XI Congreso Nacional y II Internacional
de la Asociación de Estudios Japoneses en España

Imagen Fondo AEJE


The role of the media in the diffusion of cultural heritage

Rosa María Calaf - Investigative Journalist

A country offers values, heritage and culture, quality of life, touristic interest and thus it forms its presence in the context of nations. This presence is going gradually brewing and with a degree of permanence. However, in this century of instant communication without borders in which any event can immediately alter the general perception of a country, is essential, as Marca Spain notes, that all its agents provide themselves with the necessary tools to manage this important asset that determines decisions of other citizens on whether it is an attractive location to investment, to choose their associates, to train, to sightsee, or to buy their products. The weight of the past, the own ignorance or disproportionate focus on some aspect may foster misperceptions.

Mutual knowledge is essential for understanding and can only "know" with an approach through education, travel and information.

It is necessary to strengthen the presence of Spain in the media of Japan and the presence of Japan in the media in Spain.

The Ministries of Information or the school materials are suitable instruments, but above all, the most effective is to influence the attitudes and training of journalists, television programmers, cultural managers, prominent activists in the network. The image of a country through the media, conventional or not, can be transmitted in several ways: reports, news, documentaries, fiction series, contests, music, etc.

Japan is rated among the highest by Spanish; however, they have a lack of Japanese knowledge higher than the Japanese knowledge of Spain.

This pondering space which will link Seville with experts and protagonists of bilateral relations in diverse fields is essential and quite appropriate at this dual year Spain-Japan. It should explore the current attributes that Spain and Japan grant themselves, the influence of certain recent events in their mutual perception. Equally specific actions to help alleviate the distortions could also be identified. Without forgetting the cultural industries, which generate image and knowledge of particular interest to young people, and a clear effect on promoting contacts and tourism.

The image of a country is therefore based both icons and stereotypes settle in various forms over the years, as well as in flows and contributions of the media. Specially, this sector and its role is what I am interested in referring.