MINORITY LANGUAGE MEDIA

Building upon a parallel involvement in topics and initiatives concerning the nexus between minority issues, language rights, economy, media and discourses, the ECMI has steadily increased its role in this field of minority language media (MLM), both through an expanding research focus but also from an organisational perspective.

Consequently, the Politics and Civil Society Cluster researchers Dr. Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis have been members of the International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR) since 2020, and in April 2023 have joined the European Language Equality Network (ELEN). They are also following closely the work of the European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages (MIDAS). These networks help to connect them with scholars and practitioners across Europe and beyond.

This particular research focus includes such subtopics as:

  • Media of the local minorities in the Danish-German border region, most prominently represented by Der Nordschleswiger and Flensborg Avis newspapers.
  • Public service broadcasting in minority languages – particularly in Spain and the UK, in the cases of Basque, Catalan, Galician, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. The topic of non-speakers as audience members is the subject of Craig’s PhD.
  • Minority language journalism as affected by such phenomena as digitalization, precarization or rapidly evolving patterns of media consumption.
  • The implementation of media-relevant articles of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) by different state parties.
  • The long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on MLM contexts across Europe.
MLM-related Publications
  • Willis, C. (2024) 'Divergence and convergence: The implications of shifting media consumption habits on the field of minority language media studies', Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, 16(1), pp. 117-127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/cjcs_00100_1
  • Willis, C. (2024) 'Minority language broadcasting beyond the core audience: the approach of BBC Alba and S4C to non-speakers of Scottish Gaelic and Welsh', International Journal of Cultural Policy. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10286632.2024.2321256
  • Manias Muñoz, M., Bober, S. & Willis, C. (eds.) Minority Language Media - Current Challenges in a Fragmented Mediascape (forthcoming book; under contract with Springer Nature / Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Bober, S. & Willis, C., ‘The digitalisation of Der Nordschleswiger: how to build a consensus when considering and implementing the digital switch?’. In Manias Muñoz, M., Bober, S. & Willis, C. (eds.) Minority Language Media - Current Challenges in a Fragmented Mediascape (forthcoming book; under contract with Springer Nature / Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Bober, S. & Willis, C. (2023) ‘The digitalization of minority language newspapers: between long-term trend and pandemic-induced adaptation’, European Yearbook of Minority Issues, Vol. 20 (2021). Brill, pp. 66-92. brill.com/edcollbook/title/62139
  • Willis, C. (2023) 'Minority Language Media and TikTok: Are Broadcasters Showing They Are Still Relevant for Younger Audiences?', ECMI Minorities Blog. DOI: doi.org/10.53779/QLMM1477
  • Bober, S. & Willis, C. (2023) ‘The purpose of minority language media and the digital shift: the case of Der Nordschleswiger’. In Mpofu et al. (eds.) African Language Media. London: Routledge. pp. 98-111. DOI: doi.org/10.4324/9781003350194
  • Willis, C. (2022) ‘Could a new level of digitalisation offer minority language media outlets a strategy to attract a wider audience?’, ECMI Minorities Blog, 6 October (Online). doi.org/10.53779/SMPX1996
  • Bober, S. & Willis, C. (2021) ‘The Covid-19 pandemic and minority language media in Europe: the effects of spring 2020 lockdowns’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI: doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2021.2005074
  • Willis, C. (2021) ‘Book Review: The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities’, Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, 20(2), pp. 143-147. DOI:
  • Bober, S. & Willis, C. (2020). How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Minority Language Media (MLM)? The findings from a series of expert interviews. ECMI Infochannel
  • Bober, S. (2018). National minorities vis-à-vis political developments in their kin states. The case of Flensborg Avis newspaper, ECMI Research Paper #114
Conference/Workshop Organisation
  • Minority Language Media: Galego and Minority Languages Across Europe (3-day event) – Consello da Cultura Galega, Santiago de Compostela. 22-24 March 2023 (co-organised with Facundo Reyna-Muniain).
     
  • Minority Language Media in Eastern Europe (2-day workshop) – European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg. 1-2 December 2022.
     
  • International scientific conference ‘Multi-platform and Connecting Communities: Contemporary Challenges for Minority Language Media’, 31 March - 1 April 2022 (conference postponed from October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Flensburg (Germany).
    • Co-organised by the ECMI (Sergiusz Bober, Craig Willis), University of the Basque Country (Miren Manias Muñoz), The International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR) and Europa Universität Flensburg.
Academic Conference/Workshop Participation
  • XIX International Conference on Minority Languages, Carmarthen, 20-24 June 2023.
    • Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis (with Miren Manias Muñoz) presented the paper: ‘The impact of media on the revitalization and use of minority languages: insights from an international Delphi study’.
    • Sergiusz Bober (with Facundo Reyna-Muniain) presented the paper: ‘Basque and Galician language journalists. A comparison of two professional groups’.
    • Sergiusz Bober convened the panel: ‘Minority language journalism and its practitioners: between the definition of the category, professional profiles, and linguistic challenges’.
       
  • Celtic Students Conference, University of Glasgow, 30 March 2023.
    • Craig Willis presented ‘The role of non-Welsh and non-Scottish Gaelic speakers in the audience strategies of S4C and BBC Alba’.
       
  • Conference Territorial and Inter-Organizational Cooperation, WSB University (Brenna, Poland), 28-30 September 2022
    • Sergiusz Bober presented as a plenary speaker 'Minority language media in / and the Danish-German border region. Between borderscapes, institutional cooperation and political engagement'.
       
  • III International Conference on Revitalisation of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages, University of Girona. 15 September 2022.
    • Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis (with Miren Manias-Muñoz), presented ‘The impact of media on the revitalization and use of minority languages: towards consensus through an international Delphi study’.
       
  • XXXI Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN), 5-7 April 2022, Antwerp.
    • ​​​​​Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis (with Valentina Cola) presented “Minority Language Media (MLM) and minority-majority relations during the COVID-19 pandemic”

       
  • Workshop Rahmenübereinkommen zum Schutz nationaler Minderheiten: Umsetzung, Möglichkeiten und Defizite im Kontext der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, ECMI & Der Minderheitenrat der vier autochthonen nationalen Minderheiten und Volksgruppen Deutschlands, 23-24 June 2021 (online)
    • Sergiusz Bober presented “Implementing Article 9: Assessing minorities’ access to media in Germany (Artikel 9 implimentieren: Beurteilung des Zugangs zu Medien für Minderheiten in Deutschland)”.
       
  • XVIII International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML), University of the Basque Country (Spain) / online, 24-26 March 2021.
    • Panel “Focal points in the development of Minority Language Media research”
      • Craig Willis presented “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Minority Language Media in Europe: a comparative analysis”.
      • Sergiusz Bober presented “On the efficiency of monitoring mechanisms: minority language media in ECRML and FCNM”.
         
  • ASN European Conference – Nationalism in times of uncertainty, University of Graz (Austria), 4-6 July 2018.
    • Sergiusz Bober presented “Danish minority in Schleswig-Holstein vis-a-vis Denmark’s policy towards persons of foreign origin after June 2015 parliamentary election: the case of ‘Flensborg Avis’ newspaper”.
Teaching / Guest Lectures
  • General Assembly of the European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages MIDAS, 16 June 2023.
    • Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis presented a guest presentation on ‘MIDAS and the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI): bringing practitioners and researchers into closer contact’.
       
  • Journalism Department, University of the Basque Country, 15 June 2023.
    • Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis presented a guest lecture on ‘Examining the minority language newspapers in the Danish/German border region: The role of the community in the decision-making towards further digitalisation’.
       
  • UNESCO Chair of World Linguistic Heritage, University of the Basque Country, 14 June 2023.
    • Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis presented guest lecture on ‘Research on Minority Language Media at the European Centre for Minority Issues’.
       
  • EOI (Language School), Santiago de Compostela (Galicia), 27 March 2023.
    • Craig Willis presented a guest lecture on ‘Minority Language Broadcasting: Scottish Gaelic and Welsh television channels’.
       
  • Instituto da Lingua Galega, University of Santiago de Compostela. 12 December 2022.
    • Craig Willis presented a guest lecture on ‘The role of non-speakers in the strategies of Welsh and Scottish Gaelic language television: reflections for other minority language broadcasters’.
       
  • ICES Research Colloquium HeSe 21/22, Europa Universität Flensburg. 13 January 2022.
    • Craig Willis presented ‘Minority Language Media: Stigma, Acceptance, Linguistic Capital?’.
       
  • NOR Research Group – University of the Basque Country. 10 December 2021.
    • Craig Willis presented a guest lecture on ‘The Covid-19 pandemic and minority language media in Europe: the effects of spring 2020 lockdowns’.
       
  • Department of Social Sciences PhD research seminar, UC3M, Madrid. 30 November 2021.
    • Craig Willis presented ‘Minority language media and the non-native speaking audience – a comparison of six spheres’.
       
  • Indigenous Language Media in Africa 2021 Research Seminar, North-West University, Faculty of humanities (South Africa, Online), 18 August 2021.
    • Guest lecture by Sergiusz Bober & Craig Willis “Minority Language Media in Europe and the Covid-19 pandemic: A study of 10 linguistic spheres”.
       
  • KURS-Kolloquium, Europa Universität Flensburg (Germany, online), 9 June 2021.
    • Guest lecture by Sergiusz Bober & Craig Willis “Minority Language Media in Europe and the Covid-19 pandemic: A study of 10 linguistic spheres”
       
  • Online workshop of the International Association for Minority Language Media (IAMLMR) Research, 28 January 2021
    • Sergiusz Bober & Craig Willis presented “The Findings of the Covid-19 Minority Language Media Blog Series”.
       
  • The 4th European Conference dedicated to minority and local media, Novi Sad (Serbia) / online, 26 November 2020
    • Craig Willis presented “Minority media in Europe and the Covid-19 pandemic”

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ECMI Minorities Blog. Ethnic Identity and Football in Mostar – A Clear Divide along the Old Front Line

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2023-09-15

Craig Willis Presents Research on the Embrace of TikTok by Catalan Media Outlets at London Conference

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2020-04-09

ECMI Minorities Blog. The Spanish Roma community in the time of coronavirus. A narrative perspective.

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Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic - a series of interviews

The COVID-19 pandemic obviously affected every single aspect of daily life across Europe and beyond, including in minority contexts. The purpose of this interview series was to provide a comparative overview of how minority language media have been affected and covered the pandemic in different minority linguistic situations. The series focused on one minority language setting for each interview, utilising both scholars and practitioners (oftentimes two roles held by one person) to provide a comprehensive overview of what has occurred to date and how the future is envisaged. Whilst we use the term interview, we would like to state that the quality and work put into the posts by the interviewees is extensive and backed-up with relevant empirical data and academic references. The editorial work and concept of the series was undertaken by Dr. Sergiusz Bober and Craig Willis.

The interviews were conducted between July and October 2020. All 10 conversations can be viewed below.

 

The full list of published interviews

The case of Welsh: an interview with Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones (published on 8 July 2020)

The case of German and Ladin in South Tyrol: an interview with Marc Rüggla (published on 15 July 2020)

The case of Basque in Spain: an interview with Dr. Miren Manias-Muñoz (published on 23 July 2020)

The case of Irish: an interview with Dr. John Walsh (published on 30 July 2020)

The case of Catalan in Spain: an interview with Prof. Aida Martori Muntsant (published on 5 August 2020)

The case of German in Denmark: an interview with Gwyn Nissen (published on 20 August 2020)

The case of Swedish in Finland: an interview with Dr. Jenny Stenberg-Sirén (published on 26 August 2020)

The case of Frisian in the Netherlands: an interview with Onno Falkena (published on 17 September 2020)

The case of German in Poland: an interview with Rudolf Urban (published on 26 October 2020)

The case of Scottish Gaelic: an interview with Dr. Douglas Chalmers (published on 30 October 2020)

The findings from a series of expert interviews (published on 26 November 2020)

 

2020-11-26

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Minority Language Media (MLM)? The findings from a series of expert interviews

The present text summarises the findings of the series "Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic" which consists of expert interviews looking at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on minority language media across Europe. The individual interviews in this series have been posted as 10 different pieces since July, featuring expert scholars and practitioners who focus on one specific linguistic sphere. This post provides an overview and comparative analysis of the series, which was divided into six different themes discussed for each case.  

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2020-10-30

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Scottish Gaelic. An interview with Dr. Douglas Chalmers.

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2020-10-26

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of German in Poland: An Interview with Rudolf Urban.

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2020-09-17

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Frisian in the Netherlands: An Interview with Onno Falkena.

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2020-08-26

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Swedish in Finland: An Interview with Dr. Jenny Stenberg-Sirén.

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2020-08-19

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of German in Denmark. An interview with Gwyn Nissen

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2020-08-05

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Catalan in Spain. An interview with Prof. Dr. Aida Martori Muntsant.

Our fifth interview on minority language media (MLM) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic focuses again on a case in Spain, with Prof. Dr. Aida Martori Muntsant (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) discussing the situation of Catalan language media in Catalonia. An MLM sphere with a substantial array of institutions including many local TV and radio stations as well as and print and online newspapers, the situation for Catalan media was nonetheless greatly affected by the pandemic. 

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2020-07-30

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Irish. An interview with Dr. John Walsh.

We return to the Celtic linguistic sphere for our fourth post on the situation of minority language media (MLM) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at the National University of Ireland in Galway, details the case of Irish language media on the island of Ireland. Dr. Walsh begins by comprehensively outlining the various TV, radio, print and social media which operate in the Irish language, as well as a brief history of their development.  

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2020-07-23

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Basque in Spain. An interview with Dr. Miren Manias-Muñoz.

In the third interview of the new series discussing the situation of minority language media (MLM) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Miren Manias-Muñoz (University of the Basque Country) presents the case of MLM in Basque Country and Navarre. Spain has been particularly harshly affected by the pandemic, with its repercussions spilling over to MLM outlets as well. Production of radio and television content was halted, programmes well-liked by the audience were cancelled, while newspapers’ economic situation worsened even with readership increasing. Besides this, broader trends concerning broadcasters’ and local / regional authorities’ priorities further complicate the picture. 

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2020-07-15

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of German and Ladin in South Tyrol. An interview with Marc Röggla.

In the second interview of our new series focused on minority language media during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marc Röggla (EURAC Research / Midas), discusses the case of German and Ladin language media in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, South Tyrol in Italy. Officially trilingual, there are an array of media institutions producing content through different mediums, yet, as Marc explains, despite a general increase in media consumption during the recent crisis there has been a significant drop in revenues due to reduced advertising income. Marc outlines the implications of this trend for the broader MLM landscape in Europe as well, from his unique perspective as a scholar and practitioner.

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2020-07-08

Minority language media and the COVID-19 pandemic – the case of Welsh. An interview with Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones.

In the first of a new series of expert interviews in the field of minority language media across Europe, Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David provides an in-depth overview of Welsh media during the COVID-19 pandemic. As she explains, Welsh language media organizations have acted quickly during COVID-19 to inform and connect communities across Wales. New conversations, content and groups have been created on social media in Welsh too. But faced with the impending economic downturn, exacerbated by Brexit, there are challenging times ahead for the sector.

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