Forår 2009 – Københavns Universitet

Activities spring 2009

All meetings take place in room 5.2.29a (Modinet). Please notice seminars begin precisely at 10,00 am.

Tuesday February 17, 10,00-12,30 am: Research seminar

Kevin Barnhurst: Blah-Blah-Blah News
The U.S. news media are now struggling to survive. What changes in content brought them to the current crisis? Over the past century, workers have been producing longer, more abstract and opinionated news reports in print, television, and radio. This presentation gives an overview of the New Long Journalism project, a series of quantitative content analyses designed to measure the occupational and cultural ideology behind the news stories journalists produce.

Kevin Barnhurst suggests that you read his article on “News Ideology in The Twentieth Century”, if you want to prepare yourself for his lecture. Download here:

Ib Bondebjerg: Modern Politics and the development of the investigative television journalism
An independent, critical, investigative journalism on television first developed in Denmark in the mid 1970’s where new documentary formats where born, formats that gave life to the notion of journalism as the fourth estate. The commercialization of television during the 1990’s however meant a decline in the classical format of investigative journalism and documentaries with high profiled social and political critique. New tabloid formats and human interest oriented “investigative” journalism replaced the classical. This development runs parallel to the development of a more populist and personalized political discourse, and a critical journalist agenda more oriented towards single case criticism than structural criticism.

Stig Hjarvard: Mediatization and the Cultural Institution of Film Criticism
Increasingly, media do not act as cultural institutions but as media institutions. Using the cultural institution of film criticism as an example, the weak position of cultural criticism within the mainstream media and among audiences are discussed. Level of education seems to be very important for the authority of film criticism.

Tuesday March 10, 10,00-12,30 am: Research seminar

Lynn Schofield Clark: Digital Media and the Generation Gap
In many parts of the developed world, families engage with a wide range of communication media as a part of their daily lives (Kennedy, 2008).  Parents often express mixed feelings about this engagement on the part of young people, however. Employing Baumberg’s (2004) narrative-in-interaction analysis to interviews with 55 parents and 125 teens, this presentation considers both the discursive strategies parents employ when discussing their rules and regulations regarding digital technologies, and the strategies employed by their teenage young people in response. The paper argues that although economically disadvantaged families experience the digital generation gap with particular intensity, their discursive strategies reveal that they and their teenage children are able to deal with these challenges in creative and effective ways.  This presentation is part of Clark’s forthcoming book, Media Rich and Time Poor: Digital Dilemmas of the Contemporary American Family.

Helle Kannik Haastrup: Celebrity Culture – from Hollywood to Facebook
Celebrity culture is a very complex and contradictory phenomenon in contemporary film- and media culture. Celebrity culture has also become a significant expression of the intensified mediatization of popular culture where viewers have becomes users and participants. How is celebrity culture expressed specifically in fiction film, documentaries, factual entertainment and social sites on the internet (Facebook)? How do the viewers/users respond to this global celebrity culture, is celebrity culture as cultural resource, an object of identification or an indicator of taste within a specific Danish context?

Line Nybro Petersen: Representation of the supernatural in American television fiction – a historical view
This paper discusses the development of supernatural representation in American television fiction since the 1940es. In broad strokes, I point to different tendencies for specific religious topics within fictional serials and discuss how they reflect the concurrent cultural, political and religious atmosphere. The topics include eschatology, reincarnation, destiny and supernatural powers and beings.

Tuesday March 24, 10,00-12,30: Research seminar

Kevin Barnhurst & Richard Doherty: News Workers Claim Power
The environment sustains daily life, but U.S. news organizations lack an environmental beat. How do media workers depict the natural world when the only routine coverage of nature is in frequent weather reports? This presentation summarizes a content analysis of U.S. local television which reveals that weather-casters tend to use small-talk, technology, and visuals to assert their authority over nature, an occupational move that is also ideological: it reveals the power of journalism.

Nete Nørgaard Kristensen: Cultural journalism in change
Cultural journalists are time and time again criticised by both other journalists and scholars of being uncritical and running the errands of the cultural industry. The empirical research in the field is however limited. This presentation presents the first preliminary results of a larger content analysis of cultural journalism in the Danish printed press during the 20th century, asking if the coverage of culture has actually deteriorated – or if it is rather a question of a broadened and changing presentation and interpretation of culture as journalistic topic?

Asta Smedegaard Nielsen: "Danishness" and news coverage of terrorism
Presentation of doctoral research project

Thursday April 2, 2 pm: Lecture by Kevin Barnhurst

Communities vs. Media Visibility
News media coverage also influences the fate of different communities. What happens under the new long journalism to a newly visible minority group? This presentation delivers insights about the fate of sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, and allies), which became regular U.S. news in the 1980s. The Media/Queered Project is an on-line site and book created to explore minority representation and the gains and losses inherent in media visibility.

Tuesday, June 2, 2 - 5 pm: Research seminar with Mark Deuze

Mark Deuze: Convergence Culture and Media Work

In their ways of working and being at work, media professionals embody all the themes of social, cultural, and technological change in the liquid modern times. To some extent the different elements of convergence culture have opened up the creative process in the media for technological, cultural and economical interventions, particularly with respect to the flexibilization of work and the creative autonomy of media professionals regarding their audiences and co-creating users. The cultural field of media production, when seen from an individual worker’s perspective, is clearly not a sovereign sphere, devoid of external pressures, influences and constraints. However, it should also not be seen as a domain of activity wholly determined, standardized and controlled by the structure and organization of industry, nor by the increasingly prosuming activities of people using media. It is through the daily interaction of creativity, commerce, content, and connectivity that media practitioners give active meaning to their work and professional identity, which in turn shapes the meaning and significance of the way media industries function and evolve.

Mark Deuze is Associate Professor at Department of Telecommunications of Indiana University and Professor in Journalism and New Media (personal chair) at Leiden University in The Netherlands. His most recent book is "Media Work". More info here.

Camilla Dindler: A relational perspective on journalists, politicians, and press advisors

Formal and informal rules constitute all organizations and institutions. We may conceptualize the Danish parliament as an organization with the formal aim of legitimizing the democratic rule of the country. In the parliament elected politicians and journalists act, the former flanked by several advisors and administrators. Instead of engaging in how their roles are constituted in public debate, the aim of my presentation will be an analysis of how the roles of journalists, politicians and press advisors in parliament are constituted as an outcome of relations between these main actor-groups and the formal rules formulated by parliament administration. I shall firstly outline a theoretical process-oriented position and an analytical framework and on the basis of that I will present some main conclusions based on participant observation and other research. With reference to cases these conclusions will also point to some functional roles of these actor-groups and thereby hopefully contribute to the discussion about mediatization of politics.