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Media cases and social memory in Argentina post 2001

Keywords: media , cases , social memory , public , journalism

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Abstract:

This paper seeks to define commotional media cases, to describe their structure and to provide a few examples, for the period following the economic and social crisis in Argentina in 2001. Specifically, the article aims to highlight some features of the production of these cases, which facilitate their penetration into social memory. Thus, some routines are used to record news output into memory. Repetition is a mark of the production process of these cases: cases pass from one medium to another and from one day to another, every medium repeats the background in every news story and associates news with other similar cases which generates “waves” with other news of the same type, and appeals to the archive for editing timelines to synchronize with the news. Journalists often use an earlier case as a model for the interpretation of a new case, hence, bringing it back to life. Sometimes these cases disseminate impacting images, which synthesize the content of the crisis they represent. Many cases serve a mythic function, to which politicians appeal for building their own government myths, thus nourishing collective memory. Frequently interest groups arise from these cases, which are very informed audiences affected by an issue and that appear in the public space to defend a cause. These audiences create slogans and specific forms of social protest, and actively use the media to disseminate their frame, adding their discourse of the case onto other discourses.

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