Stateless nations and media landscapes: Is a national communication agenda possible?

Apr 03 2018

Around Europe, minority and lesser-used languages are being diluted and submerged within or by dominant nations through active or passive policies. By analysing and comparing the situation of national media landscapes in several European stateless nations and regions, the authors of this book have developed new proposals about how to promote and protect languages and cultures through media systems.

Reflections on this issue remain pertinent and relevant as media contributes to the prestige and use of a language. In the case of languages that find themselves in a minority position, where there is also often a growing sense of linguistic insecurity and social disharmony, media can play a decisive role in their survival and well-being.

Media is an undeniable part of our everyday life, and more than ever before, it is easily within reach and surrounds us at all times, everywhere we go. Mass media, be it traditional or social, remains the primary source of information and education in contemporary societies, cultivating public opinion and constituting new realities in subtle and not so subtle ways. Furthermore, plurality of media is one of the touchstones for measuring the quality of democracy. Any movement, be it social or political, that wants to have an impact on society needs to have access to media in a fair and sustainable manner.

This book provides a theoretical road-map for social and political movements for setting up their own communication agendas in the context of globalisation and neoliberalism, which have transformed media landscapes, making them highly heterogenous, complex and competitive. Smaller players face the challenge of creating their own unique brand of meaning(s), which not only provide internal cohesion, but distinguish it from all others.

The task of minority media is to reclaim a geographic and symbolic space for the disadvantaged language community by using minority languages, asserting national or cultural identities, maintaining and sharing social practices, and interpreting or amplifying political priorities. As this book shows, developing a communications agenda for a national minority or stateless nation is a collective act of cultural and political resistance, because it can challenge prejudices and stereotypes, as well resist central powers and state-nationalist ideologies, that are embedded in language and disseminated by media, and later, reproduced by consumers themselves in their daily lives.

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