Recent Submissions

  • Comic Beppe Grillo, his Eurosceptic message and the mobilising of the Italian public, online

    Rowinski, Paul; University of Bedfordshire (2014)
    The power of the net and the persuasive force of the language used, have contributed to a massive power shift in Italy. In a country where patronage discredits mainstream politicians, a comic and his political movement have stopped the established figures laughing, by finding a new freedom of speech on-line. Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement (FSM) gave a voice to the previously disenfranchised. Through his website, young mothers and unemployed engineers were selected in on-line primaries - and now hold the balance of power in Italy’s centre-left coalition government. Yet Grillo, advocate of participatory democracy, has paradoxically shunned the country’s political journalists who seek responses - instead directing them to his website. Is that funny? Despite Britain’s apparent pervasive Euroscepticism, it is in traditionally Europhile Italy that it has gained a foothold. On-line, Grillo and his fellow grillini persuade Italians almost daily over Europe. Today it was a video posted with Grillo and UKIP leader, Nigel Farage. FSM want a referendum allowing Italians to withdraw from the Euro – part of its emancipatory online battle. The Grillini, have replaced the old powerbroker, the secessionist, right-wing and anti-EU Northern League, which kept Silvio Berlusconi and the right in power for several decades. This paper couples an analysis of the political communication achieved by Grillo on-line over Europe (comparing and contrasting with the Northern League); with a discourse historical analysis of the persuasive language used and the historical and political terrain informing Grillo’s populist response. The paper will address the issues of mobilising on the net; giving a voice to the disenfranchised (as perceived by Grillo); and creating a possible forum for freedom of speech, creating a very different and often more humorous Eurosceptic message than the ones thus far subjected to analysis, but one that now needs rigorous critical evaluation.
  • War as a moral discourse

    Mellor, Noha; Kingston University (SAGE, 2009-07-06)
    The debate surrounding the coverage of the Iraq War in Arab and western news media has pinpointed the ethical role of the news media in the mediation of suffering. This article analyses the mechanism of mediating war in the front-page articles from four pan-Arab newspapers, printed during the war in 2003. The article draws on Boltanski's discussion of emotional politics or what he terms politics of pity, the aim of which is to trigger sympathy for the Other. The news texts included here are analysed according to their rhetorical strategies and to whether they aim at consolidating a certain ethical stance towards the war. Finally, the article attempts to answer the question of whether this coverage has contributed with rational arguments to the general public debate about the war, thereby fulfilling its role as mediator to the pan-Arab polity.
  • The Trojan horse: the growth of commercial sponsorship

    Philips, Deborah; Whannel, Garry (Bloomsbury, 2013-08-15)
    The Trojan Horse traces the growth of commercial sponsorship in the public sphere since the 1960s, its growing importance for the arts since 1980 and its spread into areas such as education and health. The authors' central argument is that the image of sponsorship as corporate benevolence has served to routinize and legitimate the presence of commerce within the public sector. The central metaphor is of such sponsorship as a Trojan Horse helping to facilitate the hollowing out of the public sector by private agencies and private finance. The authors place the study in the context of the more general colonization of the state by private capital and the challenge posed to the dominance of neo-liberal economics by the recent global financial crisis. After considering the passage from patronage to sponsorship and outlining the context of the post-war public sector since 1945, it analyses sponsorship in relation to Thatcherism, enterprise culture and the restructuring of public provision during the 1980s. It goes on to examine the New Labour years, and the ways in which sponsorship has paved the way for the increased use of private-public partnerships and private finance initiatives within the public sector in the UK.
  • The transformation of campaign reporting: the 2010 UK General Election, revolution or evolution?

    Gaber, Ivor (Springer, 2011)
    This chapter argues that the 2010 election represented a transformative moment in the reporting of British general election campaigns. Some of the changes were incremental — going back over several previous elections — but some were dramatic and specific to the 2010 campaign. The single most important reason why 2010 was a totally different campaign to report was because of the advent of the leaders’ televised debates. The debates not only had a dramatic impact themselves but also, by their intensification of attention on the leadership issue, played an important part in making 2010 a virtually policy-free campaign. However, there were other major developments — more incremental — that also had an important impact on the daily business of election campaign reporting in 2010.
  • The media’s reporting of war crimes trials and its impact on post-conflict democracy in Sierra Leone and Liberia

    Cole, Bernadette; Silverman, Jon; University of Sierra Leone; University of Bedfordshire (Intellect, 2013-03-01)
    The application of international humanitarian law (IHL) to conflicts in Africa has been the subject of some scholarly and much journalistic discourse about the ending of ‘impunity’ and an extension of the normative principles of transitional justice. The trials conducted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) were brought to audiences in both countries by a media that has had scant experience in grap - pling with such weighty jurisprudential concepts. A research project is examining attitudes towards the reporting of two of those trials. This article discusses prelimi - nary findings from the research and argues that the media is performing a wider role in legitimizing post-conflict governance by providing a platform for civil society organizations.
  • The lobby in transition: what the 2009 MPs' expenses scandal revealed about the changing relationship between politicians and the Westminster Lobby

    Gaber, Ivor (Taylor & Francis, 2013-02)
    The 2009 MPs' expenses scandal was one of the most significant political stories of modern times. It raised questions, not just about the ethics and behaviour of MPs but also about the relationship between politicians at Westminster and the political correspondents who follow them on a daily basis, known as ‘the lobby’. For the significance of this scandal, in media terms, was that the story was not broken by members of the lobby but came from outside the traditional Westminster news gathering process. This paper examines why this was the case and it compares the lobby today with that which was described and analysed by Jeremy Tunstall and Colin Seymour-Ure in their respective studies more than 40 years ago. The article concludes that the lobby missed the story partly because of the nature of the lobby itself and partly as a result of a number of specific changes which have taken place in the media and the political systems over the past 40 years.
  • The culture of witnessing: war correspondents rewriting the history of the Iraq War

    Mellor, Noha (Taylor & Francis, 2012-05)
    Building on Zelizer's framework of analyzing journalism and memory, this article aims to analyze Arab journalists' narratives of the Iraq War. Through scrutinizing four selected narratives, published by four pan-Arab journalists from three different transnational satellite channels (Abu Dhabi TV, Al Jazeera and Al Manar), I aim to show how their narratives help consolidate the professional status of pan-Arab journalists vis-à-vis local and western media. I argue that Arab journalists seek to establish their authority as historians through rewriting the history of certain battles, such as the battle of Fallujah, or through reflecting on their news-gathering efforts. Thus, their narratives also help consolidate their status as ‘watchdog’ and analysts while implicitly consolidating their cultural authority as reliable historians.
  • The “hollowed-out election,” or where did all the policy go?

    Gaber, Ivor (Taylor & Francis, 2013-04)
    An increasing emphasis on personalities, at the expense of party policies, is a trend that has been apparent in UK General Elections for the past two decades. However, the 2010 election saw that trend reach new heights in what is here described as a “hollowed out” election. This article, based on research that investigates the news agendas of the parties and contrasts these with those of the media and the public, seeks to demonstrate the extent to which, with the exception of generalized debate about the state of the economy, there was an almost total absence of policy discussion by the parties and the media during the 2010 campaign. This is attributed to three factors: the impact of the first-ever leaders' televised debates, ideological convergence between the parties, and the fact that the two issues of greatest concern to the public—government spending cuts and immigration—were issues that the parties felt were “too hot to handle.”
  • Reframing 9/11 : film, popular culture and the "war on terror"

    Birkenstein, Jeff; Froula, Anna; Randell, Karen (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010-05-13)
    September 11th, 2001 remains a focal point of American consciousness, a site demanding ongoing excavation, a site at which to mark before and after "everything" changed. In ways both real and intangible the entire sequence of events of that day continues to resonate in an endlessly proliferating aftermath of meanings that continue to evolve. Presenting a collection of analyses by an international body of scholars that examines America's recent history, this book focuses on popular culture as a profound discursive site of anxiety and discussion about 9/11 and demystifies the day's events in order to contextualize them into a historically grounded series of narratives that recognizes the complex relations of a globalized world. Essays in Reframing 9/11 share a collective drive to encourage new and original approaches for understanding the issues both within and beyond the official political rhetoric of the events of the "The Global War on Terror" and issues of national security.
  • Gender boundaries inside pan-Arab newsrooms

    Mellor, Noha (Taylor & Francis, 2013-03)
    The focus of this article is on Arab women journalists and how they negotiate their position in news and current affairs programmes. The main aim is to illustrate how gender identity can be appropriated and contested. Drawing on a recent piece of field-work among a large sample of Arab men and women journalists in transnational media, I aim to show how women interpret the boundaries inside the newsroom, and their strategies to overcome these boundaries. Also, drawing on post-feminist debates, I argue that Arab female journalists like to see themselves as free agents responsible for their career routes to consolidate their journalistic experience and professionalism; the reality, however, is that they end up reproducing the dominant structure.
  • Arab journalists in transnational media

    Mellor, Noha (Hampton Press, 2011)
  • Sense about science - making sense of crime

    Silverman, Jon; Sutherland, Alex; Thompson, Alex; Shepherd, Jonathan; Pease, Ken; Morrison-Coulthard, Lisa; Ross, Nick; Buch, Prateek; Wortley, Richard; Brown, Tracey (Sense About Science, 2015-04-30)
    There’s always heated debate about crime in the media and a lot of political argument about how we should respond to it. But these arguments rarely provide insight into what actually causes crime, what lies behind trends over time and in different places, and how best to go about reducing it. Values inform how a society decides to deal with crime. We may decide that rehabilitation is a better principle than punishment, and this will influence how we decide what is most effective. However, we also expect these choices to be disciplined by sound evidence, because if crime policy ignores what works and what doesn’t, there are likely to be bad social consequences. And with over £10bn spent annually on tackling crime through the police, prisons, probation and courts, unless we look at evidence we can’t see how effective any of it is. Crime policy usually has twin aims – to prevent crime, and to seek justice by punishing those who commit offences. Research shows there’s only a loose link, if any, between the way offenders are punished and the number of offences committed. There is no reliable evidence for example, that capital punishment reduces serious crimes as its supporters claim. Yet politicians and commentators regularly claim that more punishments are a way to cut crime. Academic, government and community organisations have all said crime policies need to be based more on evidence, but much of the evidence available at the moment is poor or unclear. Debates about crime rarely reflect how strong the evidence behind opposing policies is, and even when politicians honestly believe they’re following the evidence, they tend to select evidence that supports their political views. This guide looks at some of the key things we do know and why it has been so difficult to make sense of crime policy. An important point throughout is that policymakers sometimes have to make decisions when things are not clear-cut. They have a better chance of making effective policies if they admit to this uncertainty – and conduct robust research to find out more. In the following pages we have shared insights from experts in violent crime, policing, crime science, psychology and the media’s influence on the crime debate. They don’t have all the answers, but we hope they leave you better-placed to hold policymakers and commentators to account and promote a more useful discussion about crime.
  • Euroscepticism in the Berlusconi and Murdoch press

    Rowinski, Paul; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2014-10-14)
    A comparative analysis of Euroscepticism explores what it means in two nations and what is then articulated in specific newspapers. The theoretical terrain, Italy’s and Britain’s post-war relationships with the European Union, the countries’ media structures and the specific context of Il Giornale (owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s family) in Italy and The Times in the United Kingdom (owned by Rupert Murdoch) are mapped out. Some 21 interviews were conducted with relevant journalists and politicians (including reporters covering Europe for the aforementioned) offering further context. A critical discourse analysis of news stories and commentaries then spans the last decade. Although there is some Euroscepticism in Il Giornale, it has historically been localised, yet now seems to be growing in intensity. In The Times, however, the Euroscepticism conveyed is more pervasive and deeper. Its fact-based news can actually be very persuasive – ironically more akin to the commentary-laden news of Il Giornale – as the debate looms ahead of the planned 2017 UK referendum on European Union membership.
  • The mobile phone and the public sphere: mobile phone usage in three critical situations

    Gordon, Janey; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2007)
    This article seeks to explore the influence of the mobile phone on the public sphere, in particular with regard to its effect on news agendas, gatekeepers and primary definers. Using the examples of the Chinese SARS outbreak (2003), the south-east Asian tsunami (December 2004) and the London bombings (July 2005), the author questions the extent to which the mobile phone is challenging conventional and official sources of information. At times of national and personal calamity, the mobile phone is used to document and report events from eyewitnesses and those closely involved. Using multimedia messages (MMS) or text messages (SMS) to communities of friends and families, as well as audio phone calls, mobile phone users may precede and scoop official sources and thwart censorship and news blackouts. They can also provide valuable evidence of what actually occurred. Users are able to take pictures and short films and transmit these rapidly to others along with reports of what is happening where they are; they are also able to access other media broadcasts and the internet. They are what have become known as `citizen journalists'. The evidence suggests that mobile phone usage is contributing to the public sphere and in some instances is circumventing official repression or inadequate information. There is also an indication that the `mobcam' is capturing images that would otherwise be lost. However, the mainstream media has been quick to take advantage of this citizen journalism and mediate it within its own parameters.
  • Superficial and Eurosceptic? British press coverage of the EU

    Rowinski, Paul (European Journalism Observatory, 2015-06-08)
  • The economic tensions faced by community radio broadcasters

    Gordon, Janey (Routledge, 2015)
    Gordon, Janey (2015) "The economic tensions faced by community radio broadcasters", in Atton, Chris (ed) The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media, Routledge:London

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