Media Capitals

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“Media capitals are places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible” (Curtin, 2003).

In the 21st Century, we are seeing a complex change in global media which represents multi-vocal, multimedia and multi-directional flows (Thussu, 2007). The increase in cable TV, digital technology and online communication has enabled companies to expand transnationally (Thussu, 2007). Thussu (2007) states that “the USA continues to lead audio-visual products from news and current affairs (CCN, Discovery), youth programs (MTV), children’s programming (Disney), feature films (Hollywood), sport (ESPN) to the Internet (Google)”. Most of these TV stations are broadcasted around the globe and I know for certain that Australia has all of the channel previously stated on it own cable network, Foxtel.

Whilst Hollywood is a large distributor of global entertainment, the transnational flow of film has moved from being on screen to also being in the workplace. The Hong Kong office of Sony Pictures Entertainment is led by a Hollywood executive in charge of a Chinese staff that is reporting to the LA division of a Japanese company (Curtin, 2003). The shows how even in business, transnational corporations are increasing their distribution of staff members.

The USA is seen as the central country of Western media distribution around the globe. The fact that the USA is a media powerhouse with influence over other Western countries, like the UK and Australia, only means that other Western countries will follow suit. In the media, Eastern countries can often be viewed as ‘the other’. This form of discrimination is called neo-orientalism. Neo-orientslim looks at Western society and media believing that they are superior and above Eastern countries like India or religions like Islam. Al Jazeera (2011) has an article titled “The propagation of neo-orientalism” with a brief statement saying “The media continually builds an association of Islam with war, instability and repression, creating a false stereotype”. The title and statement alone detail the affect that the USA has on neighbouring Western countries. They are teaching them that there is a barrier between Eastern and Western. It tells us about the US spreading propaganda to others to believe this boundary. The false accusations that the media give only create harmful and incorrect stereotypes for Eastern countries. For example, since 9/11, America has spread a global fear to Westerners about Muslims and created a stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists, which is wrong! “The media is not a mirror reflecting what is out there. Its role is not simple, passive transmission, but active creation, shaping, and manufacturing, through a lengthy process of selection, filtering, interpretation, and editing” (Al Jazeera, 2011).

References:

Al Jazeera 2011, The propagation of neo-Orientalism, viewed on 7th Oct 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/01/201112611591745716.html

Curtin, M 2009, ‘Matrix Media’, Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era, Eds Graeme Turner and Jinna Tay, London, Routledge. pp. 9–19.

Thussu, D 2007, Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra-Flow, London and New York, Routledge.

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