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VIEW Issue 5: Television Histories in (Post)Socialist Europe

Author: Dana Mustata

cover_issue_5_en_USThe umbilical relation between television and national languages and cultures has made television in Eastern Europe hard to access outside national borders. The fifth issue of VIEW is entirely dedicated to television histories from Eastern Europe and lays the ground for this emerging area of study.

This special issue opens up new perspectives on television histories from Eastern Europe and situates them beyond the political histories of the nation-state, Cold War isolation and East-West antagonism. It invites readers to question what is ‘socialist’ about television in Europe and reflect upon concepts, methods and approaches pertaining to (post)socialist television in Europe.
 
The issue is guest edited at the initiative of The European (Post)Socialist Television History Network.  It continues the series of activities launched by the network with the aim to stimulate research on television histories from Eastern Europe, encourage comparative approaches to television in the region and create a dialogue with European television scholarship.
 
VIEW, the Journal of European Television History and Culture is the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture. It provides an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage.
 
VIEW is proud to present its fifth issue on ‘Television Histories in (Post)Socialist Europe,’ which is freely available at: http://journal.euscreen.eu/.
 
Table of Contents

Editorial
Editorial
Dana Mustata

Opening Article
Understanding Socialist Television: Concepts, Objects, Methods
Sabina Mihelj

Discoveries
The Eichmann Trial on East German Television
Judith Keilbach
Intervision. Searching for Traces
Yulia Yurtaeva
Folklore Music on Romanian TV. From State Socialist Television to Private Channels
Alexandra Urdea

Explorations
Exploring Transnational Media Exchange in the 1960s
Heather Gumbert
Connected Enemies? Programming Transfer between East and West During the Cold War and the Example of East German Television
Thomas Beutelschmidt, Richard Oehmig
The Great Époque of the Consumption of Imported Broadcasts. West European Television Channels and Polish Audiences during the System Transition
Patryk Wasiak
Italianization Accomplished. Forms and Structures of Albanian Television’s Dependency on Italian Media and Culture
Paolo Carelli
East and West on the Finnish Screen. Early Transnational Television in Finland
Mari Pajala
Retro Reappropriations. Responses to ‘The Thirty Cases of Major Zeman’ in the Czech Republic
Veronika Pehe
Multiple Faces of the Nostalgia Channel in Russia
Ekaterina Kalinina
The Problem of Personality on the Soviet Screen, 1950s-1960s
Simon Huxtable
Comparing Socialist and Post-Socialist Television Culture. Fifty Years of Television in Croatia
Zrinjka Peruško, Antonija Čuvalo

International Journal of Digital Television issue 5.1 now available

The issue 5.1 of the peer review International Journal of Digital Television is now out and you can access it here . The journal aims to describe and explain the transition to digital TV and address the social and cultural questions surrounding the future of television beyond switchover. Content is broad and varied, ranging from a mixture of critical work on technological, industry and regulatory convergence, to the emerging wider socio-cultural and political questions such as audience behaviour, plurality of TV channels and television influence.

journalIn the current issue you can read articles from Toby Miller, Terry Flew, S. Papathanassopoulos, conference reports by I. Katsirea and Darcy Gerbarg, three book reviews, a special theme on ‘Private TV in Europe’ guest edited by Karen Donders and Caroline Pauwels with contributions from Maria Michalis, Tom Evens, Nele Simons and others.

You are all welcome to send ideas for full articles (6-6,500 words), short commentaries (1,500-2,000 words) and conference reports to be considered in the journal to Professor Petros Iosifidis (Department of Sociology, City University London), P.Iosifidis@city.ac.uk. The deadline for submitting them for issue 5.2 is end-June 2014 and for issue 5.3 mid-October 2014.

Potential issues to be addressed in future include, among others: the extent to which new media developments and changing media consumption require changes in regulatory philosophy and business practice; the extent to which globalisation, privatisation and deregulation alter the creative freedom and public accountability of media enterprises; whether digital TV actually increases choice and diversity or just offers more of the same and/or recycled programmes; concentration of media ownership and its effect on pluralism and diversity; national debates about the role of public service broadcasting in the digital epoch; comparative analyses of global TV formats; television for children; sports programming and televised sports rights.

Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies issue 26 now published

scopeScope is a fully peer-reviewed online journal edited by staff and students in the Department of Culture, Film and Media and Institute for Screen Industries Research at the University of Nottingham. Scope provides a forum for discussion of all aspects of film and television history, theory and criticism.

Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies issue 26 has been recently published.  The open-access resource is available here:  http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/scope/february-issue-26.aspx

 

 

FIAT/IFTA Seminar on Television Documentary

televisiondoc-seminar

 

On 13 and 14 March, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision hosted the third seminar of the Television Studies Group of the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA). The seminar focused on television documentary and included a range of documentary practitioners, including former commissioning editors, filmmakers, and film critics, as well as a range of documentary scholars, who discussed their work on documentary history, modes, and practices.

Report by Willemien Sanders & Berber Hagedoorn

Day One: Producing Documentaries

The first day was dedicated to practitioners in the documentary industry. British commissioning editor of BBC’s Storyville Nick Fraser kicked off with a highly personal plea in favour of public service documentaries. He sees a role for documentaries as being complementary to print journalism. Fraser is keen on documentaries as conveyers of some sort of truth, of representing reality and being informative about it. Unfortunately, he and Dutch film critic Hans Beerekamp, were scheduled to speak at opposite ends of the day. Beerekamp revealed that he disagreed with Fraser’s comment, published in the Guardian, on Oscar nominee The Act of Killing, the controversial film Joshua Oppenheimer made about and with Indonesian 1960s death squad killers. A conversation between them might have been illuminating, if only because The Act of Killing includes many aspects discussed throughout the two days – such as documentary historiography, the use of interviews, re-enactments, and the role of participants.

Dutch television journalist Twan Huys hosted consecutive conversations with former public broadcasting commissioning editors Kees Ryninks and Cees van Ede, Romanian filmmaker Andrei Ujica , Dutch filmmaker Pieter Verhoeff, Belgian filmmaker Eva Küpper and British film critic John Wyham, who showed a brilliant clip of Ken Russel’s 1962 film Pop Goes the Easel and went on to talk about art documentaries and the lack connection of most to art’s richness. Most speakers observed that documentary as we know it is in decline and alternative business models develop slowly. Although Netflix, for instance, allows for creative docs, it will not (yet) pay for production. The day ended with the presentation of the 14th DVD box in Sound and Vision’s Dutch Documentary Collection, which includes 9 early works by Johan van der Keuken. Producer Pieter van Huystee was the lucky receiver of the first box.

Day Two: Researching Documentaries

The second day was dedicated to academics and their research. Paul Kerr (Middlesex University, UK) kicked off with an argument about the effect of economic and political developments, rather than technological developments or audience choices, on documentary film production and scheduling. Throughout three panels, a wide range of scholars followed, discussing an equally wide range of topics. Presentations on historical initiatives like the NBC Washington Documentary Unit (Tom Mascaro, Bowling Green State University, USA) and US/Canadian/British/Australian collaboration through Intertel (Lisa Kerrigan, British Film Institute, UK), and the way Dutch filmmakers got acquainted with and inspired by foreign filmmakers and their film (Bert Hogenkamp, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum), shed light on transnational collaboration.

Discussion of the way the Dutch programme Andere Tijden (Different Times) mediates demands of television with demands of doing (academic) history (Berber Hagedoorn, Utrecht University, the Netherlands), and the way various mediators or go-betweens, such as scientists, tv-presenters and reporters have, in various TV programmes from the UK, tried to bridge the gap between science and television audiences (Tim Boon, Science Museum, London, UK) shed light on the relationship between science and television, or, rather, on doing science on television. Presentations on the representation of documentary subjects as embodied emotional individuals (Annelies van Noortwijk, University of Groningen,the Netherlands) and on the way documentary participants co-shape documentary texts and self-present in the process (Willemien Sanders, Utrecht University, the Netherlands) discussed different ways of understanding documentary protagonists.

In addition, there were presentations about the various ways interviews have historically been used to create different kinds of dialogues (Christian Hissnauer, Georg-August Universty, Göttingen, Germany), the way Dutch filmmaker Ed van der Elsken tried (and failed) to propagate the use of super-8 film (Susan Aasman, University of Groningen,the Netherlands), and the development of an advanced classification system for documentary and non-fiction film to argue the lack of diversity of documentary forms and formats on Serbian public service and commercial television (Zorana Popovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia).

The many presentations go to show that research in the field of documentary is diverse and is thriving. The time for plenary discussion was limited, but luckily the bar offered ample opportunity to continue a lively exchange of ideas.

Related

EUscreen recommends: “Television Audiences Across the World. Deconstructing the Ratings Machine”

‘This collection is a most comprehensive book on television ratings systems. It offers a remarkable breadth of case studies of nations from North and South America, Europe, and Asia. These also include a wide variety of types of measurement practices and organizational structures. Such an array offers great opportunities for comparative analyses. Just as important, the book is theoretically, analytically and critically sophisticated. It examines the various critiques of audience measurement, such as the important distinction between substantive and procedural truths and the underlying assumptions in quantification and statistics about human behavior and social relations.” (BACK COVER ENDORSEMENT BY Richard Butsch, author of “The Making of American Audiences”).

 

televsion audiencesIntroduction; Jérôme Bourdon and Cécile Méadel
PART I: INVENTING MEASUREMENT
1. The Politics of Enjoyment: Competing Audience Measurement Systems in Britain, 1950-1980; Stefan Schwarzkopf
2. Still the British Model? The BARB versus Nielsen; Marc Balnaves
3. Canada’s Audience Massage: Audience Research and TV Policy Development, 1980-2010; Philip Savage and Alexandre Sévigny
4. The Monopoly that Won’t Divide: France’s Médiamétrie; Jérôme Bourdon and Cécile Méadel
5. Pioneering the Peoplemeter: German Public Service; Susanne Vollberg
PART II: APPROPRIATING AUDIENCE FIGURES
6. Power Games: Audience Measurement as a Mediation Between Actors in India; Santanu Chakrabarti
7. Imagining Audiences in Brazil: Class, ‘Race’ and Gender; Esther Hamburger, Heloisa Buarque de Almeida, and Tirza Aidar
8. From Referee to Scapegoat, but still Referee: Auditel in Italy; Massimo Scaglioni
9. Domestication of Anglo-Saxon Conventions and Practices in Australia; Mark Balnaves
10. Market Requirements and Political Challenges: Russia Between Two Worlds; Elena Johansson and Sergey Davydov
PART III: CONFRONTING CHANGES
11. The Role of Ratings in Scheduling. Commercial Logics in Irish Public Television; Ann-Marie Murray
12. The Local Peoplemeter, the Portable Peoplemeter, and the Unsettled Law and Policy of Audience Measurement in the US; Philip Napoli
13. Challenges of Digital Innovations: A Set-Top Box Based Approach; Katrien Berte and Tom Evens
14. Thickening Behavioral Data: New Uses of Ratings for Social Sciences; Jakob Bjur

Call for Papers for the Special issue of Critical Studies in Television

Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) invites proposals for articles for a special issue of Critical Studies in Television:‘ Spaces of Television: Production, Site and Style’ to be published in Autumn 2015.

Critical studies in televisionThe journal issue emerges from a research project of the same name, investigating television fiction produced in the UK from 1955-94 and analysing how the material spaces of production (in TV studios and on location) conditioned the aesthetic forms of programmes. Papers that specifically address British drama during this period are particularly welcome, however comparative perspectives concerning dramas from other television industries, import/export, transnational exchange, co-productions and spatially-themed studies of earlier or later dramas will be also considered.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of the dramatic conventions of television genres as demonstrated through the use of space and mise-en-scene.
  • Case studies of television dramatists, actors, directors, producers, designers, or other production staff focusing on mise-en-scene and issues of space.
  • The relationship between television dramatic space and performance, and the social and cultural meanings of performance in different spatial and aesthetic contexts.
  • The spatial significance of particular production techniques and/or special effects in television drama.
  • The social and cultural meanings of the spaces depicted in television drama: e.g. heritage spaces, the urban and the rural, regional, national and foreign spaces, fantasy spaces.
  • The institutional and aesthetic relationships between the spaces of television production (studio, location) and dramas’ social, political and cultural meanings.
  • Histories and historiographies of television drama, particularly relating to production strategies and institutional contexts.

Proposals for articles of 5,000-6,000 words, in the form of an abstract of approximately 400-500 words should be submitted to Dr Leah Panos (l.d.panos@reading.ac.uk) by 31 March 2014.

Further details of the project can be found at:
http://www.reading.ac.uk/ftt/research/Spacesoftelevision.aspx

Call for Papers: Television Histories in (Post)Socialist Europe

VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture Vol. 3, Issue 05.

Deadline for abstracts: February 1st, 2014.
Deadline for full papers: 15 March, 2014.

While recent comparative and transnational approaches in the field of European television history have demonstrated the need for (post)socialist television histories in Europe, there is currently limited scholarship dedicated to this geopolitical area of television in Europe. This area of study has mostly been relegated to the margins of other disciplines and remained isolated by national languages inaccessible to non-native scholars.

VIEW Journal logoThe forthcoming issue of VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture is dedicated to the theme Television Histories in (Post)Socialist Europe. It aims to open up discussions of (post)socialist television in Europe beyond political histories of the nation-state, discourses of Cold War isolation and East-West antagonism. The very broad questions that motivate these aims are:

  • Which empirical case studies help us understand (post)socialist television histories beyond stories of political control?
  • Which primary sources allow us access to television histories that fall outside the mainstream histories of the socialist state?
  • What methods do we need in order to decentralize the state in the production of (post)socialist television histories and analyze television histories that have resisted, subverted or negotiated the politics of communist regimes?
  • How can we theorize (post)socialist television as an object of study that revisits the East versus West dichotomies that have been at the centre of television history in Europe
  • How do (post)socialist television histories help us revisit the Cold War geography of Europe?
  • How can we understand the shifting place of (post)socialist television within broader societal processes of communication?

VIEW welcomes contributions in the form of short articles (2000-4500 words), video and audio essays that take these broad questions on board and deal specifically with topics such as:

  • empirical case studies that help us understand (post)socialist television histories beyond stories of political control;
  • video and audio essays exploring television archival collections in Eastern Europe;
  • video and audio essays presenting primary sources (e.g. oral interviews, audio-visual and written material) of television in former socialist countries;
  • transnational cultures of (post)socialist television in Europe, namely: shared cultures of television production and professions, shared techno-political cultures of television and shared viewing cultures;
  • memories of socialist television and nostalgia;
  • popular television programmes during and since socialism.

This issue is guest edited by the European (Post)Socialist Television History Network in collaboration with the following guest editorial team:

  • Kirsten Bönker (Bielefeld University, DE)
  • Sven Grampp (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, DE)
  • Ferenc Hammer (ELTE University, HU)
  • Anikó Imre (University of Southern California, USA)
  • Lars Lundgren (Södertörn Univerity, SE)
  • Sabina Mihelj (Loughborough University, UK)
  • Dana Mustata (University of Groningen, NL)
  • Julia Obertreis (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, DE)
  • Irena Reifová (Charles University, CZ)

Submission info

  • Contributions are encouraged from authors with different kinds of expertise and interests in television broadcasting, from researchers to television professionals, to archivists and preservationists.
  • Contributions can be in the form of conventional articles, illustrated commentaries or photo-essays.
  • Paper proposals (max. 500 words) are due on February 1st, 2014. Submissions should be sent to the managing editor of the journal, Dana Mustata.

VIEW is published by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in collaboration with Utrecht University, University of Luxembourg and Royal Holloway University of London. It is supported by the EUscreenXL project, the European Television History Network and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

EUscreenXL presents issue 04 of VIEW Journal

VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture Vol. 2, Issue 04: The Hidden Professions of Television

VIEW Journal cover issue 04

We know little about the ‘behind the scenes’ of television. The fourth issue of VIEW provides a rich and eclectic series of contributions from which a lot can be learnt about its ‘hidden’ professions.

VIEW, the Journal of European Television History and Culture is the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of
European television history and culture. It offers an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage.

The journal is proud to present its fourth issue:
Hidden Professions of Television has been guest-edited by Andy O’Dwyer and Tim O’Sulivan and is freely available from: http://www.viewjournal.eu

The articles presented here bring under scrutiny the ‘behind the scenes’ activities of television and their hidden, often unrecognised and uncelebrated personnel and processes. They engage across a wide range of organisational, administrative and technical activities that have played their understated, often ‘invisible’ part in the historical formation and development of television. We wish you a pleasant and inspiring journey through the Hidden Professions of Television!

Table of Contents

 

  • Editorial – Andy O’Dwyer, Tim O’Sulivan

DISCOVERIES

EXPLORATIONS

“Television News Channels in Europe” Report

The European Audiovisual Observatory has published a new report on the TV news market in Europe (covering 38 countries). The entire 100-page report is free to download here. This report provides an overview of the types of channels both national and international, the balance between public and private, and the dominant languages of news channels in Europe. 

report

This new report, carried out as part of the work commissioned by the DG Communication of the European Commission, sources data from the Observatory’s MAVISE TV database.

A review of developments in new media use and online viewing with particular reference to news is provided on the basis of recent studies by national organisations such as the ALM, CNC, and OFCOM, and a range of industry research and surveys.

  • Almost 300 news channels are currently available in Europe, of which more than 170 are established in the European Union.
  • Private channels dominate the national TV news landscape with more than 80% owned by private companies.
  • The pan-European channels with the widest distribution in Europe are CNN International, BBC World News, Al Jazeera (English), Euronews (English) and RT (Russia Today).
  • The number of news channels available over free DTT channels has increased to 43, compared to 16 four years ago.

Visions of Europe in the Eurovision Song Contest

The 59th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark in May 2013. The Eurovision Song Contest is the oldest continuous television program in the world. Launched by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 1956 as one of many initiatives to develop live broadcasting technology in Europe and to contribute to peaceful interaction across the European continent the contest which has been broadcast annually ever since, has developed into the most-watched international festival of popular music.

With a TV audience of around 120 million people plus an increasing viewer base on the internet, the popularity of the contest rivals sporting events such as the UEFA Euro and the American Super bowl.

You can watch the final of the 22nd Eurovision Song Contest in London on EUscreen:

eurovision

Since its inception the Eurovision Song Contest have become a communicative and negotiated space triggering discussions of Europe, its boundaries and identities. Over the years national broadcasters, journalists, audiences, performers and even politicians have promoted their vision of Europe in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest. This Years Eurovision conference, which will take place in Copenhagen during Eurovision week 2014, will as its main theme focus on the multiple visions of Europe in the Eurovision Song Contest. Such visions can take many shapes, be they politically, economically, culturally, sexually and (mental)geographically charged. Visions of Europe link intrinsically to specific comprehensions of Europe in past and present. Visions are always partial, situated, embodied; they have material-discursive implications. Popular culture and performance cultures represented in the Eurovision Song Contest offer distinct opportunities for observing and displaying the contested nature of envisioning Europe.

Visions of Europe in the Eurovision Song Contest conference at Copenhagen University, Faculty of Humanities, will take place on the 5th-7th of May 2014. The organizers announce first call for papers on European visions in the Eurovision Song Contest – with emphasis on empirical, theoretical, analytical and/or methodological dimensions; Other papers presenting research about the Eurovision Song contest is however also welcome.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to: ceklw@hum.au.dk by February 15th 2014

The conference is co-organized by the research program Modern Europe at Aarhus University and Centre for Modern European Studies (CEMES) at Copenhagen University.

 

 

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