Media & Nationalism

The Basque, the Catalan, the Northern Ireland and the Scottish Cases

Media & Nationalism

The Basque, the Catalan, the Northern Ireland and the Scottish Cases

Media & Nationalism The Basque, the Catalan, the Northern Ireland and the Scottish Cases
Producted by Eumogràfic University of Vic Perot Rocaguinarda, 17 08500 - Vic Editor: Cristina Perales University of Vic, June 2009 © Salvador Cardús © Peter Gerrand © Katy Hayward © Peter Lynch © Iker Merodio © Cristina Perales © Lisa Socrates © Ludivine Thouverez Graphic design and layout: Miquel Cornellà de la Cruz Logo design: Gabriel Díaz and Guillem Marca ISBN: 978-84-936186-4-3

To Gabriel Díaz, in memoriam

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................ Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................ I PART: MEDIA AS POLITICAL AGENTS Cristina Perales The Media as National(istic) Agents ................................................................................................ 11 II PART: BASQUE CASE Ludivine Thouverez State Violence and News: GAL’s News Comparative Analysis from the French and Spanish Press ................................................................................................. 23 Iker Merodio News in the Basque Country and Media Responsibility in the Conflict ........................................................................................ 35 III PART: CATALAN CASE Salvador Cardús i Ros Television and National Identity Splendour and Decline of Autonomous Catalan Television ............................................................................. 48 Peter Gerrand Promoting Supranational Identity via the Internet – the Modern Relevance of Spain’s Regional Diasporas .................................................................. 63 IV PART: BRITISH-IRISH-SCOTTISH CASE Peter Lynch Constitutional Change without Bullets: Parties, Pressure Groups, Elections and Devolution in Scotland ............................................................... 79 Katy Hayward Northern Ireland: Polarisation under the Media Spotlight ........................................................... 96 6 7

NATIONAL IDENTITY ON CYPRUS CASE : Lisa Socrates Documentary Responses to ‘1974’ in Attila’74: The Rape of Cyprus and Divided Loyalties: Representations of Nationalism and National Identity ................................................................ 115

I consider myself extremely fortunate and privileged that at the University of Vic I have had the opportunity of carrying out an academic project for discussion of the media and nationalism. This book is the result of the first Summer School Seminar in Media and Nationalism, held in Vic (Barcelona) in July 2008, under the coordination of Iker Merodio, of the University of the Basque Country, and myself. The event was successful in offering participants the chance to learn about and discuss nationalism in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the involvement of the media in the development of nationalist discourses. People from many countries were able to take an active part in the activities and seminars where they presented their research. I am grateful for the comments and support of Joan Masnou, Iker Merodio, Igor Filibi, Xavier Solano and Enric Castelló. International conversations with Ephraim Nimni are always greatly appreciated. Linguistic and academic support came from Richard Samson. Also, thank you to the University of Vic, the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics, the Ajuntament de Vic and the Comissionat per a Universitats i Recerca of the Generalitat de Catalunya autonomous government, which gave us financial support to be able to stage the summer school. I would especially like to thank Mercè Prat and Miquel Cornellà for their efforts. Miquel is responsible for the great graphic design and layout of this book. I want to thank all my colleagues at the University of Vic who helped me in the organisation of the Summer School and encouraged me to publish some of the work in this book. I am also grateful to the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies, the Rector’s Board and the Communication Unit of the University of Vic, all of whom supported me right from the start of this project and without whom the Summer School and this book would never have been possible. Lastly, I want to dedicate this book to two great friends who listened to me, suggested ideas and helped me as much as they could: thank you very much, Guillem Marca, and thank you especially, Gabriel Díaz – you’ll always be among us.

Introduction Media and Nationalism: a Step Towards the Creation of an Academic Forum for International Debate
Stateless nations have become key players in a new globalised political system, which has permitted them to take part in broad-based political institutions. In a European framework, however, that legitimises and reinforces the nation state as the sole political agent at the European Union level, regions with nationalist aspirations still seek to carve out a political future driven by their own demands. Some of them claim the right to self-determination. Others seek sovereignty. And lastly there are those that need more autonomous powers to further their political aims. The new framework that stateless nations seek to bring about would let them make their own voice heard and achieve full integration into international organisations. All too often autonomous development is accompanied by social unrest and inevitable anthropological, political, social and communication issues. It is vital to reflect on and discuss these matters, and to analyse the treatment of national conflicts, whether or not accompanied by violence. At universities we must create open spaces for debate based on interdisciplinary views of nationalist issues. We also need to focus on the role of the mass media as political agents in society. The media construct discourses with two purposes: to maximise earnings and to exercise political and social influence. The media, when all is said and done, are an intrinsic part of the machinery involved in the construction of national identity and have the power to spread nationalist discourse far and wide. This book is the result of the Summer School - Seminar in Media and Nationalism held in Vic, 7 - 11 July 2008. This event, coordinated by the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies of the University of Vic and the Journalism School of the University of the Basque Country, was fortunate to count on the participation of specialists and researchers of great renown, such as Jordi Argelaguet, Antoni Batista, Josep Burgaya, Zoe Bray, Salvador Cardús, Enric Castelló, Ferran Domínguez, Igor Filibi, Xavier Giró, Adrian Guelke, Davie Hutchison, Peter Lynch, Iker Merodio, Ephraim Nimni, Mon Rodríguez, Ludi Thouverez and Katy Hayward. The present book brings together some of the papers presented by participants. Following the same structure as the Summer School - Seminar, the book is divided

into five parts. The first section deals with the aims of the Summer School - Seminar and also of the book, focusing on the role of the mass media as political agents. In “Media as National(istic) Actors” we see how the media, acting as public institutions, help to narrate and spread ideas about national identity in society. As narrators and as shapers of opinion, the media have an impact on political decisions. Building on this theoretical framework, in “State violences and News” Ludi Thouverez studies GAL terrorism through analysis of news, focusing on discourse strategies in the French and Spanish press. Similarly, Iker Merodio studies the case of the Basque Country, using critical discourse analysis to highlight the social and political responsibility of the media in news reporting. The third part covers the situation in Catalonia, using a variety of approaches. In “Television and National Identity”, Salvador Cardús describes how autonomous television channels have supported regional languages, as a democratic action in favour of language diversity in Spain, specifically, Catalan, Basque and Galician, the languages of the historical nations of Spain. This study centres on the case of the public Catalan television corporation. Peter Gerrand focuses on the promotion of national identity on the Internet. By means of textual analysis, Gerrand explores an interesting range of political and cultural identities. He studies the Catalan case, and particularly the domain “.cat” and how it has been interpreted and followed by other Spanish autonomous regions, with or without their own language. The fourth part covers the cases of Scotland and Northern Ireland. In “Constitutional Change without Bullets” Peter Lynch analyses Scottish nationalism as an example of an activist non-violent political movement. Scottish autonomy has become a constant point of reference for institutional measures affecting Scotland within the United Kingdom. Katy Hayward studies Northern Ireland in the context of the construction of competing national discourses. Hayward focuses on the way in which the media report on nationalism and unionism, and how these two tendencies become polarised in ideological and political terms as a result of treatment in the media. Finally, we have included a study on Cyprus. We decided to incorporate it in this book because the author, Lisa Socrates, discusses concepts of national identity in two documentary films, using analytical tools similar to those applied in the four previous cases covered.

Her study encouraged the coordinators of the Summer School - Seminar in Media and Nationalism 2008 to consider the possibility of extending the range of papers and debates at future events to include ‘post-traditional’ (Guibernau, 1999) stateless nations of both East and West. We hope that this book will be useful and, as far as possible, encourage reflection on the political role of the media in the process of reporting on and shaping opinions about nationalist issues. Cristina Perales Editor Vic, June 2009


The Media as National(istic) Agents
Cristina Perales Cristina Perales teaches Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the University of Vic (UVic) and Writing for Radio and Television at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). She is a member of the CEFID (Centre d’Estudis sobre les Èpoques Franquista i Democràtica) research group, under Pere Ysàs, of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; and the UNESCOME UNESCO Chair research group, under Enric Olivé, of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She has also participated in the GRID Digital Interaction research group, under Carlos Scolari. Currently she is working on doctoral research on Spanish written media coverage of Basque nationalism using critical discourse analysis. Her papers about Spanish and Basque nationalism include: “La Transición española: la gestación mal resuelta del Estado de las Autonomías” (The Spanish transition: the ill-fated development of autonomous regions in Spain) [in print] and “El desafío del nacionalismo vasco: la reinterpretación de la Constitución Española en el discurso mediático” (The challenge of Basque nationalism: reinterpreting the Spanish constitution in media discourse) [in print]. She has worked in a variety of media, both written press and audiovisual, such as El País, RNE-Radio 4, and Europa Press.

Abstract This paper focuses on the study of mass media as ideological institutions that support situations of dominance and as issuers of legitimised discourses. We study the role of the media in legitimising ideology and the important role they have in the evolution of nationalist conflict. We show how the media are political agents and as such they pursue aims that politicians achieve through language and discourse. We see how the media deploy the propaganda model proposed by Chomsky and Herman, and use routines in the news process to shape the construction of discourses and their associated social world representations. Keywords: media, communication, journalism, agent, politics, discourse, language, ideology, nationalism. 1. The Media as Political Agents The mass media are social agents interacting with other agents that they depend on. The aim of the media is twofold: to make money and to exercise influence (Borrat, 1989). While they operate in a market economy, the mass media need to be profitable to survive. Part of this profitability is obtained by selling space or time to

advertisers who buy, not space or time, but access to their public. The media need a public (audience, spectators or readers) to make money and at the same time to exercise influence on the public through their discourses. We aim to show how the media are political agents taking part in the evolution of conflict. As we will see, the media also have the mission of constructing a collective identity, through their influence on the powers that be; this is why we use the term political agent.

The media as political agents
According to Borrat (1989:10), the independent media are political agents seeking influence over the powers that be (without taking them over). To this end, the media, as political agents, are legitimised to intervene in governmental decisions and other social and political issues. But the media not only exercise influence; the media are also influenced by these same issues. Eric Louw (2005) holds that the mass media are, together with the political and education systems, political agents involved in the construction of collective identity. For Louw, the media have an important role in the construction of nations in democratic states, and he emphasises the political nature of the mass media in general.
“[…] politicians need the mass media to help them to circulate appropriate political myths, preferably as entertaining stories designed for mass consumption. Effectively, journalists – as part of the hype industry – are implicated in constructing mass identities.” (Louw, 2005: 97)

And he adds:
“Professional communicators are central to creating the sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘identity’ which underpins legitimate hegemonies. Journalists are especially important sources of representations (stories, memories, myths and ideologies) from which mass publics construct their images of the world; their sense of ‘available’ collectivities and ‘identities’; and ultimately their presentations from which individuals build their identities.” (Louw, 2005: 97)

Belonging to a political community presupposes the existence of a sense of group (groupness for Eric Louw) and that individuals identify with this group. To be a member of the group it is necessary to construct, firstly, a self identity from stories or beliefs that have been established by the group (collective identity) through a variety of means, such as the mass media. Individual identity, for Louw, must necessarily be accompanied by a stage of internalisation of group values:
“Certainly individuals construct their own identity, but they do so in interaction with ‘others’, drawing upon (and helping to construct) identities that are collectively shared,

e.g. the sense of belonging to a political community.” (Louw, 2005: 96)

We believe that the media are also constructors of this social identity that individuals create, and to this end they are narrators of stories. They are not the only ones that take part in the construction of a group identity, and they do not act in isolation. Politicians need the media to convey their political strategies through their discourse. Journalists are involved, in this way, in the construction of ideologies.
“Professional communicators are central to creating the sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘identity’ which underpins legitimate hegemonies. Journalists are specially important sources of representations (stories, memories, myths and ideologies) from which mass publics construct their images of the world; their sense of ‘available’ collectivities and ‘identities’; and ultimately the representations from which individuals build their identities.” (Louw, 2005: 97)

The media are constructors of meaning and identity. Politicians interact with the media because they share the same function:
“Building hegemonies, and collective and individual identities is part of an intermeshed communicative process. Not surprisingly, those seeking to build hegemonic dominance must engage in perception management which means working with journalists to coconstruct representations ‘appropriate’ to the needs of the hegemony builders.” (Louw, 2005: 97)

The media narrate and comment on facts and politically newsworthy processes. They do this through a polyphonic discourse (Borrat, 1989) that combines several voices (journalistic genres and authors) contributing to the construction of a sense of identity and belonging. Nevertheless, their contribution to the construction of identity is made under the influence of other agents in the conflict to whom the media output a discourse that will always be favourable to the interests of their publishing company. In all the actions of the media the political line focuses on developing a global strategy to service their permanent goals: making money and exerting influence. Specific strategies depend on the type of conflict and its intensity. The strategies can be inferred from the subject matter that they publish or broadcast on, since the incorporation of a conflict into the media itself means that it is a politically important matter where the media seeks to achieve two types of goal, according to Borrat (1989:43): A. Permanent aims: depending on their political stance, they shape their global strategy accordingly. They try to make money and exert influence, as we have said above. They bring to bear the managerial, private and sectorial interests of the publishing company.

B. Temporary aims: They shape the specific strategies that the media uses when certain situations of conflict arise. They need to be specified in every case and their duration is variable. The social perception of different media varies in line with the degree of participation that media show in a specific conflict. Borrat establishes three degrees of involvement in political conflicts: Extra level: the media is an external observer, that does not interfere as a directly affected party, nor as a third party playing the role of neutral mediator. Inter level: the media is the protagonist (tertius gaudens), or assumes the role of neutral mediator (divide et impera). Intra level: the media is one of a number of agents involved in a conflict, and in that conflict the media is against one or more parties. The media is an agent in conflicts at the inter and intra levels, and covers remote conflicts at the extra level. Excluded from coverage are those conflicts that lack journalistic interest or where interest is less than that of other conflicts considered to be of vital interest. Also excluded are those conflicts that harm their own interests, and they will hush up all news that harms themselves or harms their group. Nevertheless, as Giró affirms (2007:200-201), there are factors that directly affect media discourses before they become evident. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman (2003) propose a model that accounts for the behaviour of the most prestigious independent media in the United States. The authors affirm that there are five filters for all information before it is published. These filters act as a code of conduct allowing individuals to inculcate values and beliefs, and to become part of institutional structures. For Chomsky and Herman, the fulfilment of this role by the media they analyse in their study requires systematic propaganda. Herman (1996) gathers the key elements of the model:
“The crucial structural factors derive from the fact that the dominant media are firmly imbedded in the market system. They are profit-seeking businesses, owned by very wealthy people (or other companies); they are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive environment. The media are also dependent on government and major business firms as information sources, and both efficiency and political considerations, and frequently overlapping interests, cause a certain degree of solidarity to prevail among the government, major media, and other corporate business. Government and large non-media business firms are also best positioned (and sufficiently wealthy) to be able to pressure the media with threats of withdrawal of advertising or TV licenses, libel suits, and other direct and indirect modes of attack. The media are also constrained by the dominant ideology,

which heavily featured anticommunism before and during the Cold War era, and was mobilized often to prevent the media from criticizing attacks on small states labelled communist.” (Herman, 1996: 116-117).

The propaganda model that they propose turns out to be equally valid for mass media that operate in most countries with capitalist economies. The discourse in the media pass through these five filters formulated by Herman: property or orientation of profits of the media; advertising; information sources; dominant political and economic power and, finally, the dominant ideology as a control mechanism that the media propagates. Nowadays in western societies other than in the USA, the media also act in line with this propaganda model. Firstly, they do not publish or broadcast anything that could harm them directly, or their companies or shareholders. Secondly, their product responds to the needs of advertisers, so they do not publish anything that might harm or irritate them. Otherwise the media would have to renounce their main source of income. Thirdly, the events the media inform on are news items that meet the needs established by the media managers of the main political and business organisations. The information provided by these organisations is considered relevant and credible by the media, since these sources are recognised as trustworthy and truthful due to their status and prestige. Fourthly, the powers that be and large enterprises can exert pressure on the media. They have direct access to the media, since they intervene decisively in setting the agenda for the media. Finally, the media take an ideological stance that is identical with that of their publishing company. The media use ideological discourse to support the economic and political aims of the publishing company. We agree with Borrat (1989) that the media are influenced by a variety of factors, among which is the publishing company they belong to. This dependence reemphasises the notion we suggested at the beginning of this section: the media seek profits and influence on society. As Giró states (2007: 201), it is only after the information has passed through these five filters that it finally reaches the public. The consumer product is shaped by a journalistic praxis characterised by: • Insufficient contrasting of information provided by government or large enterprise sources;

• • • •

A cost reduction through assuming the reliability of official sources; Identifying as ‘enemies’ the opponents of official sources close to the ideology of the news publisher; A non-critical approach to the ‘status quo’; Physical and economic limits of the media that make it difficult to express alternative ideas.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions where on a few occasions the media break with the propaganda model in news reporting and opinion columns (Giró, 2007: 202-203). That is to say, the dominant discourse of the media is not the only one possible. Heterogeneity exists in the discourse of the mass media. The function of these information cracks is to capture the widest target public possible, while at the same time conferring greater credibility on the media in question. The mass media use a strategy of power on which to base their world view. The information crack model proposed by Giró only reinforces the inflexibility of this strategy. Our aim is not to see the reality of the discourse, but the reality that the discourse constructs. 2. Defining National Discourse In the mass media there are institutional voices, the editorial columns, which focus the ideological thrust of the media. The media have a variety of ways of intervening politically, but it is in the editorials that the ideological map of the media, and particularly of newspapers, is clearest. News enterprises have a social, economic and political position and their product, the news, is published from a particular point of view, just as with any representation of discourse:
“language is not a clear window but a refracting, structuring medium” (Fowler, 1991: 10)

In our view, the representation of discourse in society is a mechanism for ideological domination. For Ibarra and Idoiaga (1998), as members of the public do not each have the same ease of access to the media, they cannot be treated equally. Those who are able to, therefore, seek to maintain their status of ideological domination over those without this privilege. Louw (2005) agrees with the classification of ideological domination that the Basque authors propose. For Louw there are two types of groups with an interdependent relationship. On the one hand, there are the dominant groups that construct legitimacy and wield power over those they dominate; on the other, the subordinates

who allow authority to be exercised over them by the dominant group.
“[….] becoming the ruling group requires performing well in three spheres: firstly, building and maintaining political alliances (i.e. constructing a ‘ruling group’); secondly, generating content (‘legitimacy’) among the ruled; and thirdly, building coercive capacity (e.g. police, courts, prisons and military forces) to generate ‘authority’.” (Louw, 2005: 98)

The author emphasises that the hegemonic positions that dominant groups occupy are related to their access to the media, which ratify the dominant group discourses, which they identify with closely:
“Ultimately, becoming dominant requires ruling groups to learn, mobilize and organize three key skills –the acts of coercion; negotiation (to ‘politic’ alliances); and mass communication (to build mass ‘consent’). The latter involves circulating representations which help inculcate identities, beliefs and behaviours confirming the practices and discourses of the ruling group. The art of mass political communication has become increasingly ‘institutionalized’ (and ‘hyped’) around a set of complex symbiotic relationships between politicians, spin-doctors and journalists.” (Louw, 2005: 98)

It is precisely access to different mass media that divides society into oppressors and oppressed, accessed and unaccessed with regard to the media, and it is on the basis of this access that they build their position as legitimised social leaders.
“The political effect of this division between the accessed and the unaccessed hardly needs stating: an imbalance between the representation of the already privileged, on the one hand, and the already unprivileged, on the other, with the views of the official, the powerful and the rich being constantly invoked to legitimate the status quo.” (Fowler, 1991: 22)

Fowler’s linguistic study concludes with a relationship proposed by Gunter Kress: the mass media are impregnated with the language and ideology of socially dominant groups, as a consequence of the ease of access they have to the media. In effect, the media reproduce and normalise the discourses of dominant groups which they identify with:
“Institutions and social groupings have specific meanings and values which are articulated in language in systematic ways. Following the work particularly of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, I refer to these systematically-organized modes of talking as discourse. Discourses are systematically-organized sets of statements which give expression to the meanings and values of an institution. Beyond that, they define, describe and delimit what it is possible to say and not possible to say (and by extension –what it is possible to do or not to do) with respect to the area of concern of that institution, whether marginally or centrally. A discourse provides a set of possible

statements about a given area, and organizes and gives structure to the manner in which a particular topic, object, process is to be talked about. In that it provides descriptions, rules, permissions and prohibitions of social and individual actions.” (Kress, 1985: 6-7, quoted in Fowler, 1991:42)

The media, as co-constructors of discourses of domination, have the main aim of bringing society closer to a reality that they construct and reflect throughout their broadcasts and articles. Thus, when the media report on a conflict, it appears and is described as an exception, from the particular point of view of the news enterprise. As Ibarra and Idoiaga indicate, the importance of the media lies in their role in the political system, since it is through the reporting narratives that political rhetoric is introduced and normalised. The resulting effect is ideological legitimisation as a discourse strategy. This discourse strategy not only serves to exhibit the ideological stance of the media, but also to call on the indirect participation of the public, turning journalistic product into a display of values shared by a ‘we’ that includes those who are the targets of the discourse. This is a dialectic of indirect dialogue, in which the journalist becomes part of the ‘we, the public’. Hence, editorials legitimise the particular interests of the social group they are directed at (Gonzalez Arias, 2006), and they do this through political language. In spite of the fact that they have diverse ways of intervening politically, the media use editorials to show their ideological map, and do this with a political language since as agents they report and reflect on political issues with a clear political goal. According to Graber, there are three decisive factors that serve to identify political language: the type of information transmitted, the setting in which it is conveyed and the functions it pursues with its formulation: “By and large, what makes verbal and nonverbal language political is not a distinctive vocabulary or form. Rather, it is the substance of the information it conveys, the setting in which this information is disseminated, and the functions that political languages perform. When political actors, in and out of government, communicate about political matters, for political purposes, they are using political language.” (Graber, 1981: 196) According to the author, political language has these purposes: mass dissemination of information; establishing the political agenda in order to turn topics into public issues through the media; influencing the interpretation of future and past political projects, which is to say, the interpretation of the present builds on interpretation of the past; and finally, provoking some type of action from those who identify themselves as members of a group. “The potency of verbal definitions of political situations springs from the fact that they become bases for beliefs and actions,

even though they are not readily verifiable. Meanings, motives, and evaluations are mental constructs with no counterpart in physical reality.” (Graber, 1981: 204) We therefore believe that editorials are a form of political language and this belief supports our view that the media are political agents. We are dealing with journalism which serves to transmit political discourse. This discourse conveys knowledge on the basis of an accumulation of knowledge in permanent flux. We believe, with Siegfried Jäger, that discourse is “the flow of knowledge - and of the whole accumulation of knowledge in society - throughout history. “ (Jäger, 2001: 63). It is in this flow that the instruction of individuals and groups is decided, and on the basis of which power is exercised. This is why discourses in journalism must be understood as institutionalised constructs whose purpose is the exercise of influence.

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State Violence and News: GAL’s News Comparative Analysis from the French and Spanish Press
Ludivine Thouverez She teaches Spanish language at the department of Hispanic studies in the University of Besançon, in France. Her current doctoral thesis, directed by Dr. Xavier Giró, applies the Critical Discourse Analysis to an examination of the News about the GAL in the French and Spanish press. She has collaborated with French Media (radio and press) and is member of the Observatory of the Conflict Coverages (OCC) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).

Abstract The “dominant newspapers” are political and economic actors. They produce and reproduce ideology and have an influence on the evolution of the conflicts. These common attributes do not implicate that the information published in these newspapers is homogenous. Indeed, it is not. Every newspaper has a particular ideology and some specific sales strategies which determine its discourse. The coverage of the Antiterrorist Liberation Group’s attacks is an example of the polyphonic discourse of the press. Keywords: media, press, journalism, terrorism, State terrorism, conflicts. The violence of the“Antiterrorist Liberation Groups”(Grupo Antiterrorista de Liberación o GAL in Spanish) can be considered as one of the most important political scandals of the Spanish democracy. Between 1983 and 1987, the Department of Interior and the military High Commands carried out what some Media have called a “dirty war” aimed to eliminate the members of ETA who took refuge in the French Basque Country during the 1970s. The result of these attacks was the death of 26 people, a third of them having no connection with ETA. Officially, the Spanish government never acknowledged responsibility for the death of these people. But, thanks to the Spanish Media and the Justice, it was revealed that the Spanish secret services paid mercenaries with money from the Department of the Interior. Nevertheless, the GAL really became a political scandal during the electoral campaigns of 1992 and 1996. This leads to wonder about the News coverage of the GAL at the time of the attacks. What was the discourse of the press about the killings of ETA’s members? Did the newspapers ask the authorities to have an exemplary behaviour? Did they try to discover the truth? How did they describe the social actors involved in the conflict? And did they help to resolve the conflict or, on the contrary, to complicate

it? After summarizing the context of the GAL’s attacks, we will explain the method of analysis and present part of the conclusions of our doctoral thesis, especially the differences between the French and the Spanish press in the News coverage. 1. The context of the attacks In 1983, Spain was governed by the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE), whose leader was Felipe Gonzalez. One year before, the victory of this party had raised a big expectation of change because the PSOE had not taken part in any of the previous governments of the Democratic Transition. That’s why some History researchers consider that the democracy in Spain really starts in 1982. During the electoral campaign of 1982, Felipe Gonzalez promised more dialogue in the Basque conflict’s approach. At this time, the Basque Country was ruled by a statute of autonomy and governed by the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). In the Parliamentary elections of the Basque Autonomous Community of 1980, PNV obtained 38 per cent of the votes while the independentist party Herri Batasuna had a support of 16 per cent and the socialist party of 14 per cent. PNV, which was ruling the Basque society, had to deal with two main issues. On the one hand, ETA’s violence was remaining important. Even if the number of victims had decreased since 1980, 32 people were killed in 1983. On the other hand, the central government of Madrid was delaying the transfer of powers to the autonomic community. In Madrid, Felipe Gonzalez’s government deployed several strategies against ETA’s violence. First, it encouraged ETA’s members to abandon the arms through a reinsertion plan. Second, it reinforced the anti-terrorist legislation and provided the Police with a larger freedom of action. Third, it pressed the French and Belgian governments to the fight against ETA. A fourth initiative was also launched without any public announcement: through the GAL, it supported the extra-judicial killings of ETA members exiled in France. This strategy, called “dirty war” by the Media, was not a new one.1 Indeed, between 1975 and 1981, secret organizations such as “Basque Spanish Battalion” or “Antiterrorism ETA” killed around 30 people in the French Basque Country, where ETA maintained its bases. Contrary to what one might think, the French authorities didn’t accept the presence of ETA in France. In 1972, ETA was banned and, in 1979, the Basque people lost the statute of political refugees. But, in view of the socialists’ and the intellectual class’ protests, ETA’s members were not deported to Spain. In 1984, the French government decided to shatter the taboo and collaborate with the Spanish administration against ETA. In January, ETA’s leaders were deported to Africa and South-American countries. Nine months later, four independentist militants were extradited to Madrid. This change of politics was not well received by some sectors

of the Socialist Party and some Media attributed it to the GAL’s attacks. But, in reality, this change was probably caused by Spain’s entry into the European Economic Community. However that may be, there are many differences between the first and the second “dirty war”. While the Basque Spanish Battalion’s attacks were realized by extreme right-wing militants and Spanish policemen, GAL’s attacks were carried out by mercenaries, mafia’s delinquents or ex OAS members (an organization which had fought against Algeria’s independence in the 1950s) paid with public money. The Spanish Department of Interior was aware of that issue. Actually, José Barrionuevo, who was the Interior Minister during that period, was sent to prison in 1998. 2. The Newspapers and the method To determinate how the Media informed about GAL’s violence, we analyzed more than one thousand articles published in three French newspapers (Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libération) and three Spanish ones (ABC, El País, Diario 16), from December 1983 to February 1986. The choice of these newspapers corresponds to several strategies. Obviously, they are not red by all the social classes. But their authority in the national and international world’s press turns them into a privileged source of information for other Media, just like the radio, the television and for the foreign press. Moreover, they are all edited in the capital of the French and Spanish states and have close relations with the political, economical, and intellectual powers. Thus, they can be considered as some “dominant newspapers”. The existence of similarities across these newspapers do not implicate that they have the same discourse about GAL’s attacks. Indeed, every newspaper has a particular ideology and some sales strategies, which have an influence on the discourse. Le Monde, El País and Diario 16 are close to the centre. But Diario 16’s sales strategies differ from the others. While El País and Le Monde are characterized by an austere style (inspired by the English newspaper The Time), Diario 16 is more “sensationalist”. On this point, it looks like Libération, newspaper found by the philosopher Sartre and the Marxist movement, close to the French Socialist Party in the 1980s. Finally, Le Figaro and ABC defend conservative and right-wing values. But, contrary to ABC, Le Figaro is a republican newspaper. We can suppose, then, there is a polyphonic discourse about the GAL. The method of analysis is plural. The first part of our study is dedicated to the process of the News production. We mean: who is at the source of the information? Who are the actors of the News? Who are the responsible of the declarations? And what is the place for the GAL’s issue in the global information of the Basque’s question? After this, we have realized an analysis of the articles’ and editorials’ content. Therefore, this study focuses on the production of the discourse and not on the public reception of the News.

3. Production of the News The conclusions of the study of News production point that all the newspapers talk about GAL’s attacks in the same proportions. On that point, there is no concealment of the facts. Regarding the sources of information, they are mostly institutional: the Police, the Justice, the Political Parties and the Government of each country provide the information. On the contrary, the non institutional actors, like GAL’s victims or Basque people exiled in France, are minority sources (except in the ex Marxist newspaper Liberation). The GAL is never a direct source, except in the Spanish newspaper Diario 16, which publishes two interviews of its supposed members. The main actors of the News are the GAL, the victims and the Police. That’s why we can say that the informative narrations put the focus on: 1) the facts (how the GAL proceeded with the criminal activity); 2) the identity of the victims (what was their criminal record); 3) The unsuccessful investigations by the French and Spanish Police after the crimes. Regarding the declarations, there is a higher contrast between the French and the Spanish press. In France, the actors more quoted are the GAL, the Basque people in exile and the French politicians. In Spain, they are Herri Batasuna, the Spanish Police, the Spanish Justice and the Spanish government. Consequently, the non institutional actors have a minority social representation. On the contrary, HB’s discourse, which blames the Spanish government for GAL’s crimes, is often quoted. The reason is obvious: even if the “dominant newspapers” disagree with the nationalist ideology, HB’s declarations enable them to throw suspicion on the authorities. But the newspapers can’t be accused of criticizing the government. In addition, HB appears like a two-faced political party: it criticizes GAL’s attacks and the Spanish authorities but never condemns ETA’s violence. Now, we will talk about the content of the News in the French press. 4. Information’s and editorials’ content 4.1 The French press a) Common discourse of the Newspapers Although the discourse about GAL’s attacks is different across Le Monde, Libération and Le Figaro, these newspapers have several similarities. The way to define the conflict is an example. During the period of our analysis (1983-6) these newspapers present the Basque conflict as a “Spanish problem”, opposing ETA to the Spanish State. According to them, the repression applied by the Franco’s regime to the Basque nationalists from the 1940s to the 1980s and the violations of the human rights in the Basque Country (still effective after Franco’s death) explain the permanence of ETA’s violence. If they recognize that Spain is a democracy, they also

insist on that some policemen still apply pro-Franco methods, just like torturing or killing political opponents. Secondly, all these newspapers condemn GAL’s attacks and consider the members of this group as mercenaries controlled by the Spanish secret services. That’s why they ask the Spanish government to stop them. The lexicon used to refer to the GAL is a juridical (“criminals”, “murderers”) and a political one (they talk about “terrorism” and “dirty war”). In addition, GAL is presented as a threat for the French citizens. Lastly, any newspaper calls the French Police and Administration’s attitude into question. Even if Libération underlines the lack of results in the crimes’ investigation, it considers that the French Administration could not be involved in the anti-ETA operations. However, it was revealed that members of the Foreign Legion and the French Police collaborated with the GAL either recruiting or giving data about the Basque community to the mercenaries. According to the ideological square proposed by the linguistic specialist Teun Van Dijk (The Media insist on the positive values and attitudes of their “partners” and on the negatives values and attitudes of their “opponents”), the French newspapers adopt a dualistic attitude, reproaching the Spanish administration for GAL’s violence and hiding the responsibility of their own authorities in the attacks. Now, we will evoke the particularities of each newspaper. b) The particularities of each newspaper

Libération dedicates an important informative space to the Basque question and the GAL’s attacks. According to this newspaper, GAL’s operations are carried out by mercenaries, obeying the Spanish Police. In the absence of evidences, Libération’s information often rests on beliefs and rumours, but we have to recognize that the information is close to the reality or, at least, to the reality we know at the present time. On the contrary, Le Monde processes the information with caution: it admits the possibility of an involvement of the Spanish secret services, but the critics to the Spanish Administration are indirectly expressed. GAL’s discourse is limited and reformulated; there’s no scoop research, and information is well balanced. Contrary to Le Monde and Libération, the conservative newspaper Le Figaro considers that the only problem of the Basque Country is ETA. From the beginning of GAL’s attacks, this newspaper argues that GAL is a “counterterrorist group” taking “reprisals” against ETA. In this way, Le Figaro lays all the responsibility for the GAL at ETA’s door. The attacks are not considered as a provocation but as an “excess of the legal fight” against ETA’s terror. The attributes associated to the GAL are “professionalism”, “determination”, “precision” and “high level of information”. The GAL is “everywhere” and applies “his own justice”. These words reveal a certain admiration for this group and indirectly justify crimes, pain and blood in the name of the “war against terrorism”. In spite of this, Le Figaro’s discourse changes in 1985. From the death of French citizens in the attacks, GAL becomes a “terrorist” group.

The description of the victims is also different across the newspapers. By victims, we understand ETA’s members, Basques exiled in France and French citizens. Libération never considers the Basque victims as “terrorists”, nor “ETA’s members”, but as “refugees”. In reality, the expression “refugees” is not appropriate because the Basque nationalists exiled in France lost their statute of political refugees in 1979. All the same, in the 1980s, the Media continue qualifying them as “refugees”. Libération publishes a lot of pieces about them: the life they live in France, their expectations, their fears, their precarious situation, their loneliness. In addition, GAL’s victims are always treated in a respectful way and humanized. At the beginning of the attacks, Le Monde also shows its solidarity with the Basque community but, from the French government’s decision to deport ETA’s militants, the newspaper’s discourse starts to change. The “refugees” become “exiled people” or “foreigners” and are associated to a violent attitude. In other words, Le Monde adapts its discourse to the new political context. But, not all the journalists support the French Government’s politics against ETA:
“The Government has just voted a law forbidding the new Basque refugees to live in the south-west of France, in order to prevent an « excessive concentration » of them. However, the « refugees » are only 800 people among a population of 25,000 inhabitants.”

Le Figaro’s discourse about victims depends on the nationality of them. While the French victims are “innocent” people, all the Spanish Basque victims are “terrorists”. The newspaper doesn’t make a distinction between GAL’s victims, ETA’s members and Basque community. In accordance with this dualistic classification, Le Figaro asks the French government to proceed to their expulsion. The newspaper’s arguments are: 1) Basque refugees are violent. They “ignore the laws of the Republic” and abuse of the hospitality of French State. 2) Their criminal activities have provoked the reprisals of the GAL. 3) Their presence in the French territory has provoked an increase of the Basque nationalist ideology in France. The violence of the French Basque organization Iparretarrak has demonstrated it.3 4) ETA’s, GAL’s, Iparretarrak’s and nationalists’ violence has some negative consequences for the economy. There’s a crisis of the touristic sector.4 Le Figaro assumes then a discriminating discourse about GAL’s victims and goes in the opposite direction of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The discourse about the other actors is polyphonic too. Libération accuses the French government of changing its politics with ETA and ignoring Basque community’s demands. The French and Spanish Polices are criticized for not investigate GAL’s crimes. For Le Figaro, on the contrary, the lack of results in the crimes’ investigation is due to the “great professionalism” of the mercenaries. So French and Spanish

policemen’s attitude is correct. Le Monde, for its part, doesn’t clearly criticize the Police and the authorities. When it does, the critics are expressed through the declarations of other actors, like the “refugees”. Le Monde, in this way, adopts a gobetween position in the conflict: it’s not “pro-refugees” as Libération and neither “anti-refugees” as Le Figaro. Now, we will compare these conclusions with the Spanish press. 4.2 The Spanish press a) Common discourse of the Newspapers

El País, Diario 16 and ABC consider the Basque conflict as a political problem and ETA, as a “terrorist” organization. However, they disagree about the way to resolve the problem of violence. While El País and Diario 16 encourage the negotiation with all the sectors of the nationalist camp, the conservative newspaper ABC claims that the only solution consists in eradicate ETA’s members. At the beginning of the conflict, they adopt a belligerent discourse about the French authorities for having enabled ETA to live in a “sanctuary” on the Franco-Spanish frontier. But, after the French government’s decision to deport ETA’s leaders to Africa or SouthAmerican countries, the discourse on French authorities gradually changes. All the Newspapers condemn the GAL’s activities, qualifying them as “terrorist” and “criminal” operations. On that point, we can say they put ETA and GAL on an equal footing. They also suspect that the Spanish secret services and the French Police may be involved in the anti-ETA attacks and argue that ETA is in crisis because GAL has demoralized its members.
b) The particularities of each newspaper During the period of our research, ABC is a newspaper of the Opposition. Thus, it was reasonable to think that the GAL’s activities would be serving as a pretext to discredit the Spanish government. However, the attitude of the monarchist newspaper is more complex. ABC condemns GAL’s attacks and considers this group as a “terrorist” one. As well as in Le Figaro, the attributes associated to GAL’s members are “professionalism”, “determination” and “precision”. ABC disagrees with the methods of the GAL and points that the extra-judicial killings of ETA’s members could be a factor of degeneration of the Basque Country. But, at the same time, ABC argues that these attacks are a logical consequence of ETA’s violence and defines the GAL as a “terrorism of answer”. Some chroniclers go even further, justifying the use of violence against “terrorists”:

“If this enigmatic GAL may have some terrible compensation, it would be opening French people’s eyes. If this dirty war goes on, the French citizens will discover the pain we are suffering for the death of innocent victims.”

“When Israel teaches the civilized countries how to respond to the terrorism, the propaganda shouts:“State terrorism!”, “Fascism!”. Nowadays, it seems that the terrorists and killers have all the rights, and the others are absolutely unprotected. Definitely, we can’t understand the criticisms that some people make to Israel.”

ABC considers the conflict as a war between ETA and GAL. First, ETA declared the hostilities. Second, GAL replied. This type of discourse is recurrent. By the way, ABC attributes all the responsibility of the GAL to the Basque independents. El País develops other discursive strategies. They consist in criminalize the GAL, denounce the relations between policemen and mercenaries and require explanations to the Spanish government. Contrary to ABC, El País condemns firmly the use of violence to fight violence:
“Nothing can justify the dirty war. When one of our most democratic advancement has consisted in abolishing the death penalty, the Spanish government can’t remain indifferent to the existence of parapolice groups which have decided to take the law into their own hands.”

Even if El País has left-wing views, it disagrees with the socialist politics in the Basque Conflict. Actually, when the independentist leader Santiago Brouard is killed on November 1984 in Bilbao, the newspaper calls to the resignation of the minister of Interior José Barrionuevo. In reaction, Barrionuevo takes a legal action against El País for damaging his honour. The Minister’s complaint has an influence in the News making: from 1985, El País investigates the GAL’s structure and tries to demonstrate the links between the Spanish secret services and the extreme rightwing militants.

Diario 16 is the Spanish newspaper which publishes most articles about the GAL’s issue. The sensationalist touch of this newspaper leads the journalists to investigate the GAL, in order to discover who their chiefs are. From the beginning, the Spanish reactionaries sectors (just as the Guardia Civil or the Antiterrorist Commanders) are suspected to command the anti-ETA attacks. But contrary to El País, Diario 16 rejects the possibility that the Socialist administration could take part of the “dirty war” because it would be an “imbecility”. Diario 16 dedicates several ground investigations about the GAL and even interviews some mercenaries. But, actually, these interviews were aimed to intoxicate the public opinion.

The presentation of the victims differs according to the newspaper. In El País, there is a contrast between the editorial line’s and the information articles’ discourse. While the journalists accuse the GAL’s victims of being murderers, the editorial line says:
“It’s very alarming to see how our administration tends to discriminate GAL’s victims according to their criminal record. Establishing a difference between citizens, terrorists and victims is definitely dangerous […]. If Xavier Galdeano [journalist of the independentist newspaper Egin killed on April 1985] was an ETA’s financial manager, should we have to forgive the GAL for killing him?”

This fragment shows that the editorial line always defends the democratic legality but, in their daily routine, the journalists don’t apply the ethical recommendations of the direction. In Diario 16, the representation of the victims is close to El País. Although the newspaper establishes a distinction between “GAL’s victims”, “ETA’s members” and “refugees”, the Media’s discourse tends to discriminate the militants of the nationalist camp. ABC’s strategies consist in defend the Spanish armed forces and criminalize GAL’s victims. That leads the newspaper to reproduce the Department of the Interior’s press releases without putting them into question. The presumption of innocence is not applied to the victims of the nationalist camp and ABC focuses on their cruelty. For example, when the ETA’s leader Mikel Goikoetxea dies, ABC publishes a list of the murders attributed to him. When the independentist leader Santiago Brouard dies in Bilbao, the journalists suggest he may have been killed by ETA. And when the victims don’t have any relation with ETA, the newspaper raises doubts concerning their morality. For example, ABC describes the first French citizen killed by the GAL as an ETA’s informer and the journalist Xabier Galdeano as a financial director of ETA. Regarding the other social actors, all the newspapers associate the Basque community of France and Herri Batasuna with an image of violence. Although ABC proclaims to be open to every opinion, this newspaper condemns the actors putting the Spanish government and Police’s integrity into question. The conservative newspaper considers that the public opinion has to trust in the authorities. That’s why the dissonant voices are criticized and associated to negative values. The Basque independents, for example, are “violent” and “sectarian”, and try to capitalize on the “dirty war”. El País offers a subjective representation of the conflict. And ETA, “terrorist organization in crisis”, manipulates the French opinion. ABC is the only Spanish newspaper which doesn’t investigate the relations between the secret services and the “dirty war”. This lack of interest may indicate that the newspaper knows much more than it says.

5. Conclusion At the beginning of this study, we were convinced that there would be several differences between the French and the Spanish press. But, in reality, the discourse of El País and Diario 16 is similar to Le Monde’s one. And the discourse of ABC is similar to Le Figaro’s one. In this way, we can affirm that the ideological tendency of the newspapers determines the way the conflict is represented. While the rightwing press defend the Police and indirectly justifies (or “understands”) the GAL’s attacks, the social democrat one condemns these practices in the name of the judicial, political and humanistic principles of the democracy. But, at the same time, all the “dominant newspapers” present the independentists as some “extremists”. Libération’s discourse is the only exception. The ex Marxist ideology of this newspaper explains the sympathies of the journalists to the Basque independentists and their opposition to the new French government’s politics. After all, GAL’s violence seems to be an open secret. Every Media suspects the Spanish authorities of commanding the attacks but the inexistence of evidences leads the Media to apply the “presumption of innocence” to them. On the contrary, the victims are accused of having provoked this situation. That’s why the information is unbalanced. In addition, the criminalization of the victims is contrary to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. If we have to make some criticisms to the press, it would be the following: the newspapers should have been more critical with the Spanish and French administrations. In this way, the coverage on GAL’s violence is similar to the Basque conflict’s one in general. The discourse of the “dominant newspapers” is usually dualistic and tends to justify all the methods aimed to eliminate ETA’s “terrorism”. Besides, in 1997, the wife of the president Felipe Gonzalez, declared: “Why should we lose sleep because of a phenomenon which has happened in Spain like it happened in France, in Germany and in all democratic countries? Dirty tricks are normal in very many countries”. Unfortunately, the parents of GAL’s victims (whoever the victims are) don’t share this opinion. In Spain, at least, the investigations and discovers of the press lead the Justice to investigate and condemn GAL’s members. We don’t know if in Ireland or Great Britain, for example, the Media have investigated about the collusion between British forces and loyalist activists, and if some researchers have studied this phenomenon, but we are open to continue investigating in this direction.


The lexicon used to describe GAL’s activities is various. Although “dirty war” is usually used, this euphemism presupposes the existence of some “clean” and “dirty” practices in a war. But an Army can easily overstep the rules established by ‘the war convention’ of 1949 and adopt “dirty methods”, realizing arbitrary detentions, torturing or killing civilians. That’s why this expression is not the most appropriate. The Media also called the GAL “State terrorism” and “counterterrorism”. These expressions, which presuppose that ETA is a “terrorist” organization, neither seem appropriate. On the one hand, “terrorism” is a very subjective world, particular to the political language. Actually, accusing some organization of “terrorism” is a way to discredit it and justify a repressive action against its members. On the other hand, “State terrorism” is an undefined world: State is ruled by politicians. In the case of the GAL, not all the Spanish government’s members were involved in the anti-ETA attacks. For these reasons, we prefer describe the GAL as an “armed organization” carrying out “attacks” or “extra-judicial killings”.
2 3

Beau, N. “Trêve au Pays basque”, Le Monde, 29 April 1984.

Iparretarrak (which means “ETA from the North”) is an armed organization created in 1974, in order to obtain the autonomy of the French Basque Country. In the beginning, ETA supported this group and the strategy of a common front to liberate the Basque Country from the domination of the Spanish and the French States. But, after a time, ETA abandoned the idea of the common front, because Iparretarrak’s activities were putting its own interests in jeopardy. Iparretarrak, which never had a large social support in France, was dismantled in the 1980s.

In fact, the topics that the foreigners damage the host country’s socio-economic interests, abuse of the welfare benefits and have criminal activities is very common in the political and mediatical language and serves to justify and reproduce racist conducts. See Van Dijk, T. (2005) or Wodak, R. and Reisigl, M. (2001).
5 6 7 8

Reina, M. “Pero ¿Existe una guerra limpia?”, ABC, 16 January 1984. López Sancho, L. “La longaniza y el poste”, ABC, 30 September 1985. Editorial “Viaje a París”, Le Monde, 22 December 1983. Editorial “El terrorismo de los GAL”, El País, 3 April 1985.

BATISTA, A. (2001) Euskadi sin prejuicios, Barcelona: Plaza et Janés. CASSAN, P. (1998) Francia y la cuestión vasca, Tafalla: Txalaparta. Comité Européen de Défense des Réfugiés et des Immigrés (1990), El GAL o el terrorismo de Estado en la Europa de las democracias: informe de la encuesta febrero-junio 1989, Tafalla: Txalaparta. IDOIAGA, P. and RAMÍREZ DE LA PISCINA, T. (2002) Al filo de la (in)comunicación, Prensa y conflicto vasco, Madrid: Fundamentos. MIRALLES, M. and ARQUES, R. (1989) Amedo El Estado contra ETA, Barcelona: Plaza y Janés. MORUZZI, J. F. and BOULAERT, E. (1988) Iparretarrak, séparatisme et terrorisme en Pays basque français, Paris : Plon. RODRIGO ALSINA, M (1991), Los medios de comunicación ante el terrorismo, Barcelona: Icaria. SULLIVAN, J. (1988) ETA and Basque nationalism: the fight for Euskadi 1890-1986, New York and London: Routledge. VAN DIJK, T. A: (1990), La noticia como discurso. Comprensión, estructura y producción de la información, Barcelona: Paidós. (1997) Racismo y análisis crítico de los medios, Barcelona: Paidós. (2005) Discourse and racism in Spain and Latin America, Amsterdam: Benjamins. WODAK, R. and REISIGL, M. (2001) Discourse and discrimination, Rhetorics of Racism and Anti-Semitism, New York and London: Routledge. WODAK, R. and MEYER, M. (2003) Métodos de análisis crítico del discurso, Barcelona: Gedisa. WOODWORTH, P. (2002), Dirty War, Clean Hands. ETA, the GAL and Spanish Democracy, Yale: University Press.

News in the Basque Country and Media Responsibility in the Conflict
Iker Merodio Iker Merodio is researcher and PhD candidate at the University of the Basque Country (Department of Journalism). Nowadays, he is writing his Doctoral Thesis about the Media and the Basque Nationalist Conflict. This research has been backed by the Basque Government with a grant for four years. Iker Merodio has been Coordinator of the first Summer School in Media and Nationalism in Vic (July of 2008), and now he is preparing the second edition of this international encounter in Bilbao in 2009 in collaboration with the teachers Cristina Perales (UVic) and Igor Filibi (UPV/EHU). During 2008 (September and October), Professor Merodio teached Political Communication and International Perspective at the ITESM (Chihuahua, México) into the Academic Leaders program. He regularly publishes political analysis in Deia, one of the most important newspaper in Basque Country. He collaborates as Communication Consultant for the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV).

Abstract In the Basque Country, the newspapers play a very important role because the population is highly politized and want to be informated about the Political and Military Conflict. In this context, from the Basque University we consider necessary a research to know how this communication is and to evaluate the responsibility level of the main Basque newspapers in their political discourses. Keywords: Basque Country, Media, Nationalism, Newspapers, Political Parties, Discourse. 0. Introduction The Basque society is specially politized. And the Media, especially newspapers, collects and spreads this circumstance. We can see that the sections with political contents are the most important in Basque and Spanish papers. And we can even read news about politics in others sections like local news, culture or even sports. In this way, media can stir up or even pacify some discussions. So this stands as a justification for watching the papers as they work about conflicts like the Basque one, extended in time and affecting the whole society in different ways. After observation, we will be able to find out if Media communication has been responsible enough, presenting the conflict in an ethical way, gathering different

versions and everyone’s suffering, and showing them with realism but without unnecessary cruelty. A sensitive communication that does not try in any way to stir up the conflict in favour of partisan interests (economical, political, institutional, etc.). To make possible this research, we analyzed the leading articles in the most important newspapers in the Basque Country, and we observed the discourse to define the Basque conflict, in a try to measure their responsibility according to the previously mentioned parameter. 1. The Basque people seen by a Basque person. Geographically, Basque Regional Community is constituted by three provinces: Araba (Alava), Bizkaia (Biscay) and Gipuzkoa (Guipuzcoa). According to nationalist theories, the Basque Country includes Nafarroa (Navarra, another Regional Community in Spain) and Iparralde (French Basque Country), sited in the South of France, in the Department of Atlantic Pyrenees (64th.). Nowadays, three million people live in those territories. Culturally, the Basque is a very rich country and, eventhough nowadays the Guggenheim Museum is the most outstanding icon, its most ancient cultural expression, its language (euskera), is undoubtedly, the most important one. The Basque language is the first language in an important part of the territory: In Gipuzkoa, the interior part of Bizkaia and in the north of Nafarroa. And almost in a situation of equality in Bilbao, north of Araba and the interior of Iparralde. Euskera is the cultural icon in Basque Country and the Basque Goverment and other public institutions (above all, nationalists) have been doing a very important work to establish and to propel it. On the contrary, nowadays, the new centre-right wing and antinationalist party in Spain, UPyD (Union, Peace and Democracy) are doing a campaing against the Basque language. Economically, Euskadi is a strong Community in Spain. And, after having recovered from the serious crisis in the 80s,Quality has been its best product. Nowadays, the Basque Goverment is throwing itself into the innovation as the Basque economical driving force in the future. The Basque Government’s objective is the creation of the Euskadi label. This is a very representative item because the Spanish Government hasn´t transferred the innovation politics. The Basque Autonomic Statute is not completed yet by the Spanish Government although the Basque Government is constantly requestting.

Politically, the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) has been uninterruptedly heading the Basque Government (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa only) since the first autonomic elections celebrated after Franco’s dead. Nowadays, the President of the Basque Country (lehendakari) is Juan José Ibarretxe, and his Government is constituted by the Basque Nationalist Party, centre-left wing Basque nationalist (Eusko Alkartasuna) and the Spanish left wing (Ezker Batua), in favour of federalism. The principal party in the opposition is the Spanish centre-left wing (Partido Socialista de Euskadi), which is in the Spanish Government. In the Basque Parliament there are also three other parties: a new Basque nationalist left wing party (Aralar); a new Basque Nationalist and Communist party (EHAK), that nowadays is being investigated by the Spanish Justice because of its relationship with the illegalized party Batasuna; and the main party in the Spanish opposition, the Spanish right wing and antinationalist party, PP. If we add up the Nationalist parliamentarians, there are 39 seats. If we do the same add with the Spanish parties parliamentarians, there are 33 seats. And in the third side, we can find 3 federalist parliamentarians that are in a Spanish party (Ezker Batua-Izquierda Unida: Left United) but integrated in the Basque Government. So we can observe a much fragmented parliamentary representation and separated in a two main blocs. But this apparent opposition has not always been so, because during almost a decade the Basque Government was formed by PNV and PSE. On the other hand, in Nafarroa, currently and for some time, the Navarrian Government is headed by a member of the Spanish right wing and clearly antinationalist. However, the nationalist parties (integrated in the Nafarroa Bai coalition) have an important representation but not enough to set up a Government without forming a coalition. And the nationalist ideology is more important in the provincial capital (Pamplona-Iruña) and in the North than in the South of the territory, very conservative and with a very strong Spanish sense. The party which holds the key to govern is the Socialist Party (centre-left wing), but there are two more: CDN (Navarrian centre-right) that is in the Government, and the Spanish federalist (IU/EBN). And, with a small representation we can even find the Carlist party, without a representation in the Parliament. This situation makes the Spanish parties, right as well as centre-left wing, against an approach to Euskadi. The approaches are only approved if these are economically advantageous.

In Iparralde (South of France), Nationalism is in a previous stage: the nationalists are still claiming for an own Department, so the national claim is still far. The most important nationalist party is Abertzaleen Batasuna (Basque left wing) and PNV. In the third place we can find the Euskal Herria Bai coalition (EA and Batasuna, which hasn´t been illegalized in France). But the most important parties are, as in France, UMP (right wing) and PS (centre-left wing). So the Basque Nationalism grows up slowly and gradually in Iparralde. Finally, nowadays the Basque politics are specially notable. After the Spanish Parliament having refused the ambitious Basque Statute proposition in 2005, the Basque President, the lehendakari, wants the people to vote and show its support, directly by a consultation. For that purpose, the Basque Parliament has passed a law that will be most probably blocked by the Spanish Government. But speaking about the Basque conflic is not possible without mentioning the armed conflict. At the present and after the one-year truce, ETA killed again in Madrid airport in 2007. Eventhough it is weakened it is not favourable to open a dialogue process. The Spanish Parliament passed a law for the Spanish Government to dialogue with ETA (every party voted yes except for right wing), but it has been revoked after the terrorist attack in Madrid. Currently no official talks are possible but, officially, in public, the political activity is admitted to be the only way towards the end the violence. At present, we know that, before the terrorist attack in Madrid, the Loyola talks had taken place. In these conversations, according to the press, Spanish Government party (Socialist party), Basque Government Party (PNV) and ETA were about to sign an agreement about the right for self-determination and territorial discussion (to involve Nafarroa and Iparralde). But according to some sources, ETA was ambitious and the agreement was broken. 2. Basque press approach In Basque Regional Community and Navarra the press diffusion rate is high. And if in the introduction we said that Basque Parliament shows a very different society in terms of politics, the Basque press reflects this reality.

Most important newspapers in Basque Regional Community:

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Deia: Near to the Nationalist centre. In 2007 joins Grupo de Noticias with Diario de Noticias de Araba and Diario de Noticias de Guipúzcoa. El Correo Español-El Pueblo vasco: Is the most important newspaper in the Vocento Group, the second in the Spanis State. In the group we can find many regional newspapers and the national Abc. Ideologically,they are in the Spanish right wing and their discourse is very heavy, although they try to transmit a moderate image. El Diario Vasco: In Vocento group too, is another newspaper in the Basque Country, but only in Gipuzkoa. Politically it is a little bit more moderate than El Correo. Gara: Is near to Basque Nationalist left and it is the smallest paper in Basque Country. It belongs to an independent publishing house and before this Newspaper,it replaces Egin, closured due to its bond with ETA. Finally, this tie couldn´t be completely proved by the Spanish justice. Berria: it is the unique newspaper completely in euskera with popular shareholders. Replaces closured Euskaldunon Egunkaria. In this case Spanish justice can not prove any bond with ETA. Ideologically, it is near to nationalism, but its discourse is very moderate.

Other Basque newspapers:

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Diario de Noticias: In Navarra. Sit up in Grupo de Noticias, it is near to Basque nationalism and politically tries to situate in the centre wing. Diario de Navarra: it is the most important newspaper in Navarra, sited in the right wing and clearly antinationalist. Sudoest: French regionalist newspaper in Iparralde.

3. Newspaper Sample In our research, we chose, for their representativeness:

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Deia is near to Basque Nationalist Party that is in the Basque Government. El Correo is the most important newspaper and it is opposite to Deia. Gara completes the panorama.

4. Moment Sample

2002/09/27. In the Basque Parliament, the lehendakari Ibarretxe reads his discourse “An initiative for the coexistence” and announces an articulate

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proposal. Begins the “Ibarretxe’s Plain”. 2003/07/23. The Abc Newspaper (Vocento Group, as El Correo) publishes a draft on the Ibarretxe’s Plain filtration, the same day that ETA commited a terrorist attack in the Mediterranean coast. So we can see the reactions caused by this Plains and how the newspapers condemn ETA’s violence. 2002/09/26. The lehendakari Ibarretxe makes know his Plain in the Basque Parliament. This session is followed by all the media with great attention. 2003/03/11. During the preparation of this research, the attack by Al-Qaeda took place in Madrid, so we decided to observe the actors in our investigation and if the Media blame ETA and the Ibarretxe’s Plain. We also observed how other type of violence was addressed. But there is another type of violence too because in Iruña (Navarra), Angel Berroeta was killed by a Spanish Guardia Civil. How this assassination appears in press explains the treatment of other violences (if it appears) when other issues like territorial trouble are present. 2004/12/30. The new Basque Statute project was passed in Basque Parliament with Batasunas’s votes. This action causes some interesting reactions. 2005/02/01. This new Basque Statute project is defended by lehendakari Ibarretxe in the Spanish Parliament and refused by the majority. Two days before, ETA made a bombing attempt in Denia and this deed causes the relation between Ibarretxe’s Plain and ETA violence. 2005/04/17. In this moment we aimed to observe the penetration of Ibarretxe’s Plain in a political campaign, so we decided to study the Basque autonomic elections. 2006/03/22. This is the last moment of our study and the newest. In this day ETA declares a ceasefire, and just one day before, in Madrid a new Catalonian Statute was passed. Besides, two days after Arnaldo Otegi, Batasuna’s leader, will sit in Court in Madrid in front of Grande-Marlaska judge. So this is a very interesting week for our study because we can observe a parallel case, an inusual action by ETA, and a judicial activity in Madrid about the Basque conflict.

5. Methodology The present research analyzes the leading articles that appeared in Basque newspapers by using the Critical Analyse of Discourse. In the leading articles we looked for the following items:

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Conflicts recognition. Whether newspapers recognise the Basque conflict and if it is a political, social or armed conflict. Territoriality. It is one of the most important discussions in the Spanish asymmetrical State and within the Basque nationalism. The discussion within

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the Basque nationalism deals with the inclusion of Navarra and Iparralde (64th. French Department, Atlantic Pyrenees) and, above all, when it will be included and the normative frame from which this can be done. These discussions cannot be cleared up by the moment. Self-determination. This is the other most important discussion within the Basque Nationalism and between this and the Spanish State. But the most important is not the self-determination exercise but for the self-determination right to be recognised by the State. And it is always linked to the territoriality affair: who must recognise, who will be allowed to vote? Conflict area and international projection. It is very important to define if the conflict is only a Basque conflict or if it is a Spanish trouble too, and if an international project or the European Union mediation would be possible. History. It is very difficult to determine when the conflict started. However, the Spanish media usually says that there is no Basque History and link this issue to Sabino Arana´s (the creator of the Basque Nationalist Party) activity. Actors rule. Even the media that do not recognize the existence of a political conflict, do recognize the existence of some actors. So we will try to locate and define them. Resolution purposes: dialogue or policy and judicial activity. There are no more alternatives to resolve Basque conflict in the Media. ETA´s violence. Observing the refusal to ETA’s activity is not an objective of this research. But we did observe those refusal expressions in the Media. Imprisioned members of ETA. These issue doesn´t appear in the Media, and it will be observed. Victims. Eventually, the Media don´t give them an actor category. But they are a very interesting political argument. Political parties. It is very interesting to observe the treatment that the Political Parties receive in the Basque press. We can not forget that Basque Country is a very politized territory and the Media reflect that circumstance. Political development of the Illegalized Basque left wing. This is the newest element because the Herri Batasuna’s role before the illegalization is very different to the later role played by Euskal Herritarrok and Batasuna.

6. Analyse With the chosen newspapers and the explained items we carry out the next analyse:

6.1. Total of the analyzed leading articles In total, we analyzed 82 leading articles with the Basque conflict as the principal or secondary argument. Deia (34) was the newspaper with more leading articles, after this El Correo (27) and, last, Gara (21). So we can quickly observe that in the Media near the right wing (Basque or Spanish) appear more leading articles about Basque Conflict. 6.2. Distance with the Political Parties Three proximity levels were established: near, middle-distance and far. By this means it is possible to confirm/refuse what Umberto Eco says: [the Media] “Develop a conservative social action […] Favour projections to ‘official’ models”. In this way, none of the analyzed newspapers are against the Socialist Party, the Party on the Spanish Government in the majority of the observed moments. Like this, El Correo has a middle-distance position with the Socialist Party and Deia and Gara are hopping a great success after its election. However, Iparagirre publishing house newspaper is far away from the Basque Socialist Party. At middle distance, Deia is close to the Basque Nationaist Party, Gara is not far, and only El Correo is very far. Batasuna is a similar case supported only by Gara, Deia at middle distance and El Correo far again. And in the other side, the Popular Party (Spanish right wing) is only supported by El Correo, and Deia and Gara are far away. 6.3. The conflict triangle: conflict, actors and resolution purposes About the conflict, Deia and Gara think that it is a national dissatisfaction conflict while El Correo exposes a political conflict. Like this, the recognition of the principal actors is conditioned by the type of the conflict that the papers acknowledge. Deia consirders three actors: the Basque society, the parties in Basque parliament and ETA. Gara recognizes two actors: Euskal Herria (Basque Country) and Spanish State. And El Correo talks about two groups of actors: the main parties in the Spanish Parliament (Socialist Party, centreleft wing, and Popular Party, right wing), in the Government and in the political opposition, and, in the other side, the Basque nationalism.

So the resolution purposes are also related to the other two elements of the triangle: Deia speaks about dialogue and normative flexibility to satisfy legitimate aspirations. Gara reclaims the recognition of Euskal Herria (territoriality discussion) and the right to self-determination. And El Correo proposes the State legal tools like “liberties and against terrorism agreement” (only signed by Spanish right and centre-left wing when José María Aznar was President) and police and judicial action. 6.4. Conflict area, History, territorial discussion and self-determination right

Gara talks about Basque Country (Araba, Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Nafarroa and Iparralde) as the main conflict area, El Correo locates it in the Spanish State and Deia says that the conflict area is the Basque Country inserted in the European Union. Deia and Gara acknowledge a Basque Country History and El Correo explains that the nationalist History is not true.
About the two big discussions into the Basque nationalism, territoriality and selfdetermination right, El Correo doesn’t recognize the first and says that the second is a reclamation that belongs to the illegalized Basque left wing and to ETA. Deia and Gara recognize the existence of the big Basque Country and reclaim that selfdetermination is a legitimate right. Gara says that this right is a very important element in the resolution of the conflict too. 6.5. Dialogue

Deia and Gara are favourable to the dialogue between political parties (including the illegalized ones) and between ETA and the Spanish Government. And El Correo refuses in any case.
6.6. Violence and victims All the analyzed newspapers are against ETA´s violence but there are differences. Deia says that ETA is the only responsible and that they must abandon. And El Correo and Gara explains that it is a consequence of the conflict. In this point of the research we can quote Chomsky speaking about the victims: “A consistent propaganda system will present the victims in enemy spaces as victims of special importance” (Chomsky & Herman: 1995: 81). In this context, Gara’s discourse is very short and only recognizes the victim’s suffering. And Deia and El Correo have a discussion about the use of the victims by the political parties. Deia thinks that the victims are not legitimate actors because the Spanish right wing

use them as a political argument, the Vocento’s newspaper affirms that the victims´ behavior is exemplary and their voice must be listened to. About other violence like islamist violence (after Al-Qaeda´s attack in march 11th.), El Correo considers that is more important than ETA´s violence and that the Spanish Government needs to implicate international organisms to fight against this new type of violence in Spain. On the other hand, Deia and Gara consider it as having the same importance than ETA ´s violence. 7. Conclussions 1. 2. 3. The newspapers near to Basque or Spanish right wing (Deia and El Correo) devote more editorials to the Basque conflict. All the analyzed newspapers recognize a political conflict (El Correo) or a national dissatisfaction conflict (Deia and Gara). Only the newspapers that are near to the Basque nationalism (Deia and Gara) recognize the Basque History, the existence of a Basque Country bigger than the current one and reclaim the self-determination right. On the other hand, in El Correo’s discourse appears a social conflict. All the newspapers are against any type of violence.

4. 5.

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Television and National Identity Splendour and Decline of Autonomous Catalan Television
Salvador Cardús i Ros Salvador Cardús i Ros (1954) holds a doctorate in Economics and lectures on the epistemology and sociology of communication in the Department of Sociology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has been a Visiting Fellow in Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge and a Visiting Researcher at the Institute for European Studies, Cornell University (NY) and Queen Mary College, University of London. His academic publications include El desconcert de l’educació (2000)/ El desconcierto de la educación (2001), La mirada del sociólogo (2003) and Ben educats (2003)/Bien educados (2006). He is currently drafting the final report on the research project Els catalans del segle XX. La dissolució de la condició d’immigrant a Catalunya, funded by the European Institute of the Mediterranean.

Autonomous Television and Political Context The birth of the first autonomous television channels at the beginning of the eighties cannot be explained without reference to the major contextual factor of the social and political reality of Spain at that time: the country had only just emerged from the long Franco dictatorship. As a result, although this all now seems very long ago, we must bear in mind that the appearance of those first autonomous television broadcasts was, above all, the result of a desire to make a democratic political statement in favour of cultural and linguistic diversity. And this was particularly true in the case of the first three channels which came on stream in the first half of the eighties which were, not by coincidence, ETB – Basque television – in December 1982, TVC – Catalan television – in September 1983 and TVG – Galician television – in July 1985. In other words, these were the television channels of the three historic nationalities having their own language and which, in the constitutional process begun in 1976, had forced through the autonomous territorial model which was given shape in the 1978 Constitution. It should also be pointed out that the first two of these channels emerged in a ‘legal vacuum’ arising from the absence of any regulations and that, using the powers enshrined in their Statutes of Autonomy the respective governments put pressure on the legal status quo until they forced the Spanish government to pass the Law on Third Channels in December 1983 (de Carreras 44-68). Of the other autonomous Spanish television channels three appeared in 1989 – Canal Sur in Andalusia, Telemadrid and TVV (Valencian television) – very far removed from the political

context of the transition to democracy but still to some extent an expression political will. The remainder – the television channels in the Canary Islands, Castilla-la Mancha, the Balearics, Aragon, Asturias, Murcia and Extremadura – appeared between 1999 and, in most cases, 2006. The creation of this last named group should be seen primarily in connection with the technological changes brought about by digitalisation – the coming on stream of TDT (Televisión Digital Terrestre) – and the need to organise and exercise political control over local communicative spaces, though they were no longer characterised by a democratising intent or cultural claims of any kind. A case which would merit further study would be the recently established television channel in the Balearic Islands which, although it is in a Catalan-speaking area broadcasts essentially in Spanish, being part of a deliberate attempt by the local conservative and ‘españolista’ Partido Popular government to relegate Catalan to the status of minority language and convert cultural difference into pure archaeology. In other words, we are dealing here with a project whose political orientation is the opposite of that which characterised the first autonomous channels. But let’s return to the beginning. At the beginning of the eighties Spain had just emerged from a dictatorship which had lasted almost forty years in the course of which political control of the media as a whole had been in the hands of an authoritarian and centralist regime. To this rigid ideological control we must also add the fact that the cultures and languages other than Castilian were subjected to a veritable attempted genocide whose success varied from one region to the other. We are talking of a political control which included, over and above the education system and cultural institutions of all kinds, both the press and radio, to a very large extent brought together in the network of newspapers and radio stations of the so-called Movimiento Nacional, the Francoist single-party organisation. At the beginning of the eighties, when the move to democracy had already been completed, the media of the Movimiento Nacional, which until a short time before had maintained their fascist symbols and references to the fact that they belonged to ‘la FET y de las JONS’1, became the property of another official organisation, the Medios de Comunicación del Estado. These media were drifting aimlessly – in general they had been the product of the expropriations which followed the Civil War – and they were put on sale or auctioned off between then and approximately 1984 (Cardús, La premsa diària a les Illes Balears, el País Valencià i Catalunya 2329). However, if there was a medium which was genuinely under the thumb of the Franco regime this was Spain’s for many years only television station, TVE, set up in 1956, and which has recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. TVE did not have to compete with any other television channel and would wait a long time before having

to do so, even after the move to democracy. Moreover, during the early years of democracy in Spain the culture of editorial control over television persisted2 - in the minds of some there is still a highly ‘intrusive’ culture among the authorities in this respect – and resistance to certain political changes within TVE was just as great during those years as that found in other vested interests such as the Army, the Church or sectors of the economy such as Banking. From 1976 on, following the death of the dictator and the with the prospect of a change of political regime, new newspapers and private radio stations begin to appear which will play a crucial political role in the transition to democracy. Here we must cite first and foremost El País for Spain as a whole and also Avui in Catalonia (1976)3, or El Periódico de Catalunya (1978). Moreover in Catalonia the peculiarly Catalan phenomenon, and one with significant historical precedents, of a local Catalan-language press exercising a strong social influence will re-emerge (Guillamet 157-163). In Madrid and Barcelona the change in the press as a whole is so radical that only two titles predating 1975 survive – ABC and La Vanguardia respectively – while all remaining newspapers from before that date disappear to give way to other new ones. This renewal of the print media and also of radio is led by private groups, but these initiatives are not possible in the field of television, restricted as it is by its one hundred percent public control. As regards television, then, we will have to await the new democratic framework established by the Spanish Constitution of 1978 and the Statutes of Autonomy in order to make way for the new publicly owned regional channels mentioned earlier. These will also be public service television channels operated under licence from the State and closely linked to the need to institutionalise the new political and administrative frameworks. The need for such channels is felt most keenly in particular by the political forces representing those national communities with historical roots which had demanded this new autonomous territorial organisation in the 1978 Constitution. Private television will not have its chance until its regulation by law in 1988, a move which will allow the appearance of three new channels in 1990, although these continue to be privately owned companies operating under public licence (Giordano, Eduardo and Zeller, Carlos 109-20). We will have to wait until 2006 for the authorisation of a further three private channels, though they will broadcast throughout Spain and will be under no obligation to cater for autonomous linguistic or cultural specificities. In summary, the creation of the first autonomous television channels must be seen as responding to three types of reasons: a) political, given the need for public affirmation of the new regional parliamentary democratic institutions; b) cultural, in view of the desire to reconstruct the cultural profiles repressed during

the Franco dictatorship, and whose survival in opposition explains the national political aspirations in those territories, and c) linguistic, manifest in the project to “normalise” those languages which had been subjected to harsh repression, given that their presence on television was seen as representing a tremendous opportunity for historical redress. The Initial Challenges Facing TV3 It is widely accepted by most analysts that Catalan autonomous television represents one of the greatest political successes of the nationalist governments of Jordi Pujol. For many years TV3 – which is the brand name of the first channel of Televisió de Catalunya, TVC – has been the dominant news and cultural channel in Catalonia, bringing with it a modern image and modern content, and becoming the undisputed audience leader in its territory. This leading position was achieved despite – or perhaps we should say “thanks to” – the challenges which Catalan television had to overcome right from the start. In fact its first ideological challenge was expressed with absolute clarity by José María Calviño, the then director general of RTVE, a public body which until that time had enjoyed a monopoly over television in Spain. In January 1983 this socialist director of television suggested that the autonomous Catalan channel should limit itself to providing a service which would complement the state broadcasting service, would have a purely local character and would deal only with local news and cultural items. Calviño invited the future autonomous television channel to be, in his own words, “an anthropological television channel”, and he viewed any attempt to turn it into a generalist channel as “absurd” (Cardús, Política de paper 73-81). However, the challenge launched by José María Calviño served precisely to channel TV3’s content, even to some extent exaggeratedly, in the opposite direction as the station became “obsessed” with demonstrating its cosmopolitanism and, as a result, proved particularly reluctant to cater for Catalan culture in order to avoid being identified as a merely local television station. The local cultural elites have always felt undervalued by what should have been “their” television. Secondly, TVC was led from the start by a team of journalists whose ideological origins during the Franco dictatorship were clearly on the political left, even the extreme left. The government which had appointed this team, on the other hand, was a centre-right nationalist government. The reasons for this choice are complex, not to say obscure, and have never been convincingly explained. In any case, both the journalists and managers of TVC were extremely careful from the start to avoid any possibility of being seen as “nationalist” or “right wing”. This permanent political and ideological tension helped to create a culture of relative editorial independence and

minimal political control within the television channel particularly when compared with what had been traditional up till then in the other Spanish publicly owned media. When individuals closer to Jordi Pujol’s nationalist government were incorporated into the board of directors of the Catalan Broadcasting Corporation some years later it was no easy matter to ideologically reorient a group of professionals who were now well established and the tensions and lack of trust between both groups were constant. Whatever the case, what is certain is that, according to the opinion polls, TV3’s news programmes always enjoyed the greatest confidence of all the television channels among the viewing public. Finally, the growth of TVC was subject to the twin and often contradictory requirements of quality and popularity. True, in 1988 TVC set up a second cultural channel – Canal 33 – which reduced the tension between these two objectives. In any case, TV3 could only be justified politically insofar as it managed to be an effective tool for the so-called “linguistic normalisation” of Catalan, to the extent that that normalisation was linked to the idea of modernity and progress which TVC put forward and the cosmopolitan view of reality it broadcast, thereby avoiding being caught in the past or in tradition. An in order to achieve that TV3 had to become the television channel of choice, in other words the most viewed television channel in Catalonia. But attracting viewers meant that TV3 could not avoid the need to be a popular television channel. So long as competition in the television market was limited to the Spanish public service channels, TVE1 and La2, the fight was not a particularly difficult one, and it was possible to combine both quality and audience. With the coming on stream of the private channels in 1990, however, the dialectical relationship between quality and popularity became much more complicated for both TV3 and C33. The tension between quality and popularity was manifest on many levels. Conflicts emerged over the linguistic register used by TV3 which was, moreover, expected to exercise great “moral” self-control than the other channels. Programmes with bilingual content became more intrusive, thereby breaking the unwritten rule regarding the strict use of Catalan alone. Moreover, the permanent confusion regarding the terminology used for the purposes of self-reference – the ambiguities over whether words such as “here” or “us” referred to Catalonia and the Catalans or Spain and the Spaniards – was the subject of permanent debate with the attendant difficulties regarding identification and credibility. And, while it is not my intention to be exhaustive, we should not forget the significant presence of cultural expressions – relating to music, the cinema… - located in a Spanish frame of reference which were – and are – experienced if not as “foreign” then at least as “strange” by part of the Catalan channel’s audience, although there is little doubt that these gave it greater popular appeal. This debate led TV3 to use the marketing slogan “la teva”

(yours) over a number of years, accentuating both the identity of the channel and its identification with its audience, but also to counter what was precisely its weak point: the increase in content which belied that identification. In other words the debate between localism and cosmopolitanism had shifted to an argument between Catalan localism or Spanish localism. As we will see later these types of conflict continue to be very much alive and, under a non-nationalist government, the lack of trust in the intentions of the channel’s executives has increased and has become radicalised in its expression. The Gamble and its Result As mentioned above the project for an autonomous Catalan television station, with its two channels TV3 and C33, has, all things considered, been one of the greatest political successes of the government which set it up. Despite all the ambiguities and contradictions, for twenty years TVC met all its objectives regarding institutional representation and made it possible to achieve a certain level of public representation of Catalan “linguistic normality”, even if this is only down to the fact of providing the conditions for the emergence of a completely up-to-date televisual language. Although there have undoubtedly been weaknesses, we can state that TVC has played a crucial role in the creation of a “Catalan communicative space”, in other words of a sphere of language, culture and political community which has in various ways favoured “the redistribution of cultural power understood as the ability to recreate collective identities in a context of globalisation of the economy and of culture and of a form of power which is nowadays exercised above all through control of the geopolitical communicative space” (Gifreu, La pell de la diferència 55). It is not my aim in this article to analyse the role of radio in this process, but there is little doubt that it should be borne in mind. In fact Catalunya Ràdio – the public service radio station which together with TVC makes up the Corporació Catalana de Ràdio i Televisió (CCRTV) – has been indispensable in complementing the success of TVC, enjoying so far undisputed dominance in terms of audience figures – something which Catalan public service television has been unable to maintain – and has provided synergies in a number of fields, ‘fields’ used here in the meaning given to it by Pierre Bourdieu, which are increasingly interdependent. One of the strong points, but also paradoxically one of the weak points, of the Catalan public service audiovisual project has been its territorial reach. As is well known, the Catalan linguistic community is not confined to the territory of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, but also includes the Autonomous Community of Valencia – the País Valencià – and the Balearic Islands, as well as part of the south of France,

giving an approximate total of almost twelve million people. Both TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio have managed to cover the totality of this communicative space, but the political obstacles – in a period which styles itself as being “without frontiers”– have been constant and often insuperable. This is not the moment to recount in detail the nature of these obstructions, be they technological, legal or political in origin, or even resulting from police activities (Cardús, Política de paper, 139-163). However, it is important to stress that this has been an unequal struggle in the course of which, in order to achieve such a presence throughout the Catalan language and cultural area, important sectors of civil society have become involved attempting to achieve through private investments those objectives which were blocked by the central government and which the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya could not or would not pursue for legal or political reasons. This greater reach has undoubtedly been an advantage for TV3. And at the same time the political conflicts which this overspill beyond the strict confines of the CCRTV’s authority has given rise to has led to prevarications and forms of cultural self-censorship which cannot be justified from the point of view of the coherence of the Catalan cultural space and, needless to say, from that of freedom of expression. From a political point of view the existence of a Catalan communicative space, with all the inevitable ambiguities arising from its overlap and competition with a Spanish communicative space, was a necessary condition for the survival and strengthening of the institutions of government. The other television channels which reach the screens of Catalan homes do not in any sense respect Catalonia’s own political imaginary, and when it is represented it is shown as a local second or third level space. These channels offer almost no local opt-outs and, needless to say, they neither use Catalan nor represent Catalan cultural reality in any significant way. In other words, TVC alone offers the Catalan political institutions, the Government and the Parliament, but also the police, the education system and the health service, or the professional and cultural elite, to give only a few examples, a sounding board through which their prestige can be recognized by the citizenry at large. It could be said that there is a significant disproportion in Catalonia between its capacity for political self-management – and even for the maintenance of its own cultural and intellectual life – and the representation of these in the media, in favour of the former, and which only TVC – as far as television is concerned – presents in a more or less balanced way, even if with many restrictions. With its two channels TVC achieves audience shares of between 25 and 30 percent. On the basis of these figures it is clear that at least two thirds of Catalans do not see themselves regularly represented as such on their television screens.

The newspapers and radio stations, of course, play a very different role in the maintenance of the autonomous Catalan political imaginary. In the press – which is one hundred percent privately owned, though it receives public subsidies – and on the radio – in both its public and private versions – the communicative space does indeed achieve a greater degree of closeness to political reality. And given the characteristics of the press and radio, both of which contain significant amounts of political news, there can be little doubt that they play a decisive role in the representation of a political reality which the bulk of Catalans have no difficulty in describing as “national”. In short, it can be stated that TV3 has achieved its founding political aim of creating a Catalan televisual space. It is, however, just as clear that this is a minority space shared with the truly hegemonic communicative space which, in Catalonia as elsewhere, is the Spanish one. Neither TV3 nor C33 are the local anthropological channels which José María Calviño so desired, and in that sense they compete with and enter partly into conflict with the definition of reality imposed in a concerted fashion by the rest of the television channels. But given that the struggle is an unequal one Catalan television often succumbs to the pressure and agrees with increasing frequency to play the game of political submission, abandoning a specifically Catalan discourse and perspective on national and international reality. It is important to point out that this is not a strictly political debate. Nor is it simply a question of the language in which televisual discourse is produced. In reality the possibility of imposing a specific discourse or perspective in television is related to all the above but also to the ability to renew that discourse as well as the ability to remain relatively outside the logic of others. In other words, Catalan television can create models of televisual discourse of its own making or inspired by a truly cosmopolitan reading of what is happening in other international television channels – and this is what TV3 did during many years – or it can end up competing with and copying the televisual narratives imposed by the most immediate competition, that is to say, the competition which appears on the television screens of its own customers and which is provided by the Spanish television channels, and this is what has happened recently on the channels of TVC. A Confusing Present, an Uncertain Future For autonomous television in Catalonia the present is genuinely confusing. On the one hand, in recent years it has lost its position as audience leader. On the other, TVC appears to have abandoned the quest for innovation which it displayed in earlier times when it remained consistently alert to what was happening in the

most advanced western television channels. It also suffers from the pressure of a significant economic deficit which it is difficult to reduce as a result of a staffing and production structure which is extremely costly when compared with the private channels, but where restructuring is difficult as a result of its publicly owned status. On the economic front we should also not overlook the argument over the kind of mixed financing it receives – both advertising and public funds – which jeapordises its public service character from the point of view of the European guidelines. To all of this we need to add the emergence of competition from local television stations and cable and satellite channels, little studied to date, but which brings with it a reduction not only in audience figures but also in advertising income. And finally, like all other television channels it has to face up to the challenge of technological innovations such as digitalisation whose consequences for the uses of television are difficult to see and, perhaps, the end of the processes of identification which were so beneficial to it in the past. From a political point of view the current situation of the autonomous Catalan station is also unclear. The defeat, after twenty-three years in power, of the nationalist government which set it up has raised questions regarding whether the new socialist government will remain committed to the same objectives as those for which public service television in Catalonia was first set up. It is clear that the need to maintain a space for the purposes of political representation is shared by all Catalan political parties, but it may well be that the new government will have little difficulty in accepting that this will be a subordinate space, in other words a regional rather than a “national” space. Moreover, it would seem that the new government will no longer maintain the aim of prioritising the Catalan cultural space on TVC, which is currently its only channel for televisual expression, but will, on the contrary, opt for the passive vision of going along with the existing cultural imbalances between the Catalan and the Spanish spheres4. In other words what until recently were weak points or vulnerabilities of the autonomous channel have now become the expression and passive acceptance of reality “as it is”. TVC appears resigned to its role as politically regional television station and it would appear to have abandoned its struggle to make Catalan culture hegemonic in its own territory, as would be done by any European public service television channel in relation to the culture of its country. It should be said that this change in the aims of TVC is not in itself explicit and that, given the characteristics of the televisual field, it is no easy task to express it objectively in data beyond mentioning a few concrete examples. For their part, given that the audience continues to identify the TVC channels, and in particular TV3, as the “national” television of Catalonia, the change in direction of TV3 cannot be explicitly stated by those in charge, despite their open acknowledgement that

they are seeking greater market shares among new target audiences. For the time being the surveys show that an audience profile closely identified with both political and cultural national objectives is being maintained, so that TV3 continues to be the most viewed channel for 82.7 percent of those who vote for CiU – the moderate nationalist party –and for 93.8 percent of those who vote for the independentist party ERC, a proportion which drops to 56.9 percent of those who vote socialist5 (Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió 20-55). For this reason it is no surprise that public protests continue regarding what is seen not only as TV3’s loss of quality but also of its abandonment of a “Catalan perspective on the world”, in other words of a national vision of global reality. As a result the future of TVC seems now more than ever dependent of future electoral results, something which may well end up reducing the high levels of credibility and editorial independence which it has maintained so far, tarnishing its image as a television station characterised by both quality and innovation, in short damaging the sense of “national” identification which it has achieved until now. Conclusion: Television and Identity Beyond the local political debates, a case study such as that of the autonomous Catalan television station TVC is also particularly interesting for the analysis of current processes of creation, maintenance and crisis of group and national identities. On the hand it brings to our acquaintance a relatively successful case of a process of reconstruction of a political space which had been non-existent during almost forty years of dictatorship. And in that sense it allows us to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of an instrument such as television in a situation of conflict with other parallel processes of national reconstruction, in this case Spanish national reconstruction. However, it must be pointed out that the operation of this mechanism must be limited to the period under study. I am referring to the fact that TVC came into existence within a very precise framework regarding the development of information and communication technologies, at a time when there were only two public service channels in Spain and there was as yet no competition from satellite television or from the internet. On the other hand, the recently announced “analogue switch-off”, planned for 2008 in Catalonia, may well mark the final disappearance of a time in which television was one of the principal means for the representation of national political and cultural spaces. And in that sense TVC will have to seek out new objectives or define new strategies to justify its existence. This research has yet to be carried out, and I hope that these pages may offer some stimulus for future projects in which it is to be hoped that multinational university teams would take part.

On the other hand the analysis of TVC allows us to continue the debate regarding the concept of identity itself, whether this applies to national communities or other kinds of groups. In fact, if until recently theories of identity had focused on the differential content of each one, on its historical, social, economic or ideological specificities, the need for a redefinition of such an approach is now pressing. However, resorting to so-called “liquid identities” (Bauman), with all the analytical consequences which flow from such a concept, seems to be precisely the consequence of continuing to stress the contents of identity without first investigating whether a new theoretical approach which overcomes such a focus might be more appropriate. I am referring to the fact that perhaps, in identity-forming processes, their “contents” are precisely what is of least importance. On the basis of my current work on the dissolution of the status of immigrant in Catalonia in the twentieth century, I feel able to put forward the idea that the debate on identity should be more a question of “containers” rather than of “contents”. In fact the diversity of identity-related contents only points to differences which are marginal in the economic meaning of the term, in other words where there is a tendency to exaggerate differences which are often irrelevant. It would appear, however, that it is not the visible which is fundamental, but the relations of power which are rendered invisible by those identity-related contents on which our societies focus their attention. Or put another way, the social problem to which the play of identity conflicts responds is the need to mask those forms of social coercion which are necessary for social life. And from this point of view it would not be correct to argue that identities are “now liquid”, but that we no longer have the strong containers which once existed for identities which, on the other hand, were always in fact liquid – some times viscous, some times volatile – at least in the daily lives of anonymous citizens. The debate on national identities proves particularly topical as the problems faced by contemporary societies in maintaining sufficient cohesion for their good governance become clear. If New Labour is now concerned about Britishness and is proposing the introduction of a national British holiday or is attempting to strengthen the role of British history in the curriculum, to mention just one example, this is a sign of backward-looking attitudes which are going down the wrong path and which will at best prove pointless, and will at worse bring about the opposite of what they hope to achieve. But it has to be acknowledged that those models of sociological analysis which insist on the old understanding of identity bear much of the responsibility for this political mistake. Insisting on the need to strengthen the contents of identity when the identity container is full of holes, or, more simply, when it works like a sponge, is ridiculous.

The case of the role played by television in the reconstruction of Catalan identity by establishing a relatively autonomous communicative space shows in considerable detail the obsolescence of an instrument which may well have lost much of its usefulness. The original assumption in 1983 had been that it was possible to construct a strong identity container in such a way that everything which was put into it, no matter what, was seen as “ours”. TV3’s first success was the broadcast in Catalan of the American soap opera Dallas. This was a genuine revolution by means of which the Catalan language became part of the global world. Dallas had nothing whatsoever to do with Catalan identity, but TV3 “Catalanised” it firstly by dubbing it into Catalan, but secondly, and more particularly, because it forced anyone who wanted to watch it to do so via the more modern “container” – the “channel”, the “point of view”, or however we care to express it – of legitimate Catalanicity. The essence of the identity-forming process is the ability to appropriate to some extent irrespective of what is going to be appropriated. In fact it was TV3’s invisible power of coercion which made it possible to consider the project a success, not the referential coherence of its content.6 If TVC’s continuing loyalty to its original objectives is currently up for debate, this is only partly due to the lack of cultural or linguistic coherence of its programming. The problem, in fact, is due in large part to its inability to act as the container of choice, whatever it contains or broadcasts through its programming. This loss can be partly explained in terms of local political or ideological reasons, but it is also a result of the process whereby, in the last twenty years, strong modern identity containers such as television have everywhere lost their fundamental role when it comes to offering frames of reference in the lives of individuals. It is important to stress here that I am referring to generalist public service television channels, for whom national territory continues to be a fundamental dimension of their profile. And it may well be that it is this territorial dimension which is now coming into conflict with the currently successful – deterritorialised – model of thematic channels and with a new style of “televisioning”, in other words of watching television: atomised and isolated, surfing among hundreds of channels of which only a few fragments are consumed, and more and more oriented towards personal convenience irrespective of which channel provides the programming. By way of analogy, a meal in a culturally coherent gourmet restaurant located in its own landscape has nothing to do with superficially multiethnic fast food – or even better snack food – delivered to your door to be eaten whenever. These provisional analytical hypotheses, which have yet to be fully developed, give rise to many questions. But there are two questions which I consider particularly appropriate here. On the one hand we need to consider whether what is happening is a move from old to new strong identity containers, or whether in the future we will

only have identity “sponges”. In the same way as the teaching of National History in schools as locus of identity gave way to generalist public service television7, we must now ask ourselves whether the latter is also about to be replaced or not. Personally I am inclined to think that it is, that new instruments in the service of national cohesion are emerging, and that the nation states will continue to enjoy their now long-standing “bad good health” using containers which are more sophisticated, but no less strong. The second questions concerns the future of generalist television stations such as TVC, in fact of any national public service television. Can they have any role to play in the future which is compatible with their founding aim of establishing and maintaining a national communicative space? And my answer is once more “yes”, although we would have to examine the new conditions and possibilities on the basis of which they might fulfil such a function. But these answers, to the extent that they are merely predictions, lie well outside the legitimate scope of this article, and must remain only as suggestions for future development.


The acronym of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y Juntas de Ofensiva Nacionalsindicalista which, though it predated the Franco regime, became the single party in the oneparty Francoist state from 1939 to 1975. It was also known as the Movimiento Nacional.

It should be borne in mind that the Spanish Primer Minister who led the transition to democracy between 1976 and 1981 following the death of Franco was Adolfo Suárez. Suárez occupied various posts in the Movimiento Nacional, was the director general of RTVE (the Francoist radio and television corporation) between 1969 and 1973 and, following the death of Franco and before becoming Prime Minister was the Secretary General of the Movimiento.

Avui was the first newspaper in Catalan since the Civil War, was the result of a grassroots initiative, and had to await the death of the dictator before receiving permission to publish.

A clear example of this is the conflict surrounding the fact that Catalan culture will be the official “guest” of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007. While the socialist government considers literature in both Catalan and Spanish to be “Catalan”, nationalist circles feel that only literature produced in Catalan can be considered part of “Catalan literature”.

Moreover, in the CEO survey of July 2006 it emerges clearly that regular viewers of TV3 news display the strongest feelings of “Catalan belonging” with 3.68, the index being 2.93 for both the Spanish public service channel TVE and the private channel Antena3, and 3.05 for Tele5, the second private channel (the index ranges from 1 for those who “feel only Spanish” to 5 for those who “feel only Catalan”).

In my research into the dissolution of the status of immigrant and the Catalan model of integration it is clear that, as is also the case in most countries with a long tradition of immigration, cultural identity is formed precisely from elements provided by the different traditions incorporated therein, although narratives of national memory may not always recognise such a diversity of origins.

One of the best studies I know on this question is Good Times, Bad Times by Hugh O’Donnell. It is precisely those contents which are not explicitly political which most clearly reveal the processes of national appropriation. Briefly put, news programmes may well be more similar and more interchangeable between different national television systems than “soap operas”, whose frames of reference are radically local. On the other hand game shows such as Operación Triunfo display obvious political functionalities in terms of the structuring of national territory, as I have indicated in “Les relacions asimétriques entre identitats” (2006).

BAUMAN, Zygmunt (2004) Identity. Cambridge: Polity. BOURDIEU, Pierre (1996) Sur la télévision. Paris: Liber – Raisons d’agir. CARDÚS, Salvador (1995) “La televisió que havia de ser antropològica” in Política de paper. Premsa i poderr a Catalunya 1981-1992. Barcelona: Edicions La Campana, 73-81. (1999) La premsa diària a les Illes Balears, el País Valencià i Catalunya (1976-1996). Barcelona: Fundació Jaume Bofill, 1998. (There is a summary in English: The Circulation of Daily Newspapers in the Catalan-speaking areas between 1976 and 1996. The AngloCatalan Society). (2006) “Les relacions asimétriques entre identitats” in Identitats. Eds. G. Sanginés and A. Velasco. Catarroja: Afers, 37-53. Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió (2006) Perfil mediàtic dels electors dels partits parlamentaris. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya. DE CARRERAS, Lluís (1987) La ràdio i la televisió a Catalunya, avui. Barcelona: Edicions 62. GIFREU, Josep (2006) La pell de la diferència. Barcelona: Pòrtic. GIORDANO, Eduardo and ZELLER, Carlos (1996) Polítiques de televisió a Espanya. Model televisiu i mercat audiovisual. Barcelona: Fundació Jaume Bofill. See in particular chapter 8 “L’ampliació del sistema públic: televisió autonòmica”.109-20. GUILLAMET, Jaume (1983) La premsa comarcal. Un model català de periodisme popular. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya. O’DONNELL, Hugh (1999) Good Times, Bad Times. Soap Operas and Society in Western Europe. London: Leicester University Press.

Promoting Supranational Identity via the Internet – the Modern Relevance of Spain’s Regional Diasporas
Peter Gerrand Peter Gerrand is an honorary Research Fellow in the Contemporary Europe Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as well as being an honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Engineering at the same university. In 2007 he complete a PhD at La Trobe University on “Minority languages on the Internet - promoting the regional languages of Spain”. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia, and was founding CEO of Melbourne IT.

Abstract An analysis has been made of the geographical reach of the more than 1,000 external migrant community centres registered online with governments in Spain. These centres were created by small groups of Spanish migrants since the 1840s as ‘benevolent mutual assistance’ societies to help new immigrants. Textual analysis of the surviving centres’ names has demonstrated their primary identification with their home region, island or village. The evidence of a strong sense of extra-territorial ethnic identity is not limited to the five ‘own language’ autonomous communities of Spain. In September 2005 a group of Catalan nationalists achieved an historic world record on the Internet: the first allocation of a Top Level Domain (.cat) to a single language and culture. This paper shows that the global reach of Spain’s regional diasporas offers opportunities not just for the Galicians and Basques to follow the .cat precedent, but also for other regions in strengthening their sense of distinct cultural identity, even if not demarcated by use distinct languages. Key words: Spanish regional nationalism, diaspora studies, Internet studies. On 15 September 2005 a group of Catalan nationalists achieved an historic world record on the Internet: the first allocation (and only one to date) of a Top Level Domain (.cat) to a single language and culture. The motivation to win the Top Level Domain was based upon the desire to gain prestige for the Catalan language and culture, to enhance its visibility to the rest of the world, to strengthen the sense of cultural identity of Catalan speakers, and to aggregate Catalan cultural activities on the Internet – to paraphrase the campaign leader Amadeu Abril (Gerrand 2006a).

The first three of these underlying goals (prestige, visibility, identity) relate well to remedying what sociolinguists understand to be the major causes for the demise and in some cases death of minority languages competing in a diglossia situation with a dominant language. For example Crystal identifies three broad stages within the process of cultural assimilation:
The first is immense pressure on the people to speak the dominant language – pressure that can come from political, social or economic sources. […] But wherever the pressure has come from, the result – stage two – is a period of emerging bilingualism, as people become increasingly efficient in their new language while still retaining competence in their old. Then, often quite quickly, this bilingualism begins to decline, with the old language giving way to the new. This leads to the third stage, in which the younger generation becomes increasingly proficient in the new language, identifying more with it, and finding their first language less relevant to their new needs. …. Within a generation – sometimes even within a decade – a healthy bilingualism within a family can slip into a self-conscious semilingualism, and thence into a monolingualism which places that language one step closer to extinction. — David Crystal (2002: 78-79)

Within Spain, the regional governments of the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Euskadi, Galicia and Valencia have put considerable resources into the ‘normalisation’ of the use of their ‘own languages’ (those made co-official with the state-wide Castilian language, Spanish) in daily life, including resisting what sociolinguists call ‘domain loss’, by the provision of online language resources: technical and general dictionaries, online machine translators and language courses; and also by the development of human interfaces in their languages to the major business software applications, both ‘open source’ and from mainstream commercial vendors (Gerrand 2007). However these initiatives do not directly address the challenge of raising the prestige and visibility of their ‘own languages’ outside Spain, in other regions of Spain, or even within their own region. The successful campaign to win the .cat Top Level Domain has demonstrably increased the prestige and visibility of the Catalan language on the Internet, as intended. Due to this and several previous Catalan initiatives, all the major search engines and web browsers now offer human interfaces in Catalan, sometimes alone amongst all the world’s regional and minority languages. has gone a long way to achieving the fourth goal, of aggregating Catalanlanguage online activities within the one Top Level Domain on the Internet. The .cat registry opened for all applications on 21 April 2006; almost two years later, by 1 April, 2008, it had registered 28,560 second-level domain names ( 2008); and Google’s ‘site:’ command shows more than 9 million web pages indexed with

URLs ending in .cat by June 2008. However, there has been some vocal resistance from Valencian and Balearic Island nationalists (e.g. Europa Press 2005) to the registering of their regional institutions under the .cat domain, for two reasons. Firstly, there is a perception elsewhere in Spain that .cat is being used as much to promote the region of Catalonia as the worldwide Catalan language and culture, despite the guidelines on the .cat registry, This perception is fuelled to some extent by the understandable initiative of the Generalitat de Catalunya in early 2006 to ensure that the websites of all its own public institutions were speedily transferred to the .cat domain. Secondly, there remains an active core of Valencian nationalists (and a smaller number of Balearic Island nationalists) who are convinced that their regional languages are sufficiently distinct from Catalan to deserve equal and separate status, on and off the Internet. (To avoid offending these regional sensibilities, the Spanish government sometimes uses the historical term catalán-valencián-balear to describe the common language, even though the Balearic Islanders in their Statute of Autonomy denote their co-official regional language as català, not balear). The selection criteria for new Top Level Domains put understandable emphasis on the need to demonstrate ‘broad-based support’ for the proposal, including the policy-formulation process to determine eligibility for registration of domain names within that Top Level Domain (ICANN 2003). In the context of selecting new Top Level Domains, the term ‘broad-based support’ means having international, and preferably intercontinental, reach; otherwise it would be argued that the websites for the nominated class of activities could be accommodated within an existing country code (such as .uk or .fr) or an existing regional code (such as .eu or .asia). The Catalan achievement would not have been possible without demonstrating the global reach of the Catalan diaspora in support of .cat, which in turn relied on the active communication links developed between Catalonia and its diaspora through several initiatives taken by the Generalitat de Catalunya since the early 1980s. The .cat application to ICANN, the governing body for the Internet domain name system, provided a list of 67 supporting Catalan cultural institutions, federations, centres, professional associations and learned societies, from Europe, North, South and Central America - even the Catalan (radio) Broadcasting Society of Melbourne, Australia (Associació puntCAT 2004). The Basque, Catalan and Galician governments, since their post-Franco reemergence as democratically elected regional governments of Spain, have been active in reinforcing their bonds with their diasporas using legislation-backed programs which (a) subsidize and engage with their emigrant centres abroad,

(b) fund scholarships and international conferences to encourage worldwide scholarship in their regional languages and cultures, (c) support reverse migration by their emigrants and their descendants abroad, and (d) celebrate their sense of worldwide ethnic identity through International Days, such as the Día da Galicia Exterior (since 1993) and the Dia Internacional de la Catalunya Exterior (since 1998) (Gerrand 2007: 203-209). The first such legislation appears to have been the Galician Lei de Recoñecemento da Galeguidade (Law of Recognition of Galicianicity) in 1983, which enhanced emigrants’ right to information and participation in the social life of the Galician community, thereby reinforcing the cultural values of Galicia beyond its borders (Núñez Seixas 2002). Similar laws were passed in the Asturias (Ley de Asturianía, 3/1984) and in Catalonia (Llei 18/1996). Núñez Seixas (2002) has pointed out how the regular trips by Galician political leaders to the large Galician emigrant centres in Buenos Aires and Montevideo (and Havana) serve to promote and reinforce the global ethnic identity of galeguidade as well as harvesting votes in election years. The geographical reach of the Spanish diaspora Emigration from peninsular Spain to the Americas began with Columbus’ second voyage, and increased through the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries as the Crown offered free land to its settlers, from Cuba to the Philippines, and from California to Patagonia. From 1810 the newly independent governments of Argentina and Uruguay started appointing agents to encourage skilled immigrants from Europe to populate their countryside and townships; between 1835 and 1842 some 33,000 new immigrants arrived at Montevideo, ‘the majority Basques and Italians’, although there were also significant contingents of Canary Islanders and Galicians (Azcona 1999:28). A much larger number of emigrants, estimated as more than 5 million, left Spain between the 1850s and 1970s, as gross rather than net migration, since many eventually returned (Núñez 2002: 219). Before 1950 most were headed for Latin America, particularly favouring Argentina, Cuba and Brazil (where Galicians had little difficulty in adapting to the Portuguese language). In the 1950s many were attracted to Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and the USA (Núñez 2002: 219). In the 1960s the Franco Government organized special trainloads of young adult workers from the poorer regions of Spain to work as Gastarbeiten in factories in Germany, Switzerland, France and the UK; the total Spanish emigration to Europe during this period reached 1.5 million (Pro & Rivero 2006: 162).

What is not widely recognized, even within Spain, is the extent to which community languages and dialects from regional Spain, including dialects of Castilian, have been kept alive across the world through the creation by Spanish emigrants of community centres in their host countries, preserving much of the culture of their home region, province or village. While nostalgia for the homeland is famously characteristic of the Galicians – there are special names for it in both Spanish (morriña) and Galician (saudade) – evidence will be provided that the emigrant Andalusians, Asturians, Basques, Canary Islanders, Catalans, Navarrese and Riojans were equally purposeful in setting up emigrant community centres abroad that catered to their ethnic identity and love of their homeland. And while in the peak period of emigration from 1885 to 1930 Galicians were the most numerous of peninsular Spain’s emigrants, so much so that the word gallego is still used as a vulgar synonym for ‘Spaniard’ or ‘Spanish’ across much of Latin America (RAE 2001), they only accounted for 36% of the total (García de Cortázar 2005: 544); it is equally significant that 64% of Spain’s emigrants came from its other regions. Table 1, derived from the author’s PhD thesis (Gerrand 2007: 297-298), compares the locations of over 1,000 currently active community centres that were created separately by groups of emigrant Andalusians, Asturians, Basques, Canary Islanders, Catalans, Galicians, Navarrese and Riojans, located from as near as their neighbouring regions in Spain to as far away as Australia or Hong Kong – but with the vast majority located in the Americas. This Table was derived by analysing the lists of centres published online by the relevant Autonomous Community governments in Spain, all of which now have active, well funded programs in support of their emigrants. For example, the informative website of the Junta de Andalucía reveals that it paid a total of €2.3 million in 2006 to support its 338 recognized Andalusian Centres and Societies beyond its frontiers (Junta de Andaluza 2007). The Asturian Government budgeted even more, €15 million over the four-year period 2004-7 (Fernández de la Cera 2003), to support 85 centros asturianos1 ( 2007).

Table 1 – The worldwide locations of Spain’s regional emigrant community centres
Emigrant centres: Andorra Argentina Austria Australia Belgium Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Denmark Dominican Rep. Ecuador El Salvador France Germany Guatemala Guinea Equat. Honduras Italy Japan Kenya Luxembourg Mexico Morocco Netherlands Panama Paraguay Peru Portugal Puerto Rico Russia Spain Switzerland United Kingdom United States Uruguay AA 1 21 1 8 1 1 1 2 1 11 1 1 10 2 1 1 CA 14 1 1 1 1 1 1 CC 1 14 1 3 1 3 3 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 3 1 7 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 1 1 1 29 6 5 2 1 12 7 2 8 2 CG 1 59 1 3 18 2 1 1 19 1 1 1 1 CN 6 CR 5 EC 4 EE 1 85 3 1 1 2 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 2 13 1 1

1 1

1 1


2 5 2 1 1 1 1 70 19 5 13





1 1 1 1 279 3 1 1

1 1 1 18 8 8 1 4 4 1 10 1 35 9


4 208 1 9 13 25 8 13 2 5 2 35 3 4 4 2 21 21 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 17 1 7 3 3 4 1 6 1 434 36 3 58 32

Venezuela Subtotal: Ethnicity:

1 338 AA

1 82 CA

3 104 CC

12 255 CG

27 CN

17 CR

51 78 EC

6 168 EE


Key to acronyms: AA = Asociaciones Andaluzas, CA = Centros Asturianos, CC = Casals Catalans; CG = Centros Galegos [Galician Centres], CN = Centros de Navarra; CR = Centros Riojanos; EC = Entidades Canarias and EE = [Basque Centres] Sources of data: AA: CA: CC: CG:; CN: CR: EC: EE:

The 1,069 centres counted in Table 1 are the surviving examples of a larger number of ethnic migrant community centres, created by groups of settlers since the 1840s in Latin America as ‘benevolent mutual assistance centres’ to help new immigrants with accommodation, employment and advice in dealing with the host government’s immigration regulations, before evolving to community centres offering ‘solidarity, traditional culture and recreational activities’ (Fernández de la Cera 2003). They started in Cuba in 1840 with the Sociedad de Benefencia de Naturales de Cataluña [Benefit Society for Catalonian Natives], and rapidly spread around Spain’s former colonies in the late 19 th century (including parts of the USA). From the early 20 th century many more were created by Spanish migrants to the Americas, Western Europe and beyond. These centres appear to have all been entirely self-financing until the late 1970s. This is particularly impressive given that the majority of their members, having left Spain in times of hunger, massive unemployment or political repression, would have been expected to repatriate funds to their impoverished families back in Spain, once they had found work. Textual analysis of the more than 1,000 emigrant centres’ names shows them to be almost exclusively identified with the members’ home region, island or village – indicating a primary nostalgia for the emigrants patria chica, not with Spain as a whole (Gerrand 2007: 193-197). The regional identification applies not just to the 255 Centros Gallegos, the 168 Euskal Etzeak and the 104 Casals Catalans, whose distinct mother tongues would provide a strong underpinning of ethnic identity, but also to the numerous community centres of the emigrants from Andalusia, the Asturias, the Canary Islands, Navarra and La Rioja – the vast majority being native

speakers of Spanish, although with regional variations. Some of these community centres – especially the Centros Gallegos of Havana, Buenos Aires and Montevideo – were economic powerhouses from the 1900s to the 1960s, running major hospitals and other charitable organizations, and also publishing houses, restaurants and theatres. The Centro Gallego of Havana in particular was responsible for funding the major Galician cultural institutions back in Spain from 1906 to the end of the Franco era – the Royal Galician Academy and the Galician-language publishing house Galaxy, inter alia – and its members were responsible for commissioning the modern Galician national anthem (Dobarro Paz 2001: 222). Many of the Basque centres in the Americas helped fund the Basque government-in-exile after the Spanish Civil War. The separatist Catalan groups in Central and South America supported the creation of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) in their homeland, and one of their members, Josep Conangla in fact wrote the formative documents ‘Provisional Constitution for the Catalan Republic’ and the ‘Basis for the Revolutionary Separatist Party of Catalonia’ in Havana in 1926 (Harrington 2001: 108). During the repressive years of the Franco regime, publishing in the Catalan language was kept alive by Catalan emigrants in Mexico in particular. For completeness, it should also be noted that Spain’s regional diasporas include numerous ‘emigrant centres’ in Spain itself, outside the home regions, as shown in Table 2 (Gerrand 2007: 297-298). Many of these reflect the large waves of emigration from the poorer rural areas of Andalusia and Galicia in particular to the industrialised areas of Spain: in Catalonia, Valencia, the Basque country (modern Euskadi) and Madrid. The term inmigrante (immigrant) is used in the latter regions for Spain’s internal, regional immigrants as well as for those arriving from outside Spain.

Table 2 – The location of Spain’s regional emigrant community centres within Spain itself
Emigrant centres*: Andalusia Aragon Asturias Balearic Islands Canary Islands Cantabria Castilla - La Mancha Castilla y Leon Catalonia Ceuta & Melilla Extremadura Galicia La Rioja Madrid Murcia Navarra Pais Vasco (Euskadi) Valencia Subtotal: Ethnicity: % of all within Spain
sub total

AA NA 5 1 7 1 2 3 6 151 1 1 2 2 32 1 2 13 49 279 AA 64%

CA 2 3 NA 3 1

CC 2 1 2 1

CG 5 1 2 2 3 1 1

CN 1 2 1


EC 2

EE 1

13 12 5

1 1 NA

15 6 5 4



6 2 NA

8 17 1 2

2 1

1 1

1 2

1 2

25 176 2 3 5

2 1 2 1 2 4 29 CA 7%

1 1 1 3 12 CC 3%

NA 1 8 1 1 13 3 70 CG 16% 1 3 1 NA 4 1 18 CN 4% 8 CR 2% 8 EC 2% 3 NA 1 10 EE 2% NA 1 3 1 2 1

6 52 4 5 38 58 434

* : The acronyms AA, CA etc to describe the ethnicities of the centres, and the sources for the statistics, are the same as used in Table 1.

The modern relevance of the diasporas to regional nationalism In a historical sense, the successful campaign for .cat has repaid Catalonia’s debt to its diaspora centres in its times of greatest need during the 20 th century, by celebrating the global reach of the Catalan language and culture on the Internet, thereby emphasising the extra-territorial or supra-national nature of Catalan identity.

Amongst the jubilation in the Catalan media following the .cat decision in September 2005, there were some elements of regret for the unachieved aim of a .ct domain, attempted in 1996 by the Catalonian Parliament, intended to reflect Catalonian aspirations for at least equal status with the Spanish state in cyberspace (Atkinson 2006; Gerrand 2006; Gordillo 2007: 60-61, 69). But the opposition in 2004 to the .cat candidature from Spain’s outgoing Aznar government (Gerrand 2006) indicates that the .cat brand is readily conflated with .ct and thereby interpreted by Spanish ultra-nationalists as a symbolic push for separatism, or supranationalism – as it is by some ardent Catalan nationalists (Gordillo 2007: 69). However, the realities of the current governance structure for the Internet’s domain name system make the achievement of a ‘.ct’ domain for Catalonia virtually impossible (Gerrand 2007: 265-267). Table1 demonstrates the potential for Basque and, above all, Galician language nationalists to bid for their own Top Level Domains (.eus and .gal are the proposed candidates), based in part on the size and global reach of their diasporas. Interestingly, Table 1 also demonstrates a potential for future bids, if they wish, by other Spanish regionalists – Andalusians, Asturians, Canary Islanders, Navarrese, Riojans – for Top Level Domains to give greater visibility and prestige to their own ethnic, worldwide cultures. It is noticeable that the advances achieved since 1978 by the better known ‘historic nations’ within Spain, such as the Basques, Catalans and Galicians, in gaining stronger local autonomy and with that a much stronger sense of regional identity, have stimulated other autonomous communities within Spain to re-assess their own identities. For example, the Andalusian Community now defines itself as an historic nation in the first clause of its recently updated Statue of Autonomy (Junta de Andalucía 2007); and in 1998 the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands created its own language institute, the Academia Canaria de la Lengua, to study and describe its own, local variation of the Spanish language (Moreno Fernández 2005: 219). Discussion and conclusions The historic precedent of .cat has inspired several other European minority language groups, especially the Galicians, Welsh, Basques, Bretons and Scots, who recognize the need to mobilise their diasporas in support of their own campaigns for similar, prestigious Internet ‘brand’ and visibility. While ICANN, the governing body for the Internet’s domain name system, has been slowly and methodically reframing its selection criteria prior to inviting a fresh round of bids for new Top Level Domain registries – now not likely to commence before

2009 at the earliest – it would seem that the basic selection criteria employed in the 2004 round, including a requirement to demonstrate broad-based support amongst the relevant community, have not been weakened in the latest proposals (Williams 2006; ICANN GNSO 2007). Tables 1 and 2 provide evidence of the geographic reach of the diasporas from eight of Spain’s regions, corresponding to eight of Spain’s 17 current Autonomous Communities. The Galicians have started harnessing the support of their emigrant Centros Galegos for a bid for a new .gal domain (PuntoGal 2008), and it is expected that the Basques are doing likewise. Surprisingly, at least to those who think of the Galicians as being the largest single emigrant group, the Andalusians have the largest number of registered community centres: 338. But the largest concentration of these, 151, is in Catalonia alone; and 279 of the Andalusian centres are in Spain – confirming all anecdotal evidence of the Andalusians being the largest source of internal migrants to Spain’s most industrialised regions. If we consider only the 635 emigrant centres outside Spain, then the Centros Galegos, as expected, account for the largest proportion, 29%; the Basque Euskal Etzeak for 25%; the Casals Catalans for 14%; the Entidades Canarias for 11%; the Asociaciones Andaluzas for 9%; the Centros Asturianos for 8%; and the Centros Navarros and Centros Riojanos for 1% each. Importantly for the promotion of minority languages beyond Spain, the Basque, Catalan and Galician centres together account for 69% of all these centres. After the post-1978 creation of the Autonomous Communities in Spain, many of their governments have taken steps to form links with their emigrant groups overseas, in some cases providing subsidies for community centres, and in many cases organizing international conferences, to build up a sense of regional ethnic identity on a global scale. New words have been coined to describe these identities, some of which have been incorporated in specific legislation: for example galeguidade, asturianía, catalanitat, isleñidad and euskaltasuna. What has been the motivation for such extra-territorial interest in ethnic solidarity? The fact that overseas Spanish citizens have the right to vote in regional elections provides a political incentive, especially in the case of the Galicians, who have a potential half million voters in Latin America. There is also a two-way flow of economic benefits: and Spain annually receives larger aggregate payments from its overseas emigrants, than its total outward payments by way of social services.

But the motivation to create bonds with the global diaspora goes beyond the political or even the economic. It seems based on the very same motivations for creating the original emigrant centres: to give succour, economic assistance and pride in cultural identity to the members of a far-flung, historically often under-rated, regional European community, competing with many other ethnic communities in a challenging world. It has been noted above that 69% of the emigrant centres outside Spain are identified with the Basque, Catalan and Galician regions. By cultivating the ‘tails’ of their diasporas, the Basque, Catalan and Galician governments are positioning themselves well to promote their languages and cultures to the dominant world cultures, especially to the Spanish and English speaking peoples, and the Internet provides a very cost-effective means of doing so. The campaign for a Top Level Domain offers the additional prestige to regional nationalists of apparent parity with ICANN-endorsed country codes such as .es and .uk. However the history of the .cat campaign has shown that while the promotion of ethnic nationalism based upon language and culture is acceptable to ICANN, if the application for a Top Level Domain is seen as an attempt to exert political sovereignty as a supranational entity, it almost certainly will be rejected (Gerrand 2007: 265-267).


including three centres within the Asturias’ own region, at Avilés, Gijón and Oviedo, which are not counted as emigrant centres in Tables 1 or 2, since they were not created ‘abroad’.

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Constitutional Change without Bullets: Parties, Pressure Groups, Elections and Devolution in Scotland
Peter Lynch He teaches Politics at the University of Stirling and is author of SNP: The History of the Scottish National Party (2002) and co-editor of Autonomist Parties in Europe (ICPS 2006), with Lieven De Winter and Marga Gomez-Reino. His research interests are in the areas of nationalism, political parties and devolution/regional government in the UK and across Europe.

Abstract Scottish nationalism has been characterized by non-violent political activism since the 1920s. Such activism has included pressure group lobbying, electoral campaigning, mass petitions, constitutional conventions and demonstrations. Much of the activity has focused on parties and elections. The nature of the media in Scotland has facilitated the growth of nationalism and debates about political autonomy by providing a communicative space to discuss such issues. The combined effects of this has been to place the issue of Scottish autonomy firmly onto the political agendas of political parties and governments, leading to a range of government commissions, legislation and institutional measures to deal with the issue in the context of the UK state. Moreover, such debates continued after the creation of autonomous institutions in 1999, sparked by the SNP victory at the 2007 election. Key words: nationalism, political parties, conflict, media, devolution. Introduction Nationalism has been a factor in Scottish politics since the 1920s. Though initially a small movement and set of organizations, nationalism grew in prominence in the 1960s and become a serious electoral force in the mid-1970s. The conflict itself has been interpreted as political and economic rather than ethnic. In terms of political activity, Scottish nationalism has concerned itself with elections, petitions, pressure group campaigning and demonstrations rather than political violence. Electoral success itself was sporadic and largely absent until the mid1970s and then the post-1999 period after which the Scottish parliament was established – a development that saw the SNP become a party of government for

the first time. Constitutional change has been electorally-driven, often through the policy responses of the non-nationalist parties and governments, as well as by pressure group and cross-party activities. Connected to these political forces have been the issue of public opinion and the changing nature of opinion in relation to constitutional politics, which has seen the steady growth of support for devolution and independence and the steep decline in opposition to the establishment of a Scottish legislature. Even after devolution, the constitutional issue remained prominent, with public support for increased powers for the Scottish parliament as well as renewed party political debate over Scotland’s constitutional future. What Type of Conflict? Compared to some other examples of domestic and international conflict, the politics of nationalism, identity and constitutional change in Scotland is a tame affair. Political violence has seldom featured in politics in Scotland and has always been marginalized by democratic politics and activism. Within the UK, Scotland offers a strong contrast to Northern Ireland, as well as to contemporary European examples such as the Basque Country. Not surprisingly, Scotland seldom features in the academic literature on conflict resolution. For example, in Peter Wallensteen’s Understanding Conflict Resolution, Scotland is featured twice on pages 219 and 241, but each of these references concerned the role of the United Nations and international community in dealing with the Lockerbie bombing involving Libya rather than anything to do with Scottish nationalism (Wallensteen 2007: 219, 241). This example sums up the politics of Scottish nationalism rather well. A good way of understanding the nature of the political conflict is to discuss the goals of the various protagonists in Scotland in addition to their strategies and efforts at mobilization. The main driver of constitutional change in Scotland is the Scottish National Party, which seeks independence for Scotland from the UK state. The means of achieving this are electoral, though the party has occasionally supported non-violent civil disobedience. The SNP is currently in regional government in Scotland with the aim of holding a constitutional referendum on independence through the medium of the Scottish government in 2010. The SNP is not the only political party supporting independence. It is joined by the Greens (who have two elected members in the Scottish parliament) as well as the smaller Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity. Ranged against the SNP are the three main UK-wide parties – Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats. None of these parties supports Scottish independence, but this does not mean they are entirely opposed to constitutional change. The Liberal Democrats have traditionally supported the creation of a Scottish parliament as well as a federal United Kingdom. Labour became converted to Scottish devolution in 1974 and sought to institute a scheme

for Scottish and Welsh devolution whilst in government from 1974-9. Whilst this scheme failed, Labour was more successful with its devolution proposals in government after 1997, with distinctive devolution plans implemented for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. Finally, though the Conservatives became known as hardline opponents of constitutional change for Scotland, the party softened its position over the last year to become more flexible about improvements to the existing devolution settlement. The Conservatives joined with Labour and the Liberal Democrats to established the Commission on Scottish Devolution in 2007 (the Calman Commission) to consider changes to the devolution arrangements fashioned by the Scotland Act 1998 and in operation since 1999. The commission fits in well with the procedural traditions of constitutional change, driven by parties and elections. The Media Environment Political life in Scotland takes place within a complex media environment of mixed media ownership and coverage. The combined effect of the media and a distinctive Scottish politics provided Scotland with a communicative space (Schlesinger 2008) even before the establishment of the Scottish parliament in 1999. However, the politics of nationalism and devolution has politicized the issue of the media in Scotland whether in party-electoral terms, in relation to culture, identity and representation or in relation to economics and media production. Scotland has had a distinctive and thriving newspaper industry for many years, with the printing and publication of a range of newspapers that are nationally or regionally focused on Scotland. Broadsheet papers such as The Herald and The Scotsman aspire to be national newspapers for Scotland, though regional papers such as The Courier and Press and Journal often outsell them. All these papers largely serve their own cities and surrounding regions and deal with a wide range of political and economic issues. Beside them are a range of tabloid newspapers which may be Scotland-only such as The Daily Record or be Scottish versions of UK newspaper such as The Sun. UK newspapers, with coverage of Westminster and non-Scottish issues also sell in Scotland, in addition to a large number of local newspapers in Scotland, often with significant sales (Hutchison 2008; Lynch 2001). Whilst there are multiple newspaper outlets, television is much more centralized with the BBC, STV and Border offering some distinctive Scottish television output (news and current affairs plus culture for example). Whilst Scottish issues are only a small part of these networks’ programming, a new Gaelic TV channel (BBC Alba) launched in September 2008 to provide a boost to Scottish programme production and broadcasting. In addition, there is a wide range of UK, Scottish and local radio services in Scotland from the BBC’s Radio Scotland (established in 1978), to local/regional services based around the major cities and regions of Scotland.

What these features of the media environment add up to is a distinctive Scottish arena for political debate – some overlapping with the UK, some more directly Scottish. Politics relating to parties, elections, the devolved parliament and government, pressure groups, etc., are all dealt with through the newspapers, news and current affairs programmes on television and radio, as well as a range of phone-ins on national and local radio stations. The most recent development in the media environment in Scotland concerned the publication of the report of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission in September 2008. The Scottish Government established the Commission in August 2007 as part of the SNP platform to see the transfer of power over broadcasting from the UK government to Scotland. However, the Commission was about more than simply constitutional politics and the SNP’s independence agenda. The Commission’s remit was to conduct an independent investigation into the state of television production and broadcasting in Scotland and map out the future of the industry. The Commission sought to focus on the economic, cultural and democratic importance of broadcasting and examine broadcasting as a creative industry in light of a changing environment (such as broadband and digitalization). The Commission was charged with making recommendations on broadcasting in areas already devolved to the Scottish parliament, seeking to focus attention on and encourage action by a number of organizations related to broadcasting (BBC, Ofcom, STV, Scottish Enterprise, etc) and seek to identify an agenda of issues for the Scottish parliament to discuss. The Commission was chaired by Blair Jenkins, a former senior programme-maker and manager with BBC and STV, with a panel of politicians and media industry figures. The Commission held evidence sessions and published three interim reports on the economic, cultural and democratic dimensions of broadcasting in advance of its final report in September 20081. The Commission report was notable for its proposal for a Scottish TV channel to be established once TV has been switched over to digital in 2011, funded by the public sector; that the BBC should review its commissioning and funding of Scottish programmes; that the BBC should aim to secure 8.6per cent of its network TV coverage from Scotland and maintain a network commissioning base in Scotland; that the broadcasting companies should seek to boost the independent production base in Scotland; and that devolved organizations such as Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland should prepare development strategies for the broadcasting and production sectors in Scotland (Scottish Broadcasting Commission 2008). The Rise of Scottish Nationalism Scottish nationalism existed in one form or another since the close of the First World War. The movement manifested itself through a range of minor pressure groups and

parties in the 1920s before the formation of the Scottish National Party in 1934. The SNP has been the sole continuing organization ever since and the prime mover in mobilizing Scottish nationalism since the 1960s, even though other organizations have come to prominence in the 1940s, early 1950s and the 1980s (Lynch 2002; Mitchell 1996). The SNP’s activities have been primarily electoral – sometimes almost exclusively so – with electoral successes in the mid-1970s and in 1999 and 2007. These contrasted with the campaigning efforts of a range of crossparty pressure groups that sought to gather support for constitutional change in Scotland through activities that did not involve direct electoral involvement. Mass petitions, constitutional conventions, pressurizing established parties and seeking consensus between parties and civic groups over the need for a Scottish parliament were all utilized by such pressure groups with varying degrees of success (Mitchell 1996; McLean 2005). However, despite such activities (or perhaps in addition to them), the electoral impact of the SNP has been considerable if inconsistent. The newly-formed SNP had a brief flurry of electoral activity in the mid-1930s and then in the period from 1944-8, with candidates contesting a range of seats at by-elections and general elections. During this period the SNP was divided over whether it should pursue an exclusively electoral strategy and operate as a political party and its only fleeting electoral success was at the Motherwell and Wishaw by-election in April 1945. The SNP managed to contest eight constituencies at the 1945 general election, but fell away to only three in 1950 and then two in 1951 and 1955. The SNP barely existed in this decade, with few SNP candidates at national and local elections (Lynch 2002: 83) and a minimal organizational presence so that most voters would have been unaware of the party’s existence let alone have the opportunity to vote for it. This situation changed markedly in the 1960s as the party entered a remarkable period of electoral and organizational growth at general elections in 1964 and 1966 before winning the Hamilton by-election from Labour in 1967. This event placed the issue of Scottish devolution centre-stage in UK politics for a short period, with both the Labour government and the Conservative opposition seeking to adopt new political positions on the constitutional issue in Scotland. Whilst the SNP faded electorally at the 1970 general election, it emerged strongly at the February and October general elections in 1974. The party won seven and then eleven seats at these elections – it’s highest ever Westminster total – and the party’s success was sufficient to put pressure on Labour to unveil proposals for a Scottish assembly in 1974 and then legislation to create an assembly in 1976 and 1978. This approach failed at the referendum in 1979 and a subsequent general election saw the loss of most of the SNP’s seats and the election of a Conservative government hostile to Scottish devolution. The post-1979 period saw the SNP internally divided

over strategy and ideology and the party only began to recover in the mid-1980s. At the same time, the issue of constitutional change was re-emerging onto the political agenda through the activities of cross-party activists and the political climate created by the Conservative government. These developments saw a substantial loss of Conservative seats in Scotland at the 1987 general election, the SNP’s success over Labour at the Glasgow Govan byelection in November 1988 and the launch of the Scottish Constitutional Convention to campaign for and design a devolution scheme in 1989. The Convention was important because it saw a degree of consensus between political parties, trade unions, local authorities and civic groups over the nature of a future devolution settlement for Scotland. Aspects of the Convention’s proposals were part of the Labour Government’s devolution plans for Scotland at the 1997 devolution referendum and the Scotland Act of 1998. The SNP campaigned strongly for a Yes vote at the devolution referendum alongside Labour and the Liberal Democrats and the Nationalists entered a period of renewed popularity between 1997 and 1999, with strong opinion poll ratings and second place at the first Scottish elections in 1999, with 35 seats out of 129 and 29 per cent of the vote. This peak was not repeated at the second Scottish election in 2003 as the SNP slipped back and lost seats and votes to smaller parties. However, the party entered a renewed period of growth after the return of Alex Salmond as party leader in 2005. Salmond focused on becoming First Minister of Scotland and gaining sufficient seats to get the SNP into government at the 2007 Scottish election. Despite the need to climb an electoral mountain in 2007, the SNP won 47 seats to Labour’s 46 seats to become the biggest party in the Scottish parliament, in addition to becoming the leading party on shares of the constituency vote (33 per cent) and the regional list vote (31 per cent). The latter electoral success took the SNP into government in the Scottish devolved administration for the first time, albeit as a minority administration. Government status is important – and vital to the SNP’s goal of using the devolved government and parliament as platforms for an independence referendum – but is a very recent phenomenon. Public Opinion and Constitutional Change Public opinion towards constitutional change has shown significant changes since polling began to examine the issue. Polls in the 1970s tended to see devolution and the constitutional status quo (of no Scottish parliament at all) as the most popular options amongst voters, with support or independence the least popular option – though when independence and devolution combined there was a majority in favour of constitutional change. Into the mid to late 1980s, the popularity of independence increased markedly and it became the second choice to devolution in most polls. The

significance of this was that the balance of opinion moved even more markedly in favour of constitutional change and support for no change became the least popular option of all on a consistent basis. In this latter period, the types of constitutional options offered in opinion polls also became concentrated on three main choices – devolution, independence and no change. Polling undertaken by the Royal Commission on the Constitution in the 197075 period to test the popularity of its various constitutional options found considerable support for no or minimal change though a consistent minority favoured independence (Brand 1978: 158-9). Polling in this period was often made more opaque because of the various options on offer - meaning various types of devolution and of minimal change (the Royal Commission included). Even then, there was evidence that polls in the 1965-74 period demonstrated clear public support for change (Miller 1981: 100). As the devolution debate commenced around more concrete proposals in 1974-5, support for a Scottish Assembly increased to become much more competitive with no change – with no/minimal change moving from 40 per cent in April 1974 to 28 per cent by December 1975, whilst support for devolution moved from 40 per cent to 47 per cent over the same period (Brand 1978: 160). Patterns of support for the various options fluctuated somewhat as the types of questions asked in opinion polls around the time of the devolution referendum in 1979, before settling into a more consistent pattern in the 1980s which saw devolution in the lead, with independence second (occasionally close behind) and support for no change usually third. Independence was particularly competitive as a constitutional option in the 3-4 years after the SNP announced its policy of independence in Europe in 1988 (Hassan and Lynch 2001: 393-4). Whilst devolution has proven the most popular constitutional option both before and after actual devolution in 1999, support for independence and for changes to the devolved powers available to Scotland have also been evident. Independence has continued as the second choice option in polls in the 1990s and into the devolved period – with the Scottish election, referendum and social attitudes surveys seeing support for independence peak in September 1997 at 37 per cent (ahead of devolution) but recording only 24 per cent at the 2007 Scottish election compared to 54 per cent for devolution. However, when the independence question is asked in a different way, its popularity fluctuates. For example, when a poll asks the referendum question - if there were a referendum would you vote for or against Scottish independence – the Yes/No vote is much more even, with the Yes vote often ahead. For example, in August 2007 the Yes vote was 35 per cent to 50 per cent for No and 15 per cent undecided. In April 2008, the same poll recorded 41 per cent Yes to 40 per cent No, with 19 per cent undecided2. However, when independence is measured against devolution, it remains the second choice option, even in the

2007-8 period when the SNP was in government in Scotland – with 23 per cent support for independence in March 2008 compared to 45 per cent supporting more devolution and 22 per cent supporting existing devolution3. Second, as indicated in the latter poll, there is also some fluidity over attitudes to devolution itself, with support for more powers for the Scottish parliament of 38 per cent to 34 per cent against (and 19 per cent wishing independence). However, when it comes down to what powers should be transferred, polls found only 20 per cent support for giving the parliament more powers to raise taxes4. All of these polls give an impression of the fluidity of attitudes to constitutional change and some indication why parties take the issue seriously. The Process of Constitutional Change The starting point for understanding constitutional change in Scotland is the fact that distinctive governmental arrangements for Scotland existed since the creation of the Scottish Secretary and Scottish Office from 1885 onwards. These arrangements reflected the realities of the post-1707 Union between Scotland and England, which allowed for the continued distinctiveness of Scotland in the key policy spheres of education, law and religion (Kellas 1989). The fact of a separate Scottish legal system after 1707 itself – which has continued to this day – necessitated distinctive governmental arrangements, which expanded in the 20 th century with the growth of government into new policy areas such as education and health (Mitchell 2003). A Scottish division of UK government existed to deal with a number of Scottish issues and policies for over one hundred years before legislative devolution in 1999. The distinctive arrangements effectively created a form of Scottish government, with the administrative and policy capacity over issues such as agriculture, education, environment, health, local government, transport, etc – though all within UK government and cabinet rules. Legislation was dealt with by the UK parliament, with some special parliamentary arrangements for discussion of Scottish issues by Ministers and MPs. The process of administrative devolution from London to the Scottish Office was one answer to the demand for Scottish control over Scottish affairs. However the issue of legislative devolution and independence rose to prominence at different times in the 1920s, 1940s, 1960s and 1970s, as administrative devolution was seen as inadequate and political forces and pressures gathered around the establishment of a devolved Scottish assembly or parliament. In the 1920s and 1940s it was pressure groups and constitutional conventions that sought to push the issue of a Scottish parliament. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, it was the electoral growth of the Scottish National Party that got the issue of Scottish self-government into the political agenda in more serious way.

For example, the SNP saw significant increases in electoral support at the 1964 and 1966 general elections though these were barely perceptible in the wider political system. However, in 1967 the SNP won the Hamilton by-election from Labour –a result that followed on from Plaid Cymru’s by-election success in Carmarthen in 1966. Nationalist successes over Labour at by-elections plus in local government contests brought policy responses from both the Labour government and the Conservative opposition. The Labour government of Harold Wilson responded to the SNP’s rise by establishing the Royal Commission on the Constitution to examine the devolution issue in Scotland, Wales and England. Though the Commission can be interpreted in the short-term as a mechanism to ‘park’ the constitutional issue to remove it from the political agenda and make it appear as if the government was ‘doing something’ in response to Scottish opinion, in the medium term, the issue did not disappear. The SNP’s advance was limited at the 1970 general election, but began to grow again in 1972-3. Furthermore, when the Royal Commission reported in 1973, its findings supported the establishment of a Scottish legislature (HMSO, 1973) – giving the issue some impetus as well as the stamp of quasi-government approval to some extent. However, it was not just Labour that sought to respond to the SNP’s rise. The Conservatives altered their policy on Scotland considerably through the party leader’s Declaration of Perth in 1968, which committed the party to establish a Scottish legislature. This pronouncement came out of the blue but was not acted upon to any great degree by the Conservatives when in government from 1970-74 when a number of committees examined the issue but made no progress (Mitchell 1990). Whilst these responses to electoral nationalism were limited, the SNP’s success in the two general elections of 1974 (February and October) drove the issue of selfgovernment onto the Labour government’s agenda in a more fundamental way. The SNP won 7 and then 11 seats in Scotland at these two elections and, more importantly, sat in second place to Labour in a number of key seats in Scotland – seats in Labour’s heartlands and crucial to its government status and majority at Westminster. Elected as a minority government in February 1974, Labour responded to the SNP’s rise by committing itself as a party and a government to legislate to create a Scottish assembly, with the publication in June 1974 of a Green paper Devolution within the UK: Some Alternatives for Discussion (HMSO 1974). The SNP advanced at this election, but the result was enough to give Labour a majority at Westminster and to proceed with devolution legislation. The government published a White Paper, Democracy and Devolution: Proposals for Scotland and Wales (HMSO 1974) after the October 1974 general election followed by the Scotland and Wales bill in November 1976. This bill was not successful due to opposition amongst Labour MPs in a period in which the government lost its slim parliamentary majority. The Scotland and Wales bill was withdrawn and separate bills for Scotland and

Wales were introduced, aided by the conclusion of the Lib-Lab pact between Labour and the Liberal Party to sustain the minority Labour administration in office. The Scotland Act was passed in July 1978, subject to a referendum which required the Yes option to be supported by 40 per cent of the electorate – a super-majority clause inserted by Labour opponents of Scottish devolution in the House of Commons. The referendum itself was held on 1st March 1979 and whilst the Yes vote gained a narrow 51.6 per cent to 48.4 per cent for the No vote, the Yes vote did not exceed 40 per cent of the electorate. Indeed, it translated into only 32.9 per cent of the available electorate voting for a Scottish Assembly (Denver, Bochel and Macartney 1981). Devolution was not enacted and the Labour government lost the UK general election to the Conservatives held shortly afterwards. This development removed the issue of devolution from the political agenda of the government party for the next 18 years though the unpopularity of the Conservatives in Scotland during this time contributed to a number of developments that created the background to the establishment of a Scottish parliament come 1999. The period following the failed referendum in 1979 saw serious divisions with the SNP and the electoral collapse of the party at the 1979 and 1983 elections. With the party racked with internal dissent, debate and action over constitutional change moved to other areas such as the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly, Radical Scotland magazine and the efforts to create a constitutional convention to facilitate a consensus position on devolution (compared to 1979) (McLean 2005). Debate occurred within and between parties, with official and unofficial crossparty dialogue between Labour and SNP through the medium of the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly. The main outcome of such efforts was the formation of the Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1989. The Convention sought to design a cross-party agreement on devolution – as it excluded independence and was seen as a mechanism to undermine the Nationalists, the SNP dropped out of talks on the organization and did not take part in its activities from 1989-1995. In the absence of the SNP, the Convention was effectively run by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, with the involvement of trade unions, local authorities and civic organizations. The Convention was not a campaigning body in any sense, but a deliberative body with the function of designing a scheme for a Scottish legislature that would find support across the parties. It published two sets of proposals in 1990 and 1995 which envisaged an elected Scottish parliament of 129 members, with legislative powers over agriculture and fisheries, education, environment, health, justice, local government, etc (Scottish Constitutional Convention 1990, 1995). Much of the Convention’s proposals were adopted by the Labour government in the context of the Scotland Act 1998. The Convention was not the only body active during this period. After the 1992 UK general election a range of new pressure groups were established to promote constitutional change. Common Cause, Democracy for

Scotland and Scotland United comprised a range of different party and non-party figures to generate publicity and campaign for change following the re-election of the Conservative government in 1992. Whilst these organizations plus the Convention were important in generating as well as demonstrating some level of elite and popular support for constitutional change, the real key factor was the electoral unpopularity of the Conservative government at the 1997 general election which saw Labour come to power in an electoral landslide. The change of government opened the door to constitutional change very directly. After the election Labour legislated for devolution referendums to be held in Scotland and Wales within two weeks of coming to power and published a white paper on a Scottish parliament in July 1997. The Scottish devolution referendum was held on 11th September with a two questions format about support for establishing a parliament and whether that parliament should have tax-varying powers. The outcome was a double Yes vote with 74.3 per cent support for the parliament and 63.5 per cent support for tax powers, on a turnout of 60.4 per cent. The referendum result made the passage of the Scotland Act 1998 a simple process in both the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Scottish parliament came into being in 1999 following the first elections and the establishment of the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government in Edinburgh, faced with a strong SNP opposition. The final thing to draw attention to in relation to constitutional change is that it did not end with the Scotland Act 1998. After the parliament was established in 1999, there were occasional debates about the nature of the parliament’s powers and sustained efforts by the SNP to point to the limitations of the devolved settlement in practical terms in relation to policy as well as a poor substitute for independence. The SNP pointed to the lack of fiscal autonomy of the parliament as a particular problem, with the Scottish government and parliament unable to employ much in the way of taxation and spending policy or borrow money to invest in public sector projects. One particular focus of the SNP’s position was that the absence of fiscal autonomy provided the devolved system with few levers to boost business growth and economic development. The party promoted this position in 2002-3 without any great electoral benefits but the issue of tax powers and an extension of devolved powers became more popular in public opinion surveys and debated by the SNP’s opponents. The Liberal Democrats came out in favour of extending the tax and policy powers of the Scottish parliament in 2006 (Scottish Liberal Democrats 2006) whilst the Scottish Conservatives adopted a more open mind on changes to the devolved settlement, especially if they made the parliament more fiscally responsible for the money it spent. Whilst the question of extending devolution was an issue of sorts at the 2007 Scottish election, it really came to prominence in the months following the SNP’s

victory in two different ways. First, the new SNP minority government published a white paper on the options for constitutional change that discussed independence alongside other potential changes to the devolved settlement (Scottish Government 2007). The White paper was then used as the centerpiece of a lengthy consultation exercise over the possible constitutional options for Scotland. The government created a National Conversation website and took part in phased consultations with the public, major Scottish institutions and then the different regions of Scotland between 2007 and 20085. Whilst the National Conversation proceeded, the SNP continued to stress its intention to hold a referendum on independence in 2010 – meaning that the National Conversation and the constitutional debate in general has a particular end point as its focus. Whilst the constitutionality of a referendum is relatively straight-forward, the need to pass a referendum bill through the Scottish parliament is not. In the early part of 2008, this situation was radically altered – temporarily – by the announcement of the Scottish Labour leader (Wendy Alexander) that her party would support an independence referendum as soon as possible in the expectation that it would lead to a decisive vote against independence that would effectively cripple the SNP for a generation. However, this proposal caused major problems for Labour (especially the Prime Minister and UK party) rather than the SNP and the proposal was sidelined following the resignation of Alexander in June 2008. This leaves the question of party support for an independence referendum at Holyrood hanging in the air. However, in any case the political context for an independence referendum have been radically altered. When the SNP came to power in May 2007, Labour was still popular across the UK and the first few months of Gordon Brown’s tenure as Prime Minister saw a honeymoon for Labour. Public support for Labour and Brown went downhill ever since, with electoral losses at by-elections, local elections and the London Mayoral contest. A UK election is due any time between 2009 and mid2010, meaning that it will occur in advance of any independence referendum. Thus, in all likelihood, on current evidence, if a referendum is held it will be staged once Labour is out of power at the UK level and the Conservatives are in government – and remain even more unpopular in Scotland that they were in the 1980s under Mrs Thatcher. Indeed, opinion polling in September 2008 discovered that although most voters would currently vote No at an independence referendum (50 per cent No to 34 per cent Yes), about a quarter of the No voters would be more likely to vote Yes to independence if the Conservatives were in power come the independence referendum6. In this sense, the result becomes much less predictable on current opinion samples.

Second, in light of the SNP’s victory in 2007 and the creation of an SNP government, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties agreed to cooperate on the issue of constitutional change. Politically, this development involved a complete u-turn for Labour, which had fought the 2007 Scottish election opposed to further changes to devolution. After a series of discussions in the autumn of 2007, the three parties launched the Commission on Scottish Devolution on 30th November (St Andrew’s Day). The actual Commission was established in institutional terms in the early months of 2008, with a chair, a range of members, expert working groups, etc 7 . The Commission produced a work programme as well a consultation process for discussions with the public and pressure groups and organizations. However, as yet, the Commission has produced no substantive proposals and was due to produce an initial report on its proposals in late 2008 followed by a final report in 2009. What the Commission proposes and the politics of these proposals are the most important aspects of the whole exercise. The creation of the Commission was clearly a response to the SNP’s electoral victory and all that followed in terms of the National Conversation. However, the real questions concern exactly what the Commission will propose – what new powers and responsibilities will be transferred to the Scottish parliament? Will substantial taxation powers be transferred? What will such changes mean for existing arrangements for devolution (the Barnett formula operated by the UK government)? If the Commission’s proposals are substantial and intended to move Scotland towards a devo-max position (Trench 2005: 265-6) then public opinion might be satisfied and the SNP’s popularity diminished. The downside of that scenario is how the proposals are viewed at the UK level and by public opinion in England. Alternatively, if the proposals are seen to be weak, with no real transfer of powers, then the SNP government will seek to capitalize on this fact. And, the Commission is set to publish in advance of the UK election there is the potential for the Commission’s proposals to be judged then by voters – in Scotland or England – positively or negatively. Finally, there is also the question of how the Commission’s proposals will be implemented? Changes to devolution require legislation through the UK parliament, however there is the question of public consent for the changes. Devolution was subject to a referendum in 1997 – and referendums were used across the UK for all of the devolution proposals. Will the Commission’s proposals be put to the ballot? This question is certainly one for the SNP to attempt to exploit, with the intention of seeking support for a referendum that would pitch the Commission’s proposal against independence. Conclusion The growth of Scottish nationalism has been dominated by orthodox political activities rather than anything approaching political violence. The ‘repertoires of

contention’ (McAdam, Tarrow and Tilly, 2001) adopted by the social movement of Scottish nationalism since the 1920s have revolved around contesting elections, forming pressure groups, holding constitutional conventions, mass petitions and occasional protest activities (demonstrations, non-payment of tax campaigns, etc). Furthermore, contemporary debate and pressure in relation to constitutional change has taken place through the institutional mediums of a Scottish government consultation process and an expert commission established by political parties. Second, the process of constitutional change has been gradual – sometimes a stop-start process – and dominated by traditional political activities by parties and governments. Alongside elections, constitutional change has been characterized by government commissions, white papers, bills, parliamentary debates, Acts of parliament, etc. Finally, whilst the constitutional debate did not end with the Scotland Act 1998 and the establishment of the Scottish parliament in 1999, interest in the issue has been reinvigorated by the combined effects of the SNP victory in 2007, the government’s National Conversation on Scotland’s constitutional future and the Commission on Scottish Devolution created by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties – with the debate occurring in institutional settings.

1 2 3

See See independence polls at and in Hassan and Lynch (2001).

MRUK poll cited in Constitution Unit monitoring report on Scotland - constitution-unit/files/research/devolution/dmr/Scotland_May08.pdf
4 5 6

YouGov poll on fiscal autonomy, Ibid. See

YouGov/Sunday Times survey result, 3-5th September 2008, Available at http://www.

BRAND, Jack (1978), The National Movement in Scotland, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. DENVER, David; BROCHEL, John and MACARTNEY, Allan (1981), The Referendum Experience: Scotland 1979, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. HASSAN, Gerry and LYNCH, Peter (2001), The Almanac of Scottish Politics, London: Politicos. HMSO (1974) Democracy and Devolution: Proposals for Scotland and Wales, London. (1974) Devolution within the UK: Some Alternatives for Discussion (HMSO 1974, London. (1973) Royal Commission on the Constitution (Kilbrandon), London: HMSO. HUTCHISON, David (2008), ‘The Historty of the Press’, in Neil Blain and David Hutchison (Eds), The Media in Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. KELLAS, James (1989), The Scottish Political System, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. LYNCH, Peter (2002), SNP: The History of the Scottish National Party, Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press. (2001), Scottish Government and Politics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. MCADAM, Doug; Tarrow, SIDNEY and TILLY, Charles (2001), Dynamics of Contention, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. MCLEAN, Bob (2005), Getting It Together: The History of the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly/ Parliament 1980-1999, Edinburgh: Luath Press. MILLER, William (1981), The End of British Politics?, Oxford: Clarendon. MITCHELL, James (2003), Governing Scotland: The Invention of Administrative Devolution, London: Palgrave Macmillan. (1996), Strategies for Self-government, Edinburgh: Polygon. (1990), Conservatives and the Union, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. SCHLESINGER, Philip (2008), ‘Communications Policy’, in Neil Blain and David Hutchison (Eds), The Media in Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Scottish Broadcasting Commission (2008), Platform for Success: Final Report of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Scottish Constitutional Convention (1995), Scotland’s Parliament, Scotland’s Right, Edinburgh: Scottish Constitutional Convention. (1990), Towards Scotland’s Parliament, Edinburgh: Scottish Constitutional Convention. Scottish Government (2007), Choosing Scotland’s Future: A National Conversation, Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Scottish Liberal Democrats (2006), The Steel Commission - Moving to Federalism – A New Settlement for Scotland, Edinburgh: Scottish Liberal Democrats. TRENCH, Alan (2005), ‘Conclusion: The Future of Devolution’, in Trench (Ed), The Dynamics of Devolution: The State of the Nations 2005, Exeter: Imprint Academic. WALLENSTEEN, Peter (2007), Understanding Conflict Resolution, London: Sage.

Northern Ireland: Polarisation under the Media Spotlight
Katy Hayward Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, Dr Hayward has previously held post-doctoral fellowships in the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB, and University College Dublin, and a visiting fellowship at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She has published and taught in the fields of Irish politics, EU studies, nationalism and conflict transformation. Her recent publications include Recycling the State: The politics of adaptation in Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2007) (co-edited with Muiris MacCarthaigh) and a special issue of Peace and Conflict Studies (15.1) on political discourse as an instrument of conflict and peace (co-edited with Catherine O’Donnell). Katy Hayward’s book Irish Nationalism and European Integration is to be published by Manchester University Press in March 2009.

Abstract This paper examines the role of the media in the coverage of the Troubles and the peace process in Northern Ireland, with a particular consideration of its role in defining the key ‘players’, issues and events in the conflict and peace process. In particular, it considers how media coverage, and the restrictions on this coverage, contributed to polarisation between ‘unionism’ and ‘nationalism’ even since the cessation of violent conflict. Key words: Northern Ireland, media, conflict, peace process Introduction Northern Ireland is now peaceful; it is not, however, at peace. It is no longer stricken with violence, but neither is it in a post-conflict situation. Indeed, a conflict of identities, interests and interpretations is evident in many aspects of daily life, such as segregated education, little active religious ecumenism, long and tall peace walls separating residential areas, and the business of a devolved executive seemingly still vulnerable to the caprice of one or other of the two largest political parties. The media’s role in relation to Northern Ireland has, on balance, served to further ‘couch’ this polarisation. There are two main dimensions to this, the first being the media sources available in Northern Ireland. The range of media sources reflects the territorial and political position of Northern Ireland ‘between’ Britain and Ireland. In the locally-published written media, the ‘community divide’ is quite evident. This paper begins with an outline of this aspect of the media’s role in Northern Ireland.

The second, more substantial, dimension to be considered is the coverage of the Troubles and the peace process in Northern Ireland, with a particular consideration of the definition of key ‘players’, issues and events in the conflict and peace process to the outside world. The argument being made is that the delineation of actors, flashpoints and identities through the media has tended to project an image of a province divided into two oppositional parts. This paper does not seek to apportion blame for the fact that the common ground between ‘unionist’ and ‘nationalist’ remains as murky as ever, but it does indicate some of the ways in which the media coverage of the conflict and peace process has reinforced polarisation in the public eye. This effect is far more than a consequence of a journalistic desire for a gripping story or public tussle. In some ways it is a straightforward consequence of the power of the media – and particularly media images – in defining the recounting of history. Hence, this paper focuses on ‘flashpoints’ and ‘figureheads’, and the particular role that the media played in defining these and their significance for the conflict and peace process. The paper also considers the fact that polarisation has been exaggerated as a consequence of the fraught relationship between the mainstream media in Northern Ireland and the official nationalism of the British and Irish states, including their use of censorship and control. Such attempts by the British and Irish states to temper media coverage of the conflict and, crucially, the peace process served to deepen the perceived gulf between the parties and communities in Northern Ireland. The paper concludes with a brief look at some of the new forms of citizen media that are available in contemporary Northern Ireland, which bypass mainstream media outlets and give voice to previously unheard groups in society and which will in their own way contribute to polarising identities. Media sources in Northern Ireland Even prior to the massive growth in non-territorial media sources (e.g. through cable or internet), Northern Ireland long enjoyed a more bountiful array of media sources than many similar sized regions in Europe. This was thanks in part to its territorial location between Britain and Ireland and also due to the demand within Northern Ireland for media (particular newspaper) representations of differing political or cultural opinion. For example, as well as being able to receive British television and radio programmes, plus the regionally-based BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and independent networks such as BBC Radio Ulster or UTV (Ulster Television), many of Northern Ireland’s residents near the Irish border were able to receive programmes by the Irish national television and radio broadcaster RTÉ (Radio Telefís Éireann). Newspapers sold in Northern Ireland include local or regional papers (such as the Belfast Telegraph), newspapers aimed at either the nationalist

community (e.g. the Irish News or the Derry Journal) or the unionist community (e.g. the News Letter or the Londonderry Sentinel), British broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, plus Irish newspapers such as the Irish Independent or Irish Times. The production and consumption of media in Northern Ireland is as complicated today as anywhere else in Europe, with new forms of media playing an increasingly important role in delineating local identities and political positions (as we shall see towards the end of this paper). However, an element that is perhaps more rare in other regions is the way in which the blend of territory and ideology can produce such complexity in the presentation of news. An interesting illustration of the ‘in-between’ status of Northern Ireland for newspaper readership is the range of tabloids sold here. Irish versions of British tabloid newspapers such as the Irish Daily Mail or Irish Sun, are only a relatively recent phenomenon in Ireland (the Irish Daily Mail, for example, was launched in Dublin in February 2006). Newsagents in Northern Ireland tend to sell British versions of most tabloids (e.g. the Daily Mail) although in some cases they sell both Irish and British versions. For example, although the Irish Daily Star sold in the Republic of Ireland has a red masthead like sister paper (and other tabloids) in the United Kingom, the version of the Irish Daily Star sold in Northern Ireland has a green masthead to distinguish it from the British version of the Daily Star also sold in the same shops. The difference between versions of tabloid newspapers sold in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and, therefore, in Northern Ireland (even though they are published by the same newspaper groups) illustrates well the importance of political context for the slant given to a story or indeed, whether a particular issue becomes a media story in the first place. To illustrate the difference between the locally-published newspapers in Northern Ireland, Figures 1 and 2 show the front pages of the News Letter and The Irish News on Monday 3 November 2008. Both papers cover the same story: the parade by members of the Royal Irish Regiment of the British Army in Belfast city centre on the previous day. This parade was a very important event for members of the unionist community who wanted to make the event a show of support for the British Army. There had been a lot of controversy in the lead-up to the event, mainly with the announcement that Sinn Féin (the largest nationalist/republican political party) was to organise a protest at the event in opposition to the spectacle of British soldiers marching on the streets of Belfast. The News Letter had campaigned for the ‘Support our Troops’ movement and its coverage of the event is an 8-page special with many photographs of the soldiers being cheered by crowds waving union flags. There had been fears of riots as a result of republican protests at the event and the possibility of a clash between them and loyalist supporters. The Irish News reports the event as a security issue, with a front page picture of riot police

holding back a group of loyalist young men. The Belfast Telegraph, which aims to tread a fairly ‘neutral’ ground, avoids any coverage of the controversial event on its front page. When an event such as this is the focus of such intense – and oppositional – community feeling, the neutral position can be to avoid coverage of these controversial occasions altogether.

Figure 2. Front page of The Irish News (3 November 2008).

Figure 1. Front page of the News Letter (3 November 2008).

Media and conflict
The Belfast pictured in Time magazine, the rubble and the barbed wire, litter and graffiti Belfast is, in fact, a patch of highly photogenic impoverishment no more than a mile long and half a mile wide … People who live in this heck’s half acre … [are] so thoroughly journalized that urchins in the street ask, ‘will you be needing a sound bite?’ (O’Rourke, 1988)

Although Northern Ireland became ‘thoroughly journalized’, media attention on the state of affairs in Northern Ireland rose in 1968 from a very low starting point; even British and Irish-based media sources took very little active interest in events within the province. The civil rights movement that developed in Northern Ireland from the mid-1960s was in part a consequence of local people (predominantly Catholic) being inspired by media coverage of civic action in the United States and on the European continent (as in the student protests in Paris). It was not so much the actions of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, however, but the response to

them by the Northern Ireland authorities and security forces that generated media interest from across Ireland and Britain. Worldwide and urgent media coverage rose as violence spiralled into the early 1970s. The level of media interest over the course of the Troubles and the peace process may be said to have quickly settled into a pattern of peaks and troughs. During the period of violent conflict, media coverage rose in response to new levels of atrocity or horror; during more peaceful periods, media interest may have similar peaks around new political initiatives, such as intergovernmental agreement or third party involvement. This also reflects a certain degree of ‘normalisation’ of conflict either side of such peaks. It is still the case – even in ‘post-conflict’ Northern Ireland – that the type of events that are regularly reported in regional news (such as gang murders, ‘punishment’ beatings by paramilitaries, the planting of explosive devices, or street riots) would make headline national news should they occur in Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland rather than in Northern Ireland. It seems that the presentation of Northern Ireland for thirty years as a ‘war zone’ containing two distinct and polarised communities has become much more than a cliché. It has had a lasting legacy in shaping the landscape of post-conflict Northern Ireland. Media counter-pressure Before outlining some of the ways in which media coverage has reinforced perceived unionist/ nationalist differentiation, it is important to recognise the fact that some of the media in Northern Ireland has sought (successfully on occasions) to counter the trend towards painting Northern Ireland as a place of two communities. The advocating role of the ‘fourth estate’ has been at the forefront of the minds of journalists in Northern Ireland throughout the conflict and peace process. Many saw the media as having a responsibility to garner international attention, to stimulate a response from the public or from politicians, and to maintain momentum for action towards conflict management and reconciliation. This latter view – that the media can play a vital part in facilitating reconciliation through providing the forum within which different opinions can be aired and, thereby, understood – was articulated by Richard Francis in 1979 as controller of BBC Northern Ireland:
The media have a very real contribution to make … to the maintenance of the democracy which is under threat, both by providing a forum where the harshest differences of opinion can be aired and by reporting and courageously investigating the unpalatable truths which underlie the problems of the Province … if and when the communities of Northern Ireland reconcile their conflicts, it will be by understanding them and not ignoring them. (quotation from Rolston and Miller, 1996)

Unfortunately, the opportunity for the media to play this role diminished as the conflict endured; this was particularly true for the BBC. The moral ideal of the media as a forum for democratic dialogue in a context of political violence and emergency rule became harder to maintain as the media found itself under pressure from politicians and management fearful of the consequences of publically broadcasting the views of those directly involved in the perpetuation of violence. Flashpoints and camera flashes This is not to belittle the importance of the media’s role in transmitting the horror of the conflict and to thus effect a public and political response. However, this function was overtaken by the increasing horror of the Troubles; it was difficult for the media to project the tragedy of each event in a context of spiralling violence. This quandary is neatly expressed in the example of the editorial in the Belfast Telegraph (6 March 1972) after the bombing of the Abercorn Restaurant by what is believed to have been the IRA:
Such tragic injuries [as Abercorn Restaurant bombing] have been inflicted before … but never have they been detailed so quickly and to such effect … Even the breakdown of a BBC reporter, as he tried to tell the story on TV of the disaster, conveyed more of the human misery than any words could have. This is one disaster which, because of the men who reacted with their hearts as well as their heads, will not be forgotten.

What makes this editorial comment poignant is not just that it shows the media’s acknowledgement of the power that they can have, but simply that the sentiments it expresses were soon overtaken by the course of events. Few people even in Northern Ireland would today recall the Abercorn Restaurant bomb, which killed two people and injured over 130, mainly because it came near the start of the bloodiest year of the Troubles, in which 479 people were killed (267 of whom by republican violence, including a devastating series of bombings in Belfast). Indeed, the recounting of the Troubles has been undeniably affected by the media coverage. For example, ‘flashpoints’ that are highlighted in historical overviews of the course of events often have more to do with the fact that camera crews were present than with their impact. Even at the time of these events, media coverage played a role in generating wider interest and even outrage. The presence of an RTÉ camera crew at the civil rights march in Derry in October 1968 and their capturing of images of RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) beatings of unarmed marchers sparked protests and support for the cause of the marches in Northern Ireland (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. A still image from RTÉ television footage of the RUC restraining a civil rights march in Derry, 5 October 1968. Note the photographers in the foreground.

Figure 4. Bloody Sunday mural, Derry.

From that point onwards, certain iconic images may be seen to have encapsulated and even contributed to the escalation of violence. For example, the image of Fr Edward Daly waving a white handkerchief to bring to safety the body of one of the victims of Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers fired on civil rights protestors in Derry in January 1972. The fact that the white handkerchief was being waved by a priest as defence against British troops, and that the boy had been shot by British troops, powerfully illustrated to an audience outside Northern Ireland that the role of British security forces in Northern Ireland was neither neutral nor protective. This image was, some twenty-five years later, the subject of a mural in Derry city by the Bogside Artists (see Figure 4). The inclusion of an armed soldier in a gas mask, civil rights marchers in the background and the bloodied civil rights banner under the soldier’s foot places this image in its context of significance and symbolism for nationalist memories of the atrocity. Most of the other tragedies in the Troubles that are most clearly remembered – such as the Enniskillen bomb, the Milltown Cemetery shootings, the Shankill bombing, the Omagh bomb – are ones at which television cameras were present either at the time or in the immediate aftermath. These events may or may not have been the most devastating in terms of number of casualties or significant in the course of history, but the media images arising from them have no doubt meant that they have had a particular impact in shaping popular perception of the nature of the conflict, the victims and the perpetrators.

Figureheads: from pace-setters to peacemakers The power of media images has also contributed to a focus on ‘figureheads’, especially political leaders in Northern Ireland who are seen as being able to make decisions that will change the outlook of the communities they represent as well as the parties they lead. As with most dynamic political leaders, it has been the association of certain individual politicians with particular cultural or moral identities as well as political positions in their media image that have given them particular strength when it comes to the degree of pressure their political credibility can withstand. For example, media images of Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) (Figure 5) and Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin (Figure 6) as community activists (often leading protest rallies) are almost as familiar as those of them in their formal roles as political leaders.

Figure 5. Ian Paisley at unionist protest rally, 1982. (Note Peter Robinson, who succeeded Paisley as DUP leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland, is by his side).

Figure 6. Gerry Adams at republican rally, 2001. (Note Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, is by his side.

Leaders of the centre ground political parties in Northern Ireland are not known so much for their grassroots activism beyond their local community. The respect John Hume former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, commanded among nationalists was in part because of his active role in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. This cannot be said for his successor, who is of a different generation. Similarly, David Trimble, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, is famous in Northern Ireland for one particular image outside of the political context, specifically his triumphant walk down a route in Portadown formerly banned to the Orange Order in July 1995 (see Figure 7). Unfortunately for Trimble, this image showed him hand in hand with Paisley. Whilst this gave Trimble some temporary credibility among some hardline unionists (and disturbed some mainstream UUP supporters), it only reinforced the impression among unionists that it was Paisley rather than Trimble who could best be trusted to take a firm stand in the interests of

unionism. Trimble’s successor as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party would not have a public image as anything other than a career politician.

Figure 7. Television picture of Trimble’s march with Portadown Orangemen, July 1995. John Hume being arrested at an anti-internment march that had been dispersed by the use of water cannons, 1971.

In the peace process, a focus on political figureheads translated into a desire to see images that captured leaders from both ‘sides’ together. This has led to the staging of such events as Ulster Unionist David Trimble and John Hume of the nationalist SDLP holding hands with pop group U2’s Bono on stage at a ‘Vote Yes’ rally in front of Belfast City Hall in the run-up to the referendum on the Agreement in 1998 . But more recently, the desire for an agreement between the more hardline and, by now, largest political parties in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party, was reflected in the demand for an image of Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley together. This was managed in a carefully choreographed press event at which they sat at right angles of the same table, to present an impression of partnership and equality (see Figure 8). There may have been more of a need for a wide-angle lens than in the standard political photo call, but at least the two protagonists were side by side. Just two months’ later, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were sworn in as

First and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and from that day onwards there were innumerable photo opportunities of the two men side by side, often sharing a joke together!

Figure 8. Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams in agreement, 26 March 2007.

Official nationalism and media coverage Another dimension of the representation of Northern Ireland as a war zone with a binary divide is the concentration on two national discourses as ‘explanations ‘of the situation. The ‘reason’ for the conflict in Northern Ireland became, in effect, the Irish border. The growing association in the media eye between unionism and the British government on the one hand and nationalism and the Irish government on the other had some positive effects, namely the identification of clear actors and political aims, and the facilitation of diplomacy as a consequence. However, in doing so it also covered over many more complex yet immediate concerns for residents in Northern Ireland, many of which may have had much more of an impact in determining the reasons for the continuing conflict than the partition of Ireland. Yet, this is not to overlook the fact that both governments have been consistently keen to distinguish between the official nationalism of the state and the version of it seen in Northern Ireland. The presentation of Northern Ireland as ‘other’ or as ‘impossible’ thereby became a matter of course, not just in the international press but also in Britain and Ireland. As Muiris Mac Conghail, former RTÉ controller, commented:
News and current affairs coverage [on NI] relate for the most part to violence and terrorism and to political developments or lack of such, normally in the context of the British and Irish Government actions and negotiations ... broadcasters and print journalists, on the whole, regard Northern Ireland genuinely as ‘outre-mer’: Algeria. (Wilson, 1997)

The coverage in the popular British press of events in Northern Ireland and, more particularly, the actions of paramilitary organisations was frequently characterised by disgust, outrage and, notably, fatigue. This left no room for understanding, let alone negotiating with, republican terrorists. More broadly, the strict style guides followed by the national media in Ireland and Britain (even since the conflict) also reflect tenets of official nationalism. For example, the BBC have to refer to IRA members as ‘terrorists’ (not ‘volunteers’ or ‘guerillas’) and the Irish Times journalists are to refer to ‘these islands’ in place of the ‘British Isles’. Censorship and control In Great Britain the policy towards Northern Ireland was, in principle, the integrity of the Union. In practice, there was a tension between the discourse of the ‘otherness’ of Northern Ireland (as seen above) and the desire to address the conflict as a ‘domestic’ concern of the United Kingdom. In the Republic of Ireland, the policy towards Northern Ireland was based on the principle of unification, as enshrined in the Constitution until the amendment of Articles 2 and 3 following the 1998 Agreement. The pragmatic concern of successive Irish governments was, however, to first uphold the integrity of the Irish state in the twenty-six counties and secondly to prevent the spread of conflict south of the Irish border. Irish governments feared the coverage of the Troubles in the North could produce a backlash of Irish republicanism in the Irish state. It was this concern that led the Irish government to introduce Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act in 1971. Although aimed at all terrorist groups, in effect it meant a ban on the broadcasting of the opinions of Sinn Féin members. The strict rules (for example, no word-for-word transcriptions of the words of Sinn Féin politicians were allowed to be reported) were rigorously enforced. The RTÉ authority objected to the new rules on their announcement and was sacked as a consequence; an RTÉ journalist at the centre of the controversy was imprisoned for having made a broadcast including the comments of an IRA chief of staff. By 1976, Section 31 was begrudgingly accepted by journalists and it led to a situation in which a whole range of issues went untouched in the Irish media. The ban was lifted after the HumeAdams accord in 1993. The British broadcasting ban was imposed much later than the Irish one, in 1988. Although the BBC Director General Lord Birt said that it came ‘right out of the blue’ (Welch, 2005), in fact the relationship between the government and broadcasters had been worsening as a result of differing opinions as to how to treat the subject of Northern Ireland. A critical juncture had been the BBC’s‘Real Lives: On the Edge of the Union’ documentary which was banned days before its scheduled broadcast

in 1985. The documentary had included at-home interviews with Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness and it was the portrayal of this ‘human side’ of a Sinn Féin leader that the British government objected to in particular. Here is an extract from a letter (29 July 1985) from the Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, to the Chairman of the BBC on the matter:
It is no part of my task as Minister with responsibility for broadcasting policy generally to attempt to impose an act of censorship ... To do so would rightly be inconsistent with the constitutional independence of the BBC... I do, on the other hand, also have a Ministerial responsibility for the fight against the ever present threat of terrorism... It is clear that the “Real Lives” programme ... will enable McGuinness to advocate or justify the use of violence for political ends, and thus the murder or maiming of innocent people, before a huge public audience. ... It must be damaging to security and therefore wholly contrary to the public interest to provide a boost to the morale of the terrorists and their apologists in this way. I cannot believe that the BBC would wish to give succour to terrorist organisations; and it is for this reason that I hope that you and your colleagues will agree on reflection that the “Real Lives” programme should not be broadcast.

The deputy director general of the BBC tried in vain to convince the BBC’s board of governors that a ban on the programme would adversely affect the independence of the BBC. Following a heated debate between the BBC’s governors and management, the programme was temporarily banned on the grounds that management in BBC Northern Ireland had failed to follow the reference-up procedures, by which the director general’s office should have had a tighter control of the making of the programme from the start. The reference-up system that had been in place in the BBC since the 1970s contributed to an environment of self-censorship among journalists. Its purported intention was to ‘protect reporters and avoid mistakes of judgement’ in what was effectively a situation of war within the United Kingdom (Curtis, 1996). The system ruled that the content of programmes in Northern Ireland was to be identical to that of other countries in the United Kingdom. Moreover, even prior to any official or broad censorship, it specifically aimed to remove ‘undesirable’ elements of programmes at early stages and to encourage hostile interviews with representatives of extremist organisations. When it did come in 1988, the ban forbade the direct broadcasting on the airwaves by members of proscribed organisations, of which eleven republican and loyalist groups were named, but Sinn Féin, as a political organisation, was most directly affected. The purpose of the ban was, according to the British Prime Minister, to deny the ‘oxygen of publicity’ to ‘terrorists’ (O’Carroll, 2005). The ban was lifted after the first IRA ceasefire in 1994 and has been removed ever since in line with

the official British and Irish policy of including Sinn Féin in mainstream politics in Northern Ireland. The only hint of censorship since was the brief ban on filming in the Northern Ireland Assembly in March 2008 in a row over Sinn Féin’s planned commemoration of the IRA members killed by the British forces in Gibraltar. The main effects of these broadcasting bans by the British and Irish governments were to restrict public – and even political – understanding of the conflict , not only because certain perspectives were not heard but also because it discouraged deep critique and debate of such viewpoints. Moreover, they had a much wider effect in exacerbating the self-censorship of journalists, who became increasingly cautious in their coverage of the conflict in Northern Ireland and the protagonists on the republican side in particular. For every programme that was banned, it has been argued, there were about twenty that were not made (Curtis, 1996). The bans may also be said to have been a tactical mistake in that the political voice of republicanism in particular was lost at a crucial time prior to negotiation, as well as making republicanism and paramilitarism indistinguishable in the popular mind. Some years after the lifting of the broadcasting bans, the balance may be seen to have swung too far to the other side. After repeated suspensions of the devolved institutions of the 1998 Agreement due mainly to the ‘stumbling blocks’ of trust between Sinn Féin and the unionist parties (such as decommissioning of IRA weapons), media attention was focused on the DUP and Sinn Féin. These parties were seen to hold the key to lasting peace in Northern Ireland, not least because of the close connections between them and grassroots activism and sentiment. It was assumed that there could be no further political progress without the participation and consent of both hardline parties, that they effectively held the Agreement to ransom. This meant that the airwaves and newsprint on the subject of Northern Ireland’s future was subsequently dominated the expression of hardline opinions. Following the St Andrews Agreement of 2006, the DUP and Sinn Féin agreed to share power as the two largest parties in Northern Ireland. However, in practice, it is proving difficult for the two to find a working relationship. The public airing of the differences between these two governing parties occurs under a media spotlight that is still not quite large enough to illuminate a shared centre ground. This is reflected in all types of media in Northern Ireland, including its unofficial, citizengenerated forms. Citizen media In times of social upheaval there can often be a proliferation of locally-generated unofficial media sources, such as pirate radio (such as Radio Free Derry) or printed newssheets, as those frequently circulated among local communities during the

Troubles. Amid political uncertainty, these serve to reinforce one’s own community and incite members to defend their shared identity and principles. In the context of the peace process, traditional forms of community media (pamphlets, parade banners, graffiti, murals, flags, kerbstones) have been restricted – or at least discouraged – by local public authorities in an attempt to generate tolerance and reduce the impact of sectarianism for the next generation. There is consequently a proliferation of new forms of so-called ‘citizen’ media that serve this purpose in the virtual world, i.e. chat rooms, weblogs, videos of riots etc. There are two elements that relate to the polarisation that these new forms of media can feed into. The first is that these websites can be a new port of call for taunting and posturing between groups. This is not just for websites specifically constructed to represent the views of local groups or communities; this taunting can occur on ‘neutral’ sites which relate to Northern Ireland. For example, videos of young people joyriding (driving stolen cars at speed) in particular parts of Belfast that are posted on YouTube receive comments that frequently use sectarian slurs and epithets to describe the people pictured according to which community they are from. More generally, any video posted on YouTube that relates to Irish history or Northern Ireland politics, or even to controversial religious topics such as mixed CatholicProtestant marriage, will often have a string of comments forcefully expressing either extreme nationalist or unionist viewpoints. Most of these comments are directed at the other anonymous commentators in response to their perceived political or religious affiliation. Another type of these new forms of media is the websites established specifically on behalf of particular communities. There is a remarkable similarity between many of these websites, regardless of the particular viewpoint they express. All make use of the ‘colour schemes’ of their community (red, white and blue for unionists and green, white and orange for nationalists, after the British and Irish flags respectively), they display symbols clearly indicated community loyalty (e.g. harps, images of the republican hunger strikers for nationalists; the crown or the Red Hand of Ulster for unionists; websites from both communities use images of guns and gunmen) (see Figures 9 and 10). Many of these websites have not only been established to reinforce community identity but to publicise what they feel is their vulnerable position. Many websites declare their community ‘under siege’ and give pictures and reports of their members as victims of attacks from rival communities (for more on this see Ó Dochartaigh, 2007).

Figure 9. A website supporting the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Figure 10. A republican website, Saoirse na hÉireann (Irish freedom).

Conclusion This new ‘virtual’ realm of identification and interaction means that the portrayal of community membership and opinion in Northern Ireland is now, more than ever, in the hands of its citizens. Even if new forms of common ground were slowly being created in the mass media, new forms of polarisation are being entrenched in citizen media. If, as Professor Adrian Guelke has argued, peace is yet to be made at the extremes, peacebuilding measures will need to address the type of interests and identities directly represented in these media forms and by these ‘alienated’ individuals than those which have dominated reporting of life in Northern Ireland to date.

BRITTAN, L. (1985) Letter from the Home Secretary to the Chairman of the BBC, Stuart Young, on the “Real Lives” programme, 29 July 1985. Accessed via O’Carroll (2005). JACK, I. (2008) “Never say never”, in Guardian Weekend, 1 November 2008. CURTIS, L. (1996) “The reference upwards system”, in Rolston and Miller (eds), 80-95. FRANCIS, R. (1996) “Broadcasting to a community in conflict—the experience of Northern Ireland”, in ROLSTON and MILLER (eds), 56-66. Houses of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights (30 November 2006) Final Report on the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay’s Tavern, Dundalk, (Prn. A6/2026), [Avalaible at: http://www.oireachtas .ie/ documents/committees29thdail/committeereport2006/Kays_Tavern_Final_Rep.pdf] O’CARROLL, L. (2005) “The truth behind Real Lives”, The Guardian¸12 December 2005. [Avalaible at:] Ó DOCHARTAIGH, N. (2007) “Conflict, territory and new technologies: Online interaction at a Belfast interface”, Political Geography, 26, 4, 474–491. O’ROURKE, P. J. (1988) Holidays in Hell, New York: Grove Press. WELCH, F. (2005) “The broadcast ban on Sinn Fein”, [Avalaible at: uk_politics/4409447.stm] ROLSTON, B. and MILLER, D. (eds) (1996) War and Words: The Northern Ireland Media Reader, Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications. WILSON, R. (1997) “The Media and Intrastate Conflict in Northern Ireland”, Democratic Dialogue Discussion Paper. Belfast: Democratic Dialogue.

Images in this paper have been sourced from Amateur Photographer (http://www., BBC News (, Conflict Archive on the Internet (; Guardian unlimited (; Radio Telefís Éireann (

Further reading
This paper serves merely as a preliminary introduction to some of the main dimensions of the media’s role in the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland. Readers will find it useful to consult the following sources for more information: Article 19 (1989) No Comment: Censorship, Secrecy and the Irish Troubles, London. BUTLER, D. (1995) The Trouble With Reporting Northern Ireland, Avebury, Aldershot. CONNOLLY, P.; FITZPATRICK, S.; GALLAGHER, T. and HARRIS, P. (2006) “Addressing Diversity and Inclusion in the Early Years in Conflict-affected Societies: A Case Study of the Media Initiative for Children – Northern Ireland”, International Journal of Early Years Education, 14, 3, 263–79. COOKE, T. (1998) Prepared for War, Ready for Peace? Paramilitaries, Politics and the Press in Northern Ireland. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. CURTIS, L.(1984) Ireland: The Propaganda War. London: Pluto. ELLIOTT, P. (1976) Reporting Northern Ireland: A study of News in Britain, Ulster, and the Irish Republic, Centre for Mass Communication Research, Leicester. (1976) “Misreporting Ulster: News as Field-dressing”, New Society, 25 November. MCLAUGHLIN, G. and MILLER, D. (1996) “The Media Politics of the Irish Peace Process”, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 1,4, 116–34. MILLER, D. (1994) Don’t Mention the War: Northern Ireland, Propaganda and the Media, Pluto, London. ROLSTON, B. (2007) “Facing reality: The media, the past and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland”, Crime, Media, Culture, 3, 3, 345–364. ROLSTON, B. and MILLER, D. (eds.) (1996) War and Words: The Northern Ireland Media Reader, Beyond the Pale Publications, Belfast.


Documentary Responses to ‘1974’ in Attila’74: The Rape of Cyprus and Divided Loyalties: Representations of Nationalism and National Identity
Lisa Socrates Lisa Socrates is currently based at University College London, where she contributes to the MA Film Studies Programme. She is completing her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Dr.Claire Thomson. Lisa’s doctoral research is concerned with the cinematic response to the war of 1974 amongst Greek Cypriot filmmakers. Other academic areas of interest include the representation of divided cities on the screen, national and collective identity, and memory and time in the cinema of Cyprus . Lisa has worked in Cyprus as a researcher and translator for the Cultural Service of the Ministry of Education and for the Press and Information Office of the Ministry of the Interior. Her published work includes translations into English of the Cypriot poetry by George Moleski and articles on Cypriot literature.


Attila’ 74: The Rape of Cyprus (1975) and Divided Loyalties (2001) provide comparative responses to the 1974 war and political conflict in Cyprus, as they begin to construct representations of national identity and nationalism at various historical junctures. They ignite the sustained relevance in understanding this relationship after Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (1988), where documentary filmmaking manifests competing expressions of the nation.
Keywords: Cyprus, documentary, representation, nationalism, identity New Horizons and Old Identities In September 2006, Akamas was the first Greek- Cypriot film to be nominated for the ‘New Horizons’ screening, at the Venice Film Festival. At the time, the Cypriot Film Advisory Committee issued a media statement, accusing the director Panicos Chrysanthou of misrepresenting the Greek -Cypriot nation, through his portrayal of historical events. The film is still censored from exhibition in Cyprus1. This development unravels the complexities in representing the nation and its national identity through cultural artefacts such as a feature film; and suggests that in its fifth decade as a modern nation, the relationship between state and culture in Cyprus contains tensions between official homogenizing cultural tendencies, and alternative narratives of the nation, nationalism and national identity. The

Akamas controversy is a starting point for the two documentary responses to the 1974 war and conflict in Cyprus in this paper, because of the underlying issues of representation and national identity which are at the core of each text.
My paper engages with some debates in documentary production but acknowledges the substantial work on documentary, which has highlighted the problematic of ‘truth’ and representation facing this genre. Therefore, I will not recapitulate all these arguments here2. Alternatively, I aim to select some aesthetic trends which both documentaries engage with, as they direct our focus back to the historical developments in 1974 and to contesting representations of nationalism.These representations are measured against Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1991)3. In this study Anderson presents the possibility of an ‘imagined political community’, which in his evaluation of eighteenth century Europe, was realised through print capitalism, because this precipitated new ways of linking ‘fraternity and time’(Anderson, 1991:6, 36). Anderson’s idea of the nation’s simultaneous time is derived from his analysis of the rise of literacy and the role of the press, which created a sense of a community experiencing events and time simultaneously. Simultaneous time makes it possible for the nation to become a ‘solid community’ moving ‘up or down through history’ (Anderson, 1991: 26). Anderson’s notion of a nation’s homogeneity provides a major challenge when investigating nationalism in Cyprus. By accommodating the first -hand accounts of participants in each documentary, the reader can ‘hear’ the voices of a cross-section of Cypriot people whose experiences offer a far more heterogeneous impression of the nation than Anderson’s imagined community. Reviewing the radical documentary maker, Emile de Antonio, Thomas Waugh indicates how the people’s voice can restore a lost authenticity to the genre and a transparency which might become problematic through the visual medium itself4. Expressing this view within the parameters of de Antonio’s commitment to history, Waugh informs us that:
His films are essentially sound films, or more specifically, the dominant logic of the de Antonio film is verbal and the image often functions simply as a contrapunctual accompaniment to the primary current of the film, its voices arising out of the documents of the past, with voices from the present, echoing, interpreting, mocking, judging, analyzing, exorcising them. The voices of the interviewees regularly leave the image of the present and accompany the documents as they unfold, so that the past and present, document and actuality opposition becomes not only sequential but simultaneous (Waugh, 1976: 17).

1974 is the historical moment for both documentaries. However, as with de Antonio’s films each connects the ‘past and present’ in Cypriot history, through the respondents’ voices. In the aftermath of this war, the case of the missing persons

within the Greek and Turkish-Cypriot community, the displaced refugees and cultural plundering all received considerable media attention. Three decades on, the ‘Cyprus Conflict’ has become an unassailable ‘Cyprus Problem’ and at its core lie unresolved tensions about nation, nationalism and identity5. Both documentaries capture the magnitude and intractability of articulating these. This paper commences with a review of documentary styles before evaluating Michael Cacoyiannis’s Attila ’74: The Rape of Cyprus (1975) within this framework, in order to examine the notion of ‘truth’ and transparency6. Whilst Cacoyiannis’s film assesses nationalist sentiments in the midst of the war, it is in Sophie Constantinou’s Divided Loyalties (2001) that I turn to for individual retrospections, which present personal experiences of historical developments, and thereby examine the complexities of truth from a different lens. Accounts of childhood and in particular experiences of education in nurturing a nationalism known as Enosis (the union of Cyprus, with Greece), which divided Cypriots first and Greek- Cypriots second, enables the audience to reassess Enosist sentiments as they are represented in Cacoyiannis’s text, which is where I return to, towards the end of this paper. Finally, I backtrack chronologically to the period of the 1950s to focus on the development of both Turkish- Cypriot and Cypriot nationalist identities at the time. Such a re-evaluation through individual memories enables the reader to consider the possibilities that either holds for the Cypriot islanders at this moment in time. Intervention or Observation? In New Challenges for Documentary (1988) Bill Nichols identifies the distinct formal and ideological qualities of traditional documentary to include some if not all of the following features, which form a valuable framework for Cacoyiannis’s The Rape of Cyprus7: • • • a central narrative voice which intervenes either through its presence in the production itself, or as a voice-over and/or commentator intervention in the form of direct questions to participants/witnesses/ interviewees and intervention to probe or prompt with the interview a tendency to ‘steer’ the audience along various scenes, through the narrative voice or through linking captions in the belief that the audience may be unable to make sense of the information and the conclusion may not be clear if the narrator does not interject to clarify the range of responses a guiding central voice to provide narrative continuity and unity.

As the narrator assumes an authoritative omniscient voice he becomes an authority for the audience to rely on. If traditional, interventionist documentaries chose to use interviews, Jeffrey Youdelma, writing in the same edition, adds that the voice- over

narrator constituted a means of supplementing the viewpoints of those interviewed8. Arguments in support of the interventionist style point out that its directness avoids an evasive outcome and develops a narrative which reveals a ‘truth’. Joris Ivens is cited by Youdelman, as a filmmaker who argues in favour of this style stating that ‘only commentary can express the complete, responsible, personal action -the involvement of the author, director or commentator’ (Rosenthal, 1988: 458). Such intervention for Youdelman has a bottom line which compels filmmakers to take ‘responsibility for the statement the film was making’ (Rosenthal, 1988: 458). However, in its departure from traditional documentary, Cinema Vérité/ Direct Cinema anticipated the possibility of ‘truth’ in the belief that this style offered a ‘directness, immediacy, and impression of capturing untampered events in the everyday lives of particular people’, as Bill Nichols has argued (Rosenthal, 1988: 48). In other words, the problem of authorial bias would be avoided. Nevertheless even Direct Cinema encountered the complexities of transparency because at the end of the day, ‘documentaries always were forms of re-representation, never clear windows to “reality” ’(Rosenthal, 1988: 48-9). Certainly, this predicament is familiar to film practitioners and scholars alike. By the time we reach the 1970s, documentary has been full circle round the interventionist course, through to ‘truth’ and authenticity offered by observation, back to an admission of the intricacies in capturing unmediated representations. Intervention and ‘truth’ Cacoyiannis’s style blends observation, with interview, voice-over and direct involvement through commentary. His directness, enables him to take a lightweight camera into his filming territory, so that he can share the same public space with his subject- the Greek-Cypriot population. In this sense, his involvement arguably adopts a moral rather than a political bias. On the other hand, when he uses a measure of Direct Cinema, it enables him to observe and capture aspects of the dailiness of the people. Without his authorial commentary or voice, filming the ordinary people undoubtedly creates an atmosphere of authentic life which adds both a visual and an aesthetic impact. However, whilst Direct Cinema reflects the documentary trends of his day, it is Cacoyiannis dominant interventionist style to which we must turn our attention. Through an examination of some specific scenes, we are compelled to consider transparency and verisimilitude as the aspiration of documentary filmmaking on the one hand, and Cacoyiannis’s rationale and motives on the other. Cacoyiannis achieves a tone of authority and intervention in The Rape of Cyprus in front of and behind the camera. When the documentary begins crucial information is

conveyed to the audience about the British army of 4,000 soldiers who tried to crush EOKA (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) in the 1950s, about Greek and Turkish- Cypriots who lived together and about the British exploiting the TurkishCypriots (who were the minority population) and appointing them as auxiliaries to drum up panic between them and the Greek -Cypriots. These three aspects are crucial, when we examine them in turn, as they define Cacoyiannis’s views in the text, before assessing their implication in the light of the ‘truth’ dimension of his documentary approach. The reference to the British soldiers establishes his bias about the role of the British during the colonial years and makes the further assumption that EOKA was justified in its revolutionary tactics to gain independence for Cyprus. With his fast paced editing there is no opportunity for the audience to consider alternative interpretations and to reach an understanding of the British defense of the island during the 1950s on the one hand, or to consider that not all EOKA actions were heroic. The second reference to bi-communal co-existence is mentioned, but never developed at any other point throughout the documentary and therefore he is expecting that the audience takes his interpretation of bi-communal relations entirely on trust. A line of argument around the marginalization of the Turkish- Cypriots might have been credibly developed, which would have achieved a more balanced representation of the historical ‘truth’ in the investigation of the ‘rape of Cyprus’ (emotive language for a ‘neutral’ documentary producer). For example he might have informed his audience about the disintegration of bi-communal relations in the 1950s through the demands made by the British authorities that each community represented itself according to its ethnic difference. This would in part explain the TurkishCypriots’ readiness to enlist as auxiliaries for the British, because they felt more vulnerable as the minority population and also as I shall discuss, the Greek-Cypriot community turned to Greece to define their national identity. When Cacoyiannis makes use of interventionist devices such as his direct commentary and voice-over, he invites curiosity from the audience about his intentions. We might argue that he has formed his judgment even before the camera has got rolling and his bias makes the discovery of ‘truth’ problematic. As Jerry Kuehl writes, in ‘Truth Claims’, even as documentaries claim to present the “truth” they provide a selected version of reality and ‘film events and people deliberately and selectively’ (Rosenthal, 1988: 104). I would like to build on Kuehl’s arguments, about the inherent difficulties of ‘truth’. In an ideological, technical and aesthetic sense, ‘truth’ presents the same dilemmas for observational and interventionist filmmaking alike and cannot break out of the bind, which is inherent to the process of reconstructing reality. Let us examine one scene where his initial observational strategy has switched tack, as he finds himself in a refugee camp, located in a village called Ahna, Kyrenia.

He wanders with his camera man speaking to people who have just been forced to leave their homes and to relocate to these camps. A young girl of 11 or 12 years is approached. She has fled the village of Asha, and we learn that her name is Irene. Irene’s own voice, timid and traumatized is real. By giving her name and village, she is credible to the audience. Cacoyiannis speaks to her and the camera is focused upon her so that the audience explores her fear and confusion9. Then the camera turns to a middle aged woman who says in a desolate tone ‘we want to go home, we are tired.’ Another woman, a mother, holds a photograph to the camera of her son and husband who are ‘missing persons’. These respondents are not actors reconstructing scenes, or interviewees in a controlled setting. A key question in this instance is whether observation would represent events in the same way, without Cacoyiannis approaching people with his microphone? The effectiveness of these representations, lies in the trust that Cacoyiannis creates in these refugees, who are ready to disclose their emotions. This is a feasible argument if we take on board that he assumes a moral responsibility, and feels compelled to be provocative in order to precipitate some kind of reaction from the outside world and from international forums such as the U.N to take action. It is appropriate to cite Ivens’ opinion of Cinema Vérité here, offered by Youdelman, which is that Cinema Vérité is ‘both indispensable and insufficient’. It was ‘insufficient because only commentary can express the complete, responsible, personal action- the involvement of the author, director or commentator’ (Rosenthal, 1988: 458). Ivens adds that ‘in Vérité people talk too much and the director too little’ (Rosenthal, 1988: 458). The following scene extends an opportunity to evaluate further what impact Cacoyiannis creates when he is seen to assume ‘complete, responsible, person action’. He is filming at the Ormidia refugee camp. Old men and women look at the camera to the world outside and add ‘we simple folk, what can we do?’ They mention the Right Wing Greek dictator Colonel Ioannides who promoted the union of Greece with Cyprus, mobilized an army and together with his supporters on the island carried off a military coup on 15th July. The refugees ask a rhetorical question ‘why not Ioannides the dictator…’ implying, ‘why is he not suffering, as we are suffering?’ In the meantime, the camera pans round and whilst these people are speaking to Cacoyiannis, we see a gathering in the background with a priest conducting a wedding ceremony. This footage provides an instance of powerful visual juxtaposition. Cacoyiannis interviews a Greek-Cypriot solider who reveals that ‘after interrogation they let (the Turkish soldiers) me sleep’, adding that ‘they beat me up (and) stuck a knife in my side’. A little way on in the film, a similar narrative unfolds when a soldier tells Cacoyiannis that ‘not one defense plan was put into action’ by the Greek military

in Cyprus stating that ‘they made no attempt to repel the Turks’. A young soldier adds that when the Turkish army arrived the soldiers from the Greek Junta deserted them and left them in the front line. Youdelma reminds us that some politically conscious filmmakers have tried to capture the voice of the people in history, rather than use voice-overs which traditional approaches tended to adopt (Rosenthal, 1988: 454). Through the voices of front line soldiers, Cacoyiannis has opened the door for a realization of a betrayal by Greece and the untenable position for Enosis, as a viable brand of nationalism for the Greek -Cypriots in the immediate aftermath of 1974. This revelation becomes even more fascinating when read alongside the personal testimonies recorded in Divided Loyalties, which is found in the next section of this paper. To sum up here, we might acknowledge that Cacoyiannis negotiates a tight rope between the technical and ideological conventions of observation and the unifying tendencies of intervention which enable him to gather his fragmented narratives and order them into his representation of events; knowing in the midst of his endeavour, that finite truths elude the historian and filmmaker alike. Locating absence, framing presence Sophie Constantinou’s Divided Loyalties is a documentary project precipitated by her personal odyssey for origins and identity, whilst her film engages with a wide range of historical documents to map out the official machinery of politics and history. Included amongst these, are archive footage of British soldiers in the post 1955 period, interrogating Greek- Cypriot revolutionaries, EOKA bombs going off, British military tanks patrolling the island and Governor Sykes in 1922 stamping colonial documents. In comparison to Cacoyiannis, Constantinou’s documentary is entirely constructed through the personal narratives of her respondents, whose individual and collective voices steer the structure of the documentary and become the vehicle for representing history. Here, the events of 1974 emerge as a pivotal trigger for recollections of life in Cyprus in the 1950s and 1960s, as Constantinou reconnects with her own ethnic and national origins through the voices and narratives of her participants. Whilst she recognizes that her own memories of place and origin are ‘fuzzy’ and ephemeral, such a perplexity denies Constantinou the space to imagine and articulate a loss of place, to which she might return10. I believe this determines her documentary style, which, unlike Cacoyiannis, resists voice-over, narrative, commentary and her presence. What binds these two texts -but for entirely diverging motives is the emphasis in what is essentially a visual medium, on sound and voices for representation and narrative building. Arguably, Constantinou relinquishes her narratorial voice, but I would argue that her absence is recouped in her decision to select the individuals who participate in narrating their experiences, through selection and judgment; even if we do not hear

her voice during interviews, or see her prompt and intervene. Her strategy is to look through her camera, in order to frame her own identity and capture a sense of origin and place, even if she is outside of her respondents’ history. Whilst her witnesses narrate from a firm sense of their cultural and historical space, it is through framing their images and capturing the sound of their voices that Constantinou locates herself; amongst the collective narrative and history of these witness accounts. And this points to an interesting terrain as we note the internal contradictions of her text, manifested in the contending expressions of national and individual identity narrated by her respondents. Positioning herself behind her camera and behind the voices of her selected interviewees, I want to suggest that Sophie’s own authority and location in her narrative is achieved through proxy. Through her father’s narrative, Sophie and her audience begin to sense her own identity, presence and self in national and ethnic terms. If the audience seeks a ‘voice of authority’ to collate the disparate voices and narratives together, we rely on Costas who emerges as this guiding, central voice. Sophie’s personal project of identity building uses her respondents’ memories and her father’s narrative to work back through history and through various locations; back to his and inadvertently her own origins. As we observe her respondents re-tell their versions of Cypriot history, we become aware how the camera intermittently cuts back to Costas almost suggesting that his own interpretation will endorse or reject what others have said. Constantinou has negotiated a middle ground between the observation of Cinema Vérité and intervention as indicated by Cacoyiannis. She turns to Costas’s presence and voice, which becomes central and authoritative as a filmic tool. Sophie then develops a narrative which is almost her own in order to compensate for the absence she feels, to construct a national identity and to frame her presence in the documentary. Cyprus, Greek Nationalism and Enosis

Divided Loyalties commences with an establishing sequence of a Greek -Cypriot woman, Maria Karayiannis, whose deep sense of Greek identity has been heightened by her distance from Cyprus and paradoxically, through her trauma of displacement and dislocation after 1974 when she left Cyprus. Speaking of her home town Kyrenia, Maria states ‘I feel the connection in all kinds of ways… my ancestors are buried there.’ She adds ‘I feel the spirits there…it’s an old land.’ The scene commences with footage of ancient Greek temples and non diegetic sound of waves crashing, accompanied by Ancient Greek music, to invite a sense of a Cyprus with a mythical Hellenic past. As sounds and visuals interlock, Maria speaks over the black and white archive footage to add ‘here I am…my ancestors are buried there…they are a part of me.’ Maria mentions her ancestors’ ‘blood and bones’ whilst

there is a close-up and a freeze frame. She adds: ‘I’m here but I’m there in spirit’. Maria is absent from her national and ethnic origins- ‘I’m here’ but the firm sense of roots in her Hellenic past replenishes any feelings of distance as she locates herself in this historical time. It is Maria’s sense of her Hellenic, rather than her Cypriot heritage which presents one of the conflicting dimensions to this text by defining her national and ethnic identity within the parameters of Greek nationalism, as mobilized through Enosis, challenging Anderson’s notion of the homogeneous, confident nation (Anderson, 1991: 35-6). Historical accounts as well as oral histories by Cypriots who lived through the period of the 1950s through to the 1970s, do not present a picture of a confident nation, because as soon as the nationalist struggle got underway, it became apparent that there were internal discords. Some fighters had regarded independence from colonial rule as the end point, but others who felt themselves part of the Hellenic heritage, had viewed independence as a stopping post, before Enosis. It is in this sense that the unique case of Cyprus with its brand of nationalism challenges the idea of a bounded and homogeneous community, as defined by Anderson. In addition, as I shall investigate further on, a Hellenic rather Cypriot national identity during the 1950s posed a considerable threat to the Turkish-Cypriot community and added further layers of complexity to the ‘national’ struggle. Enosis was built on the belief (endorsed through Maria’s testimony) of the island’s 3,000 year shared Hellenic history, language, culture and Greek Orthodox religion, reaching its zenith in the 1950s with EOKA’s bombing campaign against the British. To understand that this brand of nationalism had not just appeared in the 1950s and to appreciate why for example, some of the oral witness accounts in the documentaries express a national Greek consciousness as the only imaginable horizon for Cyprus in the pre and then post modern period, it should be noted how far back this consciousness goes. Because British rule in 1878 made necessary a new style of representative politics (through the Legislative Council) it undermined the pre-existing power and authority of the religious leaders in both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. The new political space which each community came to occupy in relation to the colonial administration demanded that it did so on the basis of its identity and hence, difference. As Rebecca Bryant informs us in Imagining the Modern:The Cultures of Nationlism in Cyprus (2004), before 1878 ‘religion, politics and identity had for so long been intertwined’ (2004, 22). She notes in this study that before this period, ‘there was no expression of a separate nationalist consciousness’ (Bryant, 2004: 24). The first recorded large-scale confrontation between the Greek -Cypriots supporting Enosis, with the colonial administration, was in Nicosia in 1912 because the former

were tired of ‘asking the British for union with Greece’ (Bryant, 2004: 92). However, as early as 1895 a Greek- Cypriot celebration of Greek Independence of 1821 saw them marching down a Turkish- Cypriot part of Nicosia; giving their celebration a racial tone, with a ‘rhetoric of race and regeneration, in which the “eternal enemy” was always the Turk’ (Bryant, 2004: 93). 1878 was also the beginning of print media in Cyprus with the first newspaper Neo Kition precipitating the dissemination of ideas; making the political discourse of ‘race and nation’ filter from the elites in Nicosia and the urban cafes, through to the villages (Bryant, 2004: 80)11. Read against Anderson’s model, charting the rise of literacy on the one hand, and the role of print and newspapers in forging a homogenous national consciousness, on the other, it is these developments which determined the rise of two extreme nationalisms; as well as a permanent rift within the Greek- Cypriot community. Education and Nationalism: Feggaraki Mou Lampro12 We learn from Bryant that nationalist ideology was disseminated in schools where ‘in both communities of Cyprus, education was explicitly described and debated as an ideological practice ‘(Bryant, 2004: 125). The Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia saw as its pedagogical philosophy, the ‘creation of Hellenic citizens’ (Bryant, 2004: 123) and in both communities education stood for tradition and ‘truth’. Constantinou’s father recollects a poem he recited at school called ‘My Bright Shinning Moon’ which expresses how school and education will ‘enlighten’ him. The sub-text is about the potential of a Hellenic education, in creating his identity. The school curriculum was determined by the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus, which in turn received orders from Athens, thereby suggesting the connections between a national identity and the role of education. Parallel to his education in Greek ethnicity, Costas recollects how he was coerced into joining the nationalist struggle by EOKA, when he found leaflets on his school desk with instructions to disseminate them. Bryant sheds light on this period of history when she informs us of the ‘…weapons in schoolbags, coded instructions hidden in notebooks- these became familiar parts of the EOKA guerilla campaign’ (Bryant, 2004: 156). Costas defines this campaign as gaining a ‘form’ by appearing in the shape of printed leaflets. As education and the EOKA movement emerge as coterminous in these years, we must note that a moment would present itself within this community where it would become imperative to define which version of ‘national identity’ the ‘national struggle’ would represent. With years of hindsight, the tensions between the left-wing within EOKA who imagined an independent Cyprus built on a Cypriot identity, and the right wing factions with aspirations of forming a union with Greece, questions remain unanswered, about what the majority of the Cypriot people wanted, from both independence and nationhood.

Even as we view Divided Loyalties, we do not gain a sense of the representative ‘truth’ of this history but what we have are contending individual interpretations. For example the recollections of Michael Loulloupis and Mihalakis Maratheftis represent the voice of Cypriots in the 1950s who regarded EOKA and Enosis as synonymous, believing themselves to be Greeks first and Cypriots second. Loulloupis was the school teacher of the young man Evagoras who at the age of 18 was shot by the British for being a ‘traitor’13. Loulloupis adds that Evagoras a ‘hero’ of EOKA died singing ‘our national anthem’ that is the Greek national anthem. In Maratheftis’s account we learn that the colonial administration forbade Greek - Cypriots the right to express and practice their Greek identity in school. For example, teaching Greek history, displaying Greek maps and flying the Greek flag were defined as antagonistic towards the colonial rulers. As Bryant recounts, this led at one point to the burning of British text books in protest against an anglicising influence in education (Bryant, 2004:161-3). When we consider these accounts of education in the 1950s at the height of the EOKA confrontation with the British, we can evaluate the ‘logical’ outcome of this Greek / Hellenic identity, which Cacoyiannis represents in The Rape of Cyprus. Coup, coffee-shop politics, betrayal When the right wing military Junta instigated a coup in Cyprus on 15th July 1974 it broadcast on Greek -Cypriot radio that Makarios III, President of the Republic of Cyprus was dead; when in fact he fled for safety to Paphos. Contradictory eye witness accounts in the aftermath of these events are captured in by Cacoyiannis . One scene in a Greek-Cypriot coffee- shop amplifies the sense of a defining moment in Cypriot history because it presents questions about the viability of Enosis in the imagination of the Greek Cypriots, the gulf between the Turkish and Greek- Cypriots, the probability of healing this rift and the likelihood of a Cypriot identity defined without reference to a Hellenic tradition. The mise en scene reveals that this is a right-wing coffee shop for Enosis supporters, with its posters on the walls of the ‘heroes of 1821’14. The owner, Mr. Christodoulos and his friend are interviewed. As Enosis supporters they state ‘we (Cyprus) must belong to Greece’ because Greek -Cypriots have ‘Greek blood.’ Christodoulos adds that he would prefer the Greek army to take over in Cyprus, then the (Greek-Cypriot) Communists. To this Cacoyiannis adds: ‘You think the army will return?’ When provoked further with a question about the Turkish army taking over, Christodoulos remains silent whilst the camera is rolling. When his friend is given an opportunity to speak about the Greek coup, his response is ‘it was a necessary evil to effect political change in Cyprus.’ As Cacoyiannis moves out of the coffee-shop to interview a man known as Moustakas, a close friend of Grivas (instigator of the coup) Moustakas confidently adds ‘I can’t imagine… a Greek government in Cyprus ruling Enosis out.’

But as we relocate to the public space and Cacoyiannis meets with Greek- Cypriot soldiers, other representations and realities emerge to conflict with the Enosist imaginings and to suggest that mainland Greece has betrayed the Greek -Cypriots. A Greek-Cypriot soldier reveals that he was shot by a member of the Greek Junta before being locked up with his family. This scene then cuts to a medical station where Greek -Cypriot doctors relate how the Junta instructed them not to treat ‘traitors’ whom they called ‘supporters of Makarios’. Then Cacoyiannis cuts away to events in November 1974 where Makarios has returned from exile, and is addressing his people in a public square in Limassol. We gain through the panning and crane shots a sense of the solid support for the legitimate President of the Cyprus republic. In an atmosphere of an intimate interview preceding this event, Makarios acknowledges the difficulties facing the Turkish- Cypriot minority, that Enosis was ‘not feasible’ and that ‘above all’ he aspired to lead an independent Cyprus. The situation of the Turkish-Cypriot community is also given a voice in Divided Loyalties. Turkish Cypriot Identity: ‘We would like to Survive’ Through Sema Karaoglu, the audience of Divided Loyalties is aware of the kind of identity she would like to assume as a Turkish -Cypriot woman who was born in Cyprus and who is now in the States. She says ‘we would like to survive… not part of Turkey and definitely not part of Greece.’ Her resonant voice for maintaining a Cypriot identity which is viable today is shaped in the light of the ‘Cyprus problem’. Rebecca Bryant has brought her reader up to date with this situation when she adds that ‘now, even in the midst of a revolutionary groundswell, there are indications that at the level of politics, nationalism continues to hinder the search for a workable compromise- a solution to “The Cyprus Problem”- that will guarantee safety, freedom, and respect for all Cypriots’ (Bryant, 2004: 3).When expressing her sense of identity and ethnicity in 2001, Sema feels compelled to put the case for TurkishCypriots forward, in the light of ‘the Cyprus Problem’. This political dimension focuses on the alienation of Turkish-Cypriots from the wider community; and as Sema highlights, the limited opportunities for the next generation. With the full accession of the south of the island to the European Union in 2004, the economic gulf between the two communities presents an additional dimension of difference and diverging development, as representatives from each community come to the table to resolve the ‘Cyprus Problem’. Sema’s recollection locates a sense of individual time, through her experiences of living before and after the communities were divided. Taksim, meaning ‘separation’ was a logical reaction by the Turkish-Cypriot community to Enosis and its full realization. Although nationalist ideologies were not disseminated as speedily within this community, in comparison to the mobilization of ideas within Greek-

Cypriot public spaces, TMT (Turkish Defense Organization) was the counterpart to EOKA with Turkish schools becoming training grounds after 1963 (Bryant, 2004: 158). What gave each movement its ethnic extreme was the influence of Turkey and Greece. As Anderson evaluates the role of print media in forging a sense of nationalism in eighteen century Europe, we see that it is precisely the role of the press which put EOKA at a distinct advantage over TMT (Anderson, 1991). For example in 1885 there was only one Turkish Cypriot newspaper with 64 subscribers compared to seven Greek- Cypriot, with a circulation of 3,000 (Bryant, 2004:32 ). When Sema recollects playing with Greek- Cypriot neighbours in her childhood, before inter-communal strife broke out in 1958 and 1963 we become aware of the full scale of violence and conflict which was mobilized by the TMT and EOKA; which would lead to the green line down the capital, Nicosia- the ‘Attila’ line. Her personal narrative corroborates what we have learnt from historical sources about the subsequent curfews instigated by the British and the withdrawal of the TurkishCypriot community into enclaves15. Sema describes the post-1963 environment of conflict, where the extreme Turkish and Greek -Cypriot nationalisms redefined her ethnic and national identity by forcing her to take sides; and in this sense to relinquish her Cypriot identity. Cypriot Imaginings ‘I have always the feeling that I am Cypriot’ I would like to draw this paper to a close with the voice of a female participant in Divided Loyalties cited above. Rina Katselli’s voice, represents a Cypriot national identity as palpable and synchronous to the movement for Enosis. EOKA, for Rina was a ‘pure movement for independence’ with the right of Cyprus to gain selfdetermination. Without her testimony we might overlook the opportunities which independence held out for a Cypriot nation, bounded and sovereign, culturally and politically. In her account, Rina recollects a childhood (not unlike Sema’s) of bicommunal life built on the respect of ethnic differences. As these documentaries, attest to the ongoing complexities of documentary as a filmic tool, they construct the full gamut of ethnic and national identities, albeit to represent a collision between contesting realities of nation, identity and nationalism. It is through their diverging intentions, historiographical index, defiance of chronology, reflection of the nation’s public and private time in crisis,that some truth emerges.


Akamas (Greece and Turkey, 2006) Directed by Panicos Chrysanthou and co-directed by the Turkish Cypriot filmmaker Dervis Zaim. Both also co-produced Parallel Trips (Greece-Turkey, 2004). The ‘Akamas controversy’ between Chrysanthou and the Greek Cypriot Film Advisory Committee, extended over the final phase of the film’s production. Go to the following link for a full insight into the opposing viewpoints. _ 20061212.shtml Go to links from the Press. Also note the open letter from the director to the Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture.

For further reading on documentary making see Rosenthal, Alan (1988) New Challenges for Documentary . California: California University Press.

Anderson, Benedict (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London Verso.

Thomas, Waugh, “Beyond verite Emile de Antonio and the new documentary of the 70s” in ‘Jump Cut’ 10-11,1976, 33-39. Online.

For further reading see Bryant, Rebecca (2004) Imagining the Modern:The Cultures of Nationalism in Cyprus. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.

I shall refer to this film as The Rape of Cyprus here on.

Bill Nichols ‘The Voice of Documentary’ in Rosenthal, Alan (ed), New Challenges for Documentary, 1988, p.48.
8 9

Jeffrey Youdelma ‘Narration, Invention and History’ in Rosenthal (ed), 1988, p. 454.

For further reading on the impact of the war on the village of Asha see Georges, Costas Chr. (1989) Asha: Days of Adversity: The Struggle to Return. Nicosia: Zevlaris.

Constantinou used the expression ‘fuzzy’ in our email communication in February 2008, to describe her sense of family and ethnic origins.

This literally translates from the Modern Greek meaning ‘new wave’ and is a reference to the new era of British Colonial rule.
12 13 14

A traditional Greek poem literally meaning ‘My Bright Shinning Moon’. It is the representation of Evagoras in Akamas which formed part of the ‘controversy’.

The Greek war for Independence releasing mainland Greece and some of its islands from the Ottoman Empire.

See Stavros Panteli (1990) The Making of Modern Cyprus: From Obscurity to Statehood. London: Interworld Publications.

Attila ’74: The Rape of Cyprus ( Michael Cacoyiannis, USA, 1975) Divided Loyalties (Sophie Constantinou, USA, 2001)

ANDERSON, Benedict. (1991), Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London Verso. BHABHA, Homi K. (ed) (1994), The Location of Culture. London : Routledge. BRYANT, Rebecca. (2004), Imagining the Modern: The Cultures of Nationalism in Cyprus. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. BRUZZI, Stella. (2000), New Documentary: A Critical Introduction. New York and London: Routledge. CHEN, Pauline. “Screening History: New Documentaries on the Tiananmen Events in China”, Cineaste 22,1, 1996, :18-22. Online. [Available at: html] (accessed 8 September 2008). KITROMILIDES Paschalis and Worsley Peter. (1979), Small States in the Modern World: The Conditions of Survival. Cyprus: The New Cyprus Association. LAMBERT, Sheridan. “The Cyprus Problem in 35mm: Interview with Panicos Chrysanthou”, e-Arteri 1, 2007, 27-33. LOIZOS, Peter. (1981), The Heart Grown Bitter: A Chronicle of Cypriot War Refugees. Cambridge University Press. PANTELI, Stavros. (1990), The Making of Modern Cyprus: From Obscurity to Statehood. London: Interworld Publications. ROSENTHAL, Alan. (1988), New Challenges for Documentary. California: California University Press. WAUGH, Thomas. “Beyond verite Emile de Antonio and the new documentary of the 70s” ‘Jump Cut’ 10-11, 1976, 33-39. Online. [Available at: JC10-11folder/EmnileDeAntonio.html](accessed 19 August 2008)

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