Seminar on journalism practiced by alternative means in audiovisual content

The next session of the Permanent Seminar on Communication and Diversity will take place on July 1, at 2:30 pm, in the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Minho. Entitled “On one hand only: journalism practiced by alternative means in audiovisual content”, this session is attended by Kamila Bossato Fernandes, a researcher from CECS who will analyze content from 45 videos produced by 25 alternative media groups from Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Moderation will be by Sylvia Moretzsohn, a former journalist and postdoctoral fellow at CECS.

More and more alternative media groups operating in the digital environment present themselves as alternative producers of information to the mainstream, with an action that seeks to, among other things, give visibility to socially subjugated groups and individuals, to generate social transformations (Atton & Hamilton, 2008; Forde, 2011; Rodriguez, 2001). However, to what extent does this communicational practice reaffirm, modify or even violate the values ​​that guide traditional journalism? On the rise, studies on alternative journalism have not paid attention to this issue, focusing more on case studies that evoke sources of information (Atton & Wickenden, 2005) and the view of alternative journalists themselves on their work Harcup, 2015) and not in the content produced, much less when we speak of audiovisual productions. To answer this, I propose in this presentation to discuss the discursive strategies applied in the construction of videos of alternative journalism, having as parameters the ethical and aesthetic canons disseminated by traditional journalism (Broersma, 2007, Schudson 2001, Ward 2004).

The discussion will be based on the contents of 45 videos produced by 25 alternative media groups from Brazil, Portugal and Spain, which will be analyzed from the concepts of critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2001), as well as multimodality (Ledin & Machin, 2018, Van Leeuwen, 2014). The discussion is relevant both because it addresses alternative communication practices of non-English-speaking countries, which are still under-investigated, as well as to address changes in journalistic practice, especially in times of deep mediation such as that experienced in the contemporary world (Couldry & Hepp, 2017 , Silverstone, 2007), in which journalism disputes the space of the media ecosystem with new actors and lives an unprecedented crisis (Luengo, 2014; Nerone, 2015). Among the points to be highlighted, we identified that the contents of the alternative media analyzed give prominence to activists and ordinary people, omit the so-called “other side” and use little data to support the information. Still, such productions seek to apply a narrative that preserves a certain performative objectivity (Broersma, 2010), by highlighting the images as a greater proof of the truth of the story, which shows potentialities, but also weaknesses in this communication practice to expand its reach and generate social transformations.

Kamila Bossato Fernandes is a doctoral student of the FCT Program in Communication Studies, with FCT scholarship, under the guidance of Professor Anabela Carvalho, and researcher at CECS. Served as a journalist in Brazilian media for 13 years, she is also a master in sociology and, since 2012, is a professor of the Journalism Course at the Federal University of Ceará.

Sylvia Moretzsohn is a retired professor at the Universidade Federal Fluminense, where she worked for 23 years. Graduated in journalism from UFRJ and worked in the profession during the 1980s, when she participated for the first time in the Ethics Committee of the Union of Journalists of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro and collaborated in the edition of the book “Journalists for what? The professionals before the ethics “. She has a master’s degree in Communication from UFF (2000), a PhD in Social Work from UFRJ (2006) and six months ago she started a post-doctoral internship at CECS/University of Minho, which will be extended to 2020. Her current research activity relates roots the conformation of common sense and the tendency to self-mutilation to the technological transformations that configure contemporary communication, with the aim of seeking ways to dismantle the mechanisms of social production of ignorance through the exercise of journalism and education for the media.

[Posted: 28-06-2019]