Prof. Motti Neiger   
On Media, Culture & Society        

 

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  Motti Neiger, Ph.D. – Academic Profile (March, 2013)
 
I am the Dean of the School of Communication at Netanya Academic College, Israel. My academic interests include various aspects of the correlations  between media and culture: mediated collective memory, journalism during conflicts, popular culture, and the role of culture mediators.

     My main contributions in the field of media memory appeared in a series of twelve publications (authored book, edited volume and ten   articles, including leading journals in media studies such as Media, Culture & Society, J. of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and The Communication Review). This research project, done in collaboration with my colleagues Oren Meyers and Eyal Zandberg, focuses on television and radio broadcasts during Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day in the years 1987-2007. The aim of this study was to explore the role of cultural memory in a new-media age in general, and the correlations between national memory and the changes in Israeli media, in particular. The project was funded by the  Israel Science Foundation, and apart from the journal articles and an authored book, yielded a fruitful international workshop and a successful edited volume that has received warm reviews in major journals as a collection that serves as an excellent introduction to the field of media memory.

     The pivotal concern of my investigations in the field of journalism during violent conflict is the coverage of conflicts when the journalist is a member of one of the conflicting parties, a coverage that invokes a professional dilemma "between the nation and the profession" (as the title goes of my co-authored article in Media, Culture & Society). In this area, I contributed to the understanding of how journalists span the gap over the perceived contradiction as they maneuver between their dual allegiance and identities. I developed and problematized the concept of journalistic criticism, and analyzed the mediation of conflicts behind newspaper front-pages when I examined leisure, sport and culture supplements during war. In this area, I am particularly proud of my research on the role of future speculation in the media that points to the political significance and cultural importance of news regarding anticipated events. The merging of my first strand of research – media memory –, and the second one – journalism and conflicts –, can be found in my current project with Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt on the role of temporalities in Journalism. We have submitted a grant proposal for this research, and I believe and hope this will be my main project on journalism for the near future.

     On my third research avenue, the tension between popular culture and élite culture mediators, I reviewed various arenas: literary supplements in the press, book best-seller lists, internet forums for creative writing, and the rhetoric of readers' comments system on the internet. In the coming year, I intend to finish a wide-ranging book about Israel's publishing industry, which will complete my research on culture mediators. From another angle, I was the first Israeli scholar to investigate reality TV shows as a cultural phenomenon. My research of the subject (the latest paper published on Television & New Media, 2012) has become an integral part of many academic courses on popular culture, and part of high-school curricula in Israel, and I am often invited as an expert to comment on the topic in the media. I have been teaching a successful seminar on this subject for the last years (selected as one of Israel's most popular academic courses by Israel’s top news-site, Ynet). I also gained teaching awards for my other mandatory and elective courses on the above-mentioned research areas both at  Netanya Academic College and the Hebrew University, where I lectured as an adjunct for eight years

     As an active member of the academic community, I participated in more than 80 conferences and organized many national and international conferences, panels and workshops. I served as president of the Israel Communication Association (2006-2009) and during my term, I was the founding editor of Media Frames: Israeli Journal of Communication. Serving the community, I volunteered to be a member of Israel Broadcast Association's Ethics Committee and to serve as the chair of the high-school curriculum committee on the new communication and society-teaching program for Israel's Ministry of  Education. At Netanya Academic College, I served as the student affairs' dean and as a member of the curriculum committee, as well as other positions and services. Currently I serve as the Dean of the School of Communication.