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Affirming that the media does not reflect the social, economic, political and cultural reality of the countries of which they inform, may open a debate on the social mission of the media. However, this is the conclusion reached in a study conducted by the five member countries of the European Senior Project about the presence of each one of them in the national and regional press in relation to the other countries.
According to the comparative analysis carried out by Finland, Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Spain, it is evident that the amount of information that appears in the newspapers is directly proportional to the economic and political role of each one of them in the international context. In this sense, the press in the north of Europe "focuses mainly in news related to Germany, usually leaving out those coming from Slovenia and Finland", says Concha Bru, the director of the Permanent University of the University of Alicante, who together with the Association of Alumni and Old Friends (Asociación de Antiguos Alumnos y Amigos) will chair the first international meeting of the Senior Project in Spain.

The study consisted of analysing two newspapers, one national and the other regional, of every member country during three months. The image that some of them show is more related to their stereotypes than to their social and cultural reality. "For instance -Bru says- during the period of analysis, the study just stands out, as for Spain, the polemic caused in Catalonia because of the "corridas de toros" and some aspects related to the European presidency". Bru also affirms that according to the study, "Spain is only known for the sports, our selection and some of its stars and Rafa Nadal".

In any case, the coordinators of the project in every country have emphasize, on the one hand, the fact that the most recurrent information is that of the anniversaries of events and the news about disasters or punctual anecdotical accounts and, on the other hand, that the huge presence in the media of that information is the result, in the majority of cases, of its distribution through the news agencies. Apart from Germany and according to the media analysed, there is not another country producing its own news.

According to the director of the Permanent University, the study shows that it is possible to know the social and cultural reality of some countries through the press. As an initiative, they suggest creating a digital newspaper, the Babel Post, multilingual and transnational, in which every member can include the news they consider important for showing the reality of the their countries.

The Senior Project is an European project of cultural and linguistic integration among learning associations for the elderly. The aim of the project is to analyse the current cultural differences and similarities between the members in order to achieve an exchange of models that facilitates the cultural, linguistic and territorial integration, as well as a greater cooperation between them. The conclusions of the study were presented this morning at the University Venue in Alicante in the closing ceremony of the international meeting that started last February 20 and counted on the participation of 38 elders.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

VEU Revista Cultural de la Universidad de Alicante
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