'Have you seen Bloomberg?': satellite news channels as agents of the new visibility.
Global media and communication, 4
With the proliferation of transnational television flows, viewers can see their national affairs, traditionally covered predominantly by national news, portrayed by cross-border news channels. This article examines how transnational satellite news coverage of national events enhances nations' global visibility, and influences national public debate over national narratives. An analysis of the public debates in Spain and France over transnational channels' coverage of the March 2004 terror bombings in Madrid and the October 2005 French riots, respectively, provides the basis for discussing the implications of the `new visibility' (Thompson, 2005) of nations, in today's media age. The analysis demonstrates how transnational networks' coverage of these events generated estrangement, de-familiarized and cast doubt on national narratives and commonsensical discourses of us/them, thereby offering viewers an alternative distance from their national unit and encouraging a self-reflexive process of introspection and critical discussion. This process may open up the possibility for a more inclusive national space and strengthen democratic culture, but at the same time it triggers instabilities, which might contribute to citizens' loss of trust in the news media — a dangerous scenario for democracy.
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