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Session Overview
RN18_03c_IC: Work in Media and Communication Industries
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies
Location: Intercontinental - Aphrodite II
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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European national security journalists in the age of surveillance: An endangered species?

Anthony Andrew Mills

University of Vienna, Austria

Europe, buffeted by financial crisis, existential political fears, and the rise of populist-nationalist parties, risks being ‘unmade’ by undemocratic forces fuelling public mistrust in institutions, social regression and aggression against communities. Within this context, journalists as a social group crucial to the survival of a democratic Europe find themselves caught between pressures of the market, labour precarity and the growing mistrust of the public. Adding to the squeeze, new national security surveillance legislation, coupled with the extraordinary surveillance capacities revealed by Edward Snowden, threatens a fundamental pillar of watchdog journalism: the ability of journalists to communicate securely with sources, resulting in a noxious chilling effect (Mills & Sarikakis, 2016a; Mills & Sarikakis, 2016b).

Although Stoycheff (2016) revealed post-Snowden self-censorship on Facebook, and a Pew survey (2015) of investigative journalists found concerns about surveillance had kept 14% from pursuing a story within the last 12 months, there is no academic literature that comparatively assesses the impact of surveillance on the sociology of national security journalism in Europe.

This paper maps and analyses national security reporting in Europe in three time periods: 1) before Wikileaks 2) After Wikileaks and before Snowden 3) After Snowden. The paper examines a) the degree to which journalists’ ability to report on national security has been threatened by surveillance, and surveillance legislation; b) the specific surveillance of journalists 3) general frameworks of surveillance.

The paper is based on analysis of national security reporting in print media in three European countries - the UK, Germany and France – that played a leading role in covering Wikileaks and Snowden. It also draws from interviews with 50 European national security journalists.

The reasons for dissatisfaction with work and turnover. Case study in a call centre of a Portuguese bank

Vera Moreira1, Paulo Marques Alves2, Maria do Carmo Botelho2

1Universidade do Minho; 2ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Following the emergence of the "flexible accumulation” (Harvey, 1989), the call centres emerged and expanded. This “tayloristic, housewifized service labour” (Fuchs, 2014), is the symbol of the business model of the current stage of capitalism, which is subordinated to a logic of rationalization of costs, through the widespread of a generalized precariousness.

Alongside with the old coercive ones, new hegemonic logics of domination (Burawoy, 1979) are implemented and a newspeak arises in order to produce the consent of domination, leading the workers to cooperate with the reproduction of the capital.

Under these conditions, collective action is very difficult and the individual exit is the attitude that prevails.

This paper is based on a research in a call centre of a bank where the turnover among the outbound operators is very high. Its goal is to understand the reasons that can induce this phenomenon. A structured questionnaire was administered to the operators that put an end to their contracts with the temporary work agency that placed them in the call centre.

Former workers felt that they were unable to intervene in the organization of their work, that they were not free in the execution of the tasks, which were not varied, and that they do not identify with them.

As a consequence, they were exhausted emotionally, with a feeling of disbelief and dissatisfied with the job content, what may have led to the exit attitude. It was concluded that the reward for positive feedback at work and the identification with the performed tasks are key influencers of satisfaction, relationship that is mediated by burnout, especially for emotional exhaustion.

Project networks and the local labour market. The implications of foreign film productions for the Croatian audio-visual industry

Jaka Primorac

Institute for Development and International Relations, Croatia

This paper provides a critical analysis of the changes in labour market in Croatian audio-visual industry that are brought about by the foreign film productions and its’ contextualization within local structural factors on the one level and global challenges on the other. The analysis begins by exploring the historical and structural factors (Murdock and Golding, 2016; 766) influencing the local labour market in Croatia’s audio-visual industry; then it goes on to decipher patterns of interactions and power structures created within particular project networks (Jones, 2000) as a result of incoming productions. This is done by presenting data from case study research on foreign film productions in Croatia executed during 2015 - 2016. The case study is underpinned by an exploratory, sequential, mixed-method design (Cresswell, 2009) that combines an analysis of quantitative indicators i.e. fiscal indicators of the Foreign Film Incentive Programme provided by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics; and qualitative data based on eleven expert interviews (Bogner, Littig and Menz, 2009) with key stakeholders within audio-visual production in Croatia using the interview guide approach (Patton 2002). The aim of the paper is to provide a background for a more multi-layered discussion on the commodification of labour in media and communication industries in general (Mosco, 2008), and to contribute to our understanding of structural imbalances in the global creative economy.

Where is Social Class in Brazilian Communication Research?

Rafael Grohmann

University of São Paulo/ FIAM-FAAM University, Brazil

The papers presents research results on how the concept of social class has been approached in communication research in Brazil. We analyzed 48 congress papers, 42 PhD and Master thesis between 2010 and 2014 that involve social class in communication studies. Then, we conducted a bibliometric analysis, considering the most-cited authors, and we analyze qualitatively how the concepts of social class and communication are studied in these researches, theoretically and epistemologically. That is, what are the meanings of social class in communication studies? What their theoretical approaches? What does this imply for communication studies? Do these researches consider the social subject and the struggles? Is there social ontology? In general, we can observe theoretical and methodological weaknesses with respect to the concepts of social class and communication, often occurring a naturalization of the concept of class. The theoretical meanings of social class are trivialized or shallow, not considering issues of struggles and conflicts, with inequalities transformed into mere differences. There are no Marxist authors among the most cited. What are the implications of the disappearance of struggles and social subjects for communication research? How can we think of a critical theory of communication that thinks of class struggles? We seek, finally, how we can think of class struggles in communication from a Marxist point of view considering the ontology of social being.

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