Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

10/14/08

Agenda
    

Legal framework Organizational issues Pornographic images and mass media The consumer and public opinion Conclusions

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Legal framework

Laws on preventing and fighting against pornography: 196/2003 and 496/2004

Pornography refers to the “explicit sexual gestures or behaviors, individually as well as collectively made, images, sounds or words that through their meaning offence decency and any other form of indecent behavior related to sexual life, if they are made in public”

Materials with obscene character refer to objects, engravings, photos, holograms, drawings, writings, prints, emblems, magazines, movies, video and audio recordings, advertising spots, software and other applications, musical songs and any other forms of expressing, that explicitly present or suggest the 10/14/08

Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Legal framework

“Indirect” regulations
 

Law for prevention and fighting against human trafficking and prostitution On children's rights - in line with international regulations

Media laws
 

European (EU Directive of Television without frontiers) and local ones Law of Broadcasting/1992 - programs including pornography and unjustified violence are forbidden There is no Romanian law dedicated to written press activity

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Organizational issues

Radio and Television are the most supervised media due to control activity from National Council of Audio-Visual NCA has the right to sanction the broadcasters for inappropriate content of the programs (http://www.cna.ro/-English-.html) Printed press is not subject of direct control

Ethic code of journalist elaborated by Romanian Press Club Responsibility of the publishing houses

Weak activity from civil organizations: e.g. Media Monitoring Agency - human rights advocacy 10/14/08 NGO with media expertise

Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Printed press

The Romanian press is the (almost) free media territory for erotic/pornographic images, either open or induced
Self-assumed pornographic press
Highest audience in Romania

Disguised pornographic press

Sport weekly title

Monthly men magazines

General daily newspapers Tabloid format

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Printed press
Tabloid-type of newspapers deliver daily images with women bodies, this distorted image getting to be perceived as a familiar and normal thing weather forecast in Libertatea

2004, qualitative study (Grunberg) conducted on two daily newspapers, Adevarul & Libertatea, revealed the following:
 

from a total of 366 articles having women as main subject, 18 regarded women as sexual objects from a total of 325 advertisements for work-places, 8 of them referred to video-chat and 6 to “dancing”, addressing to women

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Advertising
Advertising is the other inexhaustible source when it comes to sexually explicit images - video or audio spots or printed layouts Case study - TV spot for Kreskova vodka, male targeted product
QuickTime™ and a YUV420 codec decompressor are needed to see this picture.

almost naked women with purely decorative role; they stand for the sublimed effect of the vodka, personifying the benefit of the drink - reliable friend - “Vodka Kreskova! My Russian comrade!” Women are presented through and for their body, and are 10/14/08for satisfying the man’s desires there

Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Advertising
Outdoor posters

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media
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The consumers
Audience of self-assumed pornographic magazines is predominantly male Tabloids have a more balanced distribution of audience by gender
Audie nce of magaz i ne s and ne wspapers (Percents) 76.1 71 82.6 53.1 46.9 17.4 FHM Fanatik Men Women Libert atea Libert atea Weekend 51.8 48.2

23.9

29

Playboy

Source: NSA - January 2007-January 2008

The “hard-core” consumer of pornographic material - Cultural
Consumption Barometer (07-08)

1% (self-declared)  General profile: man residing in urban areas who frequently watches action and comedy movies on TV; he does not buy books, does not spend money on “cultural consumption” items and prefers buying new technology gadgets instead 10/14/08

Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media Public Opinion

2005, CURS national survey: 40% of the population agreed to the idea of pornographic materials distributed for free on the media market Internet survey,yourself aggressed by the pornographic press? Do you consider that this type of media has to be November 2007: Do you feel
forbidden?
They are imoral and damaging for our society

18%

It is unacceptable to see the at the news stalls

9%

They do not disturb me as titles but I do not like to see their indecent covers

17%

They do not disturb me. I consider them normal

56%

Source: Internet survey (available at http://vote.pollit.com/webpoll2/422849)

2007 INSOMAR national survey :
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80% from the respondents assessed that explicit sexuality in the content of TV programs lead to “children’s premature sexual behaviors” The most frequent promoted values in TV programs are:
“violence” 60% “sexuality” 34%

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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Conclusions/Discussion
Sexually explicit images are common message - they emerge as a new form of popular culture: “Sexual discourse has been repositioned as public discourse” (Winship, 2000) From a sociological perspective, the effervescence of erotic /pornographic images can be explain by their burst out after total interdiction in the communist regime The phenomenon has reverberations even in the literature field, where a “new wave” of erotic/pornographic literature caused inflamed polemics on the boundaries between eroticism and pornography in art
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Sexually explicit imagery in Romanian media

Conclusions/Discussion
Tabloid-type of newspapers and the sexual content on the internet sites are the main agents of the “pornographication” (McNair) of the Romanian media Limited democratic tradition of Romania turns into:
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Insufficient regulations for protecting human and especially women dignity Insufficient activity of the state institutions for applying the existent regulations Incipient stage of development of the civil society Extremely weak social responsibility of the media actors

The public discourse (not only in the Media) cultivates the blurring boundaries between public and private life, between sexual information and pornography, and also among problematic concepts like nudity, eroticism and pornography Very little research interest in this issue, considered a niche for the feminists 10/14/08

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