Media in Multicultural and Multilingual Contexts
This workshop is sponsored by the Council of Europe's Confirde building Measures Programme and by the ESRC Transnational Communiites Programme.
Until quite recently broacasting in Europe has been organised on a national basis. Broadcasting media operated across a national space, and were intended to promote the national project. The tendency was to regard the audience as a relatively homogeneous public, and the predominant aim was integration of the national culture.
Since the 1980s, however, we have begun to be aware of other dynamics in European media. These have been a consequence of developments in both the media industries and in European political culture:
In the media industries, there have been important technological, regulatory and commercial developments. Media are using new technologies - cable, satellite, and now digital television - to reach new audiences, on the basis now of new market imperatives. In the political culture of Europe, there have been new claims to visibility, representation and recognition in the media. There are expectations from established minority populations, and also from the populations who have recently migrated to Europe.
On this basis, the media map has become far more complex than in the past.We are seeing the emergence of new audiovisual spaces. Global, national, regional and local programming overlaps and interacts in complex ways and with new kinds of cultural effects. As well as national broadcasting services, we must be concerned with both transnational media and the growth of city television and radio.
New issues are consequently emerging for those involved in media policy and practice, and these are the concerns of this workshop. In particular. we are concerned with questions of multiculturalism and multilingualism.
Multiculturalism concerns the provision of programming - information and entertainment - for audiences recognised as diverse and heterogeneous. This may concern the provision of programmes by national broadcasters for their "minorities" (e. g. MRT's programmes for Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Vlach and Roma communities in *the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"). Or, increasingly, it will concern the provision of programming by minority communities themselves, on a local or a transnational basis (e.g. broadcasting for Turks in Europe).
Multilingualism becomes an increasingly salient issue in this context. Multicultural policies must ensure the recognition of minority languages - both autochthonous languages and migrant languages. Initiatives have been undertaken at different scales - city (e.g. Radio Multikulti in Berlin), regional (e.g. radios AGORA, Korotan and MORA in Austria), and national (e.g. Radio/TV Rumantsch in Switzerland). The language question is now a key issue in the European space, and a significant concern of European institutions such as the Council of Europe and the European Union.
In exploring these issues the workshop will draw among others on the experiences undertaken within the Council of Europe's Confidence Building Measures (CBM) programme, which has been involved in a range of initiatives: e. g. the AIM journalist network; training courses at the Novy Sad school of journalism; Radio 88 Mostar; initiatives at the Lithuanian journalism centre in Vilnius. It will also draw on the agenda of the UK Economic and Social Research Council's Transnational Communities Programme, which is concerned with these issues in the wider European and international context. The aim is to promote dialogue between media specialists, practicians and researchers.
Issues of relevance to the workshop include:
Multiple or common public spheres? - the difficulties of creating diversity in a shared cultural space; dangers of cultural ghettoisation.
Economic issues - funding of small-scale projects; possibilities for "affirmative" action; market potential for larger initiatives.
Civil society initiatives in multicultural communication.
Education and training for journalists involved in broadcasting multicultural and multilingual contexts.
Access in multilingual broadcasting - sub-titling and teletext; multi-channel broadcasting; bi- or multilingual moderation in radio; time-banded broadcasting.
Broadcasting and cultural identities in the new Europe - complexity of identities; inter-cultural interaction; east-west, north-south issues.
Policy issues in multicultural and multilingual broadcasting - at European, national and local levels.
New broadcasting spaces - European; cross-border; urban.
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