Sunday, September 28, 2008

Globalization in the Media

Regionalization is an aspect of globalization where countries or regions tailor the media according to their culture, values, and/or language. Because of the prominence and spread of American media, countries often use regionalization with media coming from the United States. An example of this is Disney’s Disney Channel. It is an American-based media outlet and is shown in many countries worldwide. Some countries have used regionalization and translated Disney shows into their language and/or created shows tailored to their culture to broadcast on the Disney Channel in their country. An excellent example of this is Disney Channel India. They have created a TV series that reflects their religious values and created a movie in their own language.

Matthew Hess, the first presenter, addressed a reason why countries use regionalization: the perceived assault of American media. He spoke specifically of the American cultural imperialism that is evident in Spain. I found his personal experience in Spain to be extremely interesting and helpful as he provided specific examples. He said that American media was everywhere from imported TV sitcoms to the music young Spanish people enjoyed. An important aspect of television and film media that Matthew pointed out was that what does go abroad is controlled by only a few companies.

Kallie Dee Wesson also pointed out that the music industry is controlled by only a few companies. She asked the interesting question, “are too many audiences being spoon-fed as a result?” On the other hand, Kallie said that many individual artists are learning to diversify their music in order to appeal to the broader world audience. She said that this diversification is important because music is the most globalized media. However, Kallie pointed out that music is also the most localized of media. All countries have their own unique form of media. Kallie said that her concern was that the American audience is not diversified enough and should take advantage of the globalization of other cultures’ music.

All of us as presenters spoke about different aspects of the globalization of media and especially the globalization of American media. While each presentation was important, I feel that the end discussion was the most helpful as we discussed the common issues facing us in this period of globalization and connectedness. First, we agreed that international media was controlled by only a few companies and should somehow be subject to more regulation. Also we saw that, as result of this oligopoly, American audiences were not being exposed to as diverse a culture as they should be experiencing. The conclusion we came to as an answer to this problem was the most interesting. We need to cease thinking of ourselves as passive actors in a medium controlled by uncontrollable entities. We must remember that the media industry is consumer driven and we are the consumers! Our actions, ideas, and desires will shape media’s future.

Celeste Cox

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