Lost in translation? Language policy, media and community in the EU and Australia : some lessons from the SBS

Podkalicka, Aneta Monika (2007) Lost in translation? Language policy, media and community in the EU and Australia : some lessons from the SBS. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Cultural diversity is a central issue of our times, although with different emphases in the European and Australian context. Media and communication studies have begun to draw on work in translation studies to understand how diversity is experienced across hybrid cultures. Translation is required both for multilingual (multicultural) societies such as Australia and for trans-national entities such as the European Union. Translation is also of increasing importance politically and even emotionally as individual nations and regions face the challenge of globalisation, migration, and the Americanisation of media content. The thesis draws on cultural and media policy analysis. Programming strategies are reviewed and 'conversational' interviews conducted with broadcasting managers and staff at SBS Australia and across multilingual public broadcasters in the EU (BBC WS, Deutsche Welle, ARTE, Radio Multikulti Berlin, Barcelona Televisió). These are used to investigate the issues, challenges, and uses of the multilingual broadcasting logic for Australia's and Europe's cultural realities. This thesis uses the concept of 'translation' as a key metaphor for bridging differences and establishing connections among multicultural citizens in the context of the European Union and Australia. It is proposed that of the two versions of translation - institutional in the EU and mediated in Australia respectively - the mediated version has achieved higher success in engaging ordinary citizens in more affective, informal and everyday forms of cross-cultural communication. Specifically, the experience of the Special Broadcasting Service (Australia's multilingual and multicultural public broadcaster) serves as a model to illuminate the cultural consequences of the failure of the EU to develop translation practices beyond the level of official, institutional and political communication. The main finding is the identification of a need for more mediated interlingual exchange; that is a translation of language policy in Europe into media experience for ordinary citizen-consumers, at both institutional and textual levels.

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ID Code: 16696
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hartley, John, Duffield, Lee, & Spurgeon, Christina
Keywords: language, translation, policy, public service broadcasting, cultural citizenship, TV programming
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Aneta Monika Podkalicka
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:08
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:51

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