the public value


Media Transformations

THE CONTEXT OF PSB DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRATIZATION IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE The media systems that existed in the Soviet Union before the beginning of the transformations are characterized as „a wide-ranging system of censorship overseen by Communist Party agencies, the monopoly of state broadcasting and exclusive state/party ownership of the press, party nomenklatura as media executives, and hegemonic propaganda content” (Jakubowicz & Sükösd, 2008: 12). After the fall of the Soviet Union countries began to transform their political systems towards Western liberal democracy that normatively is unthinkable without “freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of association” (Jakubowicz & Sükösd, 2008: 10, Rozumilowicz, 2002: 12). Within the article “a transformation” is understood as the positive result of replacing the Soviet Unions’ political regime with Western-style democracy (Brown, 1999) and “a process of democratization” is seen as progress towards an ideal model of Western democracy (Rozumilowicz, 2002: 9). Media freedom and independence are core preconditions of democracy. Without a democracy there is no platform for ensuring a qualitative, plural and diverse information space, ensuring “public voice” and “public value”, which should be the main role of PSB. Changes in the media system are seen as an indicator for identifying changes in the political system – especially related to PSB (Sparks, 2000, Jakubowitcz, 2008). Accordingly, institutionalization of media independence in post-Soviet space was a first step and a ground base for removing dependency or influence links between the political system and the media system. The success of progress differs between countries, but it is possible to identify similarities in consequences from the Soviet era (or influences of past experiences) that still affect PSB development and operation. It is important to take them into account by planning further development strategies, rules of law or other developmental activities. Otherwise, it is possible to meet with unexpected results. Jakubowicz has formulated three early media policy orientations developed in post-communist countries during the time of transformations: (1) Idealistic orientation – the very early view by intellectual and cultural opposition to the communist system, assuming “the introduction of a direct communicative democracy as part of a change of social power relations” (Jakubowicz, 2004: 4) that was seen as “a radical vision of direct, participatory communicative democracy” (Jakubowicz, 2008: 112). (2) Mimetic orientation is characterized as an imitation or “a straight transplantation of the generalized Western media system with a free press and a dual broadcasting system” (Jakubowicz, 2004: 4). The development of independent PSB is seen as a crucial part of the media policy evolution in democracy.

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(3) Atavistic orientation means “the unwillingness of new power elites to give up all control of, or ability to influence, the media” (Jakubowicz, 2004: 4). The political elites of post-Soviet space tended to play (and partly still do play) dual roles. On the one hand, countries tried to adopt the exact patterns and standards of the Western European media system in order to establish them by imitation – according to the mimetic orientation. On the other hand, a positioned mimetic orientation of media policy was an official, but not real position, because the political elite was still in a sense the ruling actors of media operation. Although countries regained their “long-awaited” independence, political elites were not so willing to lose those possibilities that allowed them to control PSB in different ways both prospective and non-transparent. There was indisposition resistance towards creating a legal and institutional framework for PSB immediately. Jakubowicz has noted that although there was an understanding of a necessity for new laws, proclaiming “the need for PSB to be independent, and seek to create a legal and institutional framework for this independence”, parliaments tended to define it as a “long-term goal to be achieved gradually” (2008: 101). Tendencies in Latvia proved it by enacting the Radio and Television Law in 1995, in spite of the warning strike of Latvian Radio journalists already in 1991. Journalists asked for defining their legal status and professional conditions, which also restricted the options for creating the best broadcasting reports they could (Brikse, Duze & Sulmane, 1993: 241). In turn, in early 1990s societies were thrilled by the new situation where they could add their “voices” in the public sphere freely, but mostly they did not recognize what democracy and independence mean, and what their roles are in this new and different political system (Brikse et al., 2002). Initially political culture and the views of these societies were characterized as “a mythological way of thinking” (Vihalemm et al., 1997, Lauristin, 2007), based on hoping for democracy as a miracle that will change the system completely and that will fulfill the desires of independence as a rescuer. But the core issue is that democracy cannot succeed without people who want it, develop it, and sustain it. PSB is also a part of it that has to be rebuilt all the time if citizens want to strengthen PSB’s role in societies’ development. Therefore, broadcasters and society have to know what outputs and outcomes they want to get as a result of PSB operation and why they need PSB in general. All in all, PSB independence is impossible if there are direct or indirect political influences that permanently restrict the operation in accordance with defined standards. Consequently, it leads to atavistic orientation. Furthermore, according to models of the creation of PSB, post-Soviet space is characterized as a creator of paternalistic broadcasters that tend to function as public educators “from above”

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by “playing a clearly normative role in the country’s cultural, moral and political life” (Jakubowicz, 2008: 102–103). Especially in the time of the digital age the paternalistic approach has spooned itself out. There is a need for creating and defining new roles and new models that could involve citizens into the operation of PSB more actively, directly and purposively. In the case of Latvia parliament enacted the Radio and Television Law that included the central principles of the independent media system in democracy, but the core problem is that they did not establish precise and accountable mechanisms for achieving, controlling and sustaining them. It is not enough to declare only principles in post-Soviet countries, if there is no insistence on creating such a system that maximally prevents possible risks and options for political and economic influence. Although the system is taken over, it cannot be copied without proper adjustments for local environment. The lack of independence of PSB is identified as one of the most important issues in post-Soviet countries. Jakubowicz stresses the dependency from political forces in particular (2008: 101–102). For instance, the Latvian Parliament had not been able to make urgently necessary and required decisions in order to strengthen and sustain PSB independence and development for 15 years. In 2010 there is a new law on Electronic media enacted that still does not solve all the identified issues. These necessary decisions mainly are related to concrete and already discussed issues on financing, governance and supervision, as well as issues related to the regulation of the entire communication environment, for example, unknown media owners, procedures of broadcast licensing, and the Internet. Therefore, it is possible to argue that politicians tend to delay PSB development in a way so as to achieve strong PSB independency, journalistic quality and the public trust. The PSB policy making is still oriented to the value for officials or elite rather than for the public in Latvia. In regard to implementation of media policy, it is important to be aware that in post-Soviet space close relationships were developed between politics and economics. The trend could be concerned with experienced structural corruption in Soviet times, embedded into the political culture and habitual experience of citizens’ everyday lives and cannot be changed during a short period of time. Accordingly, Sparks (2000) also argues that the form of capitalism that came after the communism is different from Western countries, because of the different and close interrelationship model between political and economic power, especially with respect to the mass media. There are several ways to influence the operation of PSB, because of the political and economic power proximity. Sparks points out the following issue of nontransparent broadcasting licenses allocation and oversight; that also means nontransparent rules of the game in

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media business, as well as unclear accountability of them, including PSB that have to be accountable of the public service remit they have accomplished. Economic powers also fight for pieces of audience and an advertising market of PSB, if it operates in the market. The very important point is to eliminate all factors of these risks that determine possibilities to influence PSB operation directly or indirectly in every country. Otherwise, it is possible to argue that created democracy is “negotiated by elite groups, organized for the benefit of elite groups, and demarcated by the interests of those elite groups” (Sparks, 2000: 46–47). Therefore, at the beginning of transformations politicians believed, and some still do believe, that they have some privileges to expect and obtain a special support from PSB and a “right” to use them to promote state reforms that more often is rather a form of “manipulation for propaganda and political purposes” (Jakubowicz, 2005: 5). This is another example that demonstrates not only the political unwillingness to lose their control of media, but also a lack of understanding of what the main principles of democracy are. Thereby, PSB organizations, created and developed during the process of transition, were “strongly influenced by the political elite” (Sparks, 2008: 47). Although media have to work under certain and independent supervision by regulatory authorities (that mostly are state funded), these bodies were “recomposed to follow the shifting results of elections” (Sparks, 2008: 47). Latvia is not an exception. During the time before regular nominations and appointments of them, there had been political discussions of potential members in discourses of political affiliations rather than competences and their adequacy to hold an office. Statistics confirms the conclusion made by Sparks that member(s), who are elected (or re-elected), mostly can be associated or linked to those political powers which are in current government. Latvia also confirms Spark’s conclusion (Beitika, 2009: 162). A similar situation was observed regarding the changes of general directors of Latvian Television (LTV). There is no general-director who would have completed the entire term of the office. More recently, the year 2006 can be seen as a starting time of the PSB restructuring in the sense of weakening news service and its “open” independence. Although the process of “restructuring” was explained as an arrangement of the PSB economic and operational system, results were contrary to these arguments according to quality assurance. The director of news service G. Reders received “an offer” to continue the work in Brussels as a correspondent of European Union (EU) affairs. Non-governmental organizations characterized it as having been “sent into exile” (TI Latvia, 2007). Instead, M. Gailitis was appointed, who had not been related to the television news processes and who was without higher education at that time. In turn, the most viewed analytical broadcast “De facto”

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was shut down by the dismissal of producer A. Giga. The dismissal was proposed because of an expletive (word) that was broadcasted in the report (there are still no unambiguous opinions on that). The author of this report was another journalist. She received “an offer” to work in the morning program that was rejected. Changes that affected the independence of LTV and caused journalistic quality deterioration were proposed by the management of LTV. Although media experts, civil society, and international organizations indicated suspicion of political influence and non-transparency and the necessity of restructuring, the situation was not changed. As a result the whole team of the investigative broadcast “De facto” came to the commercial television station TV3 and started to produce a similar investigative broadcast “Nothing personal”. There are other cases in Latvia that also prove or raise doubts about the political and economic influence in PSB operations. For example, the previous generaldirector of LTV required unplanned changes of the program by excluding the film “The Putin System” in the evening before the presidential elections in Russia (in 2007). He resigned after heavy pressure from the media and society. Not for nothing this year an independent watchdog organization the Freedom House has estimated the situation of freedom of the press with 23 points that is worse than in 1996 (21 points) according to the results of Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press index. Nevertheless, the organization stresses that “after two decades of progress, press freedom is now in decline in almost every part of the world” (Freedom House, 2010). This is an example for various forms of potential and real political and economic influence that can be related to all elements and levels of PSB. Within this context it is also important to recall that “the classical conception of media as the watchdog of democracy, freedom and independence were related directly to governance” (Rozumilowicz, 2002: 12), whose freedom and transparency should be seen as preconditions. Therefore, according to the discussion of challenges in the digital age, there is a need for taking into account that media democratization of post-Soviet space is still in progress and the independence of PSB is still at risk. Officials are still not aware of their bounds of authority in regard to PSB operation. One of the reasons why PSB was not introduced as successfully as expected (in line with the Western model) was the overly optimistic and idealized view of PSB. There is a mistaken assumption that it is possible to transplant exact media institutions and to implement them for proper operating without considering the social, political and cultural context of local society (Jakubowicz, 2004: 63–64). All in all, it is possible to identify the main influential dimensions of PSB development in post-Soviet societies in terms of transformations and consequences:

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(1) political (un)willingness, political culture and political understanding regarding to media democratization; (2) (un)willingness and de-motivation of PSB staff (including managerial staff) for making structural and cultural changes of the organization in order to become more professional, more trusted and highly independent organization that works for the public value; (3) political and economic influence over PSB and its regulatory authority; that also leads to dependency, unprofessionalism and incapacity of regulatory authorities; (4) public exclusion in decision making; weak public support for PSB; “long-distance” relationships with society (i.e. the paternalistic approach still dominates). Beyond these dimensions, there is a financial dependency issue, namely, whether or not countries have systemically ensured stabile, predictable and politically independent financing model. The previously mentioned dimensions are interconnected, which leads to local challenges in order to strengthen and sustain PSB independence and an ability to operate within Western European principles and to develop them by taking into consideration new global challenges. These trends are important in the context of PSB development caused by global challenges and following PSB transformations as public service media (PSM) or even public service communication (PSC), audience fragmentation, threats to journalistic quality, development of new journalistic forms (civic or citizen journalism), and the development of new forms in media editorial work. GLOBAL CHALLENGES TO POST-SOVIET PSB Regarding the beginning of its transformations, post-Soviet space had to demonopolize national radio and television as PSB in order to democratize the media system, instead of maintaining the state controlled media. Such further challenges as media market liberalization, commercialization and marketization of media, professionalization of journalists and media staff, establishing media freedom and independence, pluralism and diversity of media and their content, globalization, digitalization and convergence (Jakubowicz & Sükösd, 2008: 1617, Syvertsen, 2003, Cuilenburg & McQuail, 2003) are similar with those issues that “traditional democracies” have also met at different levels. There are similar voices calling for: who are we now and what are our identity? What is our mission? Whom do we serve and why? How to sustain journalistic quality? How to compete into the market that is fragmented and convergent? Is there a need for us? How to best develop? The rapid development and expanding of digital technologies in the 21st century have created revolutionary changes in broadcasting Development of public service broadcasting: Local and global challenges and the public value


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and the media sphere. Is the Internet “an enemy”, a challenger, an opportunity or a new awakener for PSB organizations to rethink what they do, how they do it, to/with whom do they do it, and why? Where are they within the media system? What are the relationships between PSB and the society, its audience? Finally, it is all about changes, adaptation, opportunities and the search for new operational strategies of PSB. Although independent and qualitative PSB is seen as a fundamental value of democracy, changes in the global media environment have caused various crucial challenges to sustain the ability to create high-quality information and cultural space and to achieve sustainability, trust of the society, and technological strength. EU and the Council of Europe especially have emphasized these roles of PSB, including social cohesion, cultural and language development and national identity creation (Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 2000, Rumphorst, 2003). In spite of all challenges, it is possible to argue that PSB is “still a major player in political and cultural life in Europe” (Coppens & Saeys, 2006: 261). Most European countries have been working on changes of communication regulations that are carried out in accordance with identified global challenges that had also been promoted by the EU due to the requirement of implementing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive by the 19th of December, 2009. As it is inevitable not to take into account differences between member states, it is a competence of national level parliaments to choose their own models, approaches and mechanisms as to how to implement the required principles and norms and how strongly to regulate them. The Council of Europe has called for “a clear political commitment of European governments to maintain strong and vibrant independent public service broadcasting whilst adapting it to the requirements of the digital age” (Council of Europe, 2004). Overall, these trends in the changing media environment have contributed to the redefinition of PSB in the public sphere by rethinking its role, and its function to serve society as citizens, not as customers. While there are lots of similar questions and lots of incomplete and specific answers as to how to develop PSB in different democratic countries, the concept of public value offers an adjustable and debatable strategic operational framework in order search for answers about how to cope with the challenges and to serve the public legitimately. PSB AND PUBLIC VALUE The defined global and local challenges of PSB development lead to the need for new PSB commitments to the public. New circumstances in the media landscape increase the role of civic participation, support and trust in the PSB operation.

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The concept of public value originated with American scholar Mark H. Moore, in the book Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government (1995), written as a response to the rapid commercialization that faced the world and affected the public sector. Moore argues that he desired to stop the increasing trend of implementing the practices of the private market in the public sector. Therefore, he had created a concept that is more strategic and oriented to the management level, where the public is seen as citizens who have their interests and needs, not only as customers from a consumer society. Here, it is important to add that initially Moore developed it by extending it to all public services. In the coming years Moore and other researchers have developed and adapted the concept to different fields in public and non-profit sectors, such as PSB, public health, etc. G. Stoker, who is a follower of Moore’s ideas, has analyzed the concept of public value as the next phase of paradigms of public management – after the paradigm of traditional public administration and following the paradigm of new public management (NPM) (Stoker, 2006: 44), though British scholars were first who originated the new paradigm of Public Value Management (Kelly et al., 2002: 10). Within the article the term “public sector” is used in the sense of Moore and his followers. As, for example, M. Cole and G. Partson also argue, the “public sector” includes all organizations related to public service delivery to society and which are financed by using tax payers’ money or other resources, even partly. Thereby, the public sector includes all state institutions, agencies, nonprofit organizations or companies (Cole & Partson, 2006). The concept was taken from the USA to Europe – to the United Kingdom (UK) by J. Benington of the Warwick Institute of Governance and Public Management, Will Hutton of “The Work Foundation” and then by the UK Cabinet Office. In 2002 Kelly et al. worked the discussion paper out, which proposed public value as a core approach to government reform in the UK, which also includes the reform of PSB (BBC). Therefore, the UK was the first country that appropriated the concept and began to adopt it by reforming the public sector and its management in Europe. In 2004 the BBC had created a new strategic policy document „Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for Digital World”, about how to reform and to develop it further. They had carefully evaluated the previous work in order to discuss the way of future development (Grigg & Mager, 2005). Public value was established as a fundamental principle of every BBC operation. Researchers have admitted that this document is one of the most self-critical analyses of the BBC, and it is equally seen as thoughtful and innovative (Collins, 2007: 167). „BBC Trust” also introduced the Public Value Test in order to measure and exercise “oversight of the public corporation’s management” and operation (Davis & West, 2009: 604).

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Although in recent years the concept of public value has been further developed, researchers have noted that it is a field to proceed in order to find out the most appropriate approaches about how to adopt, to develop and to measure it as a useful tool for different realms, institutions or organizations, including PSB (Moore, 1995, 2000, Stoker, 2006, Talbot, 2008, Kelly et al., 2002). Also Moore continues to work on a theory of public value. There is no one single definition of public value. Moore initially proposed a strategic concept that offers a framework of public value rather than giving one particular definition. He points out that a public institution has to “create value for the citizens”. If private sector managers work for the benefit of their shareholders, public sector managerial work is oriented to create “public value” (Moore, 1995: 28). Kelly et al. have defined that “public value refers to the value created by government through services, laws regulation and other actions” and in a democratic state public value has to be defined by the public themselves and that has to be determined by citizens’ preferences. They assure that “public preferences are at the heart of public value” by emphasizing that in a democracy only the public can determine what is valuable for them (Kelly et al., 2002: 4-6). Their defined approach has been widely used among scholars. Researchers of the think tank “The Work Foundation” (UK) have come to the conclusion that “public value is what the public values”. In order to ensure it, there is a strong role of public managers “to help determine through the democratic processes of deliberation and public engagement what social outcomes are desirable” (Horner et al., 2006: 4). Furthermore, during the last decade there are increasing discussions about the growing “democratic deficit” in different levels especially, for example, of EU (Bowman, 2006). In turn, the concept of public value can be a mechanism to link public services and citizens by creating a strategy of how “to articulate collective citizens’ preferences” (Horner et al.: 2006: 6). PSB can take an important part of creating closer relationships to society as partners, not just as an “unknown mass”, which the media has to educate, inform and entertain in whatever way they “want” or as they “imagine” what people need or desire. Overall, the concept determines the operation of public service organizations in accordance with defined and desired outcomes (by creating public value) that are supported and legitimized by society and other stakeholders. Regarding the performance of public organizations (agencies), Moore originally emphasizes three main aspects: “delivering actual services; achieving social outcomes; maintaining trust and legitimacy of the agency” (Talbot, 2008: 4, Moore, 1995). Initially the concept of public value is created as a normative approach that mainly explains the managerial behavior in order to create public value of the organization. As it

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has been expanded and adopted to different public realms, it has became a more conceptual framework through which it is possible to develop the organization in accordance with its goal, namely, to create public value. Nevertheless, it is a normative concept. In order to implement the concept, it has to be reconsidered through the local lens and worked into development strategies by managerial actors and stakeholders. Society involvement should be a mandatory requirement. For making the concept operational and to explain what constitutes public value, Moore has developed a strategic triangle for explaining the creation of public value (Moore, 2003, 2004, Talbot, 2008). It consists of three components: (1) legitimacy and support (authorization); (2) organizational capabilities; (3) social mission (see Figure 1). Figure 1. The strategic triangle for explaining the creation of public value (adopted from Moore 2003).

Legitimacy & Support

Social Mission

Organisational Capabilities

Firstly, it is important to be aware strategically of what outcomes the organization is going to produce by creating public value and by serving the public. Decision makers have to find out clear answers, at the very least, to such questions as: “organizational vision, mission; strategic goals; links among goals and activities, outputs and outcomes; range of outcomes; activities and outputs that create outcomes� (Moore, 1995, 2003, Moore & Khagram, 2004). Regarding PSB, it is important to create a clear understanding of its desired identity and core values.

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Secondly, there is a need for “legitimacy and support” from stakeholders that “authorize the organization to take action and provide the resources necessary to sustain the effort to create value” (Moore & Khagram, 2004). Here it is important to create strategic mechanisms as to how to expand support and authorization. For consideration Moore has defined such characteristics as visibility, legitimacy with general public; credibility with civil society actors; relations with government regulators; reputation with media; funder relations and diversification; volunteer roles and relations (Moore, 2003). Thirdly, there is a need for defining concrete “operational capacities” in order to deliver the desired results, outputs and outcomes, and to be able to develop them feasibly. Moore suggests considering concrete organizational outputs; productivity and efficiency; financial integrity; staff and partner morale, capacity and development (including societies’); organizational learning and innovation; and investments (Moore, 2003, Moore & Khagram, 2004). Each organization has to find out the most appropriate mechanisms to ensure and achieve them. The think tank “The Work Foundation” has developed the concept as a model with three similar parts: (1) authorization of public value (by receiving public funds, continuous legitimacy or authorization seeking is mandatory), (2) creation of the public value (embodied in all decisions of what services provide and how they do it; the process requires “constant engagement with the public in the planning process”), and (3) measurement of public value (Horner et al., 2006: 6-33). Substantively, they have separated the part of measurement, which Moore includes in the process of building operational capacity. In comparison to Moore’s approach, parts of the “operational capacity” and “social mission” converged in the “creation of public value”. Moore also argues that the primary purpose of performance measurement is to maximize the benefit of the organization in accordance with defined outputs and outcomes (in a context of society’s development – economic, political, environmental, cultural, well-being, etc.). Furthermore, he strongly criticizes performance measurements only in accordance with narrow targets (Grigg & Mager, 2005: 25). Regarding the measurement of the PSB performance, for example, it is not enough to count broadcasted hours in order to ensure accountability of PSB in society. Similarly, it is not enough to create online blogs or accounts in the social media without a clear strategic view of purpose and ways, i.e. how to use them in order to achieve the determined goals effectively. The Work Foundation stresses that a measurement is a crucial part in order to ensure that organization is focused on the being responsiveness to citizens’ preferences (Horner et al., 2006).

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In comparison to Moore, it is possible to create a strategic triangle of “services, outcomes and trust/legitimacy” that also outlines interrelated components about how to build the public value up (Kelly et al., 2002: 11). Accordingly, it is important to create an organizational strategy that includes a systemic view of the organization, its environment and challenges. Altogether, an organizational strategy is a central conceptual document that declares the overall mission of an organization, and which offers an account of the sources of support and legitimacy that is a base for sustaining society’s commitment to the public enterprise. It also explains how the public enterprise has to be organized and operated to achieve the defined and declared objectives (Moore, 1995: 70). A strategy must be realistic – it has to be built up in relation to all strategic parts that are interrelated. It is unacceptable that public managers do their work, but do not know whether the created outputs and outcomes are valuable for society or not. Therefore, it is highly important to gain legitimacy from a wide range of stakeholders, for example, including society as a whole, professionals, users, academics, experts, regulators, auditors, parliament, government, other partners (Moore, 2005, Stoker, 2006). Trust and legitimacy are key factors for attaining active cooperation and even coproduction between citizens and state agencies (Talbot, 2008: 4). Consequently, it is important to seek a consensus among strategic objectives, effectiveness and efficiency, public interests, needs, support and legitimacy by evaluating also the operation of PSB in terms of changes of actual economic, political, social and cultural environment. Thereby, the concept of public value leads to relationship building between the public organization and the society (communities, interest groups, audiences, etc.). As the Western world in 1980s and 1990s began to concentrate on measuring specific targets and specific forms of accountability, it began to lose real links with society as a whole that required defining ends and outcomes (Moore, 1995, 2003). Therefore, it is more important to take into account post-communist consequences related to PSB operation and the developments that were identified in the first part of this article. For example, the paternalism approach, difficulties in sustaining PSB’s independency from political and economic powers, or their own (management and staff) unwillingness to make structural and strategic changes can be influential factors in the capability of PSB to operate for a society by creating public value. In Latvia it is possible to identify all of the above-mentioned influential factors. Even if there are organizations and people who regularly remind us of the concrete necessities to make systemic changes and improvements of media system and PSB, willingness to develop PSB is a challenge in itself in Latvia. For example, the Auditor General of Latvia I. Sudraba has also repeatedly

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emphasized that the work must be based on strategic results and outcomes. In 2007 findings and conclusions after the lawful review of LTV economic activities were similar, highlighting the importance of transparency, establishing clear internal control systems, supervision and accountability that shape a part of creating public value (The State Audit Office of Latvia, 2008). Consequently, the very profound issue of post-Soviet space is also the lack of social capital, which is one of the reasons why public institutions are “less responsive, less efficient and less honest” (Dowley & Silver, 2002: 506) and why citizens are not so willing and prepared to stand up for their rights. Accountability to society is one of the basic principles of creating an organizational and developmental strategy. It has to be maintained continuously and explicitly (Moore, 1995). According to the origins and the following development of the concept of public value, it is possible to identify at least three theoretical dimensions: (1) public value as the next phase of an understanding of the value created by public sector (as “merit goods” and “public goods”); (2) development of “public interest” and “public values” theoretical concepts (including searches for new generation of public service management after the NPM, as well as ways how to cope with new global challenges of media environment in the digital age, for example); (3) a crucial part of deliberative democracy. Overall, the concept of public value is perceived as a new one in academic terms. Firstly, Moore, Stoker and other followers analyze public value as a result of deliberative processes, in which decision makers seek authority for an action. Davis and West characterize it as a “generative perspective” (Davis & West, 2009: 606). Secondly, there are opponents (Bozeman, 2002, Beck Jørgensen & Bozeman, 2007), who see a set of values “through the grouping of core and derivative values” by analyzing them against “the various institutions of government, their conduct, and their mode of engagement with each other and their publics”. This approach is termed the “institutional perspective” (Davis & West, 2009: 602). So far Moore’s basic hypotheses have supported most of the research. Nevertheless, there are also critics of the concept – for example, critics of too much responsibility and too less accountability for managerial actors (Rhodes & Wanna, 2007), a necessity to define the value more realistic (Beck Jørgensen & Bozeman, 2007), about difficulties to measure the public value (Cowling, 2006), or about an idealistic view of the staff ’s honesty, motivation and united understanding of organizational mission, goals and values (Horner et al., 2006: 17–18, Beck Jørgensen & Bozeman, 2007: 354–381).

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On the one side, the concept of the public value is like an abstract idea, but on the other side, it is a constructive and normative key framework for developing real strategic operational plans for the public service organizations. Nevertheless, especially regarding post-Soviet space, it is important to take into account possible risks of dishonesty, unwillingness, managers’ inabilities, incapacities or even different levels of corruption among public managers, other decision makers, or media staff. These risks weaken the ability of PSB to serve the public. If public managers who lead the public organization are capable, flexible and motivated professionals who are able to scan the environment continuously and to cope with unexpected situations, new circumstances, new proposals for improvements, the concept of the public value can help to identify new necessary changes of the organization and its environment, media system (Moore, 1995: 72). Therefore, the concept of public value is not just about the management. In accordance with the strategic triangle it includes requirements for understanding every step of what an organization does and what is most important to whom, and why. Secondly, it is about strategic work by management actors. Thirdly, it is about the systemic thinking and practicing that in terms of PSB includes also regulation, governance, and oversight. Argumentation against to any kind of systemic reforms expectantly could include the issue of insufficient funding – particularly in those countries where funding systems of PSB are not independent from direct state aid and where governments still tend to maintain a kind of control of them. However, money is not always the only resource necessary to meet goals. Rather it is an authority that organizations can use in contributing the society to act in a way to achieve public objectives or broader outcomes such as quality of life, healthy society or capacitated society, for instance (Moore, 1995: 29). Researchers Mager and Grigg (2005) relate these goals as a contribution to „economic, social and environmental well-being”. In turn, Mark Thompson, who is a Director-General of the BBC, has explained that public value can be seen as “the sum of the civic, social and cultural benefits the BBC delivers when it meets its public purposes” (Thompson, 2006). The BBC has noted that it “exists solely to create public value” because of their unique public status in the UK’s broadcasting system (Building Public Value. Renewing the BBC for Digital World, 2004: 28). It is important to re-define the role of the PSB within the new circumstances of media environment. Certainly, every country has to set down their own core values according to their political, economic, social and cultural situation, progress, challenges, traditions and experiences by taking into consideration the role of the PSB, public interests and needs, as well as the development goals of the society. In the case of postSoviet space, it may be assumed that there should be enacted stronger requirements – not only for declaring and explaining these main values, but also for Development of public service broadcasting: Local and global challenges and the public value


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mechanisms of controlling them in order to achieve desired outputs, outcomes, organizational operation, accountability and responsibility. In Latvia discussions of the public value as a core strategic concept of the PSB operation have not yet been initiated. During discussions of PSB development media experts have proposed to perceive everything that PSB does as a “public value” in a context of European Broadcasting Union’s developed explanation of what PSB is – “PSB is broadcasting: made for the public, financed by the public, controlled by the public” (Rumphorst, 2003: 1). They proposed to define PSB as a unique media, not just one type of media, which operates in the market by arguing that PSB itself is “a public service remit” that should entirely function as public value (Brikse et al., 2009: 8). But, firstly, it is still quite difficult to contribute understanding of PSB as a media whose “owners” principally is the society. Secondly, some Members of 9th Parliament from Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee still did not recognize why the discourse of “the state media” should replace “the public service media” in their arguments and speeches. The dominant discourse includes argumentation that PSB is still state funded, and there is no need for paying attention to which form is used even they knew differences between them. Results of this study show that PSB development in post-Soviet space is still affected by local transitional challenges that also have to be taken into account by coping with global challenges of media environment and by creating the strategy of the public value as a precondition to develop PSB. CONCLUSIONS Any changes have to be grounded for the purpose of defined goals. It is crucial to answer the question, why do we need one or the other kind of transformation or change. Even if there are challenges caused by globalization, digitalization or unsolved systemic issues of media democratization in post-Soviet space, there is no point to ask “what to do?” without answering “what do we want to achieve?” by reforms. The framework for creating public value offers a strategic view, how to answer these questions and how to try to develop a sustainable PSB organization that is able to serve the public independently and qualitatively and that are highly responsive to the public’s needs and interests. Nevertheless, each country has to adapt and evolve its own approach to public value. The research proves that critics of the public value concept as “idealization” of honesty, motivation and willingness of PSB to create public value, as well as corruption, are rather considerable and justified, especially in post-Soviet space, where PSB still fights for political and economic independence.

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Therefore, if there is a clear basis for how to build public value, there is a wellgrounded platform on which to assess certain challenges and to implement solutions by serving society’s interests and needs. Initially there is a need to answer several main questions, such as (1) what are the main goals?; (2) what are the desired outcomes? (Public value/mission); (3) what are the main operating principles? (Building operational capacity); (4) what are our issues, risks, challenges? (Building operational capacity); (5) how to involve the society? (Environment authorization); (6) what are the all possible ways, how to solve them, how to act?; and (7) what is the consensus? Although it seems to be quite self-evident, the point is not about definitions on a paper. It is about embedding them in everyday actions. When there are operating principles, goals and outcomes identified, then it is an opening platform for creating public value. The concept of the public value allows for thinking, discussion, and systematic and strategic thinking, thinking creatively and practically, as well as widely and experimentally. PSB should use all these principles in a deliberative way by involving all possible stakeholders. Thus, initially it is also important to create a strategic plan of how the strategy of “creating public value” will be developed and deliberated among all possible stakeholders not only in the short-term, but also in the long-term perspective. It is time for a new awakening in order to decrease influences of post-communist consequences, firstly institutionally, and secondly in the consciousness of society. The key phrase is “a systemic and strategic reform”. There is a need for complete PSB work for the “real” public, not for the elite or for an “unknown mass”. A significant question still remains: is PSB a unique media that creates value by everything it does or just a part of media market that has obtained some privileges because of state determined functions, for example, fulfilling public service remit? Nevertheless, the issues identified here are fundamentally related to the political culture, civic culture, economic situation, historical experience, traditions, and the progress of transformations and democratization in general, that have to be taken into account. So it is even more important to reform PSB strategically and systemically in a deliberative and authorized way. Overall, there is a fundamental need for breaking the rule of “the value for the elite”. As researchers have pointed out, most post-Soviet countries are led by groups of elites, which tend to work for their own interests, not for the public’s. In Latvia political unwillingness has been a crucial reason why the very necessary changes (that are well-known) have not been established for 15 years and why the prevention of risks that weaken the possibility for the PSB’s independent operation has not been a priority. In turn, the Latvian Parliament was able to change the conDevelopment of public service broadcasting: Local and global challenges and the public value


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cessions law during one day in order to allow a concession of the most popular Latvian Radio Channel 2 (that was recently shut down). Mostly it is all about the willingness that politicians admitted during public debates this year (see Working group on Latvian Public Service Media Development Issues). There is no one right answer as to how to cope with all these challenges; however, there is the possibility and opportunity to attempt the creation of a useful model for deliberation and public discussions, including all stakeholders, in order to authorize the environment.

REFERENCES Balčytienė, A. (2009). Market-Led Reforms as Incentives for Media Change, Development and Diversification in the Baltic States. A Small Country Approach. International Communication Gazette, Vol. 71, Issue 1–2, 39–49. Beck Jørgensen, T., Bozeman, B. (2007). Public Values: An Inventory, Administration & Society, Vol. 39, Issue 3, 354–381. Beitika, I. (2009, manuscript). The Evaluation of Risks Hindering Independence of Latvian National Broadcasting Council: Analysis and Suggestions. Master’s Thesis. Riga: University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Bowman, J. (2006). The European Union Democratic Deficit: Federalists, Skeptics, and Revisionists. European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 5, Issue 2, 191–212. Bozeman, B. (2002). Public Value Failure: When Efficient Markets May Not Do. Public Administration Review, Vol. 62, Issue 2, 145–161. Brikse, I., Aseradens, A., Beitika, I., Domburs, J., Ozols, G., Petrenko, D., Rozukalne, A. (2009). Public Service Media. Visions and understandings of European countries. Report. Working group of Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee on public service media development issues. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.politika.lv/temas/mediju_kritika/sabiedriskais_ medijs/17720/. Brikse, I., Skudra, O., Tjarve, R. (2002). Development of the Media in Latvia in the 1990s. In P. Vihalemm (ed), Baltic Media in Transition. Tartu: Tartu University Press, pp. 65–102. Brikse, I. (ed) (2006). Informācijas vide Latvijā: 21. gadsimta sākums. Rīga: Zinātne.

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Brikse, I., Duze, D., Sulmane, I. (1993). Latvia: From the Singing Revolution to the 1993 Elections. In S. Hoyer, E. Lauk, P. Vihalemm (eds), Towards a civic society: The Baltic media’s long road to freedom. Tartu: Baltic Association for Media Research, pp. 227–252. Brown, A. N. (1999). Introduction. In A. Brown, A. (ed), When Is Transition Over? Kalamazoo: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, pp. 1–12. Building Public Value. Renewing the BBC for Digital World (2004). London: BBC. Cole, M., Parston, G. (2006). Unlocking Public Value. A New Model For Achieving High Performance In Public Service Organizations. New Jersey: John Willey and Sons. Collins, R. (2007). The BBC and “Public Value”. Medien und Kommunikationswissenschaft, Vol. 65, Issue 2,164–184. Coppens, T., Saeys, F. (2006). Enforcing Performance: New Approaches to Govern Public Service Broadcasting. Media Culture Society, Vol. 28, Issue 2, 261–284. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Committee on Culture, Science and Education (2004). Public Service Broadcasting. Report, January 12. Cowling, M. (2006). Measuring Public Value: The Economic Theory. The Work Foundation Report. Van Cuilenburg, J., McQuail, D. (2003). Media Policy Paradigm Shifts: Towards a New Communications Policy Paradigm. European Journal of Communication, Vol. 18, Issue 2, 181–207. Davis, P., West, K. (2009). What Do Public Values Mean for Public Action? Putting Public Values in Their Plural Place. The American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 39, Issue 6, 602–618. Dowley, K. M., Silver, B. D. (2002). Social Capital, Ethnicity and Support for Democracy in the Post-Communist States. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 54, Issue 4, 505–527. Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (2000). Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to Member States: On the Independence and Functions of Regulatory Authorities for the Broadcasting Sector. Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on December 20 Freedom House (2009). Freedom of the Press. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=16.

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Grigg, P., Mager, C. (2005). Public Value and Learning and Skills. A Stimulus Paper. London: Learning Skills and Development Agency. Holznagel, B., Jungfleisch, C. (2007). The Protection of Viewer rights in Europe. In P. Baldi, U. Hasebrink (eds). Broadcasters and Citizens in Europe: Trends in Media Accountability and Viewer Participation. Bristol: Intellect Books, pp. 53–93. Horner, L., Lekhi, R., Blaug, R. (2006). Deliberative Democracy and the Role of Public Managers. London: The Work Foundation. Working group of Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of Latvian Public Service Media Development Issues (2010). Transcripts of meetings (02.11.2009–15.02.2010), retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.politika.lv/temas/mediju_kritika/sabiedriskais_medijs. Jakubowicz, K. (2004). Ideas in our Heads Introduction of PSB as Part of Media System Change in Central and Eastern Europe. European Journal of Communication, Vol. 19, Issue 1, 53–74. Jakubowicz, K. (2005). Post-Communist Media Development in Perspective. Europäische Politik. Politikinformation Osteuropa, Vol. 3, 1–16. Jakubowicz, K., Sükösd, M. (eds.) (2008). Finding the Right Place on the Map. Central and Eastern European Media Change in a Global Perspective. Bristol, Chicago: Intellect Books. Kelly, G., Mulgan, G., Muers, S. (2002). Creating Public Value. An Analytical Framework for Public Service Reform. London: Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, UK Government. Moore, M. (1995). Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Moore, M. (2000). Managing for Value: Organizational Strategy in Forprofit, Nonprofit, and Governmental organization. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 29, Issue 1, 183–204. Moore, M. (2003). The Public Value Scorecard: A Rejoinder and an Alternative to ‘Strategic Performance Measurement and Management in Non-Profit Organizations’ by Robert Kaplan. Working Paper, No 18. Boston: The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http:// papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=402880.

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Moore, M., Khagram, S. (2004). On Creating Public Value: What Business Might Learn from Government about Strategic Management. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Working Paper, No 3. Cambridge: John Kennedy School of Government. Harvard University. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/CSRI/publications/workingpaper_3_ moore_khagram.pdf. Rhodes, R. A. W., Wanna, J. (2007). The Limits to Public Value, or Rescuing Responsible Government from the Platonic Guardians. The Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 66, Issue 4, 406–421. Rozumilowicz, B. (2002). Democratic Change. A Theoretical Perspective. In M. E. Price, B. Rozumilowicz, S. G. Verhulst (eds.), Media Reform: Democratizing the Media, Democratizing the State. London, NY: Routledge, pp. 9–26. Rumphorst, W. (2003). A Model Public Service Broadcasting Law. Handbook. Revised edition with an Introductory Note and Explanatory Comments. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved October 3, 2010, from http://www.ebu.ch/ departments/legal/pdf/leg_p_model_law_psb.pdf. Sparks, C. (2000). Media Theory After the Fall of European Communism: Why the Old Models from East and West Won’t Do Any More. In J. Curran, M. J. Park (eds.), De-Westernizing Media Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 35–49. Stoker, G. (2006). Public Value Management. A New Narrative for Networked Governance? The American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 36, Issue 1, 41–57. Syvertsen, T. (2003). Challenges to Public Television in the Era of Convergence and Commercialization. Television & New Media, Vol. 4, Issue 2, 155–175. Talbot, C. (2008). Measuring Public Value. A Competing Values Approach. London: The Work Foundation. Thompson, M. (2006). Delivering Public Value: The BBC and public sector reform. London, Westminster: Smith Institute Media Lecture. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/print/pressoffice/speeches/stories/ thompson_smith.shtml#top. Working Group on Latvian Public Service Media Development Issues of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Saeima (2010). Transcripts of sessions (02.11.2009–15.02.2010).

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The State Audit Office of Latvia (2008). A Legality Audit. Prevention of Deficiencies Disclosed During the Legality Audit “State Non-Profit Limited Liability Company “Latvian Television” Compliance of Economic Activity in 2005 with the Requirements of Regulatory Enactments” and Subsequent Performance of Economic Activities in Accordance with the Requirements of Regulatory Enactments.

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NUCLEAR ENERGY DISCOURSES IN LITHUANIA AND BELARUS Vaida PILIBAITYTĖ vaida.pilibaityte@mespom.eu Environmental Communication Expert Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania

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This article was based on research carried out in 2010 for the Master of Science thesis produced as a result of the Erasmus Mundus Masters course in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM) jointly operated by the University of the Aegean (Greece), Central European University (Hungary), Lund University (Sweden) and the University of Manchester (United Kingdom).

ABSTRACT: After years of stagnation, nuclear energy is believed to experience a revival. Despite a global momentum, little cross-cultural analysis exists about the national drivers for nuclear power such as geopolitics. Discourse studies are emerging as a way to examine approaches on energy security options in different countries. This work documents discourses based on media texts produced in two neighbouring pro-nuclear Eastern European countries Lithuania and Belarus in contrast with the global policy discourse with particular focus on nuclear energy. Discourse analysis conducted in this study relied on Hajer’s analytical concepts – discursive storylines and coalitions. National discourses were studied from 157 media texts published in 2006-2009. National pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear discourse coalitions have been described and compared with those found in the global discourse. The results show that climate change is emphasized internationally, while geopolitics is more important on a national level. Pronuclear narratives in both countries promotes nuclear as cheap and reliable, and downplay uncertainties present in the global discourse. The anti-nuclear energy storylines similar to those of global discourse are vocal about risks and lack of public involvement. The study1 concludes that in political discourses like in Lithuania there are more opportunities to challenge dominant narratives than in the technocratic debate taking place in Belarus. However, political and corporate interests coupled with unspecialized reporting have a universally constraining effect on national public discussions on nuclear energy. As a result, significant misinterpretations of global trends and knowledge gaps seem to occur in both types of the national debate. KEYWORDS: Belarus, discourse, environment, Lithuania, media, nuclear energy

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INTRODUCTION There seems to be a wide agreement that after years of stagnation climate change concerns have instigated a worldwide shift back in favour for nuclear power (Holton, 2005, Marshall, 2005, Nuttall, 2005, Eerkens, 2006, Wald, 2008, Kojo & Litmanen 2009, MIT, 2009, Teather, 2009). The proponents argue that atomic power has a role to play in addressing major energy security challenges of today by providing an increased access to stable and affordable supply of low-carbon electricity (NEA, 2008, WNA, 2009). Since the energy sector is responsible for around 70% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there have been calls for a major change in the way energy is produced, transported and consumed (IPCC, 2007, IEA, 2009). The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects a doubling nuclear power capacities by 2030 (IEA, 2009) and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also believes that nuclear could contribute to carbon-free electricity and heat in the future (IPCC, 2007). There were 441 reactors operating worldwide as of the end of 2010, nuclear energy constitutes around 7% of primary energy and 14% of global electricity supply today (IPCC, 2007, IAEA, 2009, 2010). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) notes that although projections indicate future growth, the industry has been declining with an ageing global fleet and few new connections to the grid (WEC, 2007, IAEA, 2009). After accidents at the Three Mile Island in the United States (US) in 1979 and Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986 some developed countries have halted their nuclear programmes or even introduced phase-out plans (Rüdig, 1990, Holton, 2005). However, there have been several indications of changes in those policies lately. Public surveys show increasingly favourable attitudes in countries with existing nuclear plants such as Sweden where a nuclear phase-out policy was introduced in the 1980s. The US, China and Russian Federation are planning the largest increases in capacity by 2020 (NEA, 2008, IAEA, 2009). But despite the global momentum, nuclear industry faces many technological, economic and social challenges related to radioactive waste management, weapons proliferation and public acceptance. Notably, Europeans continue to feel unaware about nuclear safety: only 25% of the EU citizens say they are “very well” or “fairly well” informed about these issues, while 49% are “not very well informed” and a further 25% are “not informed at all”. Surveys also show that information about nuclear issues is mainly obtained from the media (Eurobarometer, 2010). It might be fair to say, that in more general terms, little is known about the discursive2 nature of the global nuclear revival. In this light, some authors argue that cross-cultural discourse studies exploring contrasting situations in which

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Discourse is defined as a set of ideas, concepts and categories through which meaning is given to social and physical phenomena, and which is produced and reproduced through an identifiable set of practices (Hajer, 1995).


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the nuclear energy is debated today could be useful not only from policy making perspective but also risk management and global security perspectives (Bickerstaff et al., 2008). Nonetheless, critical social inquiries into politics, sociology, and political economy of the modern energy are few (Byrne and Toly, 2006, Devine Wright, 2007). The most recent work on nuclear energy discourse looks at the rhetoric of the Cold War public debate (Nehring, 2004), the history of technology (Proops, 2001) and post-Chernobyl discourses of transition (Schmid, 2004). Some researchers have also used discourse analysis to examine political communication (Windisch, 2008), radioactive waste management processes (Johnson, 2007) or studied issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program (Izadi & Saghaye-Biria, 2007). Apart from those, there are also several inquiries into nuclear energy discourses in the context of the renewed interest in nuclear power, energy security, climate change and risk perceptions (Bickerstaff et al., 2008, Baločkaitė & Rinkevičius, 2009, Berg, 2009, Scrase & MacKerron, 2009, Lehtonen & Martiskainen, 2010). The study from Lithuania concludes that the public sphere is dominated by the “talking and acting classes”: political and business elite who are ignoring the society and preventing open discussions on these issues (Baločkaitė & Rinkevičius, 2009). A couple of more recent analyses echoing intensifying global nuclear debates originate in the United Kingdom (UK). Scrase and Ockwell (2009) found that the government consistently favoured nuclear new build in its policy documents while simultaneously implying to be undecided on the issue. This article presents the results of a study that has documented recent national nuclear energy discourses in the media of two Eastern European countries – Lithuania and Belarus – in contrast with the global nuclear energy discourse. The two former Soviet states followed very different economic and political development paths after the fall of the Soviet Union, but both continue to depend on energy imports from Russia. Since these countries have announced plans to simultaneously build new nuclear power plants, they present an interesting case for comparative national nuclear energy discourse analysis. Lithuania is one of the three Baltic States with a fairly developed energy infrastructure, and energy system that remains centralized with no connections to the Western grid except the underwater 350 MW “Estlink” cable connecting Estonia and Finland (ABB, 2010). Lithuania is also home to the biggest Soviet-built Chernobyl-type Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which has been shut down in 2009 as per the EU membership agreement. This turned the country from energy exporter to importer and mainly relying on Russian gas to meet its energy needs. In order to address this, the government of Lithuania declared plans to

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build a new nuclear station with partners in Estonia, Latvia and Poland a national priority in 2007 (Miškinis et al., 2007). However they have been struggling to find an investor ever since (Ministry of Energy, 2010). Belarus, Lithuania’s neighbour to the southeast, is often referred to as “Europe’s last dictatorship” and one of the most repressive places in the world with a façade regime where democratic “scaffolding” conceals a dictatorial style of governance (Korosteleva et al., 2003, Piano and Puddington, 2009). For the past two decades Belarus has sustained an extensive and rather well-maintained energy sector and a strategic role as a key transit route for energy exports from Russia to the West. Nonetheless, the country is heavily reliant on Russian imports itself (WB, 2005). Although without a nuclear programme of its own, Belarus was one of the most severely affected by the Chernobyl accident of 1986 (UNDP, 2002). Increasingly intimidated by the oil and gas price disputes with Russia, the government of Belarus perceives nuclear power as the key to its energy security and in 2008 finalized the political decision to build its first plant close to the western border with Lithuania (Lukashenko, 2008). According to current scenario, both funds and technology for the project are to be sourced from Russia (BELTA, 2010). In parallel, Russia has initiated its own new nuclear project in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad close to the Lithuanian border, while Poland plans on developing its first nuclear programme and is in the process of choosing location for two plants in its northern region (Polskie Radio, 2010, Ria Novosti, 2010). The situation was termed by the media the “nuclear competition” and instigated a new public debate about economic and security implications of building three to four new plants within such a close proximity (Krasauskas, 2009). The sections below describe the research methodology, briefly present the discourse coalitions found in the recent global nuclear energy policy discourse and contrast it with the comparative discourse analysis of nuclear energy in Lithuanian and Belarusian national media. The results are presented according to problems nuclear plant is intended to address, arguments used for justification of this power source, perceived risks, constraints and prospects linked to it, argumentative strategies used by various discourse actors, and the role that media plays in this debate in each of the countries. METHODOLOGY Discourse analysis was used as framework here: to examine the current nuclear energy policy formation, describe how it relates to energy security and climate change mitigation, and indentify similarities and differences on global and national energy policy level when considering the nuclear energy option. Hajer (1995)

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defines discourse as a set of ideas, concepts and categories through which meaning is given to social and physical phenomena, and which is produced and reproduced through an identifiable set of practices. He proposes the following discourse analytical categories, graphically depicted in Figure 1: (1) discourse context, (2) actors, their expressed beliefs and themes, (3) prevailing discursive storylines and (4) discourse coalitions. Figure 1. Discourse analytical categories (based on concepts by Hajer, 1995).

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Media outlets were selected based on a diversity of their type (news portal, national daily, political or business weekly), circulation (high or low), editorial stance (pro-government, pro-nuclear, opposition, anti-nuclear and neutral) and regular coverage of nuclear energy and energy security. Texts were sampled according to a publication date, taking into consideration several national discourse-triggering events. Lithuanian texts were sampled from the biggest national daily newspaper “Lietuvos rytas” (eng. “Lithuanian Morning”), the independent political weekly “Atgimimas” (eng. “Revival”) and the biggest private online news portal Delfi.lt, while Belarusian texts – from the main government daily “Sovetskaia Belorussia – Belarus Segodnia” (eng. “Soviet Belarus – Belarus Today”, thereafter “Sovetskaia Belorussia”) the private business weekly “Belorusy i Rynok” (eng. “Belarusians and Market”) and the leading private online news portal “Naviny. by – Belarusskie Novosti” (eng. “News.by – Belarusian News”).

Storylines are understood as simplified narratives that are replacing complex disciplinary debates. The figure illustrates how by implying simplified problem resolutions various actors are united by certain storylines to form discourse coalitions – communicative networks driving either policy stalemate or change. The empirical research was designed in the following way. The global nuclear energy discourse was analyzed first and national discourses constituted the second part of the research. Both parts were divided into three similar research stages: (1) the literature and policy review, (2) description of discourse context and compilation of the information-rich data sample and (3) discourse analysis. For the global discourse analysis policy documents produced by major international actors were purposefully sampled and coded using a number of qualitative criteria. The national discourse analysis was carried out based on 157 purposefully sampled texts produced by six national media outlets during the period 2006–20093. After documenting and analyzing both global and national discourses following the same methodological sequence, empirical findings were compared and interpreted as described in the following section. Nuclear Energy Discourses in Lithuania and Belarus


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GLOBAL NUCLEAR ENERGY DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Global energy governance is a multi-actor and multi-level process that is, among other things, influenced by the argumentative power struggle. In order to track the contrasting strands driving discursive knowledge on the topic, energy policy publications by the Greenpeace, the IAEA, the IPCC, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Energy Council (WEC) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA) have been analyzed. This analysis shows that recurring nuclear energy-related themes include economic costs, technology, safety and risks, waste management, weapons proliferation issues as well as public attitudes, fuel cycle and availability, liability, regulatory framework, human resources and global installed nuclear power capacity projections. Following Hajer’s discourse analytical approach, three diverging strands of discursive storylines have been identified and grouped into pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear and moderate discourse coalitions. They are characterized by various degrees of confidence about nuclear power deployment. The pro-nuclear energy global discourse coalition argues that the industry is well posed for revival, that nuclear power is economically viable in most cases, with an excellent safety record, feasible waste management options, promising future technology and waning public concerns. The anti-nuclear energy discourse coalition considers nuclear energy a costly and dangerous waste of time. It points at low GHG mitigation potential, project cost overruns and issues like radioactive waste that can also be used to develop nuclear weapons, if mismanaged. The third – moderate nuclear energy discourse coalition – does not reject it as a way to secure supplies, meet the demand and mitigate climate change, but contains a set of storylines putting a much greater emphasis on economic and technological uncertainties as well as social challenges for new nuclear energy projects. NUCLEAR ENERGY DISCOURSES IN LITHUANIA AND BELARUS The institutional conditions such as political system and the level of press freedom for establishing and maintaining discursive advantages in Lithuania and Belarus differ significantly. The comparative analysis detailed below provides some insights into the national discursive drivers for nuclear power and highlights important discrepancies in the debate on national and global policy levels. It indicates that national discourses include most global themes pertaining to nuclear energy justification and risks, but geopolitics and other country-specific issues are discussed only on the national level. Several global constraints for nuclear

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energy deployment such as liabilities and technological development are either left out or largely misinterpreted by national discourse actors. Moreover, there are some substantial differences in the interpretation of these themes. PROBLEMS ADDRESSED

Unlike in the global nuclear energy discourse, climate change or growing demand that are not among the main motivating factors for pursuing nuclear power reflected in the Lithuanian and Belarusian discourses. In Lithuania the nuclear power project is mainly geopolitically driven and intended to plug the energy gap occurring after the Ignalina NPP is decommissioned, as required by the EU. In Belarus the need to diversify energy supplies and secure access to affordable electricity is articulated the most. However at the same time the pronuclear coalition tries to manoeuvre around the obvious paradox in trying to increase energy security by partnering with Russia, the very same country Belarus is dependent on. JUSTIFICATION FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY

Economics of nuclear energy, ability to secure supplies, global trends, GHG emissions reduction, alternatives, and the role of public opinion are the themes featuring in all the studied nuclear energy discourses. When it comes to advantages or alternative of nuclear energy from the point of view of fuel supply, the global and national narratives are very similar. As noted above, one of the central ones in the global discourse, the climate change argument is only marginal in both countries. The Lithuanian pro-nuclear narratives mention the EU emissions reduction commitments, while Belarus hopes to benefit from selling CO2 quotas. Only Lithuanian discourse contains some counter-arguing narratives echoing global debate about doubts whether nuclear is the most effective climate change mitigation option. There are a few interesting discrepancies in covering other themes. Notably, not even the most pro-nuclear global storylines address the issue of economic costs without caution or being conditional about it (e. g. “economically viable in most cases”). One example is the IAEA that points out that no estimates taking into account global economic crisis have been made so far. International actors emphasize either the need for governments to minimize financial risks of such projects, or many financial uncertainties, while critics are quoting cost overruns up to three times the initial estimates. In other words, costs become more part of constraints than justification for nuclear energy. But national pro-nuclear narratives are almost unilaterally referring to it as “the cheapest” and even coming “at

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no cost for consumer”. The Belarusian storylines also describe nuclear reactors as “not more expensive” than a coal-fired plants and certainly much cheaper alternative to developing local renewable resources. The global nuclear energy revival is one more theme that is worthwhile taking a closer look at since it is one of the central arguments of pro-nuclear camps in both countries. Global narratives talk about “authoritative statements of intent” to renew or extend nuclear capacities in countries like US, France, Japan, Russia, China and Republic of Korea and projected doubling or even tripling of installed nuclear capacities mainly in Asia and the OECD countries. Nonetheless, the pro-nuclear actors of the two countries insist that “the whole world is turning to nuclear energy” and present it as the main justification for their own nuclear programmes. The Belarusian media refers to nuclear plant construction plan as a truly “European decision”. At the same time, national anti-nuclear coalitions counter-argue that “more and more countries are seeking a nuclear-free status” and that “countries are turning to renewable energy sources”, but their voices are much weaker and the possible reasons for that are discussed further down. Variations on the theme of public acceptance are following somewhat similar pattern. It appears that on the global level, the lack of public acceptance is recognized as one of the key problems requiring special attention and more awareness raising effort. A pro-nuclear storyline can merely say that there is a “slight increase” in a number of supporters in countries with operating plants and fewer “declared opponents”. Local communities in Finland and Sweden that are supposedly “competing” for waste repositories to be sited in their region are a single example put forward by global discourse actors. But in Belarus that is turned into a universal trend of public acceptance of nuclear energy projects in Europe. In both countries pro-nuclear actors cite public opinion polls to back their claims about majority supporting nuclear power and claim that as long as the members of the public are provided with “all the information” they will eventually it. There are also several themes that are only characteristic to the national discourse and are shared by both Lithuania and Belarus: geopolitics of energy, national prestige and progress and project legitimacy. In general terms, in both countries the existence of nuclear power plants or plans of the neighbouring countries to build one are very strong motivating factors to proceed with their own program. Moreover, this introduces the aspect of urgency to the debate. In Lithuania neighbouring plants are understood as potential competitors for a foreign investor on the one hand and on the other – as a result of Lithuania’s “nuclear energy ambitions”. Both in Lithuania and Belarus nuclear power is presented as a major

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driver for national economy and research: Belarusian proponents compare it to a space exploration, while Lithuania aims to maintain a perceived regional nuclear energy leadership as opposed to becoming a regional “energy backyard”. Another theme that unites the two countries is an overall need to confirm the legitimacy of the decision to pursue nuclear power. In both cases statements about “no alternatives” or abstract “studies” are common and critics complain about difficulties with obtaining such documents. What regards the nuclear energy project Lithuanian discourse, actors focus on how to best finance the plant – should it be a national capital based public-private partnership or should the government announce an international tender and try to attract a foreign investor. A similar discussion in Belarus is predominantly about the controversial decision to choose Russia as the main project partner, while in Lithuania this is simply a no-option. RISKS INVOLVED

The theme of Chernobyl accident of 1986 is perhaps the only one where global and national pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear storylines more or less match: in is either perceived as a one-time technological event or a grave disaster that proves fallibility of nuclear technology. In most other cases variations on interpretations of risk themes exist. The global nuclear energy discourse analysis divides these storylines rather clearly into those that claim risks and impacts to be low and/or controllable and those that note controversies and point at industry’s failures. In national discourses portrayal of risk perception is not so straightforward. Similarly like in the global discourse, national pro-nuclear energy discourse coalitions in Lithuania and Belarus present the problem of managing radioactive waste as resolved, while the issue of spent nuclear fuel management is left for the distant future. But there is a general tendency even among opponents to dread possible negative environmental impacts from the neighbouring nuclear installations, at the same time perceiving nuclear risks from facilities in your own territory as a more manageable technical problem. This holds true in relation to technological safety as well. The health and environmental impact of radioactive waste management is one example. Lithuanian media tells stories about dangers of transboundary pollution from Russia and Belarus through shared rivers, while Belarusian local inhabitants fear the mismanagement of radioactive waste repositories across their border. However, Belarusians who are still living with the aftermath of Chernobyl disaster are also concerned about possibility of a similar accident and uncertainties about waste management – especially risks associated with its possible transportation Nuclear Energy Discourses in Lithuania and Belarus


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across the country for recycling in Russia. Suitability of the chosen plant location and a general lack of safety culture in Belarusian regulatory institutions are also of concern. Meanwhile Lithuania considers itself as a country which has years of experience of operating nuclear power plant on their territory. Waste management issues are discussed mainly in the light of costs and corruption related to managing plant decommissioning funds. This shows that the pro-nuclear global storyline arguing that the public is mainly concerned about proliferation and terrorism and less so about operations of nuclear plants as such does not hold true. In fact, the storylines on weapons proliferation along with other nuclear fuel lifecycle-related risks such as accidents and pollution occurring during uranium mining, enrichment and recycling that are emphasized by anti-nuclear and moderate global discourse coalitions are absent in the national discourses studied. The reason for this may be the fact that these countries do not feel the imminent threat of terrorism, whereas impacts occurring elsewhere are not considered as equally relevant for the national discourse; though in global discourse themes pertaining to fuel cycle are linked with health and environmental impacts as well. Another interesting discrepancy exists in the framing of reactor safety. Although Lithuania has not yet made a decision about the type, Russian technology is considered “marked by Chernobyl” and advanced reactors “not tested yet”. Moreover, the whole idea of building a plant to become less dependent on Russia leaves this option out. Meanwhile, Belarus has been severely affected by the Chernobyl disaster, therefore those advocating for another “Russian” plant have to be much more specific to convince the public that it is safe. Nevertheless, scientists’ arguments about it being “the only technology tested elsewhere in the world” and “10,000 times safer than in Chernobyl” are very hard for opponents to contradict. CONSTRAINTS AND PROSPECTS

As already noted earlier, when discussing storylines related to nuclear power project justification there is one rather distinct tendency to interpret global expectations and projections as non-debatable facts on the national level. This is especially true for constraints linked to costs, installed global capacity projections, public acceptance and the state of technology. However, the anti-nuclear energy coalitions in both countries are trying to counter-argue some of these overly optimistic claims. Both national anti-nuclear discourse actors argue that local alternatives would able to meet the energy demand at much lower cost. In Belarus critics emphasize the financial resources needed of safety measures and radioactive waste management.

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In Lithuania they are also referring to the ongoing project in Finland, which is facing difficulties and suggesting power links to the West as an alternative. The storylines about diminishing expertise base and lack of human resources as well as possibilities to train them that are present in global discourse are very much downplayed on the national level. Even though in both countries claims about the possibilities to train the necessary workforce at home are confronted by anti-nuclear discourse coalitions. This is especially the case in Lithuania, where decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP is not going as smoothly as planned and many point at the fact that Lithuania did not actually build the existing plant itself. Meanwhile in Belarusian discourse national scientists are portrayed as standing at the forefront of the global nuclear research. A number of rather specific constraints such as financial liabilities and the state of technological advancement of new reactors is only part of global discourse linked to constraints. However, the national pro-nuclear actors often talk about nuclear industry’s future technological promises such as inherent safety features or fast breeders to support the argument about “advanced modern reactor technology”, although in reality most of these have nothing to do with the actual planned construction in the country. Geopolitics as a constraint by itself has rather different interpretation in both countries. In Lithuania it is mainly linked with neighbouring countries ambitions to build their own plants and competition over a foreign investor as perceived by the pro-nuclear discourse coalition. It also relates to fears about Russia’s influence, but not so much like in Belarus where it is seen as the main constraint for any other foreign capital to take part in the project. Fuel availability is touched upon in Lithuania in relation to energy security, but it does not become a truly distinct theme like in global and Belarusian discourses. The importance of this theme is greater here because of the question whether uranium can be supplied by other country than Russia given that Russian company is also providing nuclear technology. Therefore this issue has much stronger links to energy security and geopolitics in Belarus. ARGUMENTATIVE STRATEGIES

According to the “social-interactive” discourse theory, apart from promoting their views, actors are aiming to achieve discursive hegemony or dominance over others (Hajer, 1995). Following Hajer’s (1995) definition, it can be argued that pro-nuclear energy coalitions in both Lithuania and Belarus are hegemonic, since their views are being translated into concrete policies. According to Hajer (1995), discourse hegemony is determined by at least three factors: credibility, acceptability and trust in terms of how particular arguments are perceived by others. Nuclear Energy Discourses in Lithuania and Belarus


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Comparative discourse analysis demonstrates that although in terms of the content the two nuclear discourses have many similarities, there are some significant differences among strategies for winning over the argumentative struggle in the studied countries. First, it can be argued that the very nature of the debate in Lithuania is more political with decision-makers being the main discourse actors, while in Belarus the issue is discussed in a more technocratic way – scientists dominate the debate in the media. Second, the language plays an important role in the discursive struggle taking place on the national level. One such illustrative example common for both countries is anti-nuclear actors referring to the “dependence on Russia”, while top political leaders diplomatically preferring to say dependence on the “East” or simply a “single source”. Political leaders and officials are the main pro-nuclear advocates in Lithuania, but they have much less monopoly over a credible argument as such, compared to scientists in Belarus. It seems that such line-up does create more opportunities to challenge the dominant pro-nuclear coalition on more equal terms. Rather than only justifying why nuclear is the best technological option, the Lithuanian political leaders are pressed to present economic feasibility studies. There is at least one rather significant difference among the two national discourses in terms of credibility and trustworthiness of discourse actors, especially in the anti-nuclear coalition. In contrast with the Belarusian debate described below, the Lithuanian discourse also features one of the top nuclear physicists who is also representing the National Academy of Sciences, the Bank of Lithuania and some other prominent financial analysts who are questioning the feasibility of the project not only in pages of the alternative, but also the mainstream media. Moreover although the tone of the Lithuanian debate is also getting emotional at times, the attack on the critical camp rarely bares an openly pejorative character. The diverging narratives are competing with war, slavery and mythical metaphors that are particularly eloquent in editorials and opinion pieces. Nuclear project is portrayed as a “three-headed dragon” fighting Russian gas “giant” that is threatening to “enslave” Lithuania and turn into an “energy desert”; others dread it as a “monstrous” and “hellish” reactor that may eventually bring on the “nuclear winter”. The story about the “Leo LT” consortium can be considered symbolic of a relative strength the pro-nuclear coalition has in Lithuania as it never proceeded with national nuclear projects, but was liquidated due to wide-spread corruption concerns. The narratives mainly pertaining to themes of project model and legitimacy serve as examples of discursive struggle on this issue. Today the Lithuanian discourse remains very political, without much discussion on issues like

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technology and safety. But this particular debate also highlighted failures of the Ignalina NPP decommissioning and helped to introduce to the debate more diverse themes such as national capacity to handle big nuclear projects. A technocratic discourse is unfolding in texts sampled from the Belarusian media. Here it proves much more difficult to question and counter-argue dominating proponents of nuclear, especially given the role of the state media that excludes critical actors from the public discourse or denounces their arguments as ill-informed or anti-state. Elite scientists are put at the forefront to answer most of the nuclear-related questions be it safety, waste management or advantaged of the chosen investor. Since most often they are expressing their views unilaterally by explaining and educating rather than justifying, they gain an advantage of framing nuclear themes in the way that they become more difficult to challenge. They reject any public doubts as “psychological”, not based on “hard facts” or simply “silly”. Belarusian scientists refer to themselves as “professionals” who do not succumb to “radiophobia” (Ermak, 2008, Lukashenko, 2008). Government officials and engineers who are complementing their arguments are also difficult for the critical public to confront. Their argumentative position is strengthened by President Alexander Lukashenko himself who notes that it was scientists who suggested nuclear as the most suitable option for strengthening energy security. Moreover, while he leaves the technical discussion to scientists, Lukashenko is rather straightforward about his opinion about critics whom he at times addresses in a rather pejorative manner. For example, he attacks anti-nuclear scientists for scaremongering: “Are these scientists?! These are either brainless people or people without consciousness, and most probably without either” (Lukashenko, 2007). Other opponents are portrayed as the people pursuing publicity or personal benefit: “These are political bandits of a second political Chernobyl wave. […] I will use all resources and power in my possession today to not allow this” (Krylovich, 2008). Pro-nuclear media commentators also contribute to promoting such views. Those who oppose nuclear have knowledge are called “old ladies” (rus. “babushka”) and “green loudmouths (rus. “zelionyie krikuny”)” who haven’t not suggested a viable way solve energy problems in any country and just “want Belarusians to live at the splinter” (Kriat, 2008). Meanwhile, the opposing camp has less leverage in terms of credibility, since it is mostly comprised of weary local citizens, church leaders, concerned intellectuals, retired physicists, and foreign medical doctors or randomly quoted sociological analysts. They raise concerns about nuclear projects in a “closed society”, secrecy of decision making, underestimated environmental dangers or becoming another “black Chernobyl hole on the map” that are easy to denounce as “radiop-

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hobia”. Some attempts to emphasize the credibility of the alternative expertise come in a form of underlining the background of the leader of a Russian green NGO who is presented as “nuclear physicist”. However, apart from the above mentioned power imbalances there are instruments that media of both countries are putting at play to the advantage of-pro nuclear coalition. They are discussed in the section further down. THE ROLE OF MEDIA

The media as a discourse scene and an actor substantially contributes to knowledge production and often becomes an ideological manipulation tool in the power struggle. The information about media system, regulation, circulation and ownership structure in the studied countries can help to understand the origin of recurring narratives; to some extent the degree of influence of quoted actors as well. Therefore comparing the debate in Lithuanian media which is considered among the most free in the world and in Belarus where media ranks among the lowest is also worthwhile. The analysis shows that despite this significant disparity, both the Lithuanian and Belarusian leading dailies are producing exclusively pro-nuclear storylines, leaving out sceptical arguments and attacking the critics. The leading Lithuanian privately-owned “Lietuvos rytas” has a well-advertised tag “independent”, but is a rather good example of the extent to which business and the governing party can manipulate press coverage for its own benefit in a similar way an autocratic government is using its own media for propaganda purposes. Enthusiastic journalists describe the plan to build a new plant by consolidating public and private enterprises as “revolutionary” (Lietuvos rytas, 2007), purported it as the “project of the century” (Sotvarienė, 2008) that will “cut the umbilical cord with the mother Russia” and help the country to “escape from the Russian energy trap and integrate into the EU energy system operating on completely different principles” (Sotvarienė, 2008). Amid the heated debate about legitimacy of the deal that was taking place in the parliament and was reflected in other media outlets, this daily was consistently praising the national business corporation (Sotvarienė, 2008) and lashing critics by denouncing them as “bristling” and “panicking loudmouths” (Ignatavičius, 2008). Pro-nuclear inclinations of this newspaper were obvious not only in editorials, but in the news items as well, a rather crude violation of a standard requirement of journalistic ethic to separate facts form subjective author’s opinions that quality media is supposed to adhere to.

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The discursive storylines are much more diverse in the Lithuanian online media of foreign ownership such as “Delfi.lt” that appears to be more resistant to national business influence on their content. However, the most anti-nuclear storylines originate in alternative publicly-funded analytical media such as “Atgimimas”, but their journalists focus more on energy politics rather than the variety of issues surrounding energy security options or nuclear power in particular. Furthermore, despite the formal regulatory media freedom journalists hardly do a good job when covering energy issues in Lithuania. Even background stories often are mere collections of different views rather than in-depth analysis of the government’s energy policies, nuclear technology, global trends, and national capacity to implement nuclear project or alternatives. Media largely disregards policy inconsistencies and allows vague and unsubstantiated political claims go unchallenged. An illustrative example of media manipulations in Belarus can be the state-owned “Sovetskaia Belorussia” and the way it manages to imitate the public “debate”. Notably, none of the sampled analytical texts from this paper actually quote critical experts or scientists. Instead, referring to unnamed “experts” or concerned members of the public some critical arguments are included in a form of “critical” interviewer’s questions to be “explained” and “clarified” by those put in the position of power, authority and expertise to answer: scientists, government officials or political leaders. Another similar technique observed is an interview with several interviewees sharing pro-nuclear power opinions. This way a discursive illusion of a debate is created utilizing otherwise theoretically perfectly standard interview genre, only with ideologically pre-determined purpose. In one instance a journalist of “Sovetskaia Belorussia” goes as far as to publishing a fictitioussounding polemic dialogue between a pro-nuclear citizen [himself] and a sceptic [his friend] that follows a scenario where a “reasonable” person convinces the “ill-informed” sceptic. Moreover, it is not uncommon for journalists to sometimes subtly imply or suggest the “right” way of interviewee’s argument reception with comments like “a serious argument” (Legkaia & Kirilenko, 2007) or a “logical stance based on solid economics” (Minchenko, 2008). It is worth noting that the privately-owned Belarusian media such as “Naviny. lt” and “Belorusy i rynok” also tend to mix facts and opinion. Only in this case they are mostly directed against the government’s nuclear plans. The author’s sarcasm appears to be a way to attract critical attention to flawed official statements apart from being a standard technique for providing an alternative opinion. As an example, one journalist is sceptical towards the official claiming that anyone can obtain information on the nuclear power project and is encouraged to show an initiative to discuss the environmental impact assessment: “It is obvious that

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in the country where citizen activities mainly take the form of collective watching of the television simultaneously broadcasting the press conference by the President on all three channels, there are not too many communities interested in discussing something oddly called the EIA” (Krylovich, 2009). One way to explain this style of reporting in Belarusian media could be a limited availability of politicians, scientists and experts willing to publicly criticize or analyze the government’s policies due to the nature of the political system in the country. This work complements findings of the earlier study by Baločkaitė and Rinkevičius (2009) about the dominance of “talking elite” and focus on economics and politics rather than risks in Lithuanian nuclear energy debate. The Belarusian discourse seems to bare many traits of the early days of nuclear development in France, Finland and the UK where it was marked by non-transparent decision-making, dominance of nuclear technocracy, pro-nuclear media and lack of “counter-expertise” (Lehtonen & Martiskainen, 2010). Just like in these countries nuclear energy is perceived as a source of national pride in Lithuania and Belarus, pro-nuclear policies are promoted using adversarial argumentation (Windisch, 2008) and pinned to energy or state security without much reference to facts to back such claims (Scrase & Ockwell, 2009). CONCLUSIONS Comparative analysis of nuclear energy discourses in Lithuania and Belarus reveals disparities between the main global and national discursive drivers for nuclear power. Energy security is a single shared motivating factor on both global and national level, while geopolitics plays a more important role than climate change on the national level. A closer look at how global and national discourse actors discuss different aspects of nuclear energy shows that pro-nuclear storylines contain so-called “nirvana concepts” described by Molle (2008). In other words, pro-nuclear politicians, officials, scientists and businessmen in Lithuania and Belarus promote this energy source as the cheapest and the most reliable, claiming that all the risks are controllable. They tend to oversimplify industry’s global future projections and turn them into unquestionable de facto trends, brush off national constraints and downplay uncertainties to substantiate national pro-nuclear policies. For example, the analysis shows that pro-nuclear actors in the two countries based their policies on the most optimistic global assumptions and capacity growth projections made mainly for the OECD countries and Asia. Conversely, anti-nuclear narratives in both countries mirror those found in similar global discourse coalition that rejects nuclear as too expensive and dangerous. Additionally, national anti-nuclear

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discourse storylines contain many concerns about the lack of public involvement. The storylines from the moderate global discourse are hardly present in national discourses, with an exception of few storylines in Lithuanian discourse. The analysis also looked at argumentation in Lithuanian and Belarusian discourse and found that although the two national nuclear discourses have many similarities, there are some significant differences among strategies for achieving the pro-nuclear discourse hegemony or dominance in the debate in these countries. There are plenty examples from both countries illustrating confrontational style of argumentation characterized by sarcasm, attack and exposure techniques used towards the opponents. Defamatory and derogatory statements are common in editorial columns and opinion pieces, but can be found even in the speeches by the President of Belarus. In general, it is more difficult for national anti-nuclear actors to challenge dominant discourse coalitions with equally credible arguments in Belarus. This situation occurs because of the technocratic nature of the debate dominated by the government scientists and officials who tend to denounce any criticism as ill-informed “radiophobia�. Meanwhile in Lithuania the debate is dominated by very pronounced geopolitical arguments mainly related to the perceived threat of Russia, but more discourse actors are debating on more equal grounds and thus discourse has democratic characteristics. Pro-nuclear politicians and officials do face some more credible opposition as they are confronted by several high profile scientists and economists. In both countries the leading media tends to manipulate the debate by predominantly promoting pro-nuclear storylines and ignoring critics, though smaller alternative outlets contain more diverse views and online media seems to be the most vibrant in terms of competing narratives on nuclear energy. Nonetheless, even in Lithuania, where media has more regulatory freedom, apart from few exceptions, it rarely provides an in-depth, contextualized analysis of nuclear energy and energy security. It can be argued that although press freedom in democratic system does not in itself guarantee democratic and comprehensive public debate on nuclear energy, it does provide for more opportunities to introduce new arguments and challenge dominant narratives than autocratic system does in a technocratic debate. However, it seems that political and corporate interests coupled with lack of specialized journalistic reporting skills can have similarly adverse effect on the quality of the debate both in democratic and in politically constrained public sphere. As a result, significant misinterpretations of global trends and knowledge gaps seem to occur in both types of the national debates on nuclear energy. Nuclear Energy Discourses in Lithuania and Belarus


Media Transformations

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Windisch, U. (2008). Daily Political Communication and Argumentation in Direct Democracy: Advocates and Opponents of Nuclear Energy. Discourse and Society, Vol. 19, Issue 1, 85–98. World Bank – WB (2005). Belarus: Window of Opportunity to Enhnace Competitiveness and Sustain Economic Growth. A Country Economic Memorandum for the Republic of Belarus. Washington DC: World Bank. Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit, Europe and Central Asia Region. World Energy Council – WEC (2007). The Role of Nuclear Power in Europe. London: World Energy Council. World Nuclear Association – WNA (2009). The Nuclear Renaissanse. London: World Nuclear Association. Retrieved March 10, 2010, from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf104.html.

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Elisabeth Kirkeng ANDERSEN | Harald HORNMOEN

MEDIATING SCIENCE IN NORWAY: PRACTICES AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN MAJOR NEWSPAPERS Elisabeth Kirkeng ANDERSEN kirkeng@gmail.no MA in Journalism Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information Science Oslo University College Oslo, Norway Harald HORNMOEN harald.hornmoen@jbi.hi.no Associate Professor, PhD Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information Science Oslo University College Oslo, Norway ABSTRACT: What characterizes journalistic representations of researchers and research in Norway? This article presents a quantitative analysis and a discourse analysis of how journalism that covers and uses scientific research has been practiced in major Norwegian newspapers in 1966, 1986 and 2006. The quantitative analysis suggests that this coverage in some respects has not changed significantly (e.g. the amount of sources used, the genres used for presentation). On the other hand, a comparative discourse analysis of articles covering emergent science in the three periods indicates how representations of scientific research are changing from resembling science’s own discourses to a more distinct adaption of the research, adjusting it to journalistic requirements of angles and storylines. However, the study presented here does not suggest that science journalism in Norway has developed an independent position from which it can throw a light upon scientific developments in a critical manner. KEYWORDS: science and the media, Norway, content analysis, discourse analysis, press history

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INTRODUCTION Scientific research plays a crucial role in society. It establishes a basis for political decisions and technological development, and gives us new insights into nature, culture and society. A survey of Norwegians’ relationship to science and technology (Ramberg, 2004) points out that daily newspapers, television and radio are people’s most important sources of information about scientific research and knowledge, apart from the Internet. In this perspective, it is surprising how little research has been done on journalism in Norway that covers science or uses scientific researchers as key sources. This article presents an analysis of how such journalism has been practiced in major Norwegian newspapers in 1966, 1986 and 2006. The main research questions are: What characterizes Norwegian newspapers’ use and representations of scientific researchers and research in 1966, 1986 and 2006? In what ways have the uses and representations possibly changed over this period of time? We attempt to answer the questions by applying different methodological approaches. A quantitative content analysis is conducted by Andersen, who looks particularly at how often and in what way research and researchers are used in major Norwegian papers. A critical discourse analysis of a more limited sample of articles is done by Hornmoen, who looks more closely at how these articles represent emergent science in the different periods1. “Emergent science”, as we understand it, refers to research that develops at the research frontier. EARLIER RESEARCH A few studies of science journalism have been carried out in Norway. Most extensive are the contributions from Ottosen and Eide from the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s (Ottosen, 1988, Eide & Ottosen, 1994). According to them, scientific sources initiate media coverage of science to a much larger degree than what is implied by popular images of researchers in ivory towers. Furthermore, journalists covering science tend to rely on a few oral sources. Eide and Ottosen assert that the Norwegian media’s coverage of scientific research is extensive in scope, but uncritical. They see the relationship between scientist sources and journalists as marked by mutual understanding and a cooperative spirit in the service of public enlightenment. Hornmoen (1999, 2003) also traces a rather harmonious relationship between scientists and journalists, and a dominant view of science communication existing among both parties. They tend to understand science communication and journalism as a one-way dissemination of scientific knowledge to an audience

1

Hornmoen’s complete study (2010) is published in Norwegian in the online journal Sakprosa, available at: http://sakprosa. files.wordpress. com/2008/06/ hornmono_layout_5. pdf.


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conceptualized as people who lack and (therefore) need this knowledge in order to make rational choices that serve democracy. This model of communication is also known as the deficit model (Gregory & Miller, 1998). However, a deficit-model of the public understanding of science is gradually changing among journalists, and new conceptions of their duties in covering and using science are emerging. There are some signs that Norwegian journalists are opting for more critical coverage and increasingly talking about their work as science journalism and not science communication. One indication is that a certain willingness to use the term “forskningsjournalistikk” (science journalism) and not “forskningsformidling” (science or research dissemination) about journalistic coverage of scientific research becomes more discernible from the beginning of the 2000’s. This is indicated when searching by the aforementioned terms in the Norwegian newspaper database Retriever. But we do not have studies that suggest to what extent the conception of this new and more critical role may be reflected in the actual coverage of science in recent times. Moreover, we lack knowledge about possible transformations in newspaper coverage of science over a certain time period. So there is reason for embarking on a diachronic study of the science coverage in newspapers, attempting to trace possible changes and developments in this coverage over a time span of forty years. A QUANTITATIVE APPROACH: CONTENT ANALYSIS The first part of our study presented here uses quantitative methods to investigate how the press covers science and uses scientists as sources in this coverage. It traces the science coverage from 1966 to 2006 in five daily newspapers: Nordlys, Adresseavisen, Bergens Tidende, Aftenposten and VG. Articles chosen for closer scrutiny were written in the month of February in 1966, 1986 and 2006. Selected articles were either about research or they used researchers as sources. They were analyzed and categorized according to several parameters such as genre, number of sources, and the kind of research reported on. Some of the major findings are presented below. SAMPLE AND NUMBER OF ARTICLES The sample consisted of a total of 1428 articles either using researchers as sources or being about researchers and research. The articles were distributed in the following way in the month of February (Figure 1). There is a certain increase in the number of published science related articles from 1986 to 2006. The average number of articles in the earlier periods is in accordance with results from earlier studies by Eide and Ottosen (1994). They found that three or four Mediating science in Norway: Practices and transformations in major newspapers


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articles were published on a daily basis in six major Norwegian newspapers. The increase is in accordance with a similar study of the use of scientific experts in the Danish press (AlbĂŚk, 2002). 1966

1986

2006

Number of articles

429

442

557

Average number of articles per day

2,7

2,7

4,2

Figure 1. Number of articles.

GENRE Roksvold’s topology of journalistic genres orders them according to three major types of journalism: News journalism, commentary journalism and feature journalism (Roksvold, 1997: 10). In our study, the first includes such genres as the news report and the news brief. The second embraces editorials, reviews and commentaries, whereas the third encompasses genres such as the profile and the feature story or reportage. The following figure displays the percentage of articles presented as news, commentaries or feature stories. More striking than the increase in science related articles (Figure 1), is the similarity in the choice of genres (Figure 2). The news genre clearly dominates in the representation of research and researchers in all three periods. Commentaries and features are not used nearly as frequently to write about research and researchers for newspaper readers.

1966

1986

2006

News

93,2

91,4

89,0

Commentaries

4,0

4,0

5,6

2,8

4,5

5,0

Features

Figure 2. Genres used.


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FRAMING THE RESEARCH/RESEARCHER In what way is the material framed in the articles? As mentioned above, the articles selected were either about research or they used researchers as sources. This division is reflected in the major framing categories detected. Not all of these categories in the study are presented here (therefore the percentages do not add up). However, Figure 3 displays the major categories. Figure 3.

1966

Ways of framing.

1986

2006

The researcher as expert

22%

29%

34%

Research results

19%

21%

39%

Planned or ongoing research

26%

10%

7%

The first category in the figure refers to articles in which researchers make statements as experts and comment upon other researchers’ work or current events (research based knowledge). The second category refers to articles that present research results, as in the many stories that include variants of the phrase: “new research shows that”. The third category refers to articles presenting planned or ongoing research projects that accordingly have not come up with any results yet. We can observe an increase in the use of researchers as expert commentators (although not to the extent that some other studies have indicated, e. g. Albæk, 2002). More pronounced is an increasing tendency to represent research results at the expense of presenting ongoing projects without finished results. Comparatively, one notes how articles in 1966 to a large extent were about what researchers wished to uncover through their participation in research projects. THE TYPES OF RESEARCH COVERED In earlier quantitative studies of the research coverage in Norwegian newspapers, material is grouped according to the general type of research that the reported activity or the scientist as source normally represents (see for instance Nilsson et al., 1996, Andersen, 2003). These general types correspond to conventional divisi-

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ons in academia, and the categories thus are the social sciences (labeled “Samf.vit” in the Figure 4 below), the humanities (“Humaniora” below), the natural sciences (“Nat.vit”) and medical research (“Medisin”). We have also added a category called “Vitenskap”, which may be translated as “science”. This category encompasses articles representing scientific research in general and not a specific field or discipline within one of the aforementioned general types of research. In particular, the category applies to articles presenting or discussing science policy. 60%

Figure 4.

50%

Types of research represented.

40% 30%

20% 10% 0%

Samlet

1966

1986

Humaniora

Nat. vit

Medisin

Samf. vit

2006

Vitenskap

The first cluster of bars to the left (“Samlet”) depicts the total distribution in the three periods according to the types of research that are written about. In sum, most articles refer to the natural sciences in their source use and depiction of research activities (38,4%). Medical research follows up by being referred to in 25,8% of the articles, while the social sciences are referred to in 17,3% and the humanities in 10,1%. Tracing the development over the three periods, one notes some major changes, from a distinct focus on disciplines and researchers within the natural sciences in 1966 to a more equal distribution in 2006, albeit with the strongest emphasis on medical research. It should be noted that in some respects this distribution differs from findings in similar studies. Although our study indicates a strengthening of focus on social science/scientists, other studies tend to point to a marked increase in the use of experts from the social sciences. For


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instance, a study by Albæk et al. (2002) on the use of such experts in the Danish press displays how social scientists dominated in 2001, whereas experts from the natural sciences dominated in 1961. Although an increase in the use of social scientists may be more striking in some studies than in others, they do point to a rise in this respect. A possible explanation for this tendency is the following: Since the 1960’s there has been a considerable increase in researchers within the social sciences, coinciding with an increasing demand in the media for expert commentators in the coverage of politics as well as everyday life (see also Eide & Ottosen, 1994). NUMBER OF SOURCES Here we detect the total number of sources appearing in a research related article, and not only researchers as sources. Sources that are registered are the ones that are cited or referred to in the articles, e.g. a news agency, a politician, a “man in the street” and/or a researcher. Other possible sources than the ones that are visible in the articles have been registered as “not mentioned” (“Ingen” in the Figure 5). Figure 5.

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

Samlet

1966

1986

Mediating science in Norway: Practices and transformations in major newspapers

2006

4

Ingen

3

2

1

Ingen

4

3

2

1

Ingen

4

3

2

1

Ingen

4

3

2

0% 1

Total number of sources in the articles. (“Ingen” = No visible sources).


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The figure clearly shows how a journalism based a single source dominates (the percentages for single-source articles are: 1966: 65,3%; 1986: 65,8%; 2006: 63,7%). It indicates that little has changed with respect to the number of sources used when journalists write science-related articles. However, we emphasize that our material includes quite a number of news briefs. RESEARCHER SOURCES AND GENDER All the researcher sources that were referred to or interviewed in the articles were registered. This was done because the gender of the researcher sources presented in articles contributes to shaping the image of the research community for newspaper readers. The Figure 6 displays a use of research sources that is far from gender-balanced. In 1966 there were hardly any female sources. In 1986 the female sources still only constituted 8, 8% of the researcher sources. There is a more marked increase in female sources from 1986 to 2006, when they amount to 20,9% of the sources. Nevertheless, this percentage suggests that in four of five articles with a visible source the reader is introduced to a male researcher. For the newspaper reader, the scientific community will possibly appear as a male bastion. However, this does to some extent reflect employment realities within Norwegian higher education. Although there is a good gender balance within higher education and research as a whole, the proportion of women employed becomes lower the higher the occupational category in scientific areas becomes (Løseth, 2010). 1966

1986

2006

Number of / percentage

Number of / percentage

Number of /percentage

Male

325 / 98,5%

361 / 91,2%

398 / 79,1%

Female

5 / 1,5%

35 / 8,8 %

105 / 20,9%

Not mentioned in the article

178

127

151

Figure 6. Researcher sources and gender.


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SUMMARIZING THE QUANTITATIVE STUDY Our study suggests that there are some striking similarities in the newspapers’ science coverage in 2006, 1986 and 1966. This becomes clear when one quantifies the articles according to parameters such as genre, sources, kind of research and number of articles. A typical science related article is a news story, using one oral source, preferably a man, who either presents research results or is used as an expert. A QUALITATIVE APPROACH: DISCOURSE ANALYSIS The second part of our study uses a qualitative approach to investigate a more limited sample of articles. Critical discourse analysis, particularly inspired by Fairclough (1995a, 1995b, 2003), is applied in a comparative examination of articles about research within medicine and the natural sciences in 1966, 1986 and 2006. The analyzed articles are from Verdens Gang (VG), a major daily tabloid, and A-magasinet, a weekend magazine supplement to Norway’s largest subscription newspaper, Aftenposten. Samples are chosen after reading through all articles appearing in the relevant periods in a search for the words “forskning”, “forskere”, “forskerne” and “professor” (“research”, “researchers”, “the researchers” and “professor”) in the Norwegian newspaper database Retriever. In this way we have ended up with a few articles we judge as exemplary of science reportages in each period, that is, reportages about science that apply some devices typical of the feature genre in their presentation of research. The articles cover so-called new or emergent science. This is “science in the making”, normally referring to research that develops over a period of time, not primarily to research marked by unexpected and sudden breakthroughs (Dunwoody et al., 1999). Such emergent research is uncertain. Contemporary frontiers of research in any given field are, as Priest (2001: 9) asserts, characterized by the existence of competing explanations. The overarching questions for analysis are: (1) What image of science is created in the articles? Is it essentially an image of science as a process where theories are developed and modified in light of new evidence? Or is it a picture of science as an accumulation of facts that scientists discover? (2) How certain/uncertain does the knowledge appear in the portrayed research? This implies detecting such matters as whether or not alternative or opposing explanations or viewpoints are represented. (3) Which images are constructed of the relationship between different actors: scien-

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tists as sources, other sources, the journalist and the implied audience? Here we look at the construction of process and participant types, and attempt to answer questions such as: Which text participants are portrayed as agents initiating activity? Who are so-called patients? What kinds of processes are initiated? In order to answer the questions, we apply relevant analytical categories from critical discourse analysis, looking at modality, presuppositions, the use of metaphors and the representation of discourse or speech. In a multimodal analysis both visual and verbal elements are examined. UNCOVERED TENDENCIES In the following we present some of the main tendencies exposed by the analysis. 1966

In 1966, fidelity towards preferred discourses in the scientific community is typical of the analyzed articles in both VG and A-magasinet. The scientist’s own research questions may constitute the introduction to the articles. These can be structured according to a model characteristic of article structures in empirical natural science and medicine, the so-called IMRADstructure (Introduction, Methods, Results And Discussion). A case in point is an article in VG (Sørhus, 1966) about basic cancer research, with a headline resembling a research question: “Researchers hunting for the “regulating guardian” of the skin: the key chemical substance – is it called Chalone?” (Our translation). It is an inconceivable head in today’s papers. The period’s preference for covering ongoing research projects rather than achieved results is reflected in a text abounding with hedges, questions and expressions of uncertainty. The cancer article closely follows an IMRAD-narrative, and not the inverted pyramid-structure typical of most news journalism. After posing the headline’s introductory question, the article focuses on the methods and process of the research, before concluding by reflecting on tentative results. In this manner, a picture is created of science as a process of developing hypotheses and theories as well as modifying or rejecting them in the light of evidence brought about by new experiments. In other words, an academic “cautiousness discourse” dominates in articles about science. An individual researcher’s own exposition of his research – with specialized terms in abundance – characterizes utterances in direct and indirect speech. There is quite a lot of space provided for researchers’ careful assessments of their research. The function of their utterances is apparently not only to inform about what one knows on the grounds of research. It seems to be equally important to exhibit the complexities of the objects of research, e. g. what one does not know and the uncertainties involved in applied methods and achieved results.

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To a larger degree than in the later periods studied, scientific knowledge is represented as contingent, as dependent on such contextual conditions as whether and to what degree control experiments have been carried out and which methods have been applied. In sum, the articles analyzed in this period are marked by a tuition discourse positioning the implicit reader in a role as someone who has something to learn from the presentations. The structure and language of the articles signal that independent journalistic ways of popularizing and representing scientific research are not yet well developed in the press coverage. 1986

More discernible in the articles from 1986 is a celebratory discourse, a discourse praising scientific research and what it is able to achieve. The emphasis is now stronger on results than the process of research, and the preferred article structure is the inverted pyramid. Research may be presented as possessing enormous methodological power and the ability to disclose causal connections. The discourse of praise is evident in the article “The professor who makes new animals” (Diesen, 1986, our translation) in A-magasinet. It establishes a frame emphasizing animal husbandry research as a Norwegian success story. The researcher is depicted as an active agent and unequalled innovator: “He loves testing out creative propositions, and his line of thought is full of unexpected leaps. Nothing is impossible before it is proven. Yes, the impossible may in reality offer fantastic possibilities. (…) It is he who is responsible for most of what has happened within animal reproduction in this country. Yes, not only in Norway…” (Diesen, 1986, our translation). His research is represented as a field with enormous potential as a rational problem-solver. Metaphors and adjectives depict gene technology as a potential mystery solver in a discourse celebrating the insights it may give us. “Every cell in your body offers an endless journey. The DNA-molecule, a giant molecule containing unbelievable amounts of information. A little piece of the DNA-molecule reveals who you are” (Diesen, 1986, our translation). Traces of a conflict frame suggest discrepancies between on the one hand scientists who strive for progress and act rationally on behalf of society, and on the other hand “most people”, who are hostile towards progress and to a larger extent driven by emotion. The researcher is portrayed as an educator through his “willingness to disseminate knowledge”. However, the presentation of him and his research field also constructs an insurmountable knowledge gap between “ordinary people” and researchers such as him.

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In VG, tabloid effects are clearly more visible than in the first period. One no longer finds academic article structures. Shorter articles frequently address the reader intimately in direct requests as “you”. An advisory discourse is now pronounced in a newspaper that increasingly markets itself as “the reader’s newspaper” with the slogan “VG helps you”. Research stories in the paper are largely included in this service assignment on behalf of the readers. Scientific research is apparently perceived to provide a knowledge basis and authoritativeness to an advisory journalism, thus assisting the portrayal of the newspaper as a helper for “the common woman and man”. A rather characteristic VG-story with the headline: “Drink wine, live longer!” (Aasbø, 1986) reports about apparent health benefits from drinking red wine. The message is delivered in the form of assertions and slogans, such as: “Wine is healthy. The body needs the nutrients from wine”; and, “Wine cures stress, stomach problems and many other things”. The headline and the lead adopt the utterances of the source in a direct address to the readers, who are presumed to be wine lovers. Characteristically, this article was published when the Norwegian summer holidays were about to begin, a season with an above average level of alcohol consumption in the population. Thus, it testifies to how choices and presentations of research results in VG’s emergent advisory journalism are influenced by seasonal variations. 2006

Compared to the preceding periods, the most striking feature of the science coverage in 2006 is the more carefully designed and impressive layout of the stories, with a greater emphasis on photographs and graphical presentations in order to present and explain abstract and complex connections and relations that research allegedly has shown or will uncover. In other words, multimodality is more noticeable than in the earlier periods. In VG, formulas such as “research shows” and “according to the researchers” are now more strongly established in salient parts of the layout. Such phrasings contribute to an impression that there is wide agreement among scientists that certain findings or connections have been established. There is a widelyspread optimistic and enthusiastic rhetoric on behalf of science, with stock phrases such as “sensational” and “breakthrough”. Thus, the language use tends to position the reader in a role as an admiring spectator of findings and discoveries in science. The role as an advisor for the reader is no less perceptible in VG in 2006 than in 1986. To a larger extent, research in the tabloid is now included in a campaign journalism that provides the newspaper with an opportunity to draw attention

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to its own efforts to induce changes to the benefit of “the common man”. For instance, VG in 2006 has extensive coverage of stem cell research. An apparently balanced or multi-perspective article about this research (Gjerding & Hansson, 2006) suggests – when closely inspected – how the newspaper may now emerge as an active agent and advocator, in this case pushing for a change in biotechnology legislation so that research on fertilized eggs will be permitted in Norway. Close reading illustrates a pattern reoccurring in other articles: the more salient the position in the layout, the more a potential power to heal is ascribed to the stem cells and the research on them. In both VG and A-magasinet, the science coverage in 2006 is often characterized by a mixture of discourses. A categorically ascertaining discourse frequently marks salient elements and spots of articles (e.g. headlines, captions, highlighted quotes), as in the headline “The genes are to blame” (Torp, 2006), from a story about research into the causes of alcohol abuse (the head may also be translated as “the genes are the cause”). In the same articles, the less salient body texts are typically marked by a more cautious discourse that modifies the assertions appearing in the salient parts. In this manner, the total presentation of the story conveys somewhat contradictory messages about the status of the findings and knowledge presented. Such ambiguity is created in the intersection between a journalistic rhetoric designed to attract reader attention and the reservations with respect to drawing clear or definite conclusions that characterize scientific discourse. In a contradictory manner, this illustrates on the one hand a more independent journalistic reworking and presentation of scientific research than in the earlier periods – in the sense that the research material is adjusted to a journalistic norm system connected to news criteria, presentation effects and dramaturgy. On the other hand, it suggests how journalists can try to approach caution in their representations, in accordance with norms in science encouraging researchers to reflect upon the limitations of one’s research. SUMMARIZING THE QUALITATIVE STUDY The representation of scientific research changes from largely attempting to resemble scientific discourse in 1966 towards a much more distinct adaption of the research in the later periods, when it is adjusted to journalistic requirements of angles and storylines and an ability to attract readers. Accordingly, there is a change of focus from processes and questions in the research towards a greater attention to the results and applications of the research. There is a similar movement from representing research as basic science and a process of modifying theories towards portraying science as an activity in the “application context”, which discloses connections and develops innovations, applications and ”useful Mediating science in Norway: Practices and transformations in major newspapers


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knowledge�. This is part of a development where research increasingly appears in advisory journalism and campaign journalism, particularly in the tabloid VG. We have noted, however, how journalists in the latest period may attempt hold with greater fidelity to a scientific “cautiousness discourse� in less salient parts of an article. CONCLUSIONS Our study illustrates some diverging tendencies in the science coverage and the use of scientists as sources in major Norwegian newspapers over a period of forty years. The quantitative study of five major newspapers displayed some striking similarities in the science coverage, whereas the discourse analysis pointed to some clear changes in the ways research and researchers were represented over this period of time. The quantitative analysis does indicate a development towards more articles about scientific research in the press. However, throughout all periods studied, research has primarily been presented in the news genre. There are, in other words, comparatively few commentaries and features (although news stories about science often include some feature elements). In light of the frequent calls for more critical science journalism in the Norwegian press (Hornmoen, 1999), we consider this unvaried use of genres unfortunate. In all likelihood, commentaries and features give larger possibilities than straight news to discuss science, provide perspective, depth and context, and to create engaging narratives around research. As to the types of research, there has been a development from a clear dominance by the natural sciences in 1966 towards a more equal distribution between different academic disciplines in 2006. But one may also trace a change towards a clearer homogenization of the research material in the press. In 1966, newspaper readers were offered quite a lot of information about ongoing projects and about science policy, whereas in 2006, 70 percent of the science-related material is conveyed as research results or in the form of expert statements from researchers. Add to this a continuing strong reliance on one (visible) source in the articles, and the overall picture drawn by the quantitative analysis barely resembles the kind of deliberative and multi-perspective journalism envisioned in science journalism handbooks (Blum & Knudson, 1998, Hornmoen, 1999). The discourse analysis more distinctively pointed out changes over time in the ways research and researchers are represented, as described in detail above. But do such changes towards a more distinct journalistic adaption of research signal a more independent journalism about emergent science? Seemingly, the changes reflect a break with a traditionally strong trust in scientific authority. To a larger

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the extent, scientific research and knowledge is selected and adjusted according to a journalistic system of norms, thus indicating a stronger professionalization of the science coverage. Fewer specialized terms and monological expositions in direct speech creates the impression of representing researchers’ utterances in a less servile manner than before. However, the discourse analysis does not suggest that science in recent times is represented in a particularly critical or reflective way, inviting and engaging readers in a dialogue about science and its role in society. A hindrance for involving readers is how journalism’s preferred modes of representation tends to glorify science. The formulaic language, applying “wonder appeals” such as “sensational breakthroughs” and phrases such as “new research shows”, is increasingly present over time in the material, and this language use positions the readers at a respectful distance from the research portrayed. One should also mention how the development of a symbiotic relationship between journalism and research may be an obstacle to advancing a critical public debate on science. Journalism is not only dependent upon scientists as sources in order to gain access to relevant material. Journalism needs researcher sources in order to give its stories credibility as truthful and objective accounts of reality (whereas science is dependent upon journalism to acquire legitimacy in society). In the journalistic institution, truthfulness is commonly conceived of within an objectivity ethic, emphasizing impartiality and neutrality, values that are conventionally attributed to science. So it is a question as to what extent the press sees its own interests as served by exposing the values, political dimensions, interests, conflicts and shortcomings in science. But there is a potential for dialogical and critical coverage of science in the Norwegian media. Journalists themselves have a major responsibility for developing such journalism. Much can be done within the organizational constraints of their institution. So-called media logic does not necessarily inhibit journalistic rationality to such a degree that journalists are left unable to pose critical questions to researchers who claim that they have generated new knowledge or come up with the solution to a puzzle. The challenge is ultimately to develop a journalism that will stimulate broad reflection around questions that concern all of us.

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REFERENCES Albæk, E., Christiansen, P. M., Togeby, L. (2002). Eksperter i medierne. Dagspressens brug av forskere 1961-2001. Århus: Magtudredningen. Andersen, E. K. (2003, manuscript). Forskningsjournalistikk – en kvantitiv og deskriptiv tilnærmelse. Semester paper. Oslo: Journalistutdanningen, Høgskolen i Oslo. Aasbø, M. (1986). Drikk vin – lev lenger! VG, June 21. Blum, D., Knudson, M. (eds.) (1998). A Field Guide for Science Writers. New York: Oxford University Press. Diesen, T. (1986). Professoren som lager nye dyr. A-magasinet, December 13. Eide, M., Ottosen, R. (1994). Science Journalism without Science Journalists: Notes on a Norwegian Media Paradox. Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 3, 425–434. Fairclough, N. (1995a). Media Discourse. London: Edward Arnold. Fairclough, N. (1995b). Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Longman. Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge. Friedman, S. M., Dunwoody, S., Rogers, C. L. (1999). Introduction. In S. M. Friedman, S. Dunwoody, C. L. Rogers (eds), Communicating Uncertainty. Media Coverage of New and Controversial Science. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. xi–xiv. Gjerding, M. L., Hansson, H. Chr. (2006). Mulighetenes celler. VG, April 2. Gregory, J., Miller, S. (1998). Science in Public. Cambridge: Basic Books. Hornmoen, H. (1999). Vitenskapens vakthunder. Innføring i forskningsjournalistikk. Oslo: Tano Aschehoug. Hornmoen, H. (2003). Forskningen har vist…: Roller og maktrelasjoner i forskningsjournalistikk. In K. L. Berge, S. Meyer, T. A. Trippestad (eds.), Maktens tekster. Oslo: Gyldendal. Hornmoen, H. (2010). Førti år i forskningens tjeneste. Fremvoksende naturvitenskapelig og medisinsk forskning i A-magasinet og VG i 1966, 1986, 2006. Oslo: Sakprosa-skrifter. Forskningsmiljøet norsk sakprosa. Løseth, B. (2010). Kjønnsfordeling innen forskning og høyere utdanning. Norsk samfunnsvitenskapelig datatjeneste. Database for statistikk om høgre utdanning. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from www.nsd.uib.no/dbh.

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Nilsson, B. D., Olsen, A. Ch. F., Tønnessen, M. (1996, manuscript). Kildebruk i forskningsjournalistikk: De sju riksdekkende avisenes bruk av forskningskilder – en undersøkelse. Semester paper. Norsk Journalisthøgskole. Ottosen, R. (1988). Forskningsformidling og journalistikk. En undersøkelse av journalisters bruk av forskere som kilder i 13 norske dagsaviser. Forskningsrapport, Vol. 4, Oslo: Norsk Journalisthøgskole. Priest, S. H. (2001). A Grain of Truth. The Media, the Public, and Biotechnology. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Ramberg, I. (2004). Nordmenns forhold til forskning og teknologi i 2004. Oslo: NIFU STEP skriftserie, Vol. 21. Roksvold, T. (1997). Riss av norske avisers sjangerhistorie. In T. Roksvold (ed.), Avissjangrer over tid. Fredrikstad: Institutt for journalistikk. Sørhus, K. (1966). Forskere på jakt etter hudens “regulerende vokter”. NØKKELSTOFFET – heter det CHALONE? VG, February 1. Torp, I. S. (2006). Genene har skylden. A-magasinet, August 11.

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TOPIC OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA RESEARCH: THE PAST, THE PRESENCE, AND THE FUTURE Inesa BIRBILAITĖ i.birbilaite@pmdf.vdu.lt PhD Candidate Department of Public Communications Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, Lithuania ABSTRACT: Abrupt increase in number of scientific publications on climate change (CC) communication makes it difficult to track development of this research area. Aiming to map the main directions of the CC communication research this paper reviews literature in particular discussing a set of sampled peer-reviewed articles dealing with CC communication issues and aiming to sketch the pats, the presence, and the future of the research area. First of all, this paper identifies and discusses the main contributors of the research area (e.g., scientific journals and authors involved). Second of all, it questions approaches taken and discussed in sampled studies. Paper concludes in suggesting that CC communication is a quickly developing and expanding area with strong roots in research fields of risk management, scientific communication, and environmental politics. Recently studies dealing with CC communication issues are often recognized as rather independent research area represented by a group of well-known scholars and scholarly journals carrying necessary discussions of the field and uniting the discourse. The past and the present research on CC communication is questioning issues mainly related to media coverage and public understanding – those are the essential approaches in communication sciences. The future of CC communication research is expected to eliminate existing deficit of studies related on how new media and new communication technologies are changing and influencing CC communication processes. KEYWORDS: media coverage, public awareness, climate change discourse

Topic of climate change in communication and media research: The past, the presence, and the future


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INTRODUCTION Since 1896 when the possibility of global warming was first raised by Nobel Prize-winner Swedish chemist Swante Arrhenius plenty of scientific articles, monographs, books, and dissertations discussing causes and consequences of climate change (CC) have been gradually emerging (Krosnick, Holbrook & Visser, 2000, Wilson, 2002). The issue of CC was first brought up to the scientific agenda by scholars from the research fields of climatology, geology, and geophysics (Weingart, Engels & Pansegrau, 2000). However, the threatening scientific evidences encouraged an abrupt rise of new discourses on CC leaded by politicians, journalists, media, and general society itself (Corner & Hahn, 2009). Interaction based on information exchange became crucial for building awareness of existing problems, making appropriate political decisions, changing social behavior, and performing new research needed to confirm earlier predictions. Effective communication became a crucial necessity. However, the lack of knowledge – of how to communicate CC issues effectively, how to convince publics about the CC threats while scientists and politicians themselves do not necessarily believe it, – were the main questions to answer by scholars involved into CC communication research. Currently, there are plenty of scientific papers exploring the issue of environmental communication as well as CC communication. They provide the answers to the questions above and explore newly rising issues. A literature review on environmental communication performed by a group of scientists in 2002 argues that focus on environmental communication in scientific research can be observed in the 1960s. At that time explorations were mainly limited to public understanding of ozone depletion and global warming, effective CC communication issues, etc. (Pleasant, Good, Shanahan & Cohen, 2002). Indeed, the field has broadened significantly in recent years encompassing a wide range of problems dealing with scientists’-policymakers’ interface, international diplomacy, media coverage, public understanding, and public engagement (Russill & Nyssa, 2009). CC communication is a rather new research area. It should be clarified that in this paper it is not perceived as an independent or separate research area from the general fields of environmental communication and risk communication. Instead it is understood as a significant part of them. However, its great political and scientific controversy, unprecedented global pervasion, and expressed urgent need for glocal actions distinguishes it as highly problematic and diverse area which in many cases demands exceptional attention and explorations. Hence, in this paper the focus is put on the research on CC communication in particular aiming to explore how communication and media research is dealing with this extremely diverse, controversial, and global issue.

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Aiming to map the main directions of the CC communication research area, this paper presents an analysis of sampled peer-reviewed articles on CC communication. To compose a sample for the analysis, articles corresponding to three keyword sets – “climate change” and media, “climate change” and news, “climate change” and communication – were collected from three ISI Web of Science databases, including Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI). It is considered that these three databases provide good coverage on the issue, as they index around 8.000 academic journals in the fields of science, social science, and humanities. Search was performed and sample composed on 23 October 2010. Only peer-reviewed journal articles discussing CC communication issues (N=194) were selected for analysis excluding book reviews, editorials, conference proceedings, and other materials. Scientific articles are one of the most easily accessible forms of academic production. They significantly influence the perception of the research field students, professors, or scholars may have. In some cases articles may be the main (or the only one) source scholar has access to. Hence, this paper is seeking to overlook and understand CC communication research by discussing the past, the presence, and the future of the field as it is presented in peer-reviewed academic journals. The aim of this paper is to disclose main contributors to the research (in particular scientific journals and authors involved) and to explore approaches taken by those contributors. Briefly, this study focuses on sketching scientific agenda on CC communication as well as identifying specific areas, which are out of scientific scope and lack scientific investigations. THE EMERGENCE AND OF CC COMMUNICATION RESEARCH “International and domestic climate policy began to take shape in the mid-1980s, primarily through activities of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)” (Boykoff & Roberts, 2007:4). Even more significance issues of CC gained in the confrontation with significant weather events. For instance, scientists argue that 1990s were the hottest decade in 1000 years followed by year 2003 when Europe experienced widespread droughts causing many deaths. With no doubts, these and other events of that time have been highly influencing public discourse on CC as well as dramatically increasing media coverage. Political involvement, severe weather events, and growing media coverage were and still are very favorable for research area of CC communication

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to emerge and develop. So, no surprise that our sample indicated a significant increase in a number of academic publications on CC communication over the year 1992–2010 (those are the years our sample ranged). Figure 1. The increase in number of peer-reviewed articles on CC communication over a year 1992–2010.

In 2000 an international conference on CC communication was held in Ontario, Canada. At that time organizational committee stated that topic of CC communication has received relatively little research attention (Andrey et al., 2000). As the figure shows, the situation has changed significantly since then. CC communication is a relatively new but rather quickly growing research area. Two different periods in the CC communication scientific coverage can be identified. The first period (1992–2006) indicated slow introduction of CC communication issues into scientific discourse, and the second period (2006–20101) showed strong increase in number of articles concerning CC communication. Indeed, the dynamics of research on CC communication corresponds to the growing political concerns related to the issue, increasing media coverage on CC, and of course, – the outcomes made by climate scientists. As a consequence of that individual scholars start to cooperate. A number of research centers dealing with CC communication issues are founded, e. g., George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication founded in 2007 by Edward Maibach. Scientists also gather during regular conferences, workshops, seminars, or research projects. In 2010 the first Africa Climate Change Conference held. In 2005 Yale project on Climate Change Communication started. This is just a few examples of scientists’ initiatives to share knowledge and try to bring CC communication problems on scientific, political and public agendas. However, despite the rapid development of the research area CC communication still does not really have a particular scientific journal to carry its most important research, and to provide a recognizable scholarly identity. Sample indicated that

1

As the data for the study were collected in October 2010 the articles published in later month were not included into the study, therefore, the small drop which can be noticed in the table 1 does not mean that scientific coverage on CC communication is decreasing.


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articles discussing CC issues are spread over a number of academic journals and involve scientists with different scientific backgrounds and experiences. Articles discussed in this paper were published in 95 different academic journals. Table 1 lists seven journals presenting more than five individual articles. Table 1. Quantity of articles per single journal and citation indexes.

Journal

Quantity of articles

Quantity of average citations

Global Environmental Change – Human and Policy Dimensions

14 (7,2%)

7.4

Environmental Communication – a Journal of Nature and Culture

14 (7,2%)

0.8

Public Understanding of Science

13 (6,7%)

14.3

Risk Analysis

12 (6,2%)

18

Science Communication

12 (6,2%)

4

8 (4,1%)

11.5

6 (3,1%)

0.8

Climatic Change

Journal of Risk Research

Assessing number of articles per journal and a number of average citations, data seem to point to Risk Analysis and Public Understanding of Science as the most relevant scholarly sources for research on CC communication. These journals were also identified as leading in previous literature reviews on risk communication and environmental communication research (Gurabardhi, Gutteling & Kuttschhreuter, 2004, Pleasant, Good, Shanahan & Cohen, 2002). Other journals Topic of climate change in communication and media research: The past, the presence, and the future


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listed in the table above also maintain their significant role in constructing scientific discourse on CC communication. Indeed, the journal Environmental Communication – a Journal of Nature and Culture should be mentioned separately. In 2002 A. Pleasant et al. stated that environmental communication oriented journals does seem to be a missing piece. As a response to this in 2007 a journal orientated exceptionally to the environmental communication issues was introduced. As CC communication is a part of environmental communication it could be presumed that this journal is solid contender to become significant representative of CC communication research. Besides, editorial board members (involving leading scholars of the field from all over the globe) as well as content of publications could be significant factors to confirm such presupposition. If so, it would be much easier to track CC communication research in the future. Just like CC communication research area is represented by a number of scientific journals in the sample, it is discussed by even bigger number of scientists with research focusing on issues such as public understanding of CC, media coverage on CC related issues, and science-policy-society interface. Thus, it can be stated that the background for the CC communication research area is strongly shaped by the traditions and trends coming from scientific fields of risk management, scientific communication research as well as from the field of environmental politics. Sampled articles also suggest that in the research on CC communication two approaches clearly dominate – public awareness research and media coverage research. Indeed, other issues like risk perception, environmental communication, scientific communication, and environmental politics are also largely discussed. Moreover, they are often helpful in providing explanations for outcomes of media coverage or public awareness research. PUBLIC AWARENESS OF CLIMATE CHANGE Academic interest in public awareness of CC issues is rapidly increasing. Over the last 20 years there has been a significant number of public opinion surveys carried out by various organizations. Since 1992 surveys commissioned by the European Union (EU) have been undertaken among representative samples of citizens in its Member States (Special Eurobarometers (EB) 1992, 1995, 2002, Flash EB in 2002) (Lorenzoni & Pidgeon, 2006, Nisbet & Myers, 2007). The growing academic interest in public awareness on CC was also demonstrated in the sampled articles. Actually, one third of them were questioning how general public or certain public segments (e.g. scientists, teachers, students, etc.) understand, perceive or evaluate CC related issues, and/or how their knowledge and attitudes are affected by media and other channels (such as school, church, etc.).

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With the growing political, scientific, and social interest to the issue of CC it could be expected that public awareness on the issue is growing. Such an assumption could be also supported by the fact that new communication technologies provide us with unprecedented opportunities to keep informed about local as well as global issues. Moreover, it could be expected that public opinion regarding CC issues is in favor of scientific based facts and consequently public behavior is changing in order to control CC effects. However, literature review presented in this paper provides us with a rather more pessimistic view. The sample suggested that just like general CC communication research, number of studies on public awareness is increasing over the year under consideration. In the sampled articles publics of 15 different countries were investigated. However, the significant majority of the studies focused on US, UK, and Canada publics. Majority of the studies arrive to the conclusion that people still are lacking general knowledge on CC processes. For instance, D. Read et al. in their study performed in 1994 conclude: “subjects had a poor appreciation of the facts that (1) if significant global warming occurs, it will be primarily the result of an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, and (2) the single most important source of additional carbon dioxide is the combustion of fossil fuels, most notably coal and oil. In addition, their understanding of the climate issue was encumbered with secondary, irrelevant, and incorrect beliefs” (p. 971). General misunderstandings of global CC is also reported in later studies by A. Bostrom, M. Morgan, B. Fischhoff, and D. Read (1994), M. Govda, J. Fox, and R. Magelky (1997), J. Sterman and L. Sweeney (2007), and others. Comparison of the results of studies performed in different time periods is not very optimistic. Although recently publics seem to be more aware about CC issues in general sense but the understanding of causes and consequences of CC is not improving. For instance, H. Boon (2009) in the study compares Australian students’ survey performed in 2007 sample with a parallel study undertaken in UK in 1991. The study arrived to the conclusions that “understanding of these important scientific literacy issues remaining unacceptably low in 2007” (p. 43). Hence, studies questioning public understanding in 1985-1999 and in 2000-2010 reported very similar outcomes. Briefly, although public awareness on CC is slightly increasing, significant misunderstandings about the reasons and consequences of CC is still widely spread. Besides, according to the study performed in 2010 by scholars from Yale University 63% of Americans believe that CC is happening but many still do not understand why (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 2010). Topic of climate change in communication and media research: The past, the presence, and the future


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The missing piece among the sampled studies is an analysis of public awareness of people living in developing and least-developed countries like Africa regions which are least responsible, most affected and least informed. Some initiatives exist aiming to investigate CC awareness in those regions. For instance, Africa Talks Climate (ATC2) was a project leaded by the BBC World Service Trust and funded by the British Council performed in 2009-2010. The aim of this project was to identify ways to engage, inform and empower Africans in local, national and international conversations about climate change. Besides, we do know very little of how people perceive CC issues in quickly developing countries such as China, India, and Brazil. Those are the regions where CO2 emissions are greatly increasing every year. CLIMATE CHANGE MEDIA COVERAGE As M. Boykoff and T. Roberts (2007) notice, issue of CC first was presented in media in 1930s, when New York Times wrote: “The earth must be inevitably changing its aspect and its climate. How the change is slowly taking place and what the result will be has been considered” (New York Times 1932: 4 cited from Boykoff and Roberts, 2007: 4). In 1950s more articles concerning the issue have been emerging and questions of human contributions to climate change were brought to public agenda. However, until 1980s mass media coverage on CC remained rather sparse. Dramatic increase in the coverage starts in 1990s and is closely linked to climate science research outcomes and political involvement. Coverage increase is especially obvious in European and American newspapers during the period when the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were released in 1990, 1995 and 2001. Besides, the first conference of parties (COP) held by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) in 1992 attain significant attention from media. After the adoption of Kyoto Protocol in 1997 a large increase in coverage on CC was evident in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and South Africa (Boykoff & Roberts, 2007). Our sample suggest that increase in media coverage on CC can be determined by different factors (political, scientific, or severe climate events) but not by a natural media interest in the issue. For instance, J. Shanahan and J. Good (2000) observed a link between temperature changes and media coverage. They argued that: “there are some relationship between local temperature and frequency of attention to climate issues, such that journalists are more likely to discuss climate during unusually warm periods” (p. 285).

2

Read more about ATC at www.africa talksclimate.com.


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The dynamics of media coverage are also discussed in study reported by A. Mazur (2009) who noticed the relationship between political processes and media coverage. The study results showed that:

3

The Panos Network is an international foundation working with journalists, editors, and other communicators in order to foster debate on under-reported, misrepresented or misunderstood development issues (Panos webpage www.panos.org).

4 Internews is an international media development organization based in California. It aims to empower local media worldwide, to give people news and information they need, to provide them with the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard (Internews webpage www.internews.org).

5 IIED - International Institute for Environment and Development is independent international research organization working with world’s most vulnerable people to ensure that heir voice is heard in the policy arenas – from village councils to international conventions (IIED webpage www. iied.org).

“Major international coverage of global warming began in 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen testified before Congress that the summer’s drought was the result of climate change. Worldwide coverage dropped after 1992 while mean global temperature continued to rise. Coverage revived in 2006-07, largely but not exclusively due to the promotional efforts of Al Gore” (p. 17). Despite the exceptional media attention to the CC issues during different time periods the general coverage increase is rather low mainly because of media commercialization. “Media has at times kept the issue of climate change alive, but has also limited the extent to which real change in the organization of society and foreign assistance have been called for” (Boykoff & Roberts, 2007). M. Boykoff and M. Mansfield (2008) argue that “there was no consistent increase in percentage of accurate coverage through the period of analysis” (7 years) (p. 1). However, it should be mentioned, that in this study tabloid newspapers were analyzed and authors also add that these “findings are not consistent with recent trends documented in United States and UK ‘prestige press’ or broadsheet newspaper reporting” (p. 1). Hence, a natural media interest into the issues is lacking. Recently, some initiatives exist to encourage media coverage on political processes related to CC. For instance, the project known as “Climate Change Media partnership” was founded by PANOS3, Internews4, and IIED5. The aim of this project is to improve media coverage and public debate on climate change in the developing world. Indeed, insufficient coverage is not the only problem to discuss. Sampled studies suggested that CC media coverage in many cases is not only limited and fragmented but also highly dramatized and inaccurate. This leads to public confusion and general misunderstanding about the issue. For instance A. Bell (1994) found that: “there remains considerable mismatch between media reporting of scientific information and the public’s understanding of that information. People greatly overestimate scientific scenarios for temperature and sea-level rise, a reflection of public concern about global environmental risks. They confuse the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion, blending information in the fashion typical of comprehension meltdown between related topics. People know little about the causes of the greenhouse effect” (p. 5).

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“Scientists have a tendency to speak in cautious language when describing their research findings, and have a propensity to discuss implications of their research in terms of probabilities” (Boykoff & Roberts, 2007: 7). Media play following different rules and values. “Scientific lexicon does not help the issue conform to this dramatization norm; in fact it makes the ‘story’ less appealing for journalists (Ungar 2000 cited from Boykoff & Roberts, 2007: 7). Despite the level and quality of the media coverage on CC sampled studies tend to report positive media influence on public understanding and awareness. For instance, Y. Sampei and M. Aoyagi-Usui (2009) investigated public awareness on CC in Japan. They concluded that “dramatic increase in newspaper coverage of global warming from January 2007 correlated with an increase in public concern for the issue” (p. 203). Similar results were presented by A. Löfgren and K. Nordblom in 2010. “We conducted a survey where we asked for people’s opinions about the CO2 tax in September and in December 2006, i.e. before and after the release of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and the Stern Review. We found that the attitude towards the level of the CO2 tax was significantly changed after these events; people became much more positive towards the tax” (p. 845). In some of the sampled studies a temporality of the affects was highly stressed. For instance J. Nolan (2010) in the study underscored that: “watching “An Inconvenient Truth” does increase knowledge about the causes of global warming, concern for the environment, and willingness to reduce greenhouse gases. However, the results <…> suggest that willingness to take action immediately following movie viewing does not necessarily translate into action 1 month latter” (p.643). Very similar outcomes were drawn by T. Lowe et al. (2006): “seeing the film (The Day After Tomorrow), at least in the short term, changes people’s attitudes; viewers were significantly more concerned about climate change, and about other environmental risks. <…> Following the film, many viewers expressed strong motivation to act on climate change. However, <…> the public do not have information on what action they can take” (p.435). Briefly, - media do help to increase awareness on CC. However, in some cases it is rather a temporal effect and does not necessarily shape public behavior latter, which is important for CC mitigation. Besides, inaccurate or misleading media

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coverage may result in low public engagement of CC and public confusion. There is a clear need for media coverage studies of other (especially developing) countries, such as China, India and Brazil. As such analyses of media coverage in key countries in ongoing UN international climate policy negotiations can help to clarify ongoing impediments as well as enhance actions. QUESTIONING FUTURE OF THE CC COMMUNICATION RESEARCH In addition to the listed suggestions of how to improve and enrich public awareness and media coverage studies, it is expected that a new approach in CC communication studies shortly will emerge – in particular, a research questioning CC communication online (both online content and online public awareness). Such research would be helpful in determining the potentials of online tools in strategic CC communication especially in developed countries. Besides, numbers indicate that internet penetration slowly is increasing in developing and in least-developed countries. According to World Bank’s World Development indicators internet penetration in Brazil in 2009 was 39% (75.944 million people), in China 26% (384 million people), in India only 5% (61.3 million people), and in South Africa 8.9% (4.42 million people). Those numbers are not very optimistic; however, the influence on online content on global population is increasing and now it is the time to find out how to use this for best reasons. Communication on CC related issues recently is increasing among online publics. Audiences on online forums, blogs, social networks, and micro-blogs are discussing the issue. More and more information related to CC is generated. Optimists would say that such processes lead us to increasing public awareness and better understanding of CC processes. The origin of online communication encourages optimistic speculations regarding combined top-down and bottom-up communication which is fundamental in communicating such controversial global issues as CC. However, pessimists would argue that quality of the information online is questionable. As we saw earlier misleading and inaccurate information result in public confusion. Furthermore, because of the very liberal environment and global publics (different in many aspects) involved it is argued that communication online is more likely to result in chaos, rather than in deliberative discussion. As it is well known the influence of media, political communication on public awareness on CC have been changed a lot since the establishment of online-based communication. The extent to which Internet has changed agenda setters can be seen in the Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Constructing the public discourse in post-mass communication age.

While in mass media era traditional media channels like newspapers, television, or radio had a significant impact on public discourse as a mediator between public and political arenas, today this impact in some cases can be reduced to minimum, especially in those online communication environments where content is generated, managed and edited by users themselves, e.g., blogs, social networks, micro-blogs, etc. Consequently, it is highly possible that future studies on CC media coverage may be reporting rather different results compared (level of traditional media influence may drop significantly) to those discussed earlier in this paper. We know how public discourse on CC was constructed in mass media era and what were the main determinants constructing public understanding of CC and other issues. The rules were quite clear for CC communication specialists, risk managers, and environmental politics. To effectively manage information channels and content generated was not easy then. However, today such a goal seems almost impossible. Consequently, the significant question CC communication specialists as well as scholars are confronting recently is how to communicate CC today, how to take an advantage from new communication technologies and how to avoid possible dangers.


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CONCLUSIONS Literature reviews are an important part of the development of the field, especially when the field is rather new, quickly developing and involving approaches from different disciplines (Webster & Watson, 2002). Literature reviews help to synthesize and reflect on previous theoretical works, thus providing secure grounding for the advancement of knowledge (Sæbø, Rose, & Flak, 2008). Quantitative reviews may provide indications of growing or declining interest in the research subject (Gurabardhi, Gutteling & Kuttschhreuter, 2004); also it may suggest which themes are under investigation or are lacking scientific consideration. A brief discussion on CC communication research drawn on literature review is presented in this paper. Leaning on sampled peer-reviewed articles questioning CC communication related issues, this paper aims to sketch the past, the present, and the future of CC communication research. It provides general information about the research which should be valuable for emerging scholars in the field and all those willing to look closer to the CC communication research area. Briefly summing everything up, - CC communication research has a strong roots in risk management studies, scientific communication research field, and environmental politics. Recently, more often CC communication is recognized as a rather independent research area; however, in this paper it is perceived as a very strong and important area of environmental communication research and risk communication research. Increasing interest and quick development of the CC communication research is determined by a few external and internal factors. The external conditions – growing political concerns related to CC problems, increasing media coverage, and outcomes of climate science – determined a quick and in many cases rather fragmented development of the CC communication research. Those factors determined quick grow of the research area and encouraged number of internal changes – the establishment of the scientific journal largely dedicated to CC communication questions, foundation of related research centers, and sponsorship or regular scholarly events (like conferences, workshops, etc.). All this help to bring scholars together, inspire more efficient work of involved scholars, and serve as a platform to strengthen rather young research area. Following the studies reported in sampled articles it is possible to sketch the past and the presence of the research area. Shortly the research can be defined as leaded by two approaches – studies of public awareness and media coverage. Articles questioning public awareness suggested that awareness on CC is slightly increasing, however, significant misunderstandings related to the causes and consequences of CC exist. It is claimed that the lack of accuracy in media cove-

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rage determines public confusion and misunderstandings. Articles dealing with media coverage on CC also were not very optimistic. Despite the increase on coverage on CC in many cases media is still fighting with the issues of dramatization, and inaccuracy. For the future, - the paper suggest that public awareness and media coverage in developing countries (such as China, India and Brazil) and least developed countries (e.g., different Africa’s regions) should be largely considered. Such studies would be helpful in clarifying ongoing impediments as well as enhancing actions. Besides, it is expected that future research will be questioning CC communication online. Exploring the content of online discourse on CC as well as investigating online users’ behavior would be extremely helpful in defining the role online communication could play in strategic CC communication in developed countries. However, Internet penetration in increasing and it could be expected that in near future Internet would bring us all together to discuss global issues, such as CC. For the very end it is essential to shortly discuss existing limitations of this paper. First of all, although the sample of the study encompassed scientific peer-reviewed articles reporting CC communication research, it does not question book reviews, comments, editorials, and other significant material. Hence, for the future studies it could be suggested to expand the sample. Besides, free databases such as Google Scholar should be also highly considered, and may be expected to have even bigger influence on scholars and their perception of the field. Seconds of all, only articles responding to keywords “climate change and communication”, “climate change and media”, and “climate change and news” were considered. Other publications analyzing CC communication issues but using different terms (e.g. global warming) are missing. Therefore, in future studies, keywords’ list could be extended. Finally, this short report drawn on peer-reviewed articles does not necessarily describe general discourse on CC communication research. Existing books, conference reports, and ongoing research are certainly dealing with discussed and other issues and may have been arriving to different or same outcomes. However, this paper was aiming to define the CC communication area as it is constructed in peer-reviewed journals, which, in many cases is the main (or the only one) source accessible to some scholars.

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Shanahan, J., Good, J. (2000). Heat and hot air: influence of local temperature on journalists’ coverage of global warming. Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 9, 285–295. Sterman, J.D., Sweeney, L.B. (2007). Understanding public complacency about climate change: adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter. Climate Change, Vol. 80, 213–238. The World Bank. World Development Indicators. (2009). Retrieved October 23 2011, from http://data.worldbank.org/products/data-books/WDI-2009. Webster, J., Watson, R.T. (2002). Analyzing the Past to Prepare for the Future: Writing a Literature Review. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 26, Issue 2, xiii–xxiii. Weingart, P., Engels, A., Pansegrau, P. (2000). Risk of communication: discourses on climate change in science, politics, and the mass media. Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 9, 261–283. Wilson, K. M. (2002). Forecasting the Future: How Television WeathercastersAttitudes and Beliefs about Climate Change Affect Their Cognitive Knowledge on the Science. Science Communication, Vol. 24, Issue 2, 246–268.

Topic of climate change in communication and media research: The past, the presence, and the future


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TAKING OVER THE NET: CONSTRUCTING CELEBRITY LEADERSHIP DISCOURSE IN VIRTUAL SOCIAL NETWORKS Viktorija RUSINAITĖ v.rusinaite@pmdf.vdu.lt PhD Candidate Department of Public Communications Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, Lithuania ABSTRACT: Network culture (Varnelis, 2008) witnessed the birth of a new form of celebrity – Internet celebrity. The aim of this study is to recreate and develop the principle of popularity accumulation in virtual social networks and environments alike, and to witness the effect of media on popularity accumulation. The study employed principles of Critical Discourse Analysis by Teun van Dijk and supplemented the approach with the capital accumulation scheme of Pierre Bourdieu. The study shows that Internet personas can become popular by disseminating their representations in the network available to them and when a certain popularity is reached within the network it is supplemented by mass media interest and therefore mass popularity. The technical architecture of social networking sites helps to accumulate and maintain popularity for the already popular networked personas. KEYWORDS: Internet celebrity, network culture, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), leadership discourse, Internet persona

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INTRODUCTION Celebrity culture is mostly associated with mass media and capitalism, it is a profitable consumption area which fuels TV shows, celebrity magazine market, Hollywood industry and many other areas of profitable pop culture. New media environments are used to raise popularity and following of Internet users and communities, virtually every celebrity has an Internet page, Internet fan page, Facebook page and is popularized through many more channels of internet communication. Internet became inevitable part of everyday life, where consumers follow “conventional” mass media celebrities, however Internet environments and services helped to form and raise the new type of celebrity – Internet celebrity. Celebrity in digital environments is a relatively new phenomena constituted by the processes and environments of virtual networking. Previous studies have addressed the issue of virtual leadership (Hoyt, Blascovich, 2003, Boje, Rhodes, 2005), self-branding (Hearn, 2008), persona creation in the network culture (Lavrinec, 2005); however this article aims to describe and explain the scheme of symbolic capital (Bourdieu, 1986, Mažeikis, 2005) accumulation in the virtual social networks and environments alike. This article aims to answer the question: What is the role of media technology, self-signification practices in popularity and leadership accumulation in virtual social networks? The article is based on the bottom-up approach: by describing the actions of social players (in this case virtual personas and virtual celebrities) in virtual networks, trying to understand the meanings they transmit in their everyday communication activities, through watching and direct participation in virtual celebrity consumption, the article aims to re-create the conceptual model of symbolic capital accumulation and creation of leadership discourse in virtual social networks. The environment of social networking sites and its features, like interactivity, openness and personalization, constitutes the opportunity to choose communication strategies that differ from those available in mass media environments like television, radio, daily press would. Virtual personas create and employ these strategies aiming to accumulate symbolic capital and popularity. According to Pierre Bourdieu, (symbolic, social, economical, cultural) capital is a source of power (1986). Virtual personas aiming to popularity employ features of social networking sites not only to help to accumulate symbolic capital, and accumulate popularity, but to preserve it. This article will explain how social networking sites are constituted and how this constitution help to preserve popularity raised. The Foucauldian society of discipline, according to Gilles Deleuze, was replaced by a society of control. Whereas in discipline society it was clear where the panopticon, or centre of power is situated, in a networked society power is dis-

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tributed within a network itself (Galloway, Thacker, 2007, Varnelis, 2008, Chun, 2006). This passage illustrates the contemporary importance of power and popularity accumulation from networked relations. The power is accumulated, but not initiated or given as a king is given his throne. The phenomenon of Internet celebrity and popularity accumulation in virtual social networks here is analyzed through three cases of virtual celebrities or relevantly popular Internet personas. Goda Domeikaitė as an Internet persona emerges in the club “Gravity“ newsletter, the American Youtube celebrity Chris Crocker creates his representations in social networking sites, and starlet Corry Kennedy is popularized in the popular party photo website “The Cobrasnake“. The research was carried out in the year 2009. CELEBRITY IN THE NETWORK CULTURE Mass media celebrity as we know it now, is a persona repeatedly represented and re-represented in the mass media, where constant repetition of representation generates re-representation and so on. Mass media celebrity does not need any special qualities, it does not have to be a holder of special powers or talents, nor has it have a history of winnings and achievements. As Daniel J. Boorstin (2006) puts it: “the hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the media creates the celebrity. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name” (p. 81). Following this logic, the celebrity is known not for special personal qualities, heroic actions or genius; rather he or she is known because of constant repetition in mass media. (Giles, 2000, Boorstin, 2006). A term “celetoid” coined by scholar Chris Rojek (2001) comes in handy here: “celetoids are the accessories of cultures organized around mass communications and staged authenticity. Examples include lottery winners, onehit wonders, stalkers, whistle blowers, sports’ arena streakers, have-a-go-heroes, mistresses of public figures and the various other types who command media attention one day, and are forgotten the other” (p. 20). A role of media is central in creation and maintaining of the celebrity. In his passage Rojek emphasizes not only the temporality of the celebrity “who command media attention one day”, but also the role of media in the dissemination of representations of these celebrities. As long as media is focused on the subject, their personal qualities are not as important for popularity accumulation as the media focus itself, because what matters is media attention, distribution of representations and constant repetition which generates popularity. Audiences attach to the celebrity, but the longitude and depth of the attachment depends on the values and signs that celebrities communicate and how well can audiences relate and identify themselves with these signs. The reality show winTaking over the Net: Constructing celebrity leadership discourse in virtual social networks


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ner can be forgotten in a few months, but Marquis de Sade stays with us for more than 200 years, not only because his representations are distributed in long term media like fiction books, movies, encyclopedias, etc, but as well because he has became the symbol of freedom of thinking. The fan productivity (Do the fans create poems, write letters, make pictures with their celebrity?) depends on the level of attachment they hold to the celebrity. According to John Fiske the division should be drawn between mass culture and popular culture. Mass culture is imposed on powerless, passive people, who, as Horkheimer and Adorno puts it, are subordinated by capitalist production. On the other hand, people are able to resist ideology by re-assesing and reinterpreting the texts supplied by creative industries. This, according to John Fiske, is basis for popular culture or the culture of people (1989), therefore being a celebrity and gaining popularity in these modes of culture differ. If gaining popularity in mass culture requires constant repetition of persona representations in mass media outlets, gaining popularity in everyday culture of people will qualitatively differ. This kind of celebrity representation enables people to identify with them and be productive in recreating their representations1 and reinterpreting the meanings celebrities circulate. The identification level and the manner of communication between fans and the celebrity generate different kinds of interrelation and therefore a different kind of celebrity. Subcultural celebrity is a celebrity recognized and celebrated by a closed circle of fans, but little known outside these circles. Moreover usually fans can interact with their celebrities face to face (Hills, Williams, 2005)2. Subcultural celebrities popularize themselves in subcultural media, not in mass media; therefore identification level with the celebrity is high. The Internet celebrities discussed in this article are self-created personas in virtual networking sites and environments alike. Their representations are disseminated in the networks available for these celebrities. A significant part of contemporary internet media environments, such as social networking sites, are accessible to every regular internet user, not only producers, media professionals, who has accessibility to mass media environments such as TV, radio, etc. The structure of Internet celebrity communication is as well a symptom of networked culture. Media scholar Kazys Varnelis (2008) emphasizes that during the last decade the network has become the dominant cultural logic in Western world. According to him the usage of mobile networks and personal websites changed the manner and quality of interpersonal communication and mass media consumption. It is not only digitization, the turn from analog data processing to the processing of quantifiable bytes of data, but the way the data is transmitted through the network.

1

Such celebrities as John Lennon are reproduced by their fans in books (Lennon remembers by Jann S. Wenner, The Lennon Factor by Paul Young and many more), journal articles, movies (Nowhere Boy by Sam Taylor-Wood and others), songs, Internet databases, fan-pages, institutionalized in museums (John Lennon museum in Japan), awards (John Lennon song writing contest), etc. 2

Now non existent Lithuanian punk band dr. Green can be considered subcultural celebrities. Communicating anti capitalist, anti military, anti racist and Do it Yourself message they found a following in Lithuania. After their break up in 2008, they are still discussed in subcultural circles, referred and interviewed by subcultural media. Their fans have tight identification bonds, which were supported a lot by the band, who were one of the founders of the Green punk club, phorum-media channel hardcore.lt and, following the tradition of punk bands in Europe, used to avoid stage performances and preferred to play in the crowd.


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Following Kazys Varnelis (2008) the digitization era marked by emphasis of division between physical nature of commodities and its representation is over: “Today connection is more important than division, in contrast to digital culture, under network culture information is less the product of discrete processing units than of the outcome of the networked relations between them, of links between people, between machines, and between machines and people” (p. 145). Decentralized media production (e.g. personal blogs, Twitter accounts, Wikipedia projects, personal Youtube channels, indie media websites), network of media outlets and services and accessibility of media consumption through mobile Internet devices such as mobile phones and laptops served as a ground for the new type of self-made Internet celebrities. The work of popularity accumulation in new media networks (e.g. social networking sites, networked news portals, etc.) is not only dependent on the message sent, but on the structure of the network the celebrity has access to and the quality of the networked relations. In this article I use two terms: Internet persona and Internet celebrity. Internet persona here is an image of a persona created in the media channels in the Internet; Internet celebrity is a popular Internet persona. When Internet persona gains popularity it becomes Internet celebrity. POWER AND LEADERSHIP DISCOURSE ANALYSIS IN VIRTUAL SOCIAL NETWORKS In order to analyze power and leadership discourse the conceptual framework based on Teun van Dijk dimensions of Critical Discourse analysis (Dijk, 2003), power accumulation framework by Pierre Bourdieu and analysis on networking structure. In order to use CDA and analyze leadership discourse, the question, how leadership is related to celebrity should be answered. According to Slavoj Žižek (1989), concept of the leader corresponds to the performative concept of a Classical Master: “The transubstantiated body of the classical Master is an effect of the performative mechanism already described by la Boetie, Pascal and Marx: we, the subjects, think that we treat the king as a king because he is in himself a king, but in reality a king is a king because we treat him like one.” (p. 149) The same logic could be adopted to describe a popular celebrity, therefore a celebrity is a celebrity because we treat him or her like one, and this is how leadership discourse is created throughout the process of communication (treating someone). The perspective of celebrity as a leader allows to use CDA in order to reveal power relations between the leader and his/her followers. CDA

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aims at revealing power configurations, and examining the role of the discourse in reproduction of dominance and power relations and it is rather an approach than a structural method (Dijk, 2003). According to Norman Fairclough, CDA is a toolset, which can assist in helping to find dialectic relationship between signification practices and social, cultural practices (2002). Moreover, CDA, combined with other type of analysis, is often used to reveal the power relations and therefore, how the discursive structures are utilized to reproduce social domination. Norman Fairclough (2002) highlighted, that the important object of analysis in CDA is interaction between communicators: “There is an oscillation within CDA between a focus on structure and a focus on action – a focus on the structuring of orders of discourse and a focus on what goes on in particular interactions. The obstacles to tackling a problem here are in part to do with the social structuring of semiotic differences in orders of discourse (for example the way in which managerial discourse has colonized public service domains such as education). They are also in part a matter of dominant or influential ways of interacting, ways of using language in interaction. This means we need to analyze interactions.” (p. 126) The conceptual framework, employed to reveal domination and the discourse of leadership, is constituted from: (1) CDA (Van Dijk, 2003), (2) Capital accumulation analysis (Bourdieu, 1986) and (3) structural analysis of virtual environments. Here, by employing the capital model by Pierre Bourdieu (1986), the leadership discourse of the celebrity can be further analyzed. Different forms of accumulated capital are a source of power (Bourdieu, 1986). Cultural, social and symbolic capital is accumulated and reaffirmed in the form of different symbolic acts, ranging from accepting virtual friendship to the chain of Youtube video parodies. In order to define the field of my research I adopt the dimensions of critical discourse analysis suggested by Teun van Dijk (2002). Originally Teun van Dijk suggested five-dimensional analysis, these dimensions are: topics (semantic microstructures), local meanings, formal discursive structures, context models and event models. In my research I dismiss the level of semantic microstructures, because in searching for the model of popularity accumulation in the virtual I find the structures of communication more important than the meanings of the sentences and words they provides in their texts. I also dismiss the event dimension, because in searching for a unified framework for popularity accumulation, actual events and situations are not important.

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I chose three dimensions proposed by Teun van Dijk (context models, formal discursive structures, and local meanings) and adopted them according to my research (Figure 1). Figure 1. Framework for CDA adopted for analysis of leadership discourse in the Internet (Dijk, 2002).

Publication analysis: audience analysis

Communication context analysis

Semantic macrostructures

CDA

Technological analysis

Communication structure analysis

(1) Communication context models are frameworks, which can be found in scenery or the circumstantial background; in these context models communication occurs. These models can be ideological, political, historical, and so on. For example, virtual celebrities in the three analyzed cases perform communication acts in so-called Western cultural context models. These context models influence the type and variety of communicational acts. The characteristics of the discourse are controlled by context models, which also help to sustain social acceptability of it (Dijk, 2001). It is important to define the locality of these contexts. The level of locality in the case of Internet celebrity defines the closeness of the fan community relations. In the local context of virtual community virtual popular Internet persona is treated like a part of the community. There celebrity in the communal context represents the distinct identity of the community and community members accept it as audiences. They treat the persona as distinct and worthy of celebration. In the global contexts of Internet celebrity mass media is involved. Mass media and its audiences “decide” if the celebrity is treated like celebrity; however, a close, communal relationship with the celebrity is avoided. Context models help to maintain the rules according to which the communication should be carried out.

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Formal (2) communication structures here are technically defined communication genres (a structure of communication act when delivering a message through video in Youtube channel), which are influenced by communication contexts. For example, newsletter, personal Youtube video channel or other technologies support different communication genres, which impact the conditions of communication. The genre of video monologue (where you can hear the intonation, or catch the gaze of the speaker) will differ from a newsletter. Moreover, communication structures will describe the manner of mutual action performed by communicator and the audience. Communication structures in virtual environments are influenced not only by the participants of the communicational act, but also by the technologies used. The (3) semantic macrostructures which are broad, even globally significant topics, which are important for the people, media. These semantic macrostructures help to signify the text (videos, writings, comments) with the certain topic and therefore the persona as an activist or a part of this topic. For example, Chris Crocker uses a lot of symbolical acts in order to suggest LGBT problems as one of semantic macrostructures he uses. In this reading I will present methods of communication used (communication structure analysis), the communication contexts in which Internet personas are presented and therefore the meanings that are produced through the choice of these contexts and structures. I will explain the meanings entailed in the communication structures of persona-audience, persona-media relations, (publication analysis: audience analysis) the meanings embedded in the contexts in the virtual structures; and the ways these meanings help to accumulate and maintain various forms of capital. I will discuss semantic macrostructures in order to understand how audiences can identify with the celebrity, as well as how all of this is influenced by the technical means of the communication channels. (Figure 1). In order to clarify the structure of communication acts and explain the process of representation and popularity accumulation in different media channels I set out two levels of communication space. Both levels are available for dissemination of Internet persona in the virtual. These levels were selected from the point of communication resources available to the creator. The primary communication area defines the communication resources in forms of different channels and technologies available to creator of the Internet persona. This space is designated for personal narrative construction and dissemination of it through the work of representation and self-branding. These spaces range from personal Youtube channel, blog to newsletter, etc.

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The secondary communication area is designated for the work of re-representation and reproduction of representations created in primary communication areas. In the reproductional area representations are generated from outside and the creator of the Internet persona does not have control over this area. The secondary communication area is the whole of available channels for gaining a mass or subcultural following. The work of representation here is performed by the fans, mass media journalists and others, who in different forms re-represent the Internet persona created in the primary communication area, the secondary communication area could be a talk show on a certain TV channel, fan blog, article in a certain newspaper, etc. Different channels situated in the primary communication area can have different technical features. One of the most important features in this case are reproduction areas incorporated in the areas of self creation. These areas are designated for creative audiences and fans who can reflect on the Internet persona and his/her message. Certain forms of participation, like commenting or evaluation, are available (liking, unliking, five-star features, etc.). If reproductional area is not incorporated in the primary communication are, it can be simulated by the Internet persona himself/herself while sharing the space for audience texts in his/ her own texts, like citing reader letters, reacting to fan blog entries, etc. (Figure 2). Figure 2.

Primary communication area

Secondary communication area

Primary and secondary communication areas.

Persona creation area

Reproductional area

Media reproduction area

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Primary communication area is the area defined by the entity of communication channels, where the persona is created and in some cases popularized (Figure 2). I call reproductional area the area in which audiences reproduce Internet persona and publicize their reproductions. THE PRIMARY COMMUNICATION AREA: SYMBOLIC CAPITAL ACCUMULATION THE VIRTUAL NETWORKING SITES For symbolic capital accumulation it makes the difference whether the communication channel is openly available for everybody like most of the social networking channels (Youtube) or should the user overpass some signification steps like employment, appointment, etc. To communicate and create leadership discourse so called reserved areas of communication the user has to be empowered by employment, choice or other symbolic actions like Goda Domeikaitė (employed by a club “Gravity” in Vilnius) or Cory Kennedy (who is discovered by a photographer in popular internet picture gallery „The Cobrasnake“). Employment and discovery are signifying practices, because talents are discovered by media or important people in power who are able to share their cultural and social capital with the one discovered. The process of employment and discovery empowers and helps personas to accumulate power in local channels. These practices also define and unify audiences on the grounds of common interest in persona. However the open communication spaces being open to everybody usually can not offer valuable signification practices. In such channels as Youtube social networking site users are supplied with an unrestricted opportunity to join them and in some cases create or personalize parts of these channels. This way the owner of the system does not exclude the creator from the crowd and does not signify him or her as a special person. So called semantic macro-structures or topics, which personas or their media creators choose to communicate are very important in the process of audience identification with the celebrity. Continuous publication of pictures with Cory Kennedy in the celebrity gallery raises the question of her identity. The legends of her origin are created (Shawn, 2007). Mark Hunter, who became popular because of continuous trade of social and cultural capital with celebrities of Los Angeles, shares his accumulated capital with new starlet Cory Kennedy. Her pictures appeared often in “The Cobrasnake” gallery in 2005-2006, where she was spotted young, fashionable and partying with the most popular people in the hip parties of Los Angeles. This way the cultural, symbolic and social capital of Cory Kenne-

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dy is affirmed and re-affirmed again. If Cory Kennedy is created with the help of “The Cobrasnake” and Mark Hunter, Chris Crocker does it himself. In his video monologues Chris Crocker declares himself a part of the queer community by the topics of discussion.

3 Most popular American celebrity gossip publications People and In Touch magazines frequently uses pink and Turkish blue colors and color yellow in their publications.

4

Discrimination based on sexual orientation was forbidden in EU in 2000 (directive 2000/43/EC). In the second Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union it is declared that a human has a right to private and family life, right to marry and found a family, however in 2010 there are six EU countries which legally recognize and perform same-sex marriages, there are seven states in USA which recognize and perform same-sex marriage. In USA there is no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, however it was debated in 2007. (European Communities, 2009).

First of all, most of the topics he discusses in his video posts are topics related to him being queer in a small American town or to him being queer and popular. Meanings are also transmitted through the visual characteristics of his persona: vivid make-up, female like dressing style, long blond dyed hair, over-feminized gesticulation. Some of the meanings are transmitted through language characteristics such as sexualized talk, manner of spoken and body language. The usage of the colors pink and Turkish blue in his profile links to gossip and celebrity publications3. The color pink also refers to the LGBT community in the Western world. In his profile there are still pictures of him, depicting him in various playful positions which are specific to female depictions in British and American mass culture oriented towards teenagers: for example, slightly opened mouth, clear skin, curly blond dyed hair, gazing straight into the camera, close ups inclining nudity (which is never shown). The topic of homosexuality is politically and socially relevant in Europe and USA4, therefore articulating those topics he signifies his persona culturally and symbolically. Personas are created in different contexts. Mark Hunter publicizes photos of Cory Kennedy in a celebrity party gallery. The consumers of Cory Kennedy celebrity are not only those locals interested in partying and living in Los Angeles, but also audiences from all over the world, who are tempted to take a look at the celebrity party action. Another example is Goda Domekaite, who is employed as a PR manager of club Gravity and author of its newsletter, which is not only accessible to registered users, but also closed for other authors and the locality of the channel is reserved only for a number of people registered. Reserved local areas, in which channels like Internet news portals, subcultural zines operate, have already accumulated certain amount of cultural, social and symbolic capital on the location of their operation. This capital empowers the Internet persona to be employed or discovered. The professional position of manager (Goda Domeikaitė) of club “Gravity” signifies the Internet persona as important to club “Gravity”. The Internet persona purpose is similar to the purpose of the newsletter: they both work to encourage people visit club “Gravity”. Club “Gravity” was one of the most popular night clubs in Vilnius and Goda Domei-

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kaitė becomes a vicegerent of the club to her audiences. The symbolic capital is provided for Goda by calling her the PR manager of club Gravity and at the same time signifying her as an important person in popular club and in the whole lithuanian club industry. Chris Crockers persona, not like Goda Domeikate, has no localy situated audiences, his communication channel is not tied to the certain location, so his celebrity is available for consumption globally. However he himself reserves this consumption by choosing the topics he discusses (LGBT problems), which attracts certain people from all over the world. Reproductional areas can be supplied by the system (Youtube has a comment and video response areas placed in the website architecture) or invented by the users themselves, citing their personal reproductions in the primary communication areas. Though technically there is no availability for audience reproduction inside the newsletter channel, Goda Domeikaite creates it herself. The newsletter often mentions her correspondence with the readers: “Last week my readers and I discussed a lot about politics in Lithuania” (Goda, 2009); “The last letter raised great interest in my new tattoo” (Goda, 2009). Citing certain feedback and disseminating it back to the users enables her to reaffirm her popular identity again. Goda Domeikaitė reaffirms her popular identity by declaring that my readers and I discussed a lot and her tattoo raised great interest. Open communication spaces, such as Youtube, register and publicly list various evidences of user participation. These evidences are channel view count, subscriber count, friend count, favorites count, etc. The Youtube system supplies its users with the tools for the interpretation and reinterpretation of Internet celebrity representations. I call these reproductional areas. The virtual public persona (or the owner of communication channel) is in a power position, because it is in his or her right to decide which interpretations of themselves will be shown in association with his or her content. For example, Youtube supplies the consumers of a specific video with the option to evaluate the video, comment or respond to a video. The evaluation or comment, in the case of popular Chris Crocker, is likely to disappear in the system, because of the sheer volume of the messages. Video responses or other interpretations demonstrate active participation in meaning production. The Chris Crocker video “Leave Britney alone!” had more than two thousand responses in autumn, 2010. Some of these depicted the same settings, external appearance, camera positioning, and re-interpreted speech of Chris Crocker in the video „Leave Britney Alone“. A class of videos asking to leave somebody else alone can be identified in this group. For example, videos like

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“Leave Barack Alone”, “Leave care bears alone!”, “Leave Crocker alone” or “Leave K-Fed Alone” take the already popular form of “Leave Britney alone” and reuse it for their own purposes. These parody videos act in two ways: (1) they help Chris Crocker to accumulate social and cultural capital because they are semiotically linked to his creation. Users reinterpreting this video not only transmit their creations, but they link to “Leave Britney alone” as well. It helps Chris Crocker creations to accumulate popularity within Youtube network, because the parodies will be available for the networks of their creators. However, at the same time, using this popular narrative (2) helps to accumulate social and cultural capital for the authors of these parodies. Because they are visible in the page structure of the popular page and they are related to the original by the name, so it is very likely for them to appear in the results of a search engine. The audiences are able to use the reproduction spaces supplied by the Youtube channel: they crystallize the elements of the persona into cultural codes and therefore are able to use these elements to create their own meanings. The dissemination of the representations of popular persona helps to accumulate popularity and cultural capital. SECONDARY COMMUNICATION AREAS: MASS MEDIA AND AUDIENCE REPRODUCTION If the primary communication area is the area where the persona creates himself, secondary areas are for media reproduction. The secondary communication areas are defined in order to show how popularity is disseminated outside the primary communication areas. The primary communication areas are for the creation of the Internet persona, where the persona acts himself. Secondary communication areas are for media and fan reproduction. The reproductions may appear in various forms, ranging from fan group pages, to fan web pages, blogs, newspapers, TV channels, radio shows, and podcasts, etc. These can be classified according to the involvement and influence of the Internet celebrity on the reproduction (Table 1): (1) self-reproduction areas where the Internet personas disseminate their representations and popularize themselves, these include twitter accounts, blogs, available mass media, etc. Persona has a high impact on the end result; (2) community reproduction areas of virtual celebrities. Like fanpages, fangroups, interest groups, where reproductions are disseminated and shared between the people having interest in certain celebrity. The Internet persona has a low influence on the end result; (3) media reproduction areas. Newspapers, radio, TV shows. Low influence on reproduction; (4) other areas.

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Self-reproduction area

Communication channels

Personas direct impact on the end result

Openly available personal, semipersonal communication areas: blogs, micro-blogs, personal video channels, audio channels etc.

High. Main creator, producer or the gatekeeper of the content.

Can overlap with community and media reproduction areas. Community eproduction area

Openly or semi-openly available communication and social networking pages: community pages, fan pages, groups, email-groups, forums, comments etc.

Low. The content is mainly created by virtual community or other virtual personas.

Can overlap with self and media reproduction areas. Media reproduction area

Mass media channels. Require employ- Low. ment, invitation to a show, etc. Content is created by media professionals.

Self-reproduction is a common practice for Internet personas. Chris Crocker maintains his own MySpace channel, Twitter account, blog in the tumblr system, and iTunes account to represent himself. Chris Crocker has a fan page (bebo. com) – 999 fans, Facebook fan page – and more than eight-thousand subscribers; however, fan messages appear vaguely, there are no discussions or collective action related to the Internet celebrity. Chris Crocker is reproduced in the mass media. His LGBT related topics appeal to the LGBT community. In this way mutual trust is founded. Chris Crocker appeared on the Maury Povich talk show in 2007 and on several other popular TV and radio shows. This leads to greater recognition in the public sphere. He is also reproduced in other media channels. He hosted the „Reality Remix Really Awards“ (Fox Reality Channel, Inc, 2007); in this he not only shares symbolic capital with Fox Reality Channel, but he re-affirms his persona. Reproduction in secondary communication areas helps to broaden the network and accumulate cultural and social capital within.

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Table 1. Persona reproduction areas and impact


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DISCUSSION This article aimed to reveal the role of self-signification practices and the structure of media channel in popularity and leadership accumulation in virtual social networks. Throughout the research it was revealed that self-signification practices include three main ingredients: (1) publicity, (2) engagement in interactive communication practices and (3) meanings the communication bear. (1) Internet celebrities are as well media production (Giles, 2000), because in contemporary communication environment media is vital to publicity. Internet celebrities usually have a direct access to media channels aimed to popularize themselves. If popular personas become popular, when their representations are constantly repeated in the media, subcultural popularity is accumulated in semiclosed fan networks, for the Internet celebrity popularity accumulation means exploiting both (fan network and mass media) strategies. (2) The quality of the relations between an Internet celebrity and fans depends on both engagement in interactive process of the production and reproduction of meaning. Therefore interactivity means more than publicity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is not constituted by the media system, but depends on the users themselves. The more users decide to engage in the communication with the celebrity, the higher level of attachment they hold. (3) The engagement level and success depends on the meanings Internet celebrities disseminate, because fans are able to identify with the celebrity and causes and values it communicates. The structure of media channel, its virtual architecture defines the communication genres between the Internet celebrity and the audience. Media service provider supplies the persona creator with technological means for communication. In the media platform communication genres are pre-scribed and it depends on the informational architecture how Internet celebrity and audiences can interact (are there commentary forms, video response possibility, etc.). However, the persona creator can prompt genres that are not available, by encouraging users for interactivity. For example commentary form can be replaced by fan letters to the celebrity and celebrity can encourage interactivity by publicly citing them. Open and reserved communication channels were identified in order to show how channels can signify and empower itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users (the empowerment given by national television, labour party newspaper and Youtube channel will differ). Usually if the channel has accumulated valuable social and cultural capital, the availability to join it is reserved. In other words, it is not for everybody to start their Internet celebrity on the pages of Gawker.com or Thenewyorktimes.com. However already popular channels are able to signify and popularize the persona created in this environment. If the channel is open, the work of popularity Taking over the Net: Constructing celebrity leadership discourse in virtual social networks


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accumulation must be carried out by internet persona creator himself/herself. Website architecture reveals that the positioning of the texts shows the power configuration in the network, giving the dominant space for the celebrity leader and the dominated space for the audience reproduction. However, a celebrity can draw attention to the texts of the audience by quoting them, commenting on them, etc. In this way interactive communication is created. The research was pursued following the tradition of Critical Discourse Analysis and choosing a supplementary approach â&#x20AC;&#x201C; capital accumulation analysis. In this respect, the discourses of leadership are created when certain personas accumulate social, cultural, symbolic capital, because all of these are the sources of power. The research showed that the relation between audience and Internet celebrity is comparable to the model of subcultural celebrity and his or her audience. It is more interactive and in some cases even personal. The relation between Internet celebrity and mass media is similar to the relation of the (traditional) celebrity to the mass media. Mass media reproduces the persona which already has accumulated certain amount of popularity, so this way the popularity helps to accumulate more popularity. However, leadership discourses are maintained by the discursive structures of communication. Established media channels have power accumulated (they are known) that can signify the persona as important and powerful within the given context, whereas in un-established channels, the channels unknown to the general public, the internet persona has to create him-/herself from the scratch. Contemporary social networking sites are constructed to support and help to establish those things that are already popular. The power of the persona is constituted by the networked relations and the number of them constitute the power persona will be able to accumulate. This research gives a framework but not a detailed strategy of popularity accumulation in the virtual environments. If aiming to appeal to certain interest group or internet community, broader research in user values and their action patterns should be carried out, as well as the research of virtual service platform itself. As these environments change rapidly, the change on communication genres and practices is inevitable.

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GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS MEDIA TRANSFORMATIONS is a peer-reviewed academic journal of communication, media and journalism studies, that focuses on structural changes in the media, the changing role and functions of media in relation to society, and comparative aspects of media’s own multiple and diverse transformations. The journal invites papers addressing a wide range of topics related to global and local transformations of media systems and journalism practices, particularly structural and cultural changes in the media, technological diffusion and convergence of media industries, commercialization and homogenization of journalism, changing media values and policies, journalism training and media education, and media and cultural industries. Contributions which address the above-mentioned topics from conceptual, empirical and methodological points of view are all welcome (media@pmdf.vdu.lt). Manuscript should include the following:  Name, position, degree, institution and e-mail address of the author(s)  Title of the article  Abstract of no longer than 250 words  Keywords including no more than 6 words  Body text of the article should not exceed 7000 words  References should be listed alphabetically in the following standard form For books: Castells, M. (2009). Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hallin, D. &Mancini, P. (2004). Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press. For articles: Eide, M. (2007). Encircling the Power of Journalism. Nordicom Review, Vol. 28, 21-29. Curran, J.; Iyengar, S.; Lund, A. & Salovaara-Moring, I. (2009). Media system, public knowledge and democracy: A comparative study. European Journal of Communication, Vol. 24(1), 5-26.


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For book chapters: Holtz-Bacha, C. (2004). Political Communication Research Abroad: Europe. In L. L. Kaid (ed.), Handbook of Political Communication Research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 463-477. For online publications: Hume, E. (2007). University Journalism Education: A Global Challenge. A Report to the Center for International Media Assistance. Retrieved September 10, 2010, from http://www.ellenhume.com/articles/education.pdf. Reference in manuscript: (McNair, 2002:125) Manuscript should be 1.5 lines spaced, 12 pt, and typed in Times New Roman. All tables, figures and photos should be clearly described, indicating the source. Tables and figures should be numbered consequently with an appropriate caption, eg. Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Notes should be numbered consequently through the text and typed at the end of the manuscript. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by 2 referees appointed by the editors.

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