Prof. Motti Neiger   
On Media, Culture & Society        

 

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Media Temporalitis and The Political Import of News Referring to the Future

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One of my pivotal concerns in recent years are the temporal dimensions of news narrative. My first work on the subject was published in 2007 in “Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism” under the name “Media oracles: The political import and cultural significance of news referring to the future” (32 citations). The research, among the first studies to explore the future temporality in the news, suggests that most of front-page headlines deal with the future (the consequences and implications of events). This departs from the conventional perspective on journalism, which assumes that the press covers the past. I developed this strand of research in recent years in collaboration with Dr. Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt (Hebrew U.) in our ISF project, “Journalism and the challenge of time: A comparative study of news temporalities” (funded in 2013). The project stresses the differences between digital venues and more traditional ones, as well as the effect of the age of acceleration on journalism practices. We have already published three articles in the top journals in the field: “Print is future, online is past: Cross-media analysis of temporal orientations in the news”  was published in 2015 in Communication Research and “Understanding Journalism through a Nuanced Deconstruction of Temporal Layers in News Narratives”  was published in Journal of Communication (this paper won the “Dan’s Prize for Excellence in Research” awarded by the Department of Comm. at Tel Aviv U.). A third paper from this project, also focuses on the digital news-cycle, “Temporal Affordances in the News”, examines the potential ways in which the time-related possibilities and constraints associated with the material conditions and technological aspects of news production are manifested in the temporal characteristics of news narratives (“Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism”, 2017Jou) . In addition, I co-organized an international research workshop, “Public Time and Media Temporalities in an Age of Acceleration” (funded by the ISF and the Leonard Davis Institute, Hebrew U.) held at the Truman Institute (Hebrew U.) and at The Israel Democracy Institute on March 2017. Among the participants of the workshop were leading international scholars as well as twenty Israeli ones.