Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (European Commission)

“Living in the media. Analysing the Impact of Media Tourism on Locals’ Identities and Sense of Belonging”.

Tourists are often compelled to visit locations that are made popular through film and television series. Despite the positive economic impact this can have on particular tourist destinations, media tourism can also lead to misconceptions, disrupt the living conditions and transform the cultural identity of the local community. The EU-funded ‘Living in the media’ project aims to explore how do local communities deal with their representations in films and TV series, as well as the ways in which residents are affected by media tourism. Using Barcelona and Seville (Spain) as case studies, the project explores ways to empower locals in decision-making processes and seeks to establish a policy for sustainable media tourism that can be adopted by other European cities.

The investigation takes place in collaboration with prof. dr. Stijn Reijnders (Erasmus University Rotterdam).

Formación de profesorado universitario (Spanish Government)

The thesis “Social television: Fiction and Web 2.0” addresses the media convergence process between television and new media in Spain by analyzing the extension of 77 Spanish TV shows to the Web. The project is divided into two main sections. The first part analyzes the content of 738 web platforms (microsites, social networks, blogs, forums…). The results show that the origin of the program is crucial in terms of its digital establishment: TV channels build their strategies 2.0 for native television fiction around a microsite, whilst web series producers opt for networks 2.0 or blogs. Likewise, the large number of non-official web-platforms demonstrates the expansion of Spanish fiction beyond the aura of influence of TV channels.

The second part of the study is focused on the analysis of 8,103 comments published by fans and moderators after the airing of series finales in 2011 and 2012. Data obtained took the form of a long tail with a big head focused on the storylines of the programs, and a long tail made up of miscellaneous topics like music, settings or aesthetics of the characters. The results demonstrate that badly orchestrated finales, slow development of the story and casting changes raise heated debates, and encourage some fans to appeal to the rest of the community in order to start a protest. Moreover, television fiction and the (pseudo)anonymity of the Web foster internet users to share emotions from their reception experience (e.g. empathy for a character) as well as personal information (e.g. sexual orientation). Finally, the limited involvement of the moderators in the discussions explains the fragmented discourse. In the particular case of official platforms, this behaviour points out the superficial strategies designed by TV channels or producers, whose focus is more on promoting the program than on creating a loyal fandom community.