New Media Capitals

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While Hollywood clearly dominates the global plethora of filmic entertainment, we are seeing how the growing effects of globalisation have given rise to an emergence of transnational mediated flow to and form all over the world (Curtin 2003) 

“Traditionally, television studies have been resolutely national, focusing on a medium contained within the regulatory, political and economic environs of the nation-state”

Australian owner of international mediated corporations ‘Newscorp’ and ‘21st Century Fox’, a major successor of new media capitals, has established a joint-venture company based in Hong Kong after forging allegiances with past Chinese Propaganda official, rising to the top of STARTV’s mainland satellite programming. Sky Italia, BskyB and Germanic Sky Deutschland are further international initiatives that Murdoch has invested into new patterns of television flow! (Curtin 2003) 

Although we are still irrefutably seeing the Westernisation that is present in all forms of media, it is clear that emerging media capitals are expanding the global audience’s dissatisfaction with the typical ‘American sitcom’ and the shift in their cultural attitudes and perspectives.  

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What values?

With the current digital revolution, we have witnessed a progression from strictly print news as niche content, to radioed, televised and online news as a result of social media and online reporting websites.  We are seeing a global shift in the “collection, processing and decimation” of news today, and it is this shift that has allowed for news to travel to such a global audience bringing international disputes which may have once gone unnoticed, to be publicly uncovered.

While news mediums across the world, and especially those in Australia are seeing a concentration of media ownership, the notion of their audiences as ‘passive consumers’ is slowly deteriorating leaving a “transparent media scape” behind. The ability to hold such corporations accountable for the stories they release is growing alongside the ability to detect biasness and imbalance; however, the choice of where these stories come from is rapidly declining. 

In the journal article on ‘An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’ (Lee-Wright, P) it is established that “Al-Jazeera’s reputation in the region was won through its apparent freedom from proprietorial bias, and its willingness to engage in dialogue with its audience.” In a survey of trustworthiness from ‘Journal Practice’, figures of 59% trusted Al-Jazeera as a news source while only 12% for Channel 1 Egypt TV and 4% for Niles News. However, this pooling of information and footage was occasionally criticised for its “tendency to homogeneity”, losing focus on major demonstrations and letting politics cloud its coverage however, Al-Jazeera’s chief political analyst Marwan Bishara who explained how the mainstream news media “began to fixate on the role of social media, ignoring other social and political factors (that Al-Jazeera picked up on)… While important, there is no need to sensationalise the role social media played. Facebook won’t organise, people do. Twitter won’t govern, people will.” (Bishara 2012)

This interview with Wadah Khanfar, the former director general of the Al-Jazeera shows their attempts of balance and how they struggled as a majority media conglomerate to deliver an ethical story.

 

-Lee-Wright, P, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, Jomec Journal (date of publication, volume and page number not stated)

http://highteamediaedit.wordpress.com

  

Further food for thought:

http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2012/02/17/wadah-khanfar-former-director-general-of-al-jazeera-to-speak-at-mit-media-lab/

Ethical Journalism …

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Media manipulation, its impact on the scientific research of climate change and how this research reaches and affects an educated or uneducated audience is one under much debate. Documentation of initial and ongoing politics of global media coverage that surrounds climate change, the imbalance in its analysis, its response to legislative initiatives and the fluctuating, impermanence of global warming stories present in the mainstream media show substantial discrepancies in accuracy and integrity. Such errors begin to intensify when the ability to manipulate a global audience on such an important environmental level flourish far more frequently, be this sensationalised, underestimated or ‘falsely balanced.’

The idea of ‘false balance’ – the “over simplified notion of providing ‘balance’ in reporting on news involving different perspectives, journalists increasingly and rightly, take their clues from the leading and acknowledged scientific experts” which show global warming is actually occurring, but still proceed to show the minority percentage who disagree, as a somewhat majority opposition. Political scientists are especially sensitive to the way in which the media handles this issue, fearing that the media shape the publics perception of what is important while accurate scientific research is drifting far from their spotlight, allowing ignorance to take its place. 

Here is a short clip that illustrates the extent of this by professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University; Stephen Schnieder. 

Most people do not read scientific reports, specialist web­sites and blogs, or the reports of the IPCC, they turn to what would be expected to be a ‘straightforward’ and ‘concise’ version in a daily newspaper or report, however, most news labels and corporations only tailor their stories to suit their payrolls, it is their first priority to prosper as a business, presenting a reliable article or television segment with honest facts and proven research does not always provide this.

It is concluded by Ward in his article on climate change reporting that the ethical principles facing this issue will “play out over the coming years and decades in light of the pressures the mainstream news media (MSM) are currently facing remains uncertain. But what remains a veritable certainty is that, without the acknowledged credibility …an interested citizenry inevitably will have to turn elsewhere for its information.”

Just where that might be is anyone’s guess.

  

-Ward, B, 2009, “Journalism ethics and climate change reporting in a period of intense media uncertainty”, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, vol. 9 13-15

-Nell, T. Gavin, 2009, “Addressing climate change: a media perspective”, Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 765-780.

Don’t criticise, just globalise

Having struggled to define globalisation myself and all it comprises, I stumbled across a fantastic explanation that is relevant especially to media flows in the set reading ‘Media and Society’ (O’Shaughnessy and Standler) 

“globalisation refers to an international community influences by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterized by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.”

The act of abolishing national and geographical borders promotes an utmost level of shared information, awareness and connectedness. However, while differential curiosity arises, anxiety follows. Conflict often arises when individuals and communities are faced with perceptions that don’t match their own, inevitably; a latent mistrust of those who are different presents itself. The notion of ‘cultural imperialism’ runs deep here, the idea that upheld traditions are being taken over by the homogenization of Western culture and its consumerist ways. There is relentless questioning so as to view human kind as scapegoats of homogenization or more broadly informed and educated as a result of cultural integration. But in my own opinion, I think the positives out weigh the somewhat culturally intolerant negatives. This would easily be viewed as a utopian outlook on the concept of globalisation; encapsulated by a key philosopher in the ‘Communication Theory’ Marshall McLuhan as a ‘global village’ in which he creates an image of

“a world in which media transcend the nation-state in a democratising process that gives everyone’s voice a chance to be heard and enables information to be shared freely.”

However, the voice that is criticised for being overheard and overbearing is that of the West. Although, there would be many other underlying, intra-cultural influences when the topic of ‘Americanization’ is presented.

In the video below: ‘Big ‘Think’, Dr Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and Vice President of the Society’s Global Arts Programming discusses a balance between the utopian and dystopian views of globalisation, explaining how “global organisations become localised to the regions in which they are operating, encouraging both the preservation of the indigenous culture, but also the evolution of a new hybrid culture.”