Media in Catalan, Basque and Galician Languages: Under the Pressure of Public Aid

By Iñaki Zabaleta, Nikolas Xamardo, Itxaso Fernandez, Santi Urrutia, Carme Ferré Pavia and Arantza Gutiérrez.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social and private minority language media ownership, in general, needs some sort of public aid to balance their annual budgets because the regular income sources (advertising, sales in print press) are oftentimes insufficient. Thus, in this paper, we investigate the current public aid structure of monolingual (≥ 70% of content in own language) media in Catalan, Basque and Galician languages, as well as the strategic issues created by those policies of public funding. The communities of these three European autochthonous languages live mainly in Spain and France, and the number of speakers are quite high, bigger than that of some European countries: 7.5 million Catalan, 2.5 million and 0.8 million Basque and speakers. This study could be framed in the area of media economics, with a comparative research approach, since three minority languages and communities are compared. Scholarly research on the media economics of minority languages is very modest, at least when referring to the Europe of autochthonous minority languages; therefore, this paper can expand this area of investigation and offer updated data. Questionnaires and field interviews to media directors and financial managers were carried out. Annual balance sheets and reports were gathered and an appropriate and stratified sample of media outlets was built so that results could reasonably be generalized to the total media universe. The years under analysis were 2009 and 2010. The major findings of the paper will provide: (1) the actual public funding policy, as well as the institutions that provide financial support; (2) the distribution of public aid according to the variables of media type and ownership; and (3) the opinion and judgment media managers have about the sufficiency / insufficiency of the aids, and their most urgent funding needs.

Keywords: Minority Language Media, Catalan, Galician, Basque, Public Aid, Public Funding, Media Economics

Global Studies Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.57-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 389.814KB).

Dr. Iñaki Zabaleta

Full Professor, Department of Journalism, Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

Iñaki Zabaleta, Ph.D., is a full professor of journalism at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Basque language writer and journalist. His research interests span from international media systems and technologies, international media coverage and framing of Basques and Spain, to minority language media and journalism. He is the head of the Research Group on European Minority Language Media and Journalism (Basque, Catalan, Breton, Corsican, Frisian, Irish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Sámi), a leading group in Europe with relevant international publications on the subject. He is author and co-author of more than forty scholarly books, book chapters and journal articles on communication, journalism and society (with ISBN/ISSN indexation), in Basque, English, Spanish and French; and has presented papers in more than thirty national and international conferences. He served as a visiting scholar at the University of Iowa (1992) and carried on frequent research stays in New York.

Dr. Nikolas Xamardo

Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Biscay, Spain

Nicolás Xamardo, Ph.D., is a lecturer of journalism at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao. He is member of the research project on European Minority Language Media and Journalism. He has published “Comunicación e interpelación” in Estudios sobre el Mensaje Periodístico (Madrid, 2004, 10, 191 - 200); and Cidadán kane, os media, o poder e os seus límites (Santiago de Compostela, Ed. Noitarenga, 2004).

Itxaso Fernandez

Department of Audio Visual Communication and Advertising, Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Biscay, Spain

Mrs. Itxaso Fernandez is a lecturer in the Department of Audio Visual Communication and Advertising at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao. She is member of the research project on European Minority Language Media and Journalism. She co-authored 'Irratsaio bat egiteko tailer praktikoa' (Bilbao, UEU, 2005).

Dr. Santi Urrutia

Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

Santi Urrutia, Ph. D., is a lecturer of Sociology at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao. He is member of the mentioned research project on European Minority Language Media and Journalism. He has published “Utilización de dispositivos «voyeuristas» en la ficción televisiva”, in El bienestar en la cultura. Estudios de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicación en homenaje al profesor Iñaki Domínguez Vázquez (Bilbao, UPV-EHU, 2000).

Dr. Carme Ferré Pavia

Associate Professor, Communication and Journalism Department, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Carme Ferré-Pavia, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Journalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, journalist and press editor. She is the Head of the Research Group Comress-Incom UAB (Communication and Social Responsibility, part of the Communication Institute of Autonomous University of Barcelona). She is author of seven scholarly books and author and co-author of more than forty book chapters and journal articles.

Dr. Arantza Gutiérrez

Associate Professor, Department of Audio Visual Communication and Advertising, Faculty of Social and Communication Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Biscay, Spain

Arantza Gutierrez, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Department of Audio Visual Communication and Advertising at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao. She is member of the research project on European Minority Language Media and Journalism. She co-authored Irratsaio bat egiteko tailer praktikoa (Bilbao, UEU, 2005).

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