The pandemic certainly is an opportunity for the audiovisual industry, as well as for other industries, to make a necessary reflection on the business models that characterize it and on the development opportunities it can provide. This kind of reflection has already been desirable for at least a decade, as the audiovisual market is undergoing profound transformation. On one hand because the transition to digital technology has been completed, and, on the other hand, since the market has actually become global, which has happened thanks to ‒ above all ‒ the role of the OTT platforms. This scenario is challenging traditional economic models, for example blurring the boundaries between the different platforms for the consumption of audiovisual content. The pandemic has accelerated the visibility of the effects of the aforementioned processes by highlighting some issues that, more blatantly, concern the consumption patterns of audiovisual content. At a deeper yet more subtle level, they are related to the emergence of issues of general interest, where the audiovisual is at the same time a protagonist, since its role as an industry, and a vehicle, as it is a powerful tool for raising the public’s awareness. Among these, the necessity to implement green policies in the sector is one of the most interesting. Since the end of 2021, the field’s competent institutions ‒ from the European ones to the regional ones ‒ have begun to take action to develop intervention models in favor of the implementation of green practices in work processes along the entire audiovisual supply chain. In particular, some Italian Regions, through their respective Film Commissions, have acted as promoters of the development of green protocols to be applied to production and “promotion” (i.e. festivals). The intention is for these to be adopted by all other Italian Regions and by the State. As this is concerned, Italy already represents a model that inspires European and international public policies. In the first part of the essay I will describe how the audiovisual supply chain is changing in the post-pandemic era; in the second part I will present the most interesting policies promoted by the Italian Regions and State relating to the implementation of green practices, taking into account the context of the UE 2021-2027 Programming; I will conclude describing the most up-to-date green protocols applied in the last three years and with the collection of the first economic data related to their application (sources: Ministry of Culture, Italian Film Commissions); I will interview the most relevant subjects on the matter: Trentino and Sardegna Film Commissions, DGCCA – MiC. I will adopt a legal and economic approach, entering the field of “industry and production studies”.
In the last two decades, with climate change and its negative consequences becoming increasingly visible, we have witnessed a flourishing of documentary films focusing on environmental issues. Looking at these productions from an ecomaterialist perspective, the essay first underlines how, surprisingly, they have a substantial environmental footprint that is at odds with their contents. Indeed, for a documentary to be deemed sustainable it is often considered sufficient that it addresses environmental issues or encourages eco-friendly practices, even if, in order to do so, ecosystems and environments that are already in a condition of fragility are ‘invaded’. The essay then suggests that moving forward, for nonfiction films that do not harm their host location to start seeing the light, environmentally sustainable modes of documentary representation should start being identified. More precisely, it is argued that ‘reconverting’ practices that already are part of contemporary documentary filmmaking at an environmental end could be a first step in this direction. In particular, the essay underscores how archival and crowdsourced materials and animated segments could be employed to reduce the travel-related carbon emissions of documentary productions.
During the last decades, media products have experienced a growing relationship with places and territories in which they are produced and set. Scripted programs as movies and TV series, above all, but more recently also unscripted TV programs, are increasingly able to make a location recognizable and strengthen its attraction and potential from different perspectives, favoring investments and employment and stimulating tourism and the discovery of cultural, environmental, or folkloristic traits of single territories. A specific tendency emerging in the last years within Italian media productions concerns the role of green areas and natural resources within audiovisual representation; the need of sustainable practices and the enhancement of uncontaminated territories have grown due to the pandemic emergency that is re-defining travel and mobility choices. Moving from continuous research, carried out by CeRTA (Research Centre on Television and Audiovisual Media), on the use of territories in media contents representation and its function from a touristic and promotional point of view, the article focuses on the pivotal role of “green” locations and landscapes in remarking an additional narrative rhetoric alongside the traditional ones, tied to artistic heritage, “postcard” sceneries, or brand cities known worldwide. As pointed out by research of CeRTA, in fact, the topics of “green” and “sustainability” represent the first attraction factor to visit a place. Focusing on a sample of scripted and unscripted Italian titles of the last seasons, the article tries to identify main trajectories through which the representation of “green” territories has been predominant during the Covid-19 era.
The framework of the article is the contribution that audiovisual products, created for social media, give to the representation of tourist destinations. In particular, the article will discuss the contribution that video produced by travel influencers on TIkTok give to the representation and imagination of travel destination. The theoretical assumption of the analysis is that the representation of tourist destinations in social media is co-produced ‒ within a so called hermeneutic circle of representation ‒ by different subjects: National Tourism Organization (NTO) and Destination marketing Organizations (DMO); travelers and travel influencers. The subjects who act as mediators between these two representations are travel influencers. Travel influencers, in fact, are first and foremost travelers. Thanks to their characteristics of credibility, reliability, communication skills, experience and similarity with their followers, these travelers help to build the image of a destination in an intentional and professional way. The article will compare the top-down narratives of DMO and NTO, the perceived images of travelers and the narrative models offered by travel influencers. The comparison will be based on the results of the most recent research on social media narratives of DMO and NTO and the perceived image by travelers and on an explorative analysis of travel influencer social profiles. The analysis will be carried out on a sample of videos of the three most followed italian travel creators who distribute they videos through TIkTok and will aim to describe the storytelling of the places that emerges from these productions and to highlight points of similarity and divergence from other narratives.The first paragraph will summarize how the most recent literature describes the relationship between communication through social media and the construction of the destination image. The second paragraph will describe the characteristics of YouTube and TikTok videos aimed at promoting or describing tourist destination. The third paragraph will present an exploratory analysis of the top three Italian travel influencers operating on TikTok.
Blessed with its rich cultural heritage but cursed with its ric h history of terrorist attacks, Egypt has witnessed a decline in tourism revenue, which is vital for the country’s economic development. Tourism suffered due to Egypt’s revolution on January 25th, 2011, and the imposed travel restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Egypt’s former Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr. Khaled El-Anany, initiated numerous promotional campaigns to revive tourism. As the world experienced a continuous lockdown, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) encouraged people to explore Egypt online through their website and social media platforms. Accordingly, this article examines the MoTA’s recent efforts to promote Egypt’s civilization by utilising virtual tours, events, and videos to encourage cultural tourism and the traditional sun-and-beach holidays to local and international markets. In addition, three interviews were conducted with leading Egyptologists to gain their opinion about the Ministry’s efforts in promoting tourism to Egypt. According to these interviews, the future is bright for Egypt’s tourism. However, the country faces different challenges than in the past, such as problems in the hospitability industry and harassment, which can affect tourists’ revisit intentions.
The Covid-19 pandemic provoked greater digitalisation of personal data and deepened the ongoing process of algorithmic governance. In order to reopen to tourism and balance the spread of the virus while keeping travellers and locals safe, countries established various rules for border crossing, such as digital passenger locator forms (PLFs), while some countries, such as Greece, implemented an algorithm (EVA) to analyse these PLFs. This transfer of data raises important questions about personal data privacy rights and informed consent. This study explored the perceptions of travellers towards these new rules, the sharing of additional personal data, and their imaginaries of the possible algorithmic work behind it. Qualitative interviews were conducted with ethnic Estonian and Russian-speaking Estonian graduates in Estonia (n=14) regarding their insights on (1) the perceived norms of sharing personal data and the use of the data by governmental authorities while travelling and (2) the perceptions of datafied/algorithmically controlled travel during the pandemic, with additional insight on the differences between the two groups. The interviewees weren’t against the PLFs or algorithmic processing in principle, but where they saw poor implementation or design, or where they felt that things had been done in semi-secrecy. According to the interviewees, datafication and algorithmic governance require deeper consideration of transparency, clarity, and communication to achieve truly informed consent and resolve unease with the creeping influence of algorithms.
Literature about distant suffering suggests that mass media are nowadays primary vehicles in representing the suffering Other, thus eliciting in the audience attitudes that span from denial to compassion. Media images are particularly able to trigger reactions that can be situated along a closeness/distance axis. In this context, the ethical dimension is especially relevant: the main question is about how stylistic strategies (both on the content level and in images’ position and captions) can bring the audience to occupy a specific position towards the suffering Other. The article, starting from the sociological concept of the foreign, discusses literature, both theoretical and empirical, about distant suffering; it assumes the presence of a relevant polarization between closeness and distance in the media representation of suffering others. Through an analysis based on a qualitative sample of Italian newspapers, the article then deals with representation strategies of the distant Other in press images and with their ethical implications. Following Kurasawa’s typology, four types are exemplified: personification, massification, rescue and care. In the sample, an iconic narration of a collective subject mostly appears, thus leaving pity and compassion in the background. Finally, the transition from spectatorship to active subject is discussed: solidarity through images can be encouraged if an affective closeness is promoted, by means of specific portraits of subjects and of rescue and care situations.
This paper intends to address the issue of communication in a broad sense as dominant within a social as well as existential landscape currently impoverished by the sense of community. This does not mean to moralistically evaluate this prevalence of communication on supposed substantial substrates, considered more authentic, but rather to consider in what sense the absence of community, with the disappearance of its shared rituals and symbolic narratives, first of all entails for society and for the individual a mythization of the communication process and, ultimately, the relative demythization that we are perhaps witnessing. These considerations are brought forward here starting from the reflections of the social philosopher Byung-Chul Han, an indefatigable critic of today’s society defined as the “neoliberal regime” and author, among other things, of the recent volume The disappearance of rituals, in which the topic of current events of a “communication without community” is central.