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Session Overview
RN18_02a_IC: Media Content – Image and Representation
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Adriana Daniela Ștefănel, University of Bucharest
Location: Intercontinental - Aphrodite I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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Opinions of Television Audience about Television Content: Results from a General Population Survey

Stelios Stylianou

Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a telephone survey of a representative sample of 1000 people from the general population of adults in Cyprus (conducted in the context of a larger research project that aimed to estimate the prevalence of certain elements of content in Cyprus television by means of a quantitative content analysis). The presentation includes findings about hours of television viewing per week, types of programs watched, opinions about television and television viewing and interaction with media organizations through traditional and new means. The variables of main interest are viewers' opinions about televised content; specifically, the extent to which viewers think that the amount of televised violence, crime, disasters, human suffering, prejudice and fanaticism is "acceptable". The results of the survey are juxtaposed with relevant findings from the quantitative content analysis. The analysis also explores associations between viewers' opinions and other measures, such as viewing habits and demographic characteristics (gender, age, education, income and family composition). Special attention is paid to the issue of children in the household and on children's viewing habits, as, according the findings of the survey, one in three children younger than 12 watch television daily or a few times per week after 9 p.m. on weekdays or after 10 p.m. on weekends.

Image as Evidence: Baring Pain in the News Media

Miranda Christou

University of Cyprus, Cyprus

My starting point in this presentation is that images of bodies in pain in the news media are becoming increasingly more ‘real’, unprocessed and immediate: viewers are exposed to dead bodies, bodies that have been burnt, crushed, broken, in positions that seem ‘unnatural’ or painful; bodies in abject conditions. Literature in media studies so far can be divided in three main debates: the truth and reality debate (focusing on the spectacular aspects of media reports on wars, Baudrillard 1991), the aesthetics debate (examining the pornification of horror and violence) and the ethics debate (how witnessing distant suffering impacts compassion, Boltanski, 1999, Moeller, 1999, Chouliaraki 2008). I attempt to go beyond these debates and address the question of the human body as visual evidence to point out how ethnic and national discrepancies in the differential exposure of the vulnerable human body are not simply representations of ‘reality’ but productions of cultural difference. More specifically, I compare images of two dead children that have been widely circulated in the media: a dead child refugee on the shore of Turkey (2015) and a dead child from the Nice attacks (2016). I discuss the question of whether the visibility of body, flesh and injury serves to humanize or de-humanize the exposed bodies. I argue that providing ‘evidence’ of other people’s hardship is a process that defeats the intention to humanize these ‘other people’.

Newspaper Coverage of Ethical Issues Concerning Pharmaceutical Industry - Comparison between the U.S. and Poland.

Marta Makowska1, George Sillup2, Stephen Porth2

1Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland; 2Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

In different countries, media coverage shows the same subject in various ways. Something that is important in one country and on the front pages of all newspapers can be totally ignored in the other one. The research question addressed is: “Does media coverage of ethical issues in the pharmaceutical industry vary between U.S. and Poland?’

The presentation will be based on a three-year content analysis of two leading newspapers from U.S. and Poland - New York Times (NYT) and the Gazeta Wyborcza (GW). In both countries, the same methodology was used to identify and evaluate the issues.

Results indicated that in both countries’ newspapers top issues affecting the pharmaceutical industry were - drug safety, healthcare reform and high drug prices. In the U.S., the issues linked to the pharmaceutical industry were more often on the front page, which is indicative of greater public interest about the issues than in Poland. Analysis of headlines revealed a statistically significant difference between both countries (p<.05). The Polish newspaper, GW, had a greater number of negative headlines than the NYT. The statistically significant difference was also observed in the tone of articles (p<.001). Articles in NYT had a neutral tone or were more positive toward pharmaceutical industry than those in the GW, where as many as 64.8% were negative. Articles in the NYT had more fair balance than articles in the GW.

Results of this comparison between coverage of ethical issues concerning pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. and Poland enable better understanding of the specific of approach to the ethics of pharmaceutical marketing in the two countries.


Dimitris Boucas, Maria Michalis

University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Community networks have since the beginning of the 1990s comprised settings for providing Internet access for a community. The philosophy behind their development has varied, from providing connectivity where the market has failed to do so, to empowering the users to control more of their data. In doing so, they have adopted various models, ranging from the more formal and organised to the more improvised and informal. Moreover, they have often relied on external funding and voluntary work by key individuals or groups.

The paper seeks to address the problem of sustainability inherent in such networks. In doing so, it uses a conceptual framework on sustainability, which involves multiple dimensions, namely economic, political and socio-cultural. This is used as a starting point for evaluating the sustainability prospects of certain community network cases in the UK and Greece (selected through purposive sampling).

Being an interpretive study, the paper seeks to identify the important sustainability issues as experienced and understood by key actors involved in the development and management of these networks. To this aim, a set of interviews with these actors have been carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire derived from the conceptual framework mentioned above. The interviews verify the broad aspects of the framework but also provide additional insights as to the issues of economic, political and socio-cultural sustainability in the networks under examination. Conclusions are drawn as to the future of such networks in the era of sophisticated Internet platforms, cheap cloud computing and social media.

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