The conference was attended by over 1,400 participants from 51 countries in Europe and beyond. During the event more than 1,000 academic presentations were delivered in more than 100 themed sessions and two plenary sessions by Prof. Eszter Hargittai, Dr Lina Dencik as well as Prof. José Van Dijck and Dr Thomas Allmer. The plenaries focused on the central theme of the conference, ‘Centres and Peripheries: Communication, Research, Translation’ and addressed some of the most pressing pan-European issues in the field of media and communication. One of the sessions, delivered in the format of a critical intervention, focused on the issues surrounding the exploitation of academics in the field. Among the conference organising committee members was Dr Paweł Surowiec of the Faculty of Media of Communication, who also serves as the ECREA’s Treasurer. For more information about the conference follow #ECREA2018 or speak to the ECREA Coordinator in the Faculty, Dr Einar Thorsen (Ass. Prof.). The next biennial ECREA conference, 8th European Communication Conference, will take place between 2-5 October 2020. The event will be hosted by the University of Minho in Braga, Portugal.
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Dr. Alina Dolea, who has joined BU’s Faculty of Media and Communication in September 2017, has been elected Chair of the Public Diplomacy Interest Group within the International Communication Association (ICA). ICA is the premier international academic association for scholars in communication research, gathering more than 4,500 members from 80 countries.
Alina is a founding member of the Interest Group established officially in 2016, following a collective effort of raising signatures that she co-ordinated as a volunteer. The Group has grown fast to over 100 members worldwide and brings together scholars investigating topics related to public diplomacy, nation branding, country image and reputation, public relations for and of nations, as well as political, global and cultural communication influencing international relations.
For the ICA annual conference 2018, Alina has coordinated, as the Vice-Chair elect, the submission process and planned the program that included a State of the art panel in Public Diplomacy with top scholars in the field. In addition, she organized a doctoral and postdoctoral pre-conference (“Emerging Research and Trends in Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding”) together with Diana Ingenhoff (University of Fribourg), James Pamment (Lund University), Rhonda Zaharna (American University), Jay Wang (USC Center on Public Diplomacy) and Steve Pike (Syracuse University). 12 papers out of 33 submissions were selected to be presented and discussed in a forum with established scholars from the field serving as mentors and giving feedback to each participant. The conference was sponsored by The Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California & Rhonda Zaharna, Syracuse University and Lund University. It was a great success and brought new insights for both PhD students and established scholars.
The debate about the proliferation of fake news and disinformation campaigns launched towards European democracies from Russia is gaining momentum as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are gearing their efforts to challenge both fake news and disinformation campaigns. Upon the invitation of the EU and the NATO, Dr. Pawel Surowiec, of the Faculty of Media and Communication, addressed the audiences of both both institutions, and spoke at events concerning challenges to strategic communication brought about by fake news and disinformation campaigns. On 7 December, 2017, at the conference entitled ‘Myth and Reality: Countering Disinformation in Visegrad 4’ (Warsaw), the Faculty’s researcher participated in a panel discussion focusing on solutions to the disinformation campaigns, and offered an expert intervention on hybridisation of soft power and strategic communication during the conference held on 23-24 November, 2017 at the Annual Plenary, Club of Venice – the European Council’s network of strategic communicators.
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book entitled:
‘Social Media and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe’
Paweł Surowiec and Václav Štetka
for Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies
About the Book
Social media are increasingly revolutionising the ways in which political communication works, and their importance for engaging citizens in politics and public affairs is well understood by political actors. This book surveys current developments in social media and politics in a range of Central and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine and Russia. It explores the process of adoption of social media by politicians, journalists and civic activists, examines the impact of the different social and cultural backgrounds of the countries studied, and discusses specific political situations, such as the 2012 protests in Moscow and the 2014 EuroMaidan events in Ukraine, where social media played an important role. The book concludes by addressing how the relationship between social media and politics is likely to develop and how it might affect the still relatively new democracies in the region.
Table of Contents
Foreword Darren Lilleker
Introduction: social media, politics and democracy in the post-transition Central and Eastern Europe Paweł Surowiec and Václav Štetka
Part I: Political parties, actors and social media
Chapter 1: Who is afraid of the platforms? Adoption and strategies of use of social media by politicians in the Czech Republic Alena Macková, Václav Štětka, Jan Zápotocký, Radim Hladík
Chapter 2: Presidential elections campaining in Romania: connecting with civic-ness on Facebook Monica Pătruţ
Chapter 3: Towards self-mediatization of politics: representatives’ use of Facebook and Twitter in Croatia and Hungary Norbert Merkovity
Chapter 4: Political use of social media and personalisation of political communication in Slovenia, Tomaž Deželan, Alem Maksuti and Jernej Amon Prodnik
Chapter 5: Professionalization and intentional disengagement: Facebook campaigning in the local Bulgarian elections in 2015 Ognyan Seizov
Part II: Social movements, interest and professional groups and social Media
Chapter 6: We have been to Bolotnaya: Russian protests, the online public sphere and the discourse of division Alina Ryabovolova
Chapter 7: The networked public sphere and Ukrainian journalists Dmytro Hubenko and Melissa Wall
Chapter 8: Branding Poland online: propagating and resisting nation branding on Facebook Paweł Surowiec and Magdalena Kania Lundholm
Chapter 9: The dilemmas of social media-enabled civic activism: the case of sexual minorities in Lithunia Galina Miazhevich
Conclusions Václav Štetka and Paweł Surowiec
About the Editors
Paweł Surowiec is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University.
Václav Štetka is Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University.
The Book Site:
Paweł Surowiec – firstname.lastname@example.org
Václav Štětka – email@example.com
Apart from academics and policy-makers, the 2017 Belvedere Forum was attended by representatives of business organizations (e.g. PwC), senior management of selected universities, think-tanks (e.g. the Chatham House, the Centre for European Reforms), the BBC as well as the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Poland, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United Kingdom. On the Polish side, this Forum’s steering committee was headed by Ryszard Czarnecki whereas on the British side, it was led by Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Next year, the forum is going to be held in London. For more info see: https://twitter.com/Belvedere_Forum
A Faculty of Media and Communication academic contributed to a workshop organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Department of Media and Communication. This policy focused workshop, held on 27th January 2017, was entitled ‘The media policies of Europe’s new authoritarianism’. Its purpose was to develop policy response strategies to changing media legislations among the European Union member states among which democracy is drifting away from liberal agendas, and where the principles of media freedom are at risk. Participants of the workshop put forward strategies and tactics to address controversial developments among selected media regimes. Above all, the significance of media policy developments was discussed in a broader context of governance, democracy and media freedoms.
The workshop was attended by scholars, journalists, regional and international policy-makers as well as representatives of a number of policy think-tanks. The workshop was held under the Chatham House rule. This event was part of the Media Policy Project hosted by the LSE.
Five years ago ‘Channel 4’ approached the Corporate and Marketing Communications academic group (CMC) to ask us to carry out for them some highly interpretive research around the Paralympics – they were interested to know how audiences make sense of the coverage and thus how they might frame this event in future. From this came award winning, nation-wide phenomenological study conducted over the period of 18 months.
Indirectly this also led to ‘Channel 4’ re-thinking some of the ways in which they promoted and covered the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. Some of those Colleagues involved in this project decided to delve deeper and edited a book published by Routledge (2015) and entitled ‘Reframing Disability? Media, (Dis)Empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics’.
As a direct result of being editors of this book, Professor Michael Silk approached Carrie Hodges, Dan Jackson and Richard Scullion to form the core bid team at Bournemouth University for the AHRC grant entitled: ‘Re-presenting parasport bodies: the cultural legacy of the Paralympics’. In November 2016, the team got the news that they were successful in securing over £600k to fund a 30 month long series of studies that will involve a variety of qualitative research packages to consider audience interpretations, the media production and dissemination of the Games, related content as well as media analysis. The project will culminate in an interactive public exhibition and a documentary film.
On 23rd November 2016, the Polish embassy in London hosted a public engagement event supported by the Corporate and Marketing Communication (CMC) Academic Group and the Centre for Politics and Media Research at the Faculty of Media and Communication. The event aimed at the dissemination of research insights produced by the Centre and by the CMC among London-based diplomats and public diplomats provided a professional platform to discuss emerging trends in the practice of public diplomacy.
Following publication of ‘Nation branding, public relations and soft power: corporatising Poland’ by one of the Centre’s fellows, Dr Paweł Surowiec, his study provided a background for the discussion of tensions between conceptualizations and practice of nation branding as well as for the discussion of contentious issues in relationships between democracy, public diplomacy, branding and the governance of soft power resources.
The event was opened by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United Kingdom, His Excellence, Mr. Arkady Rzegocki. It followed by remarks from Jaqueline Curthoys of Routledge and Dr Darren Lilleker, the head of the Centre for Media and Politics, talks by Dr Paweł Surowiec of Bournemouth University and Dr Keith Dinnie of Middesex University as well as the Q&A session with the both panelists. The event was mainly attended by academics analysing diplomacy and statecraft, London-based public diplomats (from, among others, German, Slovakian, Polish, Indonesian, Ethiopian, Canadian embassies and cultural diplomacy institutes) as well as by the Faculty’s fellows and students reading for their degrees on BA (Hons) Politics and MA International Political Communication.
Bournemouth University’s media and communication studies co-exist thanks to multiple international links. Among them are links with learned societies, one of which is the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).
The election of the new ECREA’s Executive Board took place during the General Assembly held in Prague on the last day of the 6th European Communication Conference (12th November, 2016). Among the elected members of the board is academic from BU’s the Faculty of Media and Communication.
The Board have elected among themselves the President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Treasurer.
Ilija Tomanić Trivundža was elected as the President of ECREA, John Downey as Vice-President, Irena Reifová as the General Secretary and Paweł Surowiec as the Treasurer.
The Executive Board consists of the following colleagues:
Ilija Tomanić Trivundža, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
John Downey, Loughborough University, UK
Irena Reifová, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Paweł Surowiec, Bournemouth University, UK
Members of the Board:
Ali Murat Akser, Ulster University, UK
Christina Holtz-Bacha, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Galina Miazhevich, University of Leicester, UK
Miguel Vicente-Mariño, University of Valladolid, Spain
On 19th September, 2016 Dr Paweł Surowiec from the Faculty of Media and Communication’s Corporate and Marketing Communication Group delivered a guest lecture to diplomats and public diplomats at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw.
Following the publication of his research monograph entitled ‘Nation branding, public relations and soft power: corporatizing Poland’, this lecture was an excellent opportunity to share academic insights to Poland’s soft power, analysis emerging for this study, and to engage this key audience in the research produced by the Centre for Politics and Media Research.
Soft power and its communicative resources such as public diplomacy or nation branding continue to be of interest to diplomatic networks world-wide. Its local characteristics, however, the utilized media strategies, levels of professionalization as well as forces in global and regional politics shaping soft power capabilities are themes of professional discussions among diplomats.
The lecture session delivered by Paweł opened up a debate about the impact corporate resources have on Poland’s soft power as well as addressed questions concerning limitations of nation branding as a media strategy and a means to the advancement of influence in international relations.
Demographic changes stemming from the inflow of people to the UK are increasingly becoming a contentious issue. Voices suggesting that ‘immigration is out of control’ have emerged across the British political spectrum over the past year.
There are noticeable tensions in and around political discourse on the immigration to the UK. The issue has become a significant source of political capital for some political leaders in Britain. But the discourse on immigration also evolves in everyday lives of citizens and newcomers to the country. In this context, the mediation of immigration might have a significant impact on political and public life in Britain.
We will be debating the ways in which media representations of immigration translate into attitudes towards immigration and the relationship between immigration and economic issues and national identities – and much more !
You are welcome to contribute or just listen. Don’t forget to bring a coffee or a snack with you..to PG141 on 25 September 2014, from 3-4.
This session continues the Media School’s tradition of debates on current affairs, so come and join us and share your thoughts…
Convened by Pawel Surowiec, Barry Richards, Shelley Thompson and Kevin Moloney.