||(terrestrial, cable and satellite)
public and private. The change from analogical to digital broadcasting also allows new
forms of broadcasting to come into being, different from the traditional general-coverage
channels, like the pay-per-view channels, theme-based channels and the so-called
television à la carte in its various forms (7).
As a result of all
these intertwined processes, we have to consider at least two aspects: first, the
fragmentation of the audiences and second, the irruption of the private television must
lead us to reconsider the paper of the public television service.
1.1. The fragmentation of audiences
The opening to
the competition and the consequent multiplication of actors have had a deep impact in the
economy of the broadcasting services. The changes in the logics of dissemination of the
information have provoked changes in the production logics since it has increased the
necessity to give new contents to the programme plannings.
logics is influenced, at a first moment, by the kind of funding of the medias, that is to
say, if they depend on a private company which means that funding is obtained from
adverstising and subscribers, or if they are semipublic: in this case, the source of
funding is stable. It is also clear that the production logics responds to an analysis of
the possibilities offered by the emerging markets.
One of these
emerging markets arose around the local television. The proliferation of local televisions
(http://www.xtvl.org) is a direct outcome of the success of
the proximity television concept. In proximity television, production is motivated by the
search for the imaginary and the social and economic activity of the local surroundings.
Proximity television is therefore considered an instrument for social cohesion.
The role of public broadcasting versus the private broadcasting stations
television is considered to be an instrument of social cohesion, some people think that as
a result of the transformation in production logics mentioned in the previous section, the
role of broadcasting as a central instrument of transformation of the public opinion is at
a crucial stage. For example, Miquel de Moragas states:
«Ja a finals dels
90 es disposa de suficient experiència com per poder fer un diagnòstic sobre els
resultats culturals i polítics de la generalització de les televisions privades a
Europa. Daquesta experiència en sorgeixen dos arguments centrals en la defensa del
manteniment dels sistemes públics de televisió:
»En primer lloc,
el lliure mercat no garanteix, suficientment, les funcions polítiques, socials i
culturals que podem atribuir a la televisió a la societat moderna.
»En segon lloc,
no existeix una estricta correspondència entre mercat audiovisual i les comunitats
(lingüístiques, culturals, nacionals, entre daltres).» (8)
In view of the
consequences stressed by Miquel de Moragas, it would perhaps be useful to reframe an old
debate: the one concerning the role of mass media in the promotion of the Catalan
language. Apart from observations on the promotion of Catalan language via the new
television and the big channels, it looks as if, with the change in the status of local
television, some conceptual keys to develop it may also have changed.
2. Language promotion and TV: what the laws regulate
requirements regarding use of the Catalan language in the media
have been brought to bear via Catalan law and by means of recommendations
of varying scope on linguistic policy (Law 7/1983, of 13 April,
on language normalisation in Catalonia; Law 1/1998, of 7 January,
on linguistic policy http://www.gencat.cat/llengua/legislacio;
Declaració universal dels drets lingüístics (Universal Declaration
on linguistic rights) 1996 http://www.egt.ie/udhr/udlr-ca.html;
among others) as well as by means of laws and regulations specifically
regulating the audiovisual media (Law 8/1996, of 5 July, on audio-visual
programmes transmitted by cable http://www3.gencat.cat:81/dgrtv/ftp/cllei8.pdf;
Decree 320/1996, of 1 October, regulating the legal protocols for
local television by terrestrial propagation, http://www3.gencat.cat:81/dgrtv/ftp/cd320.pdf,
Law 2/2000, of 4 May, of the CAC http://www3.gencat.cat:81/dgrtv/ftp/clleica.pdf;
Informe Bangemann: recomanacions del consell sobre la Societat
de la informació (Bangemann Report: Recommendations by the Council
on the Information Society) 1995, among others).
characteristics of the process of promotion of Catalan on television are as follows: the
laws support this process; linguistic quotas are established for TV programmes and,
finally, laws indicate sanctions in case of failure to fulfil the established quotas.
The support towards language promotion
In general, and in
relation to the promotion of Catalan language, the laws and recommendations to which we
have already alluded reveal an underlying philosophy of protection, promotion, diffusion
and standardization of the language, as well as of support for linguistic pluralism. With
regards to this general philosophy, the main principles are stated in the following laws:
of 1 October, on local television by terrestrial propagation: Under heading 1, article 3,
subsection h), the Decree expresses as a general principle in the case of local
television channels that of «collaboration in normalisation of the Catalan and Aranese
[Occitan] languages within their respective territorial areas, in accordance with the
objectives and conditions laid down by Law 7/1983, of 13 April, for linguistic
normalisation in Catalonia».