Media and Communication Research Centre
1° December, 2011
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
• Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) is a private research university, founded in
Milan in 1921
• UCSC consists of five campuses, and is the only university operating on a national scale
in Italy
• UCSC helds courses on communication since 1961, when the School in Journalism and
Audiovisual was born.
• UCSC has a Department of Communication and Performing Arts connected to the
activities of a post-graduate school in media, communication and performing arts and of
three research centres.
• OssCom starts its activity as academic research centre in 1994, under the
Direction of Fausto Colombo, in order to conduct theoretical and applied
research in the field of media and cultural industries in the Italian context.
To provide public and private institutions, as well as players in
communication market, with academic skills, competences and
methodologies in media research, in order to accompany their
communication strategies, supply and consumption analysis.
Main companies (private)
> Rai, Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media (MTV, La7)
> RCS (Corriere della Sera), Disney
> TBWA\Italy, IGP/Decaux, PubliKompass
> Vodafone, Telecom, Motorola
Main institutions (public sectors)
AgCom (Italian Communications Regulatory Authority); Corecom (regional
Communications Authorities)
Lombardia (regional public administration)
“Media and minors”: ministrial committee
Non profit organizations
To provide young scholars with a chance in empirical, interdisciplinary,
researching (and funding)
Scientific and operative OssCom structure
A scientific committee composed by six full professors of Catholic University in order
to supervise the centre’s activity
A team of four academic persons:
• Fausto Colombo, Director, Full professor
• Piermarco Aroldi, Vice-director, Associate professor
• Nicoletta Vittadini, Scientific Coordinator, Lecturer
• Barbara Scifo, Scientific Coordinator, Lecturer
An administrative person: Angelica Dadomo
A group of senior researchers (Lectures and Fellow researchers)
Junior researchers (PhD students)
OssCom approch
A holistic perspective to cultural industries and a tradition of studies in the
dynamics of technological innovation, digital media, internet.
Taking advantage of a hybrid identity – half academic, half market-oriented –
as a mean of an ongoing dialogue between theoretical and applied research,
in multiple business areas and through multiple disciplines
• sociology of culture and of media
• media social history
• semiotics
• anthropology
• marketing
OssCom applies research methods from the established traditions of
qualitative research following the trends mainly set by semiotics and
sociology (and their mixing up):
Desk research
textual semiotic analysis
content analysis
online conversation analysis
brand analysis
case studies
Field research
focus groups
in-depth interviews
ethnographic observation
consumption diary
life histories and narrative interviews
action research
Research Objects
Social history of Italian Cultural Industries
F. Colombo, La cultura sottile. Media e industria culturale italiana dall’Ottocento ad oggi (trad. Light
culture. Media and cultural industries from the 19th century and onwards) Bompiani, Milano 1998.
Media and Cultural Innovation
F. Colombo, L. Farinotti and F. Pasquali, I margini della cultura. Media e innovazione (trad. Culture at
its margins, media and innovation), Angeli, Milano 2001
Cultural products and Mechanisms of Success
F. Colombo e R. Eugeni (eds.), Il prodotto culturale. Teorie, tecniche di analisi, case histories (trad.
The cultural product. Theory, analysis techniques, case histories), Carocci, Roma 2001
F. Colombo and P. Aroldi (eds.), Successi culturali e pubblici generazionali (trad..Cultural successes
and generational audiences), Link, Milano 2007
Cultural Industries and Politics
F. Colombo (ed), A Trivial Country. Essays on media and politics in Italy, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2011
The impact of digitalisation on the media
F. Colombo (ed.), Tv and interactivity in Europe, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2004
F. Colombo (ed.), La digitalizzazione dei media (Media Digitalization), Carocci, Roma 2007
F. Colombo and N. Vittadini (eds.), Digitizing Tv, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2006
Research Objects
The social shaping of technology and ICT’s domestication paradigm
B. Scifo e F. Pasquali (eds.) Consumare la rete. La fruizione di internet e la navigazione del web
(consumption the net. Internet fruition and web surfing), Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2004
F.Colombo, B.Scifo "Social shaping of the new mobile devices. Representations and uses among
Italian Youth" in L.Haddon et al., Innovatory users and ICTs, 2005.
Generational approach to media audiences
F. Colombo e L. Fortunati (eds.), Broadband Society and Generational Changes, Peter Lang,
Berlin 2011
Media + Generations. Summary report, Reseaarch project of national interest, 2006/2009
Crossmedia audiences and practices, with special attention at children and young
F. Pasquali, B. Scifo and N. Vittadini (eds.), Crossmedia cultures. Giovani e consumi digitali (trad.
Crossmedia cultures. Young people and digital consumptions), Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2010
Digital media and social ties
Chiara Giaccardi (ed), Abitanti della rete, Giovani, relazioni e affetti nell'epoca digitale
(Inhabitants of the network. Young people, relationships and affcects in the digital age) Vita e
Pensiero, Milano 2011
S. Monaci and B. Scifo, Sociologia 2.0. Pratiche e metodologie di ricerca sui media partecipativi,
(Sociology 2.0.. Research Practices and Methodology on the participatory media) ScriptaWeb,
Roma 2009
National and international
Italian university research network: PRIN – National Interest Research project
Cutural Industries in Italy (1997-1998, national coordinator Laura Bovone)
Cultural production in Italy (1999-2001, national coordinatoor Laura Bovone)
Media and Generations in Italian Society (2006-2009, national coordinator: Fausto Colombo)
Social networks and online: Italians’ experiences and narratives in social network sites. Focus
on the role of production and sharing of digital cultural products in the identity process (national
coordinator Giovanni Boccia Artieri, 2009-2011)
Eu Kids Online network, founded by European Community’s Safer Internet
Programme: I (2007-2009), Eukids Online II (2009-2011), Eukids Onlne III (2011-2014)
Cost Action research network
The impact of the internet in the mass media in Europe, ISCH COST Action A20, 2001-2006,
chair Colin Sparks
Participation in Broadband society, COST Action 298, 2006-2010, chair Bartolomeno Sapio
Trasforming audiences Trasforming societies, COST Action ISO 9600 (20010-2012): chair
Geoffroy Patriarche
Developing & Investigating Methodologies for Researching Connected Learning
(DIMRCL), 2011-2012, funded by Mc Arthur Foundation USA.
Creativity research project
• TRACCE CREATIVE: ongoing project co-funded by OssCom and TBWA\Italy
• Topic: best ‘creative’ practices (8 case studies) in different media and CCI areas: television,
press publishing, digital media, music industry, art, theatre, cinema.
• Research question: which - social, expressive, institutional - factors enable and/or hinder
creativity and innovation, in today’s Italian cultural production panorama?
• Phases:
• Mapping: observation and description of different CCI areas, considering relevant creative
• Selection: desk analysis and interviews in order to identify interesting case studies from
different areas of the contemporary creative industries (television, publishing, press, digital
media, music industry, communication).
• Reconstruction: 1) in-depth interviews to the main actors of the case studies, using a lifestory approach, focusing on the product and its creative process; 2) interviews to experts,
leading figures in the case studies’ field, to higlight issues rose from in-depth interviews
• Modelisation: analysis of collected materials to point out relevant factors, dynamics and