For or Against War?: The Syrian Conflict on the New York Times Opinion Pages

This article compares the representation of the Syrian conflict on the opinion pages of the “New York Times” during two periods: the two months covering the beginning of the protests (March–April 2011) and the two months after the expansion of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in July–August 2014. The Syrian conflict is the most reported upon in history and has been the subject of extensive debate in American media. Drawing on the idea of news framing, the article suggests that the “Times” reproduced narratives that converged with the policies undertaken by the Obama administration. Although the newspaper framed the conflict in its outset as a democratic uprising, the emergence of ISIS caused a discursive shift that saw the terrorist group as the center of attention. The article argues that the conversation on the “New York Times” opinion pages during the two periods was embedded in contradictions that hindered a more consistent comprehension of this complex and divisive event.

Grandparental Adoption of Modern Communication Technology and Its Impact on Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships

With rapid advancement of communication technology, almost every young adult utilizes email, cellphones, and texting. Modern communication technology (MCT) has become an indispensable device among young adults. However, it is unclear the extent to which older adults have adopted such MCT in their daily lives. Less is clear whether or not adoption of such MCT by grandparents has influenced their relationships with grandchildren. The current study, based on an IRB-approved online survey conducted at a midsize university in the Midwest United States of America, examined young adult grandchildren’s (N = 470) perceptions of their relationships with grandparents and how they may relate to grandparental use of MCT. Cellphones (71.7%) were most widely adopted by the participants’ grandparents, followed by email (42.6%); only 11.9 percent of the participants’ grandparents were texting users. Grandparental gender effects were revealed in their adoption of MCT. Path analysis, a form of structural equation modeling, revealed that the length of grandparental adoption of these devices positively predicted GP-GC communication frequency, which subsequently predicted GP-GC closeness. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Media Regulation, Competition Policy and Cross-ownership Schemes: The Case of Greece

The regulation of media, which is an important sector within broad cultural economy, runs into substantive difficulties when it interfaces with competition regulation. In this paper, the Greek experience on media regulation is discussed as a research input for the development of a theoretical approach that involves competition analysis. This discussion takes place in relation to similar international developments with a special focus on the Australian experience. In the Greek case, serious attempts to regulate aggressive media groups based on their market share and their involvement in other forms of business have failed because of incompatibility with competition law and erroneous restrictive regulation for political reasons. Therefore, the relation between media, family businesses, and cross-ownership schemes must be examined further. An analytical approach is proposed through the development of a basic model of private benefits for media based on core cross-ownership theory. The model demonstrates that cross-ownership schemes in the media can produce inefficient economic outcomes with high agency costs. The paper focuses on the possible interface of the media policy with the competition policy and the need to separate those two processes, since competition policy fundamentally addresses economic outcomes while media regulation deals with non-economic ones. Still, to the extent that the media are dominated by family businesses and cross-ownership schemes that are involved in other businesses, they can produce ineffective economic outcomes and agency costs in exchange for large private benefits (in the case of Greece, mainly from public contracts). Thus, the development of regulation on media requires a greater level of sophistication on the part of policy-makers so that the difficulties stemming from cross-ownership can be successfully addressed.