From the Field - Fall 2014

Cultural Studies,
Volume 28,
Issue 4,
Fall 2014

Focusing on interviews with film and television writers, and weaving these together through the theme of inclusion and exclusion, Banks tracks how changes in the production, distribution and circulation of screen media content have come to dramatically affect and ultimately redefine the nature of film and television writers’ labor. Banks also reflects on the task of pursuing oral histories, and concludes by exploring critical questions of theory and method for media studies scholars.

Cultural Studies,
Volume 28,
Issue 4,
Fall 2014

Turow and Draper consider how industry’s construction of audiences is changing during the 21st century, particularly in digital platforms. After detailing forms of audience construction in previous decades, the authors suggest how scholars can become more attentive to this process in the digital realm: by analyzing how key industry players envision their audience; by understanding how independent creator-users and media executives negotiate their relationship; and by noting how media executives view their role as creative agents in the face of user-generated content.

Cultural Studies,
Volume 28,
Issue 4,
Fall 2014

In this article, Caldwell charts what he has come to term "para-industry", the ubiquitous industrial and corporate fields that surround what we traditionally regard as our primary objects of media research – messages, texts, forms, institutions, and audiences. Caldwell further argues that media industries today function as a "shadow academy", by emulating, incorporating, or mirroring the same theoretical paradigms and oppositional modes that scholars once developed to maintain their objectivity, and suggests how we can intellectually navigate this shadow academy and thereby productively engage with industry's new critical and theorizing "handlers". 

Feminist Media Studies,
Volume 14,
Issue 6,
Fall 2014

Derek Johnson focuses on the 2010 media discourse around Katie Goldman, a ten-year-old Star Wars fan bullied for her interest in something perceived to be "for boys", in order to investigate the relationship between the industrial logics of media franchising and the participation of social media users in regulating ideals about gender and sexuality. While celebrating unruly girl science fiction consumers as "different," both industry and social media users repositioned these figures in relation to beauty, princesses, and romance, thereby re-inscribing the very same postfeminist consumer ideals and heteronormative gender ideological frames they claim to transgress. 

Feminist Media Studies,
Volume 14,
Issue 6,
Fall 2014

This article considers the issues of harassment, sexism, and marginalization in digital games culture with a particular emphasis on the gender-inclusive actions represented by women-in-games incubators. Articulations of post-feminism within the digital game industry provide insights into the tensions inherent in agitating for change within a conservative culture of production, particularly for women in the industry. The authors consider three exemplary post-feminist articulations by visible female figures in the North American digital games community in order to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the contradictions of post-feminism in games culture and production. 

First Monday,
Volume 19,
Issue 10,
October 2014

Some of the essays in this special issue of First Monday look into developments in digital music distribution in the 15 years since the creation of Napster in relation to the music industries. David Carter and Ian Rogers problematize the often touted story that Napster changed the music industry forever by reconsidering the conditions that gave rise to it and examining the ways it traded on its disruptive identity. Dan L. Burk discusses the dual relationship between copyright law and distribution technologies, examining how the exclusive rights conferred by copyright are shaped by the technologies they respond to while, at the same time, technology is shaped in response to the requirements of copyright. Philip Stade notes how video platforms based on advertising have played a minor role in streaming revenues in Germany because of the ongoing struggle between GEMA (the Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights) and YouTube: while GEMA tries to negotiate better streaming licenses for its members, YouTube blocks videos during negotiations and blames GEMA. Monika Stern similarly explores the challenges in implementing copyright measures in Vanuatu. Although the country joined the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2012, no national organization exists to ensure the law is implemented, and the arrival of the Digicel company in 2008 has exponentially increased informal music sharing through mobile phones. Finally, Jhessica Reia explores the DIY practices of the "straight edge" subculture in Sao Paulo and their fraught relationship with mainstream industries and their copyright measures. 

Global Media and Communication,
Volume 10,
Issue 3,
Fall 2014

This article questions the notion of "cultural diversity", particularly as it has been widely used in France since the beginning of the 21st century to refer to policies aimed at improving the representation of ethnic minorities in the audio-visual media. The authors note that the policy objectives pursued in the name of cultural diversity seek not only to integrate ethnic minorities but also to promote national cohesion and protect internal security. Further, they suggest that the seeming novelty of the term prevents us from seeing these policy initiatives in a historical perspective so they also trace the genealogy of various diversity policies in France. 

Global Media and Communication,
Volume 10,
Issue 3,
Fall 2014

Focusing on Kurdish television broadcasts in Europe, this article shows how minority broadcasting is interrelated with national and international political agendas as well as issues of national security. Sinclair and Smets focus on policy and diplomatic documents, press articles, and expert interviews to describe the contrast between Turkish and European media freedoms and minority rights. Using three Kurdish TV channels in Europe as their examples, the authors describe what has driven Kurdish broadcasting to develop outside of Turkey, highlighting conflicting understandings of freedom of expression and media pluralism between Turkey and Europe. 

Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television,
Volume 34,
Issue 3,
Fall 2014

This article pursues a distinct approach to considering the television space by examining how the material design of the television studio influenced the resulting narrative formats broadcast on UK television. Using archival production documents that detail the design and resourcing of studio space, such as studio floor plans, internal memos, and policy records, Lamb contrasts the different production practices for the popular BBC police series Dixon of Dock Green and the anthology series of single plays Armchair Theatre and concludes that a bias was formed within the industry to privilege the latter. 

Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television,
Volume 34,
Issue 4,
Fall 2014

Selby details the 1956 and 1958 U.S. Congress hearings into the ways networks determined programming. Congress was worried about how television's reliance on advertising and ratings limited audience choice and thereby negatively affected quality. The author points out how these hearings reveal the intersections between the operations of the market, government attempts to regulate cultural production, and the use of statistical data to counteract the vagaries of the free market. Ultimately, although lawmakers worried that networks' use of ratings limited audience choice, they still preferred to allow the industry to regulate itself rather than step in with direct government oversight. 

Bibliography