Department of Communication and Media, DA-IICT University, Near Indroda, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
Received Date: November 28, 2011; Accepted Date: December 21, 2011; Published Date: December 23, 2011
Citation: Kaul V (2011) Globalisation and Media. J Mass Communicat Journalism 1:105. doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000105
Copyright: © 2011 Kaul V. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Whether we like it or not, whether we are ready for it or not, the phenomenon of globalization is more actual than ever. Needless to say that there are different ways to approach this hot topic, different levels of debate, different points of view. What is certain is that globalization is intimately connected to sharing information, media (especially new media) often being regarded as the main vehicle for its rapid expansion. Without gainsaying, globalization has impacted tremendously on the media and this article discusses a critique of globalization theory from the viewpoint of media. First it highlights the overall importance of media for the core argument of globalization’s far pervading effects and then it argues that unhistorical treatment of globalization lacks a critical materialist analysis of new media sphere. With the expansion and extension, the debates of impacts, effects and influences of globalization inevitably divide the world into centers and peripheries. This paper addresses the assumed functions of media in the backdrop of economic, cultural, technological and new media spheres developed in the recent decades. The paper also highlights some of the challenges that media has to face in a globalised world. This all is in the context of the rise of neoliberalism that overlaps with the development of globalization theory.
Globalization; Media; New technology; Neoliberalism; Internet
In both scholarly work and public debate on globalization, the influence of media and particularly electronic media on social change is considered to be of paramount importance. In sociological and cultural analyses of globalization [1,2], media such as satellite television, the Internet, computers, mobile phones etc. are often thought to be among the primary forces behind current restructurations of social and cultural geography. Electronic media facilitate an increased interconnectedness across vast distances and a temporal flexibility in social interaction. Furthermore, development, imperialism and globalization are three ideas which have been designed to interpret and change the world. They can frequently be seen rubbing shoulders in discussions of international questions in the social sciences but what they mean to each other is often anything but clear. The concept of globalization is one of the most debated issues since the collapse of communism. Most discourse on globalization acknowledges that it is an ‘uneven’ process. Its effects and consequences are not uniformly experienced everywhere in the world and there is a ‘power geometry’ of globalization in which ‘some people are more in charge of than others; some initiate flows and movement, other’s don’t; some are more on the receiving-end of it than others; some are effectively imprisoned by it and there is going to be an imbalance of power when dealing with two nations. The rapid acceleration of globalization has for long been associated with technological advancement and the international market. On the one hand there is the tendency towards homogeneity, synchronization, integration, unity and universalism. On the other hand, there is the propensity for localization, heterogeneity, differentiation, diversity and particularism detrimental to development. These processes are intricately interwoven and represent - in reality - two faces of the same coin. Thus the term “globalizations” is sometimes used to indicate that globalization is not an ubiquitous or uniform process, but involves various terrains, manifests differently in various contexts and has different effects for people in different contexts [3-5].
The modern epoch opened as an era of globalization. Most of the critics portray this term as a world with permeable borders. The concept of globalisation is global and dominant in the world and it was not handed down from heaven, it was not decreed by the Pope, it did not emerge spontaneously. It was created by the dominant social forces in the world today to serve their specific interests. Simultaneously these social forces gave themselves a new ideological name the - “international community” - to go with the idea of globalisation (Madunagu 1999). The critics argue that today’s globalisation is only superficially different from the old fashioned colonialism. Resistance to globalization is also not new; China has been resisting globalization since the Opium War in which Britain arm-twisted the Middle Kingdom for the right to sell Indian opium in the mainland. How is this any different from US pressure on Beijing on WTO? The British saw India as a source of raw materials for the empire, and a market for cotton. Today India is a source of cheap labor in the sweatshops of the information technology industry, and a huge market for consumer goods. Globalization is just imperialism in disguise, it has the same motive: control over resources and the right of might.
Some “anti-globalization” groups argue that globalization is necessarily imperialistic, is one of the driving reasons behind the Iraq war and is forcing savings to flow into the United States rather than developing nations; it can therefore be said that “globalization” is another term for a form of Americanization, as it is believed by some observers that the United States could be one of the few countries (if not the only one) to truly profit from globalization .
We see globalization as the extension of trends and influences (such as ideas, concepts, knowledge, ethics and technology as well as behaviors) across erstwhile barriers (ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious, political or environmental). It must be emphasized that globalization is not merely a homogenizing and integrating force but it is also blamed for problems plaguing nations and individuals. We see that the global environment is being threatened on a number of fronts, from global warming and the deterioration of the ozone layer to the extermination of species and the poisoning of the world’s water supply. Other economic consequences as a result of globalisation are the loss of jobs to developing countries such as China and India, where labour costs are cheaper. A lot of American and British based countries opt to have their products manufactured abroad to save money and hence increase profits. The globalisation of the world is stimulating massive amounts of investment by the transnational corporations which are “acting like a dynamo to produce more jobs and higher profits world wide”. Often workers rights are not agreed and working conditions of those in developing countries manufacturing work out sourced by that of developed countries is poor. Everyday life has been Disneyfied, McDonaldized and Coca-Colonized (see Ritzer, 2004 and Barber, 1996). The iconography associated with global brands such as Microsoft, McDonald’s, Nike or Pizza Hut transcends both space and language. Branded goods are manufactured in the far-east in ‘sweat shops’ where employees work for very low wages. Millions of people are unable to sustain their families since jobs are often moved from country to country by large trans national organisations so therefore employees are often only employed on a temporary basis, money therefore flows from one country to the next as factories and jobs are transferred from one to country to the next, with investment being given and taken away. Many of us have a gut feeling that the global economy has gone awry essentially calling for wholesale murder and maiming of innocent populace.
Global media systems have been considered a form of cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism takes place when a country dominates others through its media exports, including advertising messages, films, and television and radio programming. America’s dominance in the entertainment industries made it difficult for other cultures to produce and distribute their own cultural products. Supporters of American popular culture argue that the universal popularity of American media products promotes a global media system that allows communication to cross national boundaries. American popular culture in addition challenges authority and outmoded traditions. Critics of American culture contend that cultural imperialism prevents the development of native cultures and has a negative impact on teenagers. There has been much debate in international fora, in academia and among media professionals over the question of the potential threat to indigenous culture by the unprecedented global penetration of the new media technologies resulting from the enormous capacities for information access, transmission and retrieval, referred to by Rex Nettleford as ‘the hijacking of the region’s media, the invasion of the people’s intellectual space and the cultural bombardment of the entire region by every means possible from North America….’. In the past decades, international aspects of mass media were being discussed by scholars and intellectuals under the auspices of UNESCO. Today, the Media has transformed into a business that is dominated by mass-media corporations promoting their own interests at the level of individual administrations. In both scholarly work and public debate on globalization, the influence of media and particularly electronic media on social change is considered to be of paramount importance. In sociological and cultural analyses of globalization [1,2], media such as satellite television, the Internet, computers, mobile phones etc. are often thought to be among the primary forces behind current restructurations of social and cultural geography. Electronic media facilitate an increased interconnectedness across vast distances and a temporal flexibility in social interaction. Furthermore, a handful of media enterprises and media moguls such as Time-Warner-AOL, Disney, Rupert Murdoch, and Bill Gates have become icons of globalization. These media companies and actors both have ambitions of global market domination and serve as the messengers of a new global era. Particularly the transnational news services with a global or regional reach, such as CNN, BBC World, Euronews, Sky News, and Star News, have come to be regarded as the town criers of the global village. Their continuous, on-line, and live distribution of news to all corners of the world has become emblematic of a world in which place and time mean less and less.
There is a well defined second tier of media conglomerates which are increasingly competing on the international level through foreign investment, mergers, and acquisitions. Half of these corporations are based in North America while the others are based in Western Europe and Japan. Second tier corporations include, Dow Jones, Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Hearst, and Advance Publications, and among those from Europe are the Kirch Group, Havas, Media-set, Hachette, Pisa, Canal Plus, Pearson, Reuters and Reed Elsevier. Then, merger mania seems to be the rule of day when it comes to multinational corporations. It is noticed that sixty or seventy first and second tier multinational corporations control a major portion of the world’s media in the areas of publishing, music, broadcasting, television production, cable, satellite distribution, film production, and motion picture theater exhibition. The effect of the spread of multinational media corporations has resulted in cultural imperialism, a loss of local cultural identity. The global commercial-media system is radical in that it will respect no tradition or custom, on balance, if it stands in the way of profits.
According to researcher George Gerbner, the most successful television programs are no longer made for national consumption but rather for international distribution. Gerbner further noted that content is affected by the desire to increase the marketability of international television program distribution. Programs that contain violent material are considered to “travel well” according to Gerbner (Jhally, 1994). In contrast, comedy programs which may be quite successful in the United States do not necessarily do well in other countries. Comedy is culturally defined, and what is deemed funny by one cultural group may in fact be offensive to another. In comparison, violent material has a very simple story line of good versus evil. It is universally understood and in many ways culturally transparent.
The trends and effects of media globalization will continue to be both observed and debated by communication scholars, sociologists, economist, and politicians alike. With the fall of communism in the USSR in August of 1991, private investment and the proliferation of multinational corporations has continued to march across Europe and the other continents of the world. The trend of continuing media globalization has showed no recent signs of retreat. Both critics and advocates of media globalization agree that there is fierce competition taking place between the first and second tier corporations. The smaller regional second tier corporations don’t want to lose market share to the larger multinational corporations. It seems that market forces and shrewd political maneuverings on the part of multinational media corporations will determine the competitive landscape of the future. While this fierce battle is taking place in the corporate boardrooms of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, communication researchers search for a theoretical basis to interpret various phenomena related to global mass media. What follows is a variety of theoretical perspectives from scholars that are addressing these questions.
The globalisation of media, primarily since the Second World War, has had an unprecedented impact on the structure of power relations within the media sector and the way in which culture is produced, reproduced and disseminated globally. The immense concentration of media ownership as a result of media globalisation through deregulation and privatisation of media markets and the proliferation of new media technologies have centralized power amongst media organisations. The concentration of media ownership has resulted in the creation of a global media oligopoly; this process has reordered power relations within the global media system almost exclusively toward this group.
Due to the creation of this oligopoly the diversity of media content disseminated through global media flows has been diminished, with huge cultural implications. A dialectic has emerged whereby the global media flows have two, seemingly contradictory, effects on culture. While the global media system disseminates capitalist consumer culture globally and uniformly having a homogenizing effect, it simultaneously has the effect of creating new hybrid cultures as a result of global flows of people and the interpretation of media flows. However, neither homogenisation nor hybridisation attempt the preservation of traditional cultures, homogenisation attempts to suppress them whilst hybridisation may subvert by incorporating them into new hybrid cultures. It is the future of traditional cultures to which the proliferation of media globalisation poses the greatest threat and how such cultures can be preserved will be an important question for future theory on media globalisation.
Although news media increasingly transcend national borders, this does not in itself create a public sphere at a transnational or global level. As a starting point, the following paradox can be observed regarding the relationship between the development of the news media and the public sphere: Due to the growth in transnational and global news media, public opinion formation occasionally transcends national borders and acquires a political momentum of its own at a global level. However, compared to the globalization of politics, economy and culture, the public sphere and the formation of public opinion are still very much tied to a national level and oriented toward national political institutions. This seemingly contradictory development has provided support for very different interpretations of current media changes. The idea that the rise of global media has instituted a global public sphere has both been proclaimed and denounced by media scholars, and both sides have actually been able to provide some empirical support for their interpretations. However, the apparent inextricability of these opposing viewpoints may – at least to some extent – be due to a lack of theoretical consideration of how current transformations in the social geography of media may be conceptualized
In economics, globalization engages in various aspects of crossborder transactions, free international capital flows, foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. Proponents of globalization argue that it enhances economic prosperity and leads to more efficient allocation of resources, which, in turn will result in higher output, more employment, lower prices and higher standard of living. However, some critics worry about the resulting outsourcing and off-shoring, which have destroyed the American manufacturing sector.
Economic aspects of globalising trends always have an impact on all other subcategories–cultural and technological aspects. The latest economic trends are closely bound up with politics; and among them we can mention implications of the neoliberal economic theory in general, concentration of the media and their ownership and the rationalizing processes associated with the so-called McDonaldisation. The cultural aspects include commercialisation, the so-called Disneyfication (analogously to McDonaldisation–the nexus between culture and consumerism) and especially cultural imperialism. Regarding the technological aspect, we have to stress the process of digitalisation and the increasing multimedialism.
According to many scholars, one of the pillars of today’s economic order Neoliberal economic theory and its implications are one of the pillars of today’s economic order. Neoliberalism, as the appellation indicates, is new liberalism. Liberalism in its classical form was developing from the 18th century onwards, and its essence was “laissez faire– laissez passer”, to let things progress freely. Although the so-called invisible hand, as the guiding principle of the economy was designated as an elementary premise of primal economic theory and political economy, it proved to have some questionable implications and impact on the developments in society. In the period after World War II., since when the outset of current globalisation dates, a new movement has been evolving, one that allows state intervention in the economic process. The rejection of state intervention in the economy, one of the basic liberal principles, remains in place–when that intervention takes the form of the welfare state. But state intervention is allowed to promote the effective functioning of the market mechanism and the related maximization of profits.
But neoliberalism is much more than just an economic theory. It is a political and social theory as well, one that has its social impact, and this impact is of course felt in the field of mass-media communication as well. Everything has to be directed to the satisfaction of the demands of the media-conglomerates owners. This reality does not have to manifest itself as a direct intervention in the form of censorship; what is decisive is the manner in which the journalists operate or in which the print, TV, audio, film or multimedia production occurs in general. Neoliberals promote the opening up of international markets and borders and consequently, support the uncomplicated flow of capital (including that of communication). These phenomena result in the steadily advancing concentration of media ownership, enabled by the breaking up of the barriers in the process of the creation of media mega-conglomerates– the process of de-regulation (although this process itself goes against the primary postulates of neoliberalism, as it disrupts the basic principle of market mechanism, namely competition). Closely related to this is a tendency of media owners towards monopolisation, integration and establishment of immense media enterprises. Moreover the fewer players there are on the market; the easier it is to dictate prices. But with less competition, the quality of production and the products themselves could decrease. Owners of monopolies are acquiring an even greater economic, political and social power.
The third most common economic trend is the so-called McDonaldisation. In brief, it can be defined as a process of enterprise rationalization in capitalistic societies that is driven by material and economic interest. McDonaldisation means comparatively lower expense with higher gains. This system is directly connected to the U.S. system of market economy. It is clear that the principles of efficient production in a consumer society are higher revenues. One of the symbols of this phenomenon is a system of economizing production invented by the U.S. fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s and has influence on many sectors of the U.S. and other societies.
It is believed that commercialisation and an oligopolised media structure are definitely a threat to diversity and sovereignty of any nation. The porosity of cultural boundaries engendered by media globalization has given rise to concerns over cultural sovereignty and cultural rights. While such concerns have been dismissed by proponents of globalization as unfounded, for developing countries, the economic reality of which preclude the development of strong local productions and so foster reliance on imported programming, these concerns are quite relevant. Research has shown that where local productions are weak, inroads made by foreign media can be dangerous. Media privatization exacerbates this reliance and encourages the inflow of imported content on the principle that within a free market system, there should be no barriers erected against the free flow of cultural products across borders. Most importantly, as private media rely heavily on advertising money for economic viability, there is a constant stream of cultural goods that inundate the local scene by way of paid television commercials. These cultural products are rife with images reflecting cultural values and expectations concordant with the countries of origin and are at odds with the cultural and economical realities of receiving countries.
The media have become the chief transmitters of culture. The traditional showcases of culture – museums, theatres, art galleries or libraries – have handed over part of their functions to the cinema screens, television or computers; media where culture has greater distribution and scope, since the images reach broader, more heterogeneous and widespread audiences. Cultural diversity is recognized externally and internally, both by the prevailing institutions of civil society and by the awareness of the group itself as different to the whole in some expressions. The preservation of this diversity is one of the challenges with the homogenizing risk of a globalized world, where uniform cultural patterns are present. The following measures should be adopted in defense of cultural diversity:
• The political-social context itself, which plainly requires recognition on the part of cultural minorities, recommends the adoption of measures favouring and facilitating the expression of the different social groups through the media.
• The rapid expansion of the new technologies, especially the digitalization of the audiovisual media and Internet, offers opportunities for production, distribution, access and participation of the media products which must be urgently exploited.
• The present situation of the process of European integration, with the prospects of the expansion of the number of its members and the widening of the competencies of the Union, seems an especially opportune moment to bring together the measures which promote diversity, a real characteristic of the European culture, with the necessary strengthening of identity.
Of course globalization has many impacts on local culture worldwide. One of the positive aspects is that there is a spreading of information, there is cultural exchange and this can lead to a cultural growth worldwide. But there also is another aspect of cultural globalization: many see globalization of culture as an Americanization of different cultures. We can come up with Disneyfication (some authors call this phenomenon of “Disneyisation”), which is parallel to McDonaldisation, mainly in the cultural and the artistic field of consumer society. According to this trend the world resembles a Disneyland-style theme park more and more. It is a nice, sweet, entertaining world without problems, a world without real life. Everything looks the same as if it was produced from a single assembly line. It is similar for today’s mass culture.
Critics mention some aspects of Disneyfication: a) the concentration and growth of the power of Western popular culture (the relevance of the regional and smaller cultures is decreasing); b) everything is stereotyped, looks similar; c) exporting the Western perception of entertainment to the whole world and supporting consumerism under the slogan “buy, buy, buy!”; d) it has implications not only in culture but in architecture and society in general.
The other phenomenon in this category is commercialization which means the adaptation of media content to the wishes of the popular audience and to the wishes of advertisers. The volume of advertising in the context of globalisation is close to 350-400 billion dollars, the financial volume of the whole media business is much greater. Now, the advertising market is at the same time controlled by only a few “superad agency-owning companies”. New media contents and formats are being produced and they are the face of this commercialization (reality shows, series and movie production).The primary principle is to produce a successful product aimed at a large audience.
Similarly, youth are the subject of a massive cultural assault from the unending flow of American television, magazines, books, films and music which bombard them daily. Here, culture is defined as ‘a learned system of meaning and symbolizing which defines the unique identity of a people’.
The last process that changes the face of media and culture in these times at the turn of the millennium is the so-called cultural imperialism. In assessing this The Latest Globalisation Trends in Media phenomenon, we can start with the encyclopedia definition–it is the practice of promoting the culture and language of one nation or country in another country. The smaller culture is to be absorbed by the bigger, economically, militarily or politically stronger one. Since the 18th and 19th centuries we can highlight the promotion of the English language culture and the growing power of corporations as the most distinct manifestation of cultural imperialism. Even so, during the course of the 20th century other cases of cultural imperialism occurred as well. We can mention the Chinese repression of the Tibetan culture or the actions of the Soviet Union in the former Eastern bloc states. We should stress, however, that these processes were based on completely different premises and were executed in a violent way without the consent of these nations. Today the largest exponents of the “new form of cultural imperialism” are the countries of the West and the U.S. The principle of this phenomenon is the spread and the “gate-keeping” of information as well as the entertainment industry.
Technological change has always been the principal force shaping the evolution of the media. Each of the past revolutions in communications technology created distinct media forms that evolved into their own industries. In the last few years, technological achievements in the context of globalisation of media environments, gained in prominence. Right now the process of digitalisation is one of the fastest moving trends of the current media and represents great challenges, as well as hopes for the future of the electronic media. . However, content is becoming increasingly digitalised: whatever the type of signal, it can all become undifferentiated bits of data converged onto the same platform. This trend is bringing sweeping changes and unprecedented levels of complexity to the current media business model. Part of digital broadcasting will be, besides audio and video, other data in the form of text, other audio channels etc. Through digital television you can choose from what camera angle you would like to watch with just a click you can vote in a question poll about the popularity of a government or choose from the eight screens of the Sky News channel.
Technologically promising is the growing multimedialism (connecting several types of media on one platform) and the interactivity of the whole spectrum of today’s media. It touches television, multimedia web broadcasting and even print (for example in the online editions of dailies, where there are constantly growing demands on the quality of the work of journalists. They have to write for print editions and online editions, they have to take photos and record audio files). Interactivity is more dynamic in the new media, which are technologically developed to consider the feedback of recipients. Interactivity in the new media is closely connected with the decentralisation of media communication as the recipient is taking an active part in content production. A crucial interactive medium is the World Wide Web-the Internet. Trends in internet journalism and environment can be generally characterized with three processes: diversification, convergence (merging of several types of media, electronification, computerization and digitalisation of all media–print and audiovisual) and integration within the framework of the Internet. All of these processes create entirely new media with added content value. The technology goes further: the Internet is available on your cell phones, mobile phone operators offer live TV feeds, radio broadcasting etc. Internet combines audio, video, text and the communicant (recipient) can, with his feedback, make up the web content.
Media convergence is not just a technological shift or a technological process; it also includes shifts within the industrial, cultural, and social paradigms that encourage the consumer to seek out new information. Convergence, simply put, is how individual consumers interact with others on a social level and use various media platforms to create new experiences, new forms of media and content that connect us socially, and not just to other consumers, but to the corporate producers of media in ways that have not been as readily accessible in the past. In the last few years, technological achievements in the context of globalisation of media environments, gained in prominence. Right now the process of digitalisation is one of the fastest moving trends of the current media and represents great challenges, as well as hopes for the future of the electronic media. Part of digital broadcasting will be, besides audio and video, other data in the form of text, other audio channels etc. Through digital television you can choose from what camera angle you would like to watch Formula 1 championships, with just a click you can vote in a question poll about the popularity of a government or choose from the eight screens of the Sky News channel.
Technologically promising is the growing multimedialism (connecting several types of media on one platform) and the interactivity of the whole spectrum of today’s media. It touches television, multimedia web broadcasting and even print (for example in the online editions of dailies, where there are constantly growing demands on the quality of the work of journalists. They have to write for print editions and online editions, they have to take photos and record audio files).
The technological innovations of the last decade have also permitted the appearance of thematic channels distributed by cable, satellite or by hertzian waves. In this way, the television companies from the US have introduced their most international models; news and finance (CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg), music (MTV), documentaries (Discovery and National Geographic) and cartoons (Cartoon and Disney). These “niche” channels, although not reaching huge audiences, can have an influence on the mentality, values and culture of European citizens.
The United States also holds a position of leadership in the advertising industry, to the point that a communication company cannot consider itself truly global if it does not have an important presence in that market. The report World Advertising Trends 2001 provides some interesting figures: in 1990, advertising spending in the United States and Canada reached a quota of 43.5% of the world market; the European percentage was set at 32.6% and that of Asia/Pacific at 21.2%. Ten years later, the figures showed a similar picture: the market quotas of USA/Canada, Europe and Asia/Pacific were of 43.7%, 29.8% and 19.2% respectively; the rest of the countries slightly increased their market quota during the decade at the expense of Europe and Asia/ Pacific, whilst North America consolidated its leadership.
Interactivity is more dynamic in the new media, which are technologically developed to consider the feedback of recipients. Interactivity in the new media is closely connected with the decentralisation of media communication as the recipient is taking an active part in content production. A crucial interactive medium is the World Wide Web-the Internet. Trends in internet journalism and environment can be generally characterized with three processes: diversification, convergence and integration within the framework of the Internet. All of these processes create entirely new media with added content value. The technology goes further: the Internet is available on your cell phones, mobile phone operators offer live TV feeds, radio broadcasting etc. Internet combines audio, video, text and the communicant (recipient) can, with his feedback, make up the web content.
Digital technology multiplies the possibilities for the transmission of contents, offering new opportunities for the promotion of cultural diversity. The analysis of the situation cannot be based on a technological determinism dealing exclusively with technical and industrial considerations, and the way in which the new technologies can influence culture in the countries must be taken into account. Without attempting to cover everything, the main tendencies are considered as under:
• Despite the fact that, in the midterm, traditional media will probably continue to have the greatest incidence in the spreading of cultural values, the digitalization of the media opens up perspectives for the distribution of contents which will mean an increase in the cultural diversity of the media. However, there is a tendency towards the implantation of pay media which could mean that access to the contents is restricted for a great part of the society, who do not have sufficient resources. This tendency must be counteracted especially by the public ownership media.
• The digitalization and convergence of the media offer new possibilities for increasing cultural diversity, such as the number of channels, the user’s direct access to the contents, the greater possibility for subtitling or dubbing and the new routes for the distribution of contents.
• The Internet is an especially appropriate medium for the transmission of cultural contents, including that for even the smallest minority, given that it notably increases the possibilities for choice for the public and offers immediate access. The Internet can facilitate the presence in society of universities, cultural associations and other organisations of diverse nature, which develop interesting cultural activities.
• In the area of multimedia contents (Internet, DVD and videogames), as well as the digital television channels, the present situation of dependency of European markets with respect to North American and Japanese production, is a serious risk for the restriction of cultural diversity in Europe. In order to confront this situation, the European audiovisual sector must be involved as a priority in the development of contents for this medium, especially of those which include interactive applications based on connection to the Internet.
The current predominance of North American contents – as a consequence of their leadership in the cinema industry, implies a serious risk of the deterioration of European cultural diversity. In order to confront this situation, the European audiovisual sector must especially influence the development of contents with interactive applications for DVD, based on connection to Internet, whilst promoting the consolidation of strong companies, which use all the Net’s potential for the distribution of audiovisual works.
• European leadership in the area of digital television offers favourable ground for the development of home-grown cultural contents which enjoy public preference. This situation can also encourage the development of multimedia contents related to the most successful television programmes.
Although, regarding the freedom of speech, the Internet was for a long period of time a very promising medium, this is not such a straightforwardly acceptable view today. Yes, it is true that everyone is allowed to create his own website or blog, but it is open to question whether anyone else will visit it. The loss of freedom and the aspect of cultural imperialism bring about the result that the most popular websites are of U.S., western and corporate origin. However, it is important to stress that the Internet is providing an endless list of options in the development of local media environments. The blogs are also a phenomenon that already leads to the growth of diversity, which is enabling free speech and defending the independence of media content. The Internet is increasingly a part of our media and our telecommunication systems. Real technological convergence is taking place. It is the time of mergers between the traditional media and telecommunication companies, as well as by each of these with the Internet and computer enterprises. Internet can be a catalyzer for social mobilisation within a digital space in which the individual experiences a frame to a cognition state in which they become more passive and receptive to the message. Remediation is a new theory characteristic of internet meaning it constantly includes other forms of media and audiences expect transparency which on the contrary transforms in double-remediation. Should citizens become aware of this specific nature of Internet, communication is immediate
The electronic media and communication sector, which ranges from telecommunication networks and the Internet, through to radio, television and film, is itself among the most active in the current drive for the globalization of production, markets and trade. Although varying among the subsectors, its rate of expansion has been phenomenal, the centralization of ownership has been among the most marked, the transition from national public ownership to global private ownership is almost total and international trade (facilitated by the rebranding of telecommunication services as “tradable goods”) has expanded apace. This has been accompanied by the reorganization of hardware, software and content production, and the global redistribution of activities.
New technologies have significant influence on traditional electronic media, print publishing and the work of journalists in all the media. The whole media production is dependent on new technologies: books, newspapers, broadcasting etc.-all of them are accessible not only in the original form, but on a PC, a notebook or a cellular phone as well. It helps to create McLuhan’s “global village” and allows the globalisation of media culture.
Taking into account new perspectives of reflexive-modernity and the individualization of the society [7-9] it can be recommended the creation and promotion of ‘tailored policies’ to consider individual needs and allow feedback. That is following the understanding of the citizen as a consumer for the neoliberal consumption society that frames most of global citizenship digital activism.
• Research shows there are global concerns about forms of social inequality and their impact on public services. Access to “public services tend to reproduce patterns of social inequality” especially in issues of race, ethnicity and gender.
• Media reinforces and reproduces meanings of ‘otherness’ without policies to reduce and if possible eliminate inadequate messages. Citizens need to “be aware of how television and Internet control the barriers of meaning” and thus to manage the messages mediated by mass media. Audience ethnographies has researched the influence of television as a socializing agent of the Asian diaspora. Thus, media can reproduce the local cultural hegemony; policies need to address the global reality of a multicultural and hybrid society respecting cultural differences.
• In the context of the global crisis, there is a growing scholarly debate about for the end of the nation-state and the benefits of the welfare state. Government budgets need to plan and consider the future of the citizens that lack a global institution to provide support including resources for global citizenship.
• In the current global governance scenario, there is no institutional framework to address the needs of a potential global citizenship. However Internet and mass media are producing a global identity and promoting global cooperation aside. There are growing numbers of migrants holding no citizenship. National policies need to address governance gaps and also participate in multilateralism and international agreements. This includes the recognition the human rights of migrant workers and their social vulnerability in the new countries. It recommends a follow-up of legally-binding conventions and cooperative bodies and further research on the condition of recently-settled communities that move to Britain.
• Decision-makers need to have the same global perspective as its citizens. Learning from foreign development, publicprivate partnerships are required to meet budgets, and become successful especially when the local consensus is implemented. In countries were internet is used by the majority of its citizens, it can serve as direct access to citizen’s views towards more democratic relations.
• In a neoliberal context embedded in the political economy of globalization, citizens need to be addresses as socially constructed citizen-consumers. Globalizing Internet also allows local and national governments to provide more formulae for participatory democracy and policy-making. In the dichotomy of existing states and markets, dual formulae can be recommended as well as to promote new forms of govern mentality. New ‘tailored’ public services can be provided. i.e. Britain, the dichotomy of state and markets is yet relevant to policy-making as it was launched in New Labour.
• Considering that media has become a policy actor in its own right and the linkages between public opinion and the mass media strengthened, National and Local Governments can use media not only to disseminate messages but to participate in the agenda-setting with relevant information to bring-up consensus in matter that do not require ‘fabricated debates’. Internet can help to negotiate subjective decision-making processes (gate keeping filters) to promote the adequate messages and clear feedback. In specific issues such as environmental media products and news, producers and consumers in the ‘circuit of culture’ should be able to work closely in the processes related to the production and consumption of meanings.
• To some extent, globalization is altering local and national imagined communities into a shared global identity. Among its consequences, it is public diplomacy and the need to invest in development programmes, including cultural exchange programmes between citizens of the countries in conflict.
• In multicultural society, how civil society and citizens in general react to social phenomena it is framed by media information flows which unveil the symbolic structures of the secular societies. The discourse of media can be analysed in basic terms: sacred/profane, the right/wrong following principles of sociology. This can decision-makers and information officers from a language based on exclusion that can create ‘otherness’ as a social value, as excerpt from analysis of media contents .
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of globalisation in the light of the analysis that has been done in the context of this paper, my argument is that much as globalisation may be inevitable, its consequences are devastating. It is therefore, my contention that, there is the need for an appropriate response in a view to understanding the dynamics that will hopefully help to evolve measures that will reduce the devastating effects of globalisation. In recent decades, media rhetoric has promoted the vision of a world in process of unification, largely as a result of technology’s power to dissolve borders and speed communication. However, perspectives on globalization differ sharply, and these differences have been well defined by numerous analysts, some of whom have pointed to flaws in some of the more optimistic scenarios. A consideration of the role of media is highly important for the whole concept of globalization, but in theoretical debates these fields are largely ignored. The blindingly obvious point that there is no globalization without media has not been articulated or analysed clearly enough. The role of media is often reduced either to an exclusively and self-evidently technological one or to individuals’ experiences that are unconnected to the media industries. Nevertheless, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive, because the production of media and the experience of them are linked, often in highly subtle ways.
Despite such dystopian warnings, it can be argued that the possibly dire effects of globalization are often concealed by glib rhetoric and powerful mythologies. Whatever facts may qualify it, the idea of a single interconnected world has become a necessary article of faith, an uplifting vision. Or, to put it another way, old dreams of a worldwide Utopia seem now to have meshed with opportunistic economic factors and to have been made fully realizable by the new technologies. However, mundane the reality of the trends, there is little theoretical interaction between globalization and media scholars. On the one hand, most globalization theorists come outside media and communication studies and have not studied media per se. On the other hand, most media scholars themselves have been occupied mainly with media economy and questions of power and inequality, as numerous books on international communication show. These issues are important but are not the only ones: globalization theorists have raised many issues which cannot be reduced solely to questions of economy and which most international communication scholars have ignored.
The world as a global village has come to stay. An institution that fails to meet the challenges of globalization shall remain irrelevant. There is no other lexis. This is the prize of globalization.