CEECOM 2018: serious comparative media and jouranlism studies are still missing in CEE

17.06.2018 /18:49 | Автор: Bissera Zankova | Източник: UBJ Големина на шрифт: a a    Отпечатай:

This year the 11th CEECOM conference „Communicative Space – Political Space” was hosted by the University of Szeged, Hungary. The next meeting of the organization will be held in Sofia.

The event gathered some 200 communication experts mainly from Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) of whom as many as 135 made presentations. The Central East European Communication Network CEECOM (a branch of ECREA) annual conferences usually highlight the trends in the new and traditional media and in journalism.

The international participants representing a bouquet of experienced and young scientists seemed to equally suffer from the effects of modern communication – on the one hand,  from a heavy addiction to it and on the other – from a desperate reliance on it. Some referred to summaries gazing at their mobile phones or presented with both hands on two computers. No eye contact, no gesture, smile or joke to the audience, just dry delivering of scientific content on communication. It was like robotization in action.

Although correctly pointed out by the Estonian/Finnish keynote speaker Epp Lauk that the de-westernisation of journalist principles is a characteristic feature of the countries in the region, the socio-political situation, including the media systems, strategies and journalism cultures changed there 5-10 times during the 20th century. These were tragical ruptures challenging professional identities leading to a heavy journalism crisis.

The evolution of journalism from the transformations towards democratisation and back, the overall discontinuity,

the generational shift (it is the time now for juveniles with no political past, experience and journalism background coming to the fore!), the new educational demands behind the journalistic profession and the acute insecurity of the job all agreed is a complex matter. The changes introduced after 1989 possess weak roots.

Do we need a new revolution, or do Western scholars have to come and teach journalism known from the Hollywood movies, again? What about the newly emerged rich oligarchs and the former communist apparatchiks who grabbed the media?

These were some of the reactions of the audence. Transition has everywhere been very controversial. Against the backdrop of its light and dark sides the observation that that CEE lacked serious comparative research focused on journalism and its development after the democratic reforms was very pertinent.

Most of the scientific efforts have been centred on the media systems and their modifications, however, if we want to have a comprehensive picture of the real amplitude of change in this part of Europe we have to find new unexplored niches.

Еvidencing the difficulties of the comparative studies  

The in-depth exploration of social media and their impact on society was claimed to be the next challenge on the scientific agenda. Another complexities stem from the character of the media in CEE countries positioned between politicisation and commercialisation. In discussion questions about the future of community media were raised representing perhaps a missing research focus for most of the scholars in the region.

The message from Slovakia after the murder of the journalist Jan Kuciak revealed that for the time being, a „mediacracy“ reigned there. As a result the media are able occasionally to set the agenda and manage to influence state authorities‘ decisions even the decisons of the Prosecutor General.

The impact of the media on journalism practices  

The survey regards 28 western, central and EE countries as part of the 2012 – 2015 Worlds of Journalism study.The outcomes for central and eastern Europe show multiple influences - political through politics and pressure groups, economic through advertizing and profit expectations and organizational through the media organization, ownership and editorial policy.

The most significant inference is that the media structure, functions and internal organization comprise a powerful factor (negative or positive) for shaping journalistic activities and it is much more influential than the individual or professional chracteristics of journalists themselves.

Germany, Portugal, Romania and Hungary announced a joint project on the revision of journalist education so it fits to contemporary conditions and responds to challenges like data collection, collaboration among journalists, especially in investigation, new business models and ethics regarding fake news and hate speech.

Another project was initiated by the Visegrad4 states on cross-border investigative journalism that started with cooperation related to the murder of Kuciak and propaganda flow. The initiative follows the trend rooted in the Panama Papers case.

A re-appearing belief among participants, sometimes saliently surfacing, was that all the media should have a social responsibility mission which is certainly hard to achieve. The projects‘ outcomes are also expected to become a basis of appropriate policy and legislation supporting quality journalism and  independent media which is a difficult exercise especially in Bulgaria. 


 Правни въпроси и отговори

На въпроси, засягащи трудовите права на журналистите, отговаря доцентът по трудово и осигурително право Андрей Александров

16.02.2018 /14:43 | Автор: Андрей Александров | Източник: СБЖ

 Акценти и позиции

Председателката на УС на СБЖ апелира към цялата журналистическа колегия да изрази активно и настоятелно пред законодателите в Народното събрание решителното отхвърляне на поправките, застрашаващи свободата на словото и устоите на демократичното общество

12.02.2019 /08:16

СБЖ, който вече изрази възмущението си, че тези поправки са покушение над свободата на словото и призова държавния глава да наложи вето, изразява удовлетворение и приветства принципното и обосновано решение на президента Румен Радев

04.02.2019 /15:54

Международната федерация на журналистите излезе с официално становище по критичната позиция на СБЖ относно застрашаващите свободата на словото поправки в Закона за защита на личните данни

02.02.2019 /12:49


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