In February 25th of 2005, the foundational document of OBITEL, Ibero-American Television Fiction Observatory, was presented in the city of Bogota, with the goal of publishing an annual study of the Ibero-American industry to promote the formation of producers and creative personnel from the television fiction divisions. OBITEL includes twelve countries and eventually plans to expand to other countries from the area. This new monitoring network of the audiovisual Ibero-American space that OBITEL strives to be comprises university scholars and international television researchers.
The observatory’s goal is to encourage the cooperation of specialists and to foster knowledge exchange in order to promote the development of research and training in the production and circulation of programs and in the studies of the reception of programming within the U.S. Latino and Ibero-American audiovisual space.
The Observatory recognized its goals in the context of the VII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Governments (Margarita Island, Venezuela, 1997) for the construction and promotion of Ibero-American audiovisual space.
Ibero-America has an important production output of genres and television formats, in particular in the fictional genre. While perceptions have been reinforced that television is the key media outlet to achieve the long standing dream of regional cultural integration, the need to promote cultural and market diversity represented by national televisions is urgent.
Television fiction is currently a strategic enclave for Ibero-American audiovisual culture given its weight in the television marketplace, as well as its key role in television programming and production. It functions as a vehicle for national and regional images and for elements of cultural recognition.
The Observatory looks to a future of scholars and researchers from the rest of the countries in the region, and it will make a systematic study of the production, transmission, and reception of television fiction nationally, regionally, and internationally. It aspires to nurture institutional research projects in universities and educational and cultural centers as well as in NGOs through the Television Fiction Yearbook, which has the goal of proposing public policies for television. This publication also aims to provide annual information targeting the knowledge of the industry of each country along with consumption trends and populations’ expectations.
The origin of OBITEL is located in the shared interests shown by various television researchers in systematizing the analysis of the television fiction programming offered. It is also interested in the reception of the most representative Ibero-American television products and the preferred objects of cultural consumption in the region. Moreover, it also intends to find elements of analysis that allow for the support of public policy about production, circulation, transmission, and reception education for the strengthening of the Ibero-American audiovisual space and its audiences.
As a research project, OBITEL is located at the assorted academic departments from the universities of each of the national coordinators, and it has established links with the companies in charge of the audience measurements, such as IBOPE in a majority of Latin American countries, Taylor-Nelson Sofres inSpain, Marktest inPortugal, and the Nielsen Company in theUnited States. Since the beginning of its activities is supported by Globo Universidade.
As a forum for analysis and debate, OBITEL has a website, from which access to its works and other observatories and sites of interest for the activities of television observation in different countries and institutions will be possible. The website’s objective is to make OBITEL a place for networking for all who are interested in and worried about Spanish-language television fiction offerings and their audiences within the Ibero-American audiovisual space.
As scenario for knowledge generation, OBITEL looks to function as an epicenter for the apprenticeship of television formats and their analysis and monitoring for researchers, educators, and students of all levels in the local and national scholar systems, for which OBITEL will encourage the formation of networks with different groups and sectors from society and its institutions
As platform for scientific outreach, OBITEL wants to serve as a bridge between the entertainment aspirations of Ibero-American audiences, the culture, the media companies, and the institutions and authorities responsible for them to develop them for the common good, through the design and negotiation of strategies that reinforce the democratic and aesthetic values most suitable for an autochthonous and fair interlocution within a globalized world.
As a scenario of public policy projects, OBITEL wants to provide a link between the entertainment aspirations of ibero-american audiences, culture, media companies and authorities responsible for its development for the benefit of all, through planning and strategies of negotiation to strengthen democratic and aesthetic values most suitable in favor of an equitable autonomous dialogue in a globalized world.
INSTITUTIONS AND NATIONAL COORDINATORS
MARIA IMMACOLATA VASSALLO DE LOPES
Universidade de São Paulo -Escola de Comunicações e Artes
Centro de Estudos de Telenovela – CETVN
Av. Lúcio Martins Rodrigues, 443 -Bloco 22 – Sala 17
Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, 05508-900, Brasil
Tf. +55 (11) 3091 4373. Email: email@example.com
GUILLERMO OROZCO GÓMEZ
Universidad de Guadalajara-Departamento de Estudios dela Comunicación Social
Paseo Poniente 2093, Jardines del Country, Guadalajara, Jalisco, CP.44290, México
Tf. +52 (33) 3121 6880, 3823 7505. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org