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Welcome to Media Trends 2015: Power and Media: Ownership, Sponsorship, Censorship
A conference hosted by Webster Vienna Private University 10-12 September, 2015

We have lined up a diverse group of academics, media professionals, IGO and NGO representatives and students to critically analyze:

  • All aspects of overt and covert control of communication
  • Concentration of ownership
  • Advertiser, commercial, financial and political influences
  • Agenda-setting, framing, technological and organizational constraints
  • Media empowerment

Click here for conference panels, full abstracts and biographies
Click here for the extended call for papers

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna!

The Media Trends 2015 Organizing Committee

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Saturday, September 12 • 11:00am - 12:15pm
Corporate Pressure, Declining Quality?

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Sakai: Bunkyo University, Japan
Responsibility of media studies for information governance in relation to nuclear power technology: The Japanese media fell short in its monitoring of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, which was unquestionably a manmade disaster brought about by neglect and “law of the nuclear power village,”. Prior to the disaster, citizens had believed that nuclear power plants are safe and information disclosure is unnecessary. Employing a framework that draws concepts from sociology and media studies, the current research aims to clarify the different contexts for nuclear power policy, on which coverage by the Japanese media has been unsatisfactory, and help enhance the practice of information management as regards nuclear power technology. Toward this end, this study analyzed news articles on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster gathered from newspapers and websites.

Kovarova-Simecek: Fachhochschule St. Pölten, Austria
Financial illiteracy as a supportive aspect of the failure of financial journalism: One of the most notable features of a financial crisis has been the post-crisis critique of financial journalism. This criticism is based upon the normative expectation that financial journalism can and should prevent financial crisis by reporting the emerging evidence of a possible collapse and alerting the public to the signs a catastrophe (Manning 2012; Ragas, Tran 2014). Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.

Sterba: St John's University / College of St. Benedict, USA
Corporate pressure on U.S. TV series content as exemplified by Joss Whedon’s battle with Fox over Dollhouse and Firefly:  Fox Television is a noticeably schizophrenic corporation. The company divides into a conservative news branch and a television entertainment division that strove to be alternative and innovative in order to attract an audience and guarantee it success as the up-and-coming, fourth network in the 1980s and 1990s. Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and Firefly series were heavily leaned on and modified by the network in terms of content. In examining network treatment of the shows, it seems that neither Theodor Adorno’s model of culture industry pablum for the masses nor Walter Benjamin’s vision of a new free technology for the masses can explain the tenor of the Whedon shows that ended up being broadcast.

Moderator: TBA


Monika Kovarova-Simecek

Fachhochschule St. Pölten
Monika Kovarova-Simecek has academic experience as University Lecturer at the UAS St. Pölten, Department Media & Economics; as a doctoral student at Universität Wien (research topic: history of financial journalism and democratization of financial expertise); and as a university lecturer at the UAS FH Wien / Metropolia Business School Helsinki / UAS Oulu / Technical University Vilnius / INSEEC Paris and Bordeaux (since 2006... Read More →

Makoto Sakai

Associate Professor, BUNKO UNIVERSITY, JAPAN
Dr. Makoto Sakai was educated in Japan and received his Ph.D. (Media and Governance) from the Keio University, which is the oldest university in Japan. He is the author of three books that analyze Japanese contemporary society and culture (of two books as the sole author). He is also a journalist and has written articles for political and opinion magazines in Japan. His present post is full-time and tenure Associate Professor of Bunkyo University... Read More →

Wendy Sterba

Professor, St John's University / College of St. Benedict
Wendy Sterba is a professor of Film and Languages and Culture at St John's University/College of St. Benedict. Her research involves media aesthetics and the echoes of technological and corporate power in contemporary film with focuses on gender and apocalypse. Her recent books include Reel Photos: Balancing Art and Truth in Contemporary Film and J.J. vs Joss, an analysis of the works of JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.

Saturday September 12, 2015 11:00am - 12:15pm

Attendees (2)