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Globalization of Media Free Essay

In: Sociology free essays

Globalization of Media Free Essay

The globalization of the media is endorsing and creating a global village. The media-scape is restructuring itself, forming a singular global body, as opposed a mass of multiple independents. Media globalization is a direct result of technological development, maximisation of corporate media interest, the media's increasing correspondence to the public sphere, and media ownership. It is widely evident that the media is in fact becoming a global conglomerate, which is in turn endorsing the emergence of a single global village.

Mass media is a term which highlights the means of delivering impersonal communications to a vast audience. The concept of globalization corresponds to capacity of human social organizations to reach one another across separate regions and continents, whilst expanding power relations. Such allows for the growing integration of the globe as a united entity. Media globalization is a direct result of technological development, maximisation of corporate media interest, the media's increasing correspondence to the public sphere, and media ownership. The global village has evolved to become more than simply a mass media monopoly, but also an endeavour for political dominance, headed by the Untied States of America. It is widely evident that the media is in fact becoming a global conglomerate, which is in turn endorsing the emergence of a single global village.

Technological developments and electronic advancements have closed the gap between separate nations, and as a result have aided the mass media in becoming a global body. Faster and cheaper communications have proven imperative towards the developments of globalization, critical to innovation, production, growth and job creation. The 1990's called for the acceleration and rapid advancements in relation to digital transmission. As a result of these developments digital communication networks, including the Internet, are redeveloping the media-scape. US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt believes “Everything will be different. The change is so extreme that many people have not grasped it.” Microsoft Chairman Mr Bill Gates supports these comments, “Our industry will be changing the way people do business, the way they learn and even the way they entertain themselves, far more than people outside our industry expect.” It can be argued that the capabilities of technology within the field of communications and the mass media outweigh the potential and expectations of monetary focused monopolizers currently in power. Technology will allow for a more democratic media-scape which calls for public involvement and wider interaction. It is this representation of technology and the public which will support the media as it directs us towards a united global village.

Competition and innovation from a technological point of view have formulated three trends which support the globalization movement. These include; `The Rise of Data' (the growth of data transmission is now beyond traditional `voice traffic'), `The Internet' (emergence of e-commerce and digital network structures), and `Wireless Networking' (affordable and increased connectivity). The Information Revolution and the progression of technology are able to impact upon globalization in such an effective manner, based on their potential to influence a diverse array of international affairs and institutions. These include security, politics, the economy, society and culture, as the roles of government policymakers are altered. Information has become more accessible, decision-making can become either centralized or decentralized, the monopoly of information has eroded and actions to be considered from a global perspective rather than just a localised one. Although from this perspective International Relations in general are of benefit, such also has an impact on the media for comparable reasons, which then transcends to the community at large. Digital communication and the internet will become and integral aspect of the development of a global communication oligopoly. International Relations can be endorsed and supported by a global mass media, (and vice versa), which then compliments our progression towards a singular global village.

The media holds a mass level of power and dominance, due to the role it plays within the public sphere, and the intense level of public interest it upholds. As a result, the globalization of the media has a direct influence upon it responders (the public), thus enhancing and developing the creation of a wider global village. Being a specific institution of society, it is the responsibility of the media to be informed by interests, normalities and greater values - the media is hence an integral aspect of the meaning-making processes of our global community. That is, that the media is to reflect society based on cohesion with its principles. Thus, a global village can be both formed and shaped by the media, simply as a result of its interaction with and relevance to daily routine and public life. “The Media are an indissoluble part of the contexts, the messages and the relationships that create and give shape to politics and public life.” Media have an intrinsic role in the functioning of modern society. Such role is aided by the diversity and mediums of the media, which hold a specific function towards the democratic health of our society. Without the media we would not be able to communicate and interrelate with one another in any manner which compares to both our present and futuristic existence as we know it. The concept of a global village would not only be unknown, but also unattainable. The media and public domain must hence uphold a high level of mutual respect, wherein the nature of modern public life can be understood, presented and influenced. “The media are the sites where the meanings of public life are generated, debated and evaluated.” Hence, it only seems reasonable that as the globe unites into one village, as will the media. Influences such as technology direct this, but it is the media's interest, involvement and interaction which the public domain that shape and guide it. Prior to the establishment of the media, public interest existed, but had no real means of transmission beyond personal experience. If we compare this scenario to our mediated public life today, we can clearly see that the formation of a global village is not only probable, but in motion.

Media ownership can be blamed for our plummeting and rapid progression towards a monopolized global village. “Media ownership remains important because it raises issues about the diversity of voices in a society and the nature of political culture.” This is increasingly important, as we are vast becoming a generation which is primed by the mass media - a true TV generation. Media globalization can be labelled such based on its ownership - the `5 Big Global Corporations' include Time Warner, Disney, NewsCorp, Viacom and Bertelsmann AG. “It represents the grand convergence of the previously disparate US culture industries - many of them vertically monopolized already - into one global super industry providing most of our imaginary content.” Quantitative changes to media ownership have led to qualitative changes in the media presented to the globe, with just a few owners dictating and `co-directing' what the public is presented with. Globalization of the media leads to a standardized and homogenised public with dramatically condensed perception of interests and livelihood - commoditisation - a monoculture within a singular globalized village. American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner blames corporate concentration - “It's sad we're losing so much diversity of thought.” Although such a set up of minimal media owners controlling the entire industry may make economic sense, it limits thought and competition. This ultimately hinders our desired state of a democracy, meaning that the public sphere knows only what they are told, and has no real access to any greater informational means beyond the monopolized media.

It is evident that media monopolies have no major concern for what can be deemed as public interest. What appears to be cost effective is sufficient - the media is able to take control of and manage our inner emotions and opinions simply through what is directed towards us. Public interest is in fact dictated by the media itself. “While it takes much time and money to find out the truth, the parent companies prefer to cut the necessary costs of journalism, much preferring the sort of lurid fare that can drive endless hours of agitated jabbering.”

Corporate interest, politics and media ownership are often interrelated. With multi-holdings in the hands of media giants such as Rupert Murdoch, politics and media content can be a highly controversial subject. Favoured audiences can be supplied with mixed messages filled with bias. “Corporate media have hidden or misrepresented the true story.” If a media owner dislikes a political power, it is well within his capabilities to ensure that such party is not elected. It is in this scenario where the media literally has such a power and control over Government bodies, that distorted messages and corporate bias can twist the truth and subject the public. This can be identified as corruptive journalism and sensationalism. It is the fatal ignorance of a blind public which allows and follows such behaviour.

The concern that contemporary politics relies too much on `individuals' and `events' stems from the representational powers of television and its communicative contexts. Television is extraordinary adept at capturing and conveying the nuances of personalities and the physical particularities of action. It is argued that such aptitude occurs at the expense of the reportage of more complex issues and policy, which do not lend themselves to easy and dramatic representation.

It can be argued that media ownership simply defends popular culture and public interest, but as A. Ashbolt claims, it is very hard to distinguish between tastes and choice if the public is dictated to and shaped by American saturation. When we are given no option, and no other leads to follow, obedience to media's dominance is inevitable. Hegemony, standardization and the evolution of a global village are a result of the globalization of media, based on the lack of diversity evident within media ownership, the neglect of true public interest and the media's political power to intervene over government.

The rise of Trans-National Corporations (TNC's) and the labelling of The United States of America as an `Empire' have both contributed to the globalization of the media leading towards a uniformed global village. Hegemony and standardization across the media-scape is arguably a result of these progressing yet dominating factors. TNC's have been established on the basis of countries having the power and capabilities to communicate and interrelate with one another, thus allowing for standardization and influence. Commercial media has similarly moved abroad, establishing across-nation empires which acquire significant holdings across all mediums. However, Hollywood Studios and the United States of America are still the dominant party, even purchasing smaller bodies to guarantee ultimate control. This amplifies the capabilities and intentions of the American empire, not only via the media, but in general political and global terms also. Noam Chomsky argues that for more than half a century the United States of America has been pursuing a `grand imperial strategy' with the aim of staking out the entire globe. Evidence suggests that such task is willing to be followed until the assumed `verge of extinction'. This provides evidence that the globalization of the media is in all certainty creating a global village, which can arguably be labelled as having America as a dominating force. The media orientated global community is dictated beyond simple forces of mass media, but stretches to include corporate TNC's and political strategy.

The global entity that is the mass media has created a singular global village. Media globalization is stimulated by technological development, maximisation of corporate media interest, the media's increasing correspondence to the public sphere, and media ownership. The global village has evolved to become more than simply a mass media monopoly, but also an endeavour for political dominance, headed by the Untied States of America. Standardization, condensation and hegemony across nations are the implications that will eventuate from this. It is widely evident that the media is in fact becoming a global conglomerate, which is in turn endorsing the emergence of a single global village.

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