Essays on Globalization of American Media Research Proposal

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The paper 'Globalization of American Media' is a perfect example of a business research proposal. Globalization has not only entailed movement of goods, services, capital, technology, and labor across national boundaries, it has also resulted in the sharing of cultures between countries. In no area is this most apparent than the media. Particularly the mass media, which is television, radio, and films has become integrated with the economic systems, which are essentially market-driven. From a vicious view of Americanism that the global media was apparently fed with since the 1930s, the post-modern “ semiotic democracy” has made the “ new information order” a more complex phenomenon (Murray, 2007).

While earlier, the influence of American culture on global media was seen in center-periphery terms of political economy, a combination of modern-day cultural imperialism as well as “ cultural protectionism” (Schiller, 2007, quoted by Murray, 2007) in the media of some countries have made this a more complex phenomenon. While cultural imperialism was blatant during the Cold War years with American propaganda trying to influence the cultures of all countries, the influence has taken indirect routes in the days of globalization.

As an example, Schiller (2007) cites the American satellite television channel, Al-Hurra, launched after the Iraq War in 2003 to counter the local channel, Al-Jazeera. It was realized that a local language television channel was necessary rather than English language propaganda material, which was found ineffective in the region even in the Cold War years because of cultural protectionism (Battle, 2002). Murray (2007) points out that American influence has continued to exist in the days of globalization in many subtle forms. For example, soap operas like Dallas and Dynasty, generally considered to be the epitome of the American culture of consumerism, are viewed by aboriginal cultures as a depiction of kinship. In this scenario, cultural imperialism is not simply a political agenda as in the past but poses as an opportunity for transnational businesses.

The media has essentially come to be linked with the capitalist economic system in which the market is the ultimate arbitrator. Modern western democracies of today vouch for the free market in which the players have competitive freedom in all sectors including the media.

Hence, most western economies, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, have been engaging in media reforms that would enable greater competition in the sector (Hitchens, 2007). As it has turned out, in most sectors of the economy – including the media – it is the global conglomerates that rule the markets in most countries. As McChensey (1999) notes, such democracies are closer to the libertarian democracies of the 18th century, when the political system was ruled by the rich elite and not by the common citizens though it is the latter that democracy should entail.

In such a system, media reforms that promote the market-based system of concentrated media lead to media content that is also dictated by the rules of the market. People are provided with a flood of information through the market but the subjectivity of the information depends on the business interests of the conglomerates. This, according to McChesney, has serious political implications. It is assumed that the commercial media system, which works under the free market regime, is fundamentally strong and does not require to be regulated by the state.

This neo-liberal stand is similar to that which is advocated for free markets for industries. It goes unnoticed that the commercial media feeds the audience biased content. The First Amendment Principle, which provides the Americans the freedom of speech and expression then is given a go by in the interest of freedom of property rights, which essentially is what happens in this case (McChensey, 1999). The core problems of media reforms in America as in other countries, according to McChesney, are the result of “ a profit-driven, advertising-supported media system: hyper commercialism and denigration of journalism and public service” , which he thinks is a poison pill for democracy.

References

Australian Government (2006). Meeting the Digital Challenge: Reforming Australia’s Media in the Digital Age, March http://www.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/37572/Media_consultation_paper_Final_.pdf

This report details the background of media reforms in Australia and the specific changes made in the regulation framework.

McChensey, Robert W and John Nichols (2001). “The Making of a Movement”, The Nation, December 20. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020107/mcchesney

The article describes the effect of corporatisation of media on political awareness in the United States.

Baker, Edwin (2006). Media Concentration: Giving up on Democracy., Cambridge University Press

This book describes how the media organization has taken up the economic principles of market-driven structure.

Bagdikian, Ben H (2000). The Media Monopoly, Sixth Edition, Beacon Press

This book describes American media’s shift in orientation from the needs of the individual to that of the big business

McChesney, Robert W. (1999). Rich Media Poor Democracy; Communication Politics in Dubious Times, University of Illinois Press

This book highlights the paradox between the needs of democracy and the advertisement-dependent media in the neo-liberal political and economic order

Meyrowitz, Joshua (1996). No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Behavior on Social Behavior, Oxford University Press

This book shows the links between electronic media and political awareness of people.

Zhao, Yueshi (1998). Media, Market and Democracy in China: Between Party Line and Bottom Line, University of Illinois

This book describes the change in the media market in China

Dahlgren, Peter (1993). Communication and Citizenship: Journalism and the Public Sphere, Routledge

This book describes the trends of independence in investigative journalism

Sheehan, Paul, Media Ownership in Australia, 20 May, 2002, http://www.tmc.org.au/Sydney/documents/Media%20Ownership%20in%20Australia.doc

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