Building a National Idea of an International Future How National Press Tries to Project Futures after International Events

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Dimitri PRANDNER , University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Individuals and communities live in a globalized world, defined by supranational institutions, companies and civil societies, while global travel and information streams expand. Yet they are part of specific nations that have experienced very specific events, which became part of very specific cultural figurations that are shaping specific historic narratives of those specific nations.

Those narrative structures are figured and refigured to continue to be included in the on-going struggles and challenges – e.g. economic or political crisis and developments – that are experienced in the context of a nation state. And the national media – in all their forms and distribution channels – are a primary channel where those processes can be observed. Yet when discussed in the media those figures are often used as tools to discuss contemporary issues and anticipate further societal developments. But how are those ideas included when further events happen that may or may not match those anticipations?

The proposed presentation will discuss how the Austrian quality press (“Die Presse” and “Der Standard”) did discuss potential futures in relation to international terror from 2001 to 2011 and how those futures were continuously included into national narratives  of a country which never took an active role in the international war on terror.  How do those predictions brought forward from strictly national media differ from the forecasts found in the New York Times, an internationally recognized information leader?  How do the Austrian journalists build those international futures and how do they think about them later on? Do they reference those figures built within a national context again?

Those questions will be discussed, using 25 narrative interviews with Austrian journalists and a qualitative comparison of 1377 Austrian newspaper articles with 1983 from the NYT, published in 5 two week sampling windows from 2001 to 2011.