Comunicar Journal Blog

[Comunicar]:«Communication, Civil Society and Social Change».


We inform you that the latest issue of «Comunicar», 47, has been recently published with the suggestive title: «Communication, Civil Society and Social Change». As on previous occasions, the journal has a monographic section and a wide variety of items in its miscellaneous section. All articles are available full text and free of charge on our official website.
Watching and Tweeting: Youngsters’ Responses to Media Representations of Resistance
Alba Torrego | Alfonso Gutiérrez-Martín
DOI Civic Activism in Romania: Framing anti-Chevron Online Protest Community «Faces»
Camelia Cmeciu | Cristina Coman
DOI Transformative Image. The Power of a Photograph for Social Change: The Death of Aylan
Susana de-Andrés-del-Campo | Eloisa Nos-Aldas | Agustín García-Matilla
DOI Information Skills and Open Data. Challenges for Citizen Empowerment and Social Change
María Carmen Gertrudis-Casado | Manuel Gértrudix-Barrio | Sergio Álvarez-García

Community Media as Exercise of Communicative Citizenship: Experiences from Argentina and Ecuador
Mauro Cerbino | Francesca Belotti

The Representation of Workingwomen in Spanish Television Fiction
Charo Lacalle | Beatriz Gómez

Values and Emotions in Children’s Audiovisual Fictional Narratives
Ana Aierbe-Barandiaran | Eider Oregui-González

Models of educational integration of ICTs in the classroom
Manuel Area-Moreira | Víctor Hernández-Rivero | Juan José Sosa-Alonso

Powerful Communication Style on Twitter: Effects on Credibility and Civic Participation
Salvador Alvídrez | Oziel Franco-Rodríguez

Teaching Ethics in the University through Multicultural Online Dialogue
Elena Briones | Laura Lara

«Comunicar» is a quarterly, bilingual Spanish-English research journal, with Chinese and Portuguese abstracts. Articles, authors and topics have a decidedly international outlook. The journal is now in its 23nd year and has published 1661 research and studies articles. The journal appears in 311 international databases, journal impact assessment platforms, selected directories, specialized portals and hemerographic catalogues… A rigorous and transparent, blind reviewing system manuscripts audited in RECYT. It has an international scientific editorial board and a broad network of 433 reviewers from 33 countries of all over the world. Professional management of manuscripts via the OJS platform from the Science and Technology Foundation, with ethical commitments published for the scientific community that ensure transparency and timeliness, antiplagiarism (CrossCheck), reviewing system… It is a highly visible publication available through numerous search engines, dynamic pdfs, epub, DOIs, ORCID… with connections to Mendeley, RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and scientific social networks like, Researchgate. A specialized journal in educommunication: communication and education, ICT, audiences, new languages…; there are special monographic editions on the most up-to-date topics. It has a printed and an online digital edition. The entire digital version can be freely accessed. It is co-edited in Spain for Europe, and in Ecuador and Chile for Latin America. Comunicar has also an English and a Chinese co-edition. The journal is published by Comunicar, a private, professional non-profit association specialized in educommunication in Spain, collaborating closely with multiple institutions and international universities. In indexing (2015), «Comunicar» is indexed by JCR-WoS (IF 0,868, Q2). Scopus classifies it in ‘Cultural Studies’, ‘Education’, and ‘Communication’ as Q1 (SJR 0,719). It is Journal of Excellence RECYT 2013-16 and also indexed by ERIH+. Google Scholar Metrics 2015 categorizes «Comunicar» with an H5-index 22 and a h5-median 41.


The Transformative Image: Revisiting an Old-school Concept

Andres et al. provide an insightful analytical framework to examine how the photograph of Aylan Kurdi engenders social transformation on the Syrian refugee crisis. The iconographic and iconological analyses in the article verify the power of visual images to provoke strong emotions—by mobilizing social conscience, they induce solidarity. “An image for solidarity is an image that can be appropriated by citizens to enable them to express themselves, to denounce and to recreate” (Andres et al. 2016). The process in which the widely circulated Aylan photograph turns into a solidarity movement operates in a grassroot communication model, in which citizens participate by engaging the image in a chain of resignification.

The semiotization of the Aylan photograph must proceed within the rules of the medium—photography—which Andres et al. have addressed in their iconographic analysis. The way in which photography is produced and reproduced is central to the medium’s ability to make meaning and induce social change. With that in mind, Walter Benjamin’s conceptualization of photography as mechanical reproduction of art presents three aspects that complement with Andres et al.’s framework.

Benjamin’s conceptualization is located within the context of photography, by capturing still images, reproduces real life situations, which in this case is the historical context of Aylan washed up drowned on a beach in Turkey amid the Syrian refugee crisis.

The first aspect of pictorial reproduction that has to do with the capacity to induce solidarity is that photography can bring out aspects of the original that is unattainable with the eye yet accessible through the lens. When one encounters the Aylan photograph, the naked eye may not perceive the full emotional impact one does through the lens, due to the lack of photographic technique such as the emphatic subjectivity of the low angle and the sense of impotence induced by the shallow depth of field. Such process reproduction of the scene assists in amplifying the beholders’ emotional response, thus mobilizing social conscience.

Second, technical reproduction can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself. The wide circulation of the Aylan image is attained largely due to the reproducibility of the photograph. And without vast dissemination channels such as social media, the image may only be seen on a few newspapers. Reproducibility of the photograph coupled with dynamic media networks make the image available in the public sphere, which is prerequisite for solidarity.

Third, mechanical reproduction permits replicas to meet the beholder in his own particular situation. Although reappropriation of the image sparks ethical debates, it contributes to the formation of solidarity when audiences actively engage with the image within their own contexts. An individualized view of the issue makes it meaningful to every beholder in their own distinct approaches. The bottom-up assemblage of individual will burgeons into a collective solidarity movement.

In Benjamin’s original conceptualization, mechanical reproduction was shed in a negative light for its destruction of the original’s “authenticity.” Today, pictorial reproduction becomes central to positive social change, with its unique capacity to get “closer” with citizens, ultimately leading to meaningful social action.


(Image taken from Thierry Ehrmann’s flickr)


  1. de-Andres, Susana, Eloisa Nos-Aldas, and Agustin Garcia-Matilla. “The Transformative Image. The Power of a Photograph for Social Change: The Death of Aylan.” Comunicar 47 (2016). Accessed March 13, 2016. doi: 10.3916/C47-2016-03
  2. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility.” In Film Theory and Criticism, edited by Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen, 675-94. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Comunicar: Internet and Emotions

Addressed to the worldwide research community, the article Internet and Emotions: New Trends in an Emerging Field of Research (Serrano Puche, 2016) is a useful guide both for researchers and practitioners.  It overcomes the typical dissociation between different research fields and explains the importance of affect, the mediation effect of emotions in any human activity, also while surfing the net or in relation to the use of digital technology. This article reviews studies that have analized emotions such as empathy, annoyance, envy or jealousy, resentment, hope, hatred or grief  expressed in the different social media. Not less relevant is the analysis of emotional contagion through social networks and the viral spread phenomenon. Without any doubt, the study of emotions  in any research field, as in this case in Media and Communications studies, helps us to better understand the way in which this affection has an influence on the personal identity of humans.

internet and emotions

Internet and the Elderly: Enhancing Active Ageing

The traditional tertiary services approach is now questioned by the new technologies revolution, opening discussion regarding the existence of a quaternary sector. There is no doubt that the internet has changed people’s lives, especially since the beginning of the 21st Century. However, limited research exists about its impact on our ageing process.

Dr. Llorente-Barroso, Dr. Viñarás-Abad and Dr. Sánchez-Valle have carried out a study that aimed to find out the usefulness of the internet for the eldest in society, as well as explain the potential of the intranet to encourage an active ageing. The study included participants with an age range of 56 to 81, where answers and reactions provided valuable results. Focusing on the possibilities for those ageing in the internet era, results show that there are four areas of interest: information, communication, transactions and administration, leisure and entertainment. The internet can be used to optimise their quality of life in relation to these categories.

Bearing in mind that according to the UN, Spain will have the third eldest population in the world by 2050, research that promotes ways of inclusion and progress between the old population and the digitalised world are more than interesting and worth reading. Do not miss your chance to find out details about the above-mentioned article in the following link.

Llorente-Barroso, C., Viñarás-Abad, M. & Sánchez-Valle, M. (2015). Internet and the Elderly: Enhancing Active Ageing [Mayores e Internet: La Red como fuente de oportunidades para un envejecimiento activo]. Comunicar, 45, 29-36. (DOI




New media and political engagement of opposition party and the citizens in Cambodia

The Medias in Cambodia is apparently changed, especially after this last national election when the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the most influential party, which ruled this country over the last three decades, lost its seats from 90 to 68 over the total 123 seats in the National Assembly. Also, it pushed to free the innocent political prisoners and forced to imprison the government official who committed crimes, according to Kem Ley, the analysts and researcher.

Cambodia has more than 20 TV channels, 160 radio stations, 380 national newspapers and nearly 40 international newspapers, the statistics of the ministry of information, Cambodia. Its population is around 15 million.

Media in Cambodia are divided into the pro – government, anti – government, independent news agencies and the shadow news companies, says Van Vichar, the former senior news reporter of Radio Free Asia (RFA), the anti – government radio in Cambodia.

Given that most of the mass media are strictly controlled by the government, the opposition party uses Facebook, which recently becomes the most influential media, to voice their political opinion.

The Opposition party created a facebook page called “Sam Rainsy,” the name of the party leader with nearly two million Facebook users, who liked and followed this page.

It is the biggest ever result in historic Cambodia poll since 1993 when the opposition party won nearly half of the total seats in the national assembly.

I believe Cambodian young people are the most active population using facebook to engage in public affairs. More than 6.6 million eligible voters, 3.5 million were between 18 to 30 years old. As resulted, the opposition party got more than 2.9 million votes, whereas the ruling party received a dogfight result of about 3.2 million votes, according to National Election Committee statistic.

The public policy set by opposition party during the election campaign, got more attention from middle – aged voters such as, increasing salary for government officials, creating more jobs for fresh graduates and decreasing oil price, as well. When those policies were reached the voters through any means of social media, they vote for that party in hoping for a better change.

In the article published in Comunicar (2012, vol. 20) titled “Media Literacy and Its Use as a Method to Encourage Civic Engagement” composed by Culver & Jacobson, they revealed that new media education platform is very important to cultivate young people’s citizenship. “All programs used technology as a means to an end, not as the ultimate goal. In each program, students learned about new technologies and how to use them. But this use was always in the service of a broader goal, that of helping the students to become more active civic participants. Students learned how to use a particular technology so they could tell their story about a specific.

In Cambodia, in recent years, new media use among young population has increased dramatically not only for entertainment, but also for easier access to public affairs. However, it’s still a great need of media literacy education. For example, when everybody can use new media to spread information, there is a big possibility that both authentic and fake news can appear.

In the recent election, few days before the election, there was a rumor about the leading party government’s president, saying that he was dead because of disease. Immediately, Cambodian People Party, the ruling party declared it was fake information by showing their leader’s face on the TV screen.

Sam Rainsy’s Cambodian National Rescue Party president claimed that his party won election, “At least, at least 63 seat.” The statement was issued on his Facebook page on the day after the election was completely ended. However, the result was officially declared by the National Election Committee, the ruling party was still the only party which led the government.


Rally welcome for the opposition party leaders during the election campaign. Photo: Leanghort SOK

Comunicar,Call for Papers: Technologies and second languages

Comunicar 50 (01-2017):
Technologies and second languages

   Thematic Editors:
Dr. Kris Buyse, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Dr. M.Carmen Fonseca-Mora, University of Huelva (Spain)

Deadline: May 30, 2016

In this era of technological revolution, we welcome the fact that technologies and their proper use and consumption, as well as the ability to communicate in one or more languages, contribute to connecting users in this globalized world. Our communicative spaces have expanded exponentially and therefore require appropriate training. Digital media can promote independent learning of modern languages both inside and outside the classroom, but they always require the guidance of an expert. Communicative competence in several languages -especially English, Spanish and Chinese- and digital competence are essential skills that open access and mobility within the job market in the 21st century. The use of educational technology in learning a foreign language has evolved considerably. Initially, computer-aided programs for learning languages involved the possibility of individual and independent work to reinforce gaps and find solutions on the go, but now the focus has switched to a collaborative learning guided by experts. On the other hand, knowing a second language -especially English as the international language of academia- can help anyone to expand their information skills by searching for content on internet and databases. Currently, the use of ICT increases interaction and collaboration with other native or non-native speakers beyond the classroom. Users have become not only prosumers, receivers and consumers, but also creators of digital content and oral and written messages. Digital resources available for teachers and students are, among others, Blogs, wikis, emails, Facebook, twitter, Skype, hangouts, podcasts, video games, video clips, virtual platforms. In addition, the ubiquity of mobile devices (Tablets, iPads, phones, laptops, etc.) allows and facilitates communication anywhere and anytime. However, we still have much to learn about its true impact on second language teaching and acquisition, and about how this possibility of global communication impacts on the transformation of ethical, responsible and critical citizens into true global citizens.


Framing a Story- Journalistic Challenge to Put Issues in Context

The article in Comunicar called Online and Mobilized Students: The Use of Facebook in the Chilean Student Protests written by Cristian (2014) demonstrated what roles Facebook plays during the 2011 Chilean student movement by analyzing Facebook’s page of the Student Federation of the University of Chile (FECH).  The findings listed the positive effects of Facebook on facilitating a sound environment to Chilean student protest. But except for acknowledging its significance, the credibility of posts on Facebook and how can journalists respond should also be concerned.

In 2011, Chile experienced massive mobilizations for seven months, where young people played a leading role in the discussion over education. During these events, Facebook was one of the digital social networks most widely used by the mobilized organizations, the messages published by FECH demonstrated that the following communication functions were used on Facebook: disseminating and framing information, responding to opponents and traditional media, counteracting official information, calling for public demonstrations and events, highlighting the positive results of the protest actions and support obtained, calling for adhesion, and finally, acknowledging and identifying the main detractors of the movement.

Compared with the protests in Chile, the sunflower movement in Taiwan in which students calls for opposing trade pact with mainland China indicates the social media could be the source of news but it lacks social credibility. It is almost a year since students and activists occupied Taiwan’s parliament, in protest at a controversial trade deal with China. The so-called Sunflower Movement was sparked by increasing public unease over China’s influence on the island’s economy (Sui, 2015). It is because posts are mostly recorded directly or comment with preference. But journalists are not only the recorders. This is what social media cannot provide. Journalist professionals will take more time to take interviews, collect data and present the piece in a proper way, while the way they frame a story to put issues in context is challengeable.

Students are calling for opposing trade pact with mainland in the sunflower movement in Taiwan.
Students are calling for opposing trade pact with mainland in the sunflower movement in Taiwan.

As journalists are asked to twitter everyday, hardcore news or soft news are usually mixed with the gossip that is difficult to discuss without basic finds.  “When ‘for Dummy’ became dominate, we, journalists must be better doorkeepers”, Yi-shan Chen, deputy editor of Taiwan’s Common Wealth magazine said on the forum. During the sunflower movement, her students attended the protests and reported. It didn’t take much time to shoot with phones and made comments but what the “reporter” perceive may not be the fact.

It is necessary to clarify information with mainstream media’s platform, but the ways how journalists present the news and explain to public matters more. Chen talked 3 basic requirements of her column “Economic Explanation” that how they cover the issue with problem and solutions, how they use graphics and even animations help to explain hardcore issues and how their journalist can explain the issues clearly in public. All of the forms served for a better understanding of readers towards the topic.

At the SOPA forum, winners are sharing their opinions towards journalism’s value in today’s society.
At the SOPA forum, winners are sharing their opinions towards journalism’s value in today’s society.

Another speaker Nancy C. Carvajal is a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. She talked practical skills of searching sources for news stories. “Journalist is telling the truth, we should verify all the interviewee’s saying and ask for support and further proof for our readers,” Carvajal said. When social networking sites were not used only for this counter-framing, but also for communicating the message of the mobilized students, the credibility and truth of news should come first.


Quijada, C., Cristian. (2014). Online and Mobilized Students: The Use of Facebook in the Chilean Student Protests. Comunicar Journal 43: Media Prosumers (Vol. 22 – 2014)

Sui, C. (2015). What has Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement achieved a year on? BBC

The Hacks and the Hackers

A couple of days ago, I went to the Hacks/Hackers Hong Kong Meetup. Two of the speakers are data journalists, including one from the Initium Lab ( ), the exploratory arm of the hot and local Initium Media, which is believed to have the largest data journalism team in Hong Kong. Really like the Initium Lab’s stated aim: “We aim to push the limits of Journalism with Technology.”

Hacks/Hackers is an international grassroots journalism organization to create a network of journalists (“hacks”) and technologists (“hackers”) who rethink the future of news and information. It now has more than 80 local groups. The Hong Kong Chapter had its first social gathering in April last year. You can visit to know further.

Oh yes, I should mention the meetup location for this time: Google Hong Kong, in the prestigious Times Square in Causeway Bay. Pretty nice place for such a meetup, with free snacks and soft beverage. How can I forget to say a few words about the big toy placed at the lady’s restroom: It is a toy carriage, red and chic. Sorry, no pictures to show you. Google made it clear:


Xiao Wan: Review of Design, Motivation and Performance in a Cooperative MOOC Course

Review: Design, Motivation and Performance in a Cooperative MOOC Course

Comunicar, n. 44, v. XXII, 2015

by Castaño, C., Maiz, I., & Garay, U.


Nowadays, MOOCs are seen as the latest evolution in online learning for their potential to offer quality, large-scale education worldwide. While little research has focused on measuring learning outcomes. This paper shows the results of a research study that focused on the pedagogical design of a cooperative MOOC and its influence on motivation and academic results. There are three questions to be explored in this research, including:

a) Is there a relationship between academic performance and the pedagogical design of the course?

b) Is there a relationship between students’ motivation and the pedagogical design of the course?

c) Is there a relationship between academic performance and students’ motivation?

A Delphi study was used to validate the design, and the motivation variable was controlled using the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). The research discovers that the pedagogical design of the course has an influence on both academic performance and students’ motivation. As for the third question, although there is no direct relationship between global motivation and performance, yet there exists such a relationship between global motivation and one of the factors that constitutes motivation, namely satisfaction.

This research mainly used a quantitative research method to analyze the relationship between the pedagogical design and students’ motivation and academic results. Such kind of data and analysis can make readers clearly understand the research results. While more details are expected to be seen in the further research of this topic, such as how the pedagogical design influence on the students’ motivation and academic results. In my own opinion, qualitative research method can be used as a supplementary means in that situation.

This review article is composed by

Ms. XIAO Wan

Doctoral student,

Nanjing Normal University

xiao wan

FLAME (Films, Languages and Media in Education)

FLAME (Film, Language and Media in Education) is an innovative project that combines the areas of teaching foreign languages with film and media. It is based in Manchester Metropolitan University and its main aim is to promote research projects as well as become a reference point for those working on the field. To find out more about FLAME, visit

Their first conference was held in June 2015 with a huge success. It was a fantastic and well-organised event that put together professionals from different parts of the world. Dr. Kieran Donaghy and Prof. Brian Tomlinson were keyspeakers in an event that had around 60 speakers and more than 100 participants. More than 95% of the attendees expressed their desire to become affiliate members of FLAME. The following video summarises the experience http://

Don’t hesitate to contact the FLAME team if you have any further questions on the project: