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European Media, Cultural Integration and Globalisation

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European Media, Cultural Integration and Globalisation.

Reflections on the ESF-programme Changing Media - Changing Europe

Ib Bondebjerg

Printed in Nordicom Review, vol. 22:1, june 2001(see also


Fact box

The Changing Media - Changing Europe project was launched January 1 2000 and will run for 5 years until

January 1 2005. The project is financed by the European research councils for the humanities and social sciences under European Science Foundation (ESF) in Strasbourg. The programme is an interdisciplinary and comparative, cross-European research project co-directed by professor Ib Bondebjerg, University of Copenhagen, DK and professor Peter Golding (University of Loughborough, UK), representing humanities media research and social science media research. The project organises appr. 60 researchers from 18 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Denmark,United Kingdom, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Schwitzerland and Sweden) and they are organised in 4 research teams, each headed by a team-leader:

* Team 1. Citizenship and consumerism: Media, the public sphere and the market. (Team Leader: Professor Jostein Gripsrud, Norway, email:

* Team 2. Culture and Commerce: Media policy between culture and commerce. (Team leader: Professor Els de Bens, Belgium, e-mail:

* Team 3. Convergence - Fragmentation: Media and the information society. (Team leader: Professor Jean-Claude Burgelmann, Belgium(e-mail:

* Team 4: Homogenisation-diversity: Media and cultural identities. (Team leader: Professor William Uricchio, Netherlands/USA (e-mail:,

The teams meet twice a year for workshops, where they develop and discuss their research-themes and the publication and reporting of the results. The programme will have three plenary conferences where all the teams meet and where outside researchers and speakers will be invited. The first conference was held from August 24-27 at Il Ciocco, near Pisa in Italy. The theme was European Media in transition: global and comparative perspectives. The second conference will be held in April 2002 in Copenhagen, where the theme will be: European Media, Cultural Identities and Cultural Politics, and the third and final conference will be in December 2004 at Cote D'Azur in France on Old Media - New Media: Europe and the Global Information Society. The program also includes a modest but important Young Scholars grants scheme allowing young scholars (doctoral or post-doctoral) to participate in workshops and conferences for a limited period or in other ways be linked to one of the teams. The progam will during its life time produce working papers ( on the programmes website) and other publications and will result in one or two final volumes from each of the four teams. More information on the programme is available from the programmes website:


European integration and European cooperation is already very high on the political agenda in most European countries. No matter what we think and feel about EU, the European question is already deeply imbedded in our public life, in our media culture and in our everyday life. The strong emotional reactions pro and against questions of European integration and culture and to the process

ses of globalisation as such, is however an indication of one of the problems facing cultural and social globalisation and European integration. We do witness an overall process

s of homogenisation on different levels, but under this a differentiation and regionalisation within the national cultures undergoing globalisation and European integration is also taking place.

We still live and think very much as local and national citizens and not as the European and global citizens we are also slowly becoming. The rising gap between the A-team of globalisation, the global elites of politics, finance and media, and the B-team of ordinary national citizens is already very visible round this turn of a new millennium

which will most certainly mean a rise in a virtuel technological globalisation and a cultural and social globalisation in real time. The media culture and the cultural industries is already one of the globally strongest sectors of growth, and the fight between big companies and the vertical integration of all media sectors has long been very fierce, resulting in a stronger pressure against the well known European public service model and traditional cultural institutions and politics.

European culture: A Living Paradox

European media, both traditional print media, film, the traditonal broadcast media and the new interactive media such as computers, internet and world wide web, play an important role in this development towards a more and more technologically integrated media culture operating to a still larger degree beyond the nation state and in relation to a both a European and global market. However data from several European countries show, that despite the access to normally from 30-100 channels in most of the European nations, the loyalty to the national channels (public service, hybrid-channels or commcial channels) is still very high[1]. In Denmark for instance the two public service channels, DR-TV and TV2, and their sub-channels, DR2 and TV2 Zulu (aimed at the younger segments), command about 70% of the viewing time, and newer commercial channels like TV3 and TVDanmark 1 &2 cover around 20%, but with certain progamnmes (sports programmes reality-tv such as Big Brother) taking a much bigger share, whereas the various foreign satellite channels have very little impact.

However just looking at the nationality of the channels doesn't tell the whole story, we also have to look into content. But also here the key national products, that is: childrens



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