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Abstract

Media structure is rapidly steering towards digital formats and distribution. Meanwhile, many Western societies have ageing populations, where older adults are less digitally active than the population at large. This, combined with the fact that the news media are crucial in providing information and fostering engagement and cohesion, means that the news consumption of older adults deserves scholarly attention. Based on national representative surveys, this article analyses the use of traditional and digital news among people aged 66 to 85 between 2014 and 2018. The findings show that the overall reading of newspapers is decreasing among pensioners of all ages, whereas radio and television news both have rather stable audience shares. Despite the overall decline of newspaper reading, the reading of digital newspapers is becoming more common, and digital newspapers seem, to some extent, to have replaced printed newspapers. Concerning factors explaining digital news consumption among the 65+ group, general Internet habits, sex, and political interest are shown to be the most important.

Abstract

Facebook has become an essential channel for local governments to convey information and interact with citizens, and communication on the platform has been studied intensively through a range of smaller case studies in various countries. By looking at the development of Swedish municipalities’ Facebook usage between 2009 and 2017, this article attempts to frame such use in a longitudinal perspective. Based on more than 85,000 posts from 38 Swedish local governments, the findings show that most municipalities have adapted to an online visual culture, using photos and videos “to go viral”. The findings also show large increases in interactions, such as sharing and liking, whilst commenting appears to lag behind. It also shows that local government Facebook pages retain a strong, yet decreasing, tie with government web pages, visible through a tendency of the Facebook page to recycle information from the web page.

Abstract

This article offers a research tool for comparative studies of digital communication systems. It brings together the fields of infrastructure studies, Internet governance, and political economy of the Internet with the tradition of systemic media analysis and argues that existing frameworks are inadequate for capturing regulatory and power structures in a complex digital environment. In the article, we develop a framework for conceptualising and mapping the components of digital communication systems – the DCS framework – and operationalise it for standardised measurements by outlining twelve key indicators that can be analysed using empirical data from a number of existing databases. The framework provides a basis for measuring and comparing digital communication systems across national or regional contexts, and thereby developing new typologies for how to understand structural differences and similarities.

Abstract

This article presents a framework for thinking about the intersections between geopolitics and Northern European television drama by examining the contemporary Nordic Noir genre of crime drama. Nordic Noir features not only the double plot that combines sociopolitical critique with crime drama, but also a third “gaze” that engages aesthetics and territorial features that further individual series’ geopolitical critique. Nordic Noir has become especially attuned to contemporary geopolitical issues specific to its setting (climate change, East-West rivalries, etc.), through which viewers engage with region-specific geopolitical codes and visions. However, what happens when Nordic geopolitical television drama series are exported and transculturally adapted to different geopolitical and cultural realities? By examining the Southeast Asian localisation of The Bridge (Viu/HBO Asia, 2018–) that transforms Nordic Noir into “tropical noir”, this article critically reflects on the geopolitical power and societal engagement of the Nordic Noir template both within and beyond the Nordic region.

Abstract

The “golden age” of Scandinavian television has often been associated with Nordic Noir crime dramas, yet many of the acclaimed serials also engage with geopolitical themes such as migration, cross-border crime, military conflicts, and global terrorism. In this article, we examine the ways in which Nordic Noir contributes to discourses on such topics. We look specifically at the dramas Okkupert [Occupied] (NRK, 2015–), Ørnen [The Eagle] (DR, 2004–2006), Nobel – fred for enhver pris [Nobel – Peace at any Cost] (NRK, 2016), and Kriger [Warrior] (Netflix, 2018–) as they explore potential threats to Scandinavian society and the Nordic welfare state through the distinct figure of the vigilante veteran. Returning soldiers, as we argue, are particularly productive of geopolitics because they are shown to be adept (even well suited) to dealing with the geopolitical uncanny. They, in fact, problematise the positive Scandinavian self-image. While Scandinavian society, as can be inferred from the dramas, has become hypocritical and complacent owing to a very high standard of living, the veterans are the only people adept at responding to threats and crises.

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Abstract

Focusing on the use of landscape in the Norwegian series Occupied (2015–2020) and Nobel (2016), this article examines the ways in which cityscapes and panoramas of the natural environment are employed as affective, as well as aesthetic tools for storytelling within a geopolitically inflected framework. Drawing on literature from popular geopolitics, geocriticism, and visual politics, my analysis interrogates the ways in which geopolitical codes and visions manifest via televisual fiction, reflecting a variety of insecurities associated with Norway's current position in world affairs, as well as contemporary challenges to Norwegian national identity. This article also discusses how these two series have adapted key geovisual elements of the what I deem the “near Nordic Noir” style to focus more explicitly on geopolitical questions, linking Occupied and Nobel to other geopolitically inflected series from Nordic Europe.

Abstract

This article examines the Norwegian climate fiction television series Okkupert [Occupied] (2015–), focusing on the ways in which it reveals the complicity of Nordic subjects in an ecological dystopia. I argue that in illuminating this complicity, the series reimagines the Norwegian national self-conception rooted in a discourse of Norway's exceptionalist relation to nature. I show how Norway's green (self-)image is expressed through what I call “white ecology” – an aesthetics of whiteness encoded in neoromantic mountainous winter landscapes widely associated with the North, but also in the figure of the Norwegian white male polar explorer. I argue in this article that Occupied challenges this white-ecological masculine discourse through “dark ecology” (), embodied by Russia and expressed by the avoidance of spectacular landscape aesthetics as well as by the strategy of “enmeshment”, facilitated by the medium of televisual long-form storytelling and the eco-noir aesthetics.

Abstract

In this article, I show how a vision for the Nordic region exists as a banal Nordism, based on years of content exchange, Nordic co-production models, and public funding opportunities. I document how new commercial players have been able to gain a very large market share in only a few years, significantly disrupting the reach of public service broadcasters in the Nordic region. The three largest contemporary commercial players on the Nordic market – Viaplay, HBO, and Netflix – have been able to, in very different ways, tap into the ideology of banal Nordism and the geopolitical unity of the Nordic region, and they have done so by producing and acquiring content that has deep associations with one of the Nordic region's main international brands: Scandinavian crime fiction and Nordic Noir.

Abstract

In this article, I discuss the geopolitical underpinnings of Russophone fans’ response to the Norwegian hit teen series Skam [Shame]. Starting from the wide-spread distribution of Skam through informal horizontal networks, my article highlights the context specificity of fan participation in meaning-making around global television. Employing multimodal discourse analysis to the social media platform VKontakte, I examine how Russophone audiences of global television imagine the country of origin of their object of fandom, and how spatial imaginations embedded in this process contribute to popular geopolitics of Norden – that is, to geopolitical reasoning of narratives and representations of Nordic countries available through popular culture. My analysis shows how Norway and its positioning in the world provides an important symbolic resource for further discussions on identity and belonging. A close examination of mediated transnational cultural exchange through fan communities advances our understanding of the meaning of popular geopolitics in the age of global television.