From the Field - Summer 2014

Cinema Journal,
Volume 53,
Issue 4,
Summer 2014

Based on trade publications, field research, and industry interviews, Brannon Donoghue explores the multifaceted nature of Sony’s attempt to operate what she calls a "flexible localization strategy" in the Brazilian and Spanish film markets. Brannon Donoghue argues that contemporary media conglomerates’ strategies to adapt to a vastly changing industrial climate challenge earlier understandings of an all-powerful global Hollywood by revealing internal friction across conflicting institutional priorities, industrial practices, and local cultures of production and management.

Critical Studies in Media Communication,
Volume 31,
Issue 3,
Summer 2014

This article examines the origins of the institutional organization and advocacy strategies that later culminated in American public broadcasting. Shepperd traces how early forms of production, distribution, and infrastructure later associated with public broadcasting were devised out of both commercial broadcasting aesthetics and federal educational bureaucratic directives. He suggests that discussions of the origins of American public broadcasting must be understood not as a resistance to imposed regulations but as a process of collaboration and incorporation in tandem with governmental mandates.

Critical Studies in Media Communication,
Volume 31,
Issue 4,
Summer 2014

Rodriguez-Ferrandiz traces the dilution of the term “culture industries” into more nebulous terms such as “leisure industries,” “entertainment industries” or “creative industries”. He suggests new challenges for research on culture industries now that cultural experience is no longer clearly separated from other activities, industrialized symbolic products are mixed with culturalized industrial products, and the consumer is newly empowered.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,
Volume 17,
Issue 5,
September 2014

Lobato and Tang examine the content distribution practices and regulatory anxieties generated by a particular cloud computing technology: the cyberlocker or one-click file-hosting site. They provide a short history of this digital technology, consider the questions it presents for current media studies debates about sharing and reciprocity, and argue that it represents a limit case for liberal theories of informational freedom.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,
Volume 17,
Issue 5,
September 2014

Hu traces the development of Chinese video websites as a site of struggle between competing interests. She describes how these websites have undergone a process of oscillation and transformation between piracy and copyright adherence, which has been influenced by grassroots Chinese subtitle groups, state intervention and market competition. Finally, Hu emphasizes the fan affection and labor invested by some subtitle groups that has, at times, integrated and contrasted with the market strategy of the video websites owners.

International Journal of Cultural Studies,
Volume 17,
Issue 5,
September 2014

By drawing upon examples of independent film productions and v-logs made popular through online portals, Lim considers the ways in which creative products that would have been banned or removed from local screens by the Malaysian state have in fact garnered millions of online views, and are discussed, referenced, and widely shared by the public via social networking platforms. Lim argues that the emergence of new cultural distribution strategies challenges us to rethink notions of social practice and action.

Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media,
Volume 58,
Issue 3,
Summer 2014

This article undertakes a critical comparison of contemporary personalization practices on Web platforms such as YouTube and Facebook with long-established practices of narrowcasting. Although such platforms appear to follow the goals of universality similarly adhered to by public service broadcasting (PSB), the implementation of personalization on these platforms proves problematic to their discursive positioning as free “public” services. Kant argues that system-initiated personalization negates the “consumer sovereignty” that narrowcasting has traditionally mobilized.

Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media,
Volume 58,
Issue 3,
Summer 2014

Burroughs and Rugg examine the move by television sports broadcasters of streaming their content online behind geographically restricted “geofences.” Despite the turn to this distribution method, Internet users are increasingly bypassing geofences through the use of VPN (virtual private network) technologies. The authors argue that the streaming of sports content, then, should be understood and analyzed, on the one hand, as an enforcement of corporate media strategies and reflection of telecommunication policy, and, on the other hand, as a consumer resistance tactic that rejects the restrictions and stipulations of digital broadcasting in favor of a “globetrotting” exercise of hunting for content.

Media Industries Journal,
Volume 1,
Issue 2,
September 2014

The second inaugural issue of the Media Industries Journal features brief critical reflections on the state of the field and its future by the journal’s editorial board. Mark Deuze advocates for the study of communal and collaborative ways in which media professionals are able to do work in an increasingly precarious industry. Timothy Havens discusses some of the ways that Big Data influences the television industry and the questions that it raises for both the study and operation of the media industries. As well, Haves argues how media industry scholarship could add a great deal to ongoing scholarly discussions of algorithmic culture. Michele Hilmes uses the United States and the United Kingdom, the world’s two largest global program suppliers, to think through the issues that arise in studying new forms of transnational television coproductions. Marwan Kraidy references the cases of Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia in order to summarize shifts that have occurred in the transnational, pan-Arab media sphere, and to raise questions about new dynamics of production, precarity, and authorship in still-evolving revolutionary contexts. Shanti Kumar looks at recent industry reports on the rapid growth of regional media in India and critically evaluates how regionalization has emerged as the framework for understanding the globalization of media industries and audiences in India. Denise Mann examines how "transmedia" industries and multichannel networks serve as transitional workspaces and give rise to innovative new forms of industrial organization, emerging forms of creative work, and new technologies and economic models. Richard Maxwell argues that media industry studies should be open to eco-materialist approaches and situate its subjects in the ecological context in which they arise and operate. Phil Oppenheim takes an autoethnographic approach to advocate for embracing our personal love-hate conflicts towards the media industries. Oppenheim suggests this approach will provide a look at the television industry with a perspective informed by passion and contrariness. Yeidy Rivero departs from her own project on prerevolutionary Cuban television to discuss the difficulties of writing about media industries located in nations strongly identified with the left. James Schwoch urges scholars to navigate away from potentially divisive concepts such as “quantitative” and “qualitative” and to distinguish between research approaches without simultaneously fracturing research communities. Herman Wasserman argues that more attention needs to be paid to how globalization and attendant processes like localization and hybridization play out in contexts outside the media-saturated global North. Emilie Yeh reviews the many ways East Asian industries have protected their economic interests and conserved local culture through moving images.

Media International Australia,
Issue 152,
August 2014

Devasundaram examines the proliferation of BitTorrent websites in India against the backdrop of two trends in the country’s media landscape: the continuous edging out of indie films from multiplexes in favor of large productions primed for global export and the increasing access of broadband internet connection in urban areas. As government and industry regulators censor films with taboo content or limited commercial viability, audiences seek alternative avenues of consumption. Devasundaram notes how BitTorrent websites have accrued popularity in the last few years amongst young Indian consumers despite attempts at regulation like India's Copyright Amendment Act of 2012.

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