Mediatized Politics

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Mediatized Politics

  1. 1. Mediatized Politics An Analytical Study of The Interrelationship Between Media and Youth in Italy An Analytical Study of The Interrelationship Between Media and Youth in Italy Prof. Emiliana De Blasio Prof. Michele Sorice April 2006 Member of 1
  2. 2. “Political Tribune” • For the Administrative Elections of 1960, Italian Television transmits “Electoral Tribune” (Tribuna elettorale) in which the political actors were able to contact “directly” the people • April 26th 1961: The first “Tribuna Politica” was transmitted – The Rai decides to institute a permanent space for the political communication Mediatized Politics 2 2
  3. 3. The Research Member of 3
  4. 4. The Background The Permanent Campaign (1/2) • The quot;permanent campaignquot; constitutes a new type of relationship between parties/candidates and citizens and consensus building. For many western democracies this phenomenon is not at all new, having been experienced in the United States, for example, back in the 1980s when it was theorized by Blumenthal (1982). In Italy, this trend is new being experienced just in the previous electoral competition of 2001. Mediatized Politics 4 4
  5. 5. The Background The Permanent Campaign (2/2) • The concept of permanent campaingn refers to the extension of electoral-type communication dynamics to the ordinary phases of political life, creating a situation in which there is no longer any clear distinction between the political cycle and the electoral cycle. Rather than focusing on programs to build consensus, political behaviour is becoming relatively subordinate to the logic of relations with public opinion and to the needs of a political communication which is more and more conditioned by the marketing and news management. Mediatized Politics 5 5
  6. 6. Outline (1/2) • Media and politics have always been depending on one another (particularly in Italy), but today their relationship is reaching unprecedented degrees of intimacy and complexity – The politicians’ private life and external appearance is just one of today’s dominant media perspectives – Permanent Campaign • We have tried to map out the territory that emerges out of the contemporary complicity between media and politics – And particularly the young citizens perception of the political discourse • We have tried to use different disciplines: from media sociology to discourse analysis – The research is still in course: we would to deliver state cutting edge knowledge and insight into the rapid and deep transformations of contemporary politics (and media use) in Italy Mediatized Politics 6 6
  7. 7. Outline (2/2) • Using discourse analysis as the social research (surveys, focus groups), the study focuses on the ways in which youth talk about their use of the media and the ways in which both the media and young citizens talk about politics. And also the ways in which young citizens percept political communication • One of the startingpoint is that, in a mediatised society such as Italy, what we understand as “politics” is partly “the product of a complex interplay between the ways in which the media and citizens talk about politics” Mediatized Politics 7 7
  8. 8. Theoretical dimensions and methodological tools A similar scheme in a Youths’ Use and Danish research, directed by Kim Christian Schröder Experience of Media Surveys Focus groups Media Discourses Youths’ Discourses about Politics about Politics Discourse Analysis Focus groups Mediatized Politics 8 8
  9. 9. Theoretical Background (1/2) • Youths possess extensive knowledge repertoires • Youths have elaborated aesthetic repertoires • We have defined “Youth” all the people in the age 18-30 – 9.5 millions people: 19.9% of the italian electors Mediatized Politics 9 9
  10. 10. Theoretical Background (2/2) • Critical Discourse Analysis – Fairclough (1992, 1995, 1998) – An approach language based, social constructionist and holistic: • Discourse is simultaneously constituted by social reality and constitutive of social reality • Media and Social Changes – Sparks (1994, 1997) • Social Semiotics – Jensen (1987), Schrøder (1994) • Audience theories – coming from the British approach to media audiences – Morley (1982), Hobson (1982), Livingstone & Lunt (1994), Scannell (1992, 1998), Abercrombie & Longhurst (1998), Couldry (2005), Sorice (2005) Mediatized Politics 10 10
  11. 11. Three steps • 1,526 questionnaires – With interviewers – Respondents: citizens aged between 18 and 30 • 8 focus groups – People aged between 18 and 30 • Media construction of politics – Discourse analysis of media discourses: tv infotainment and free press – (still in development) Mediatized Politics 11 11
  12. 12. The Quantitative Research The Questionnaires Member of 12
  13. 13. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (1/16) M F Totale I don’t watch tv 2.5% 1.3% 1.9% Less than 1 hour/day 18.8% 12.0% 15.4% From 1 to 2 hours/day 38.6% 26.2% 34.4% From 2 to 3 hours/day 25.0% 34.4% 27.7% From 3 to 4 hours/day 9.9% 16.9% 13.4% More than 4 hours/day 5.2% 9.2% 7.2% Consumption time of television programs Mediatized Politics 13 13
  14. 14. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (2/16) Gender TOTAL Male Female Working 6.0 2.4 4,3 Studying 30,0 30,8 30,4 Reading 8.3 13,8 11,2 Eating 76,9 94,0 85,1 Working at pc 9.1 10,4 9,9 Surfing on internet 4,7 11,5 8,1 When I watch tv (more answers possible) Mediatized Politics 14 14
  15. 15. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (3/16) Total I never watch political tv programmes 11,4% If I look at politicians I turn channel 9.8% I watch sometimes political tv programmes 35.1% I watch regularly political tv programmes 31.7% I watch prevailingly political tv programmes 12.0% Political Tv Programmes Fruition Mediatized Politics 15 15
  16. 16. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (4/16) Total I watch the Political Tribunes 4.3% I watch infotainment programmes 10.4% I watch Tv News 36.4% I listen Radio Programmes and News 14.7% I surf on Internet 19.0% I read the Newspapers 10.0% All above 5.2% Ways to inform about politics Mediatized Politics 16 16
  17. 17. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (5/16) • Only 19% of our sample use Internet to inform about politics But • According to “Eurisko” the 45,3% of Italian People between 18 and 30 are daily surfers – And only 28% of Italian People has used Internet for once time at least Mediatized Politics 17 17
  18. 18. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (6/16) Tg4 Studio Aperto Tg2 Tg La7 Tg5 Tg1 Tg3 Sky Tg24 0 20 40 60 80 100 Credibility of the main Italian Tv News (Weight) Respondents: only who had answered to use tv news to inform about politics (41.6% of whole sample) Mediatized Politics 18 18
  19. 19. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (7/16) Some remarks • Tg1, Tg2 and Tg3 are Tv News of RAI (public broadcasting) – Tg1 and Tg2 are considered in “government area” – Tg3 is considered close to “Unione” (opposition) • Tg4, Tg5 and Studio Aperto are Tv News of Mediaset (Berlusconi’s channels) • Sky Tg24 is the Tv News of Sky News Italy Mediatized Politics 19 19
  20. 20. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (8/16) Politicians have not to partecipate at entertainment 54% programmes Politicians have to partecipate at entertainment programmes 46% so we can understand their true faces Have the politicians to partecipate at entertainment? Politics not only in institutional spaces Mediatized Politics 20 20
  21. 21. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (9/16) 2004 2006 Increased 65% 61.4% Lowered 13% 10.3% The same 20% 21.6% No answer 2% 6.7% Increase of interest onto politics Mediatized Politics 21 21
  22. 22. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (10/16) 2004 2006 Everytime/Often 30% 31.3% Sometimes 19% 22.6% Rarely 21% 17.4% Never 28% 26.0% No answer 2% 2.7% Participation to manifestations or protests Mediatized Politics 22 22
  23. 23. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (11/16) 2004 2006 Positive 7% 6.3 % Negative 69% 74.7 % Not positive nor negative 17% 10.2 % No answer 7% 8.8 % Opinions about Italian Politics Mediatized Politics 23 23
  24. 24. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (12/16) Prodi Boselli Fassino Aggregated Bertinotti score Casini Fini Berlusconi Politicians perceived as more present in tv programmes Mediatized Politics 24 24
  25. 25. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (13/16) Aggregated Prodi Boselli Fassino Bertinotti score Casini APRIL 2006 Fini Berlusconi • Silvio Berlusconi is the Prime Minister and Leader of Forza Italia • Gianfranco Fini is Foreign Minister and Leader of Alleanza Nazionale • Pierferdinando Casini is the President of the Parliament and Leader of Conservative Christian Democratic Party • Fausto Bertinotti is the Leader of Rifondazione Comunista (post- communist party) • Piero Fassino is the Leader of Left Democratic Party (Labour Party) • Enrico Boselli is the Leader of Liberal-Radicals Party • Romani Prodi is the Leader of Unione (the coalition of oppositions) Mediatized Politics 25 25
  26. 26. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (14/16) • The situation is different if we consider only the people who watch television less than 2 hours/day • People (18-30) who have a weak tv fruition remember the Leader of opposition better than the other people – Is there an “effect” of television cultivation? Or what else? Mediatized Politics 26 26
  27. 27. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (15/16) Fassino Bertinotti Prodi Aggregated Score Casini Fini Berlusconi Politicians perceived as more present in tv programmes Respondents: people who watch tv less than 2 hours/day Mediatized Politics 27 27
  28. 28. The first step: the questionnaires Findings (16/16) 2004 2006 Romano Prodi 50% 41 % Silvio Berlusconi 27% 14 % Others 23% 45 % Intentions of voting Remarks: The electoral system is now different comparing with 2004: from majority vote to proportional vote Mediatized Politics 28 28
  29. 29. The qualitative research The Focus Groups Member of 29
  30. 30. The second step: the focus groups Patterns • 8 focus groups – Explorative Approach • 68 people • Aged between 18 and 30 • 32 men – 15 workers, 17 students • 36 women – 14 workers, 22 students Mediatized Politics 30 30
  31. 31. The second step: the focus groups Recruiting: 2 different ways • 4 focus groups – Snowball technique – Validation questionnaire – Exit questionnaire • 4 focus groups – Recruiting questionnaire – Exit questionnaire In this way we have tried to reduce the distortion coming from the recruiting systems Mediatized Politics 31 31
  32. 32. The second step: the focus groups Aims • To investigate the citizens' daily life with the media as people report this in focus groups conversations • To avoid causal generalizations about agenda setting and definitional power • To map the interrelated territories of contemporary politics and to discuss possible linkages between media discourses and citizens' discourse – (Fiske & Hartley's theory of bardic media) • To go beyond the simplistic notions of media power Mediatized Politics 32 32
  33. 33. The second step: the focus groups Findings • Confidence – How and in what way the focus groups participants trust in television and particularly in tv political communication • Representation – Interpretation of mediatized politics • Action – Strategies and tactics of the people to contrast what they consider manipulation – Use of the media (or alternative media) to find information about politics Mediatized Politics 33 33
  34. 34. The second step: the focus groups Findings. Three trends • Constructive No-Confidence – All the participants have not confidence in politics but less than two years ago • Mediation (and Remediation) – Different approaches according to their participation or not to the sphere of “subpolitics” – Use of forms of subpolitics such as a “remediation” with the social participation • Subpolitics: Social and Volunteer Associations, (“Third sector”), Engagements for the Peace, Equo-solidal trade • Lack of knowledge: two sub-trends – 1) Less no-confidence in front of the political life – 2) Suspect for the politicians invasion of TV field Mediatized Politics 34 34
  35. 35. The second step: the focus groups Findings. Critics to the media system • In the focus groups we have discovered four oppositional couples, described by the participants, all focusing about the main opposition: – What the media do vs What the media would have to do Mediatized Politics 35 35
  36. 36. The second step: the focus groups Findings. Critics to the media system • Spectacle vs. Information – TV is charged to dedicate too many time to spectacular contents while they ask more attention to the non-mainstream news • Sensationalism vs. Simplicity – Media (particularly TV) are charged with using sensationalism to tell stories concerning weak people (we had similar findings in a research about the audience of alternative media) • Superficiality vs. Deepening – Tv is perceived as a space of superficiality in which also political discourse become superficial; the TV-scheduling is considered too much linked to economical rules. They consider Internet a better instrument to find critical news • Manipulation vs. Independence – TV is charged to be an instrument of the “ideological control”; on the opposite side, the Radio and the Internet are considered spaces of freedom Mediatized Politics 36 36
  37. 37. Thank You! emiliana.deblasio@crisc-cmcs.eu michele.sorice@crisc-cmcs.eu www.crisc-cmcs.eu info@crisc-cmcs.eu Member of 37

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