------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: Self <LORCA/NGEH2>
To: "LE BOHEC" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: (Fwd) News Media and International Political Crisis
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 18:22:42 GMT0BST
CALL FOR PAPERS TO SESSION IN
4th PAN-EUROPEAN CONFERENCE IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Canterbury, U.K., 8 - 10 September 2001
NEWS MEDIA AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL CRISIS:
Conference in French and English
Talking about the media, we are often between two extreme positions.
The first is in accordance with a journalistic occupational myth:
that the media are simply outside observers of events. The second is
close to the propagandist paradigm: the news media influence
"international public opinion"; sometimes this strange "public
opinion" is even reduced to texts published by opinion makers in
prestigious newspapers, namely the news media themselves...
From these assumptions, it results (1) that news media are frequently
seen as a reliable source for scholars or (2) that news media only
participe in the social construction of reality which more or less
imprints citizens minds.
But these points of view have a great disadvantage: they exclude
another hypothesis: that it is necessary to enlarge the list of
relevant actors in international relations studies to news media and
journalistic activity. Thus we can avoid the institutional illusion
of the decision-making process in foreign affairs. This is
notably essential when talking about political crises.
Further, we shall be obliged to clarify what is meant by a political
crisis sociologically speaking. We suggest empirical surveys and case
studies should be privileged in order to promote mid-term concepts.
That means it is essential to get data about daily journalistic
activity, to pay attention to the national news media market, to take
into account transnational news agencies, to examine the political
cause eventually promoted by each newspaper or TV channel, the
history of press-politics relationships in the countries, etc. Thus
news media will not be considered as simples "pipes" but as an (even
problematic) occupational community with external constraints,
collective beliefs, relative autonomy interests, more or less
powerful actors, etc. It is particularly interesting to know why,
how and if governmental decision-making integrates daily reactions of
the news media, the strategic uses of information, the role of
communication advisers, etc.
Finally, it would be very useful to study interactions between
political and journalistic actors during these periods of
international political crisis. With possibly others actors such as
Non-Governmental Organisations: as between Greenpeace and the
French Army during the 1995 crisis created by Nuclear Testing in the
Pacific Ocean, for example.
The conference will probably be organized around these five panels :
1 : What happens during a political crisis ?
2 : Mediatic structures: how are news created and spread ?
3 : How must we take media into account during international
political crisis ?
4 and 5 : Case studies.
[log in to unmask]
Jacques Le Bohec,
Maitre de Conferences
Universite de Technologie de Belfort-Montbeliard
Departement Humanites - Site Sevenans
90010 Belfort Cedex - France
[log in to unmask]
Dr Geoff Hare, French Dept, Newcastle University,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, GB
Tel. (44) (191) 222 7486.
See Northern Media Research Group site :
and the Web Journal of French Media Studies :
and list of French html links:
My (academic) home page: