The New Communications Landscape: Demystifying Media Globalization

The New Communications Landscape: Demystifying Media Globalization

The New Communications Landscape: Demystifying Media Globalization

The New Communications Landscape: Demystifying Media Globalization


This study explores the theories of media globalization with emphasis on the areas of cultural and local television markets. The book focuses on the industry, content and strategy, audience, policy and future research.


When communications satellites and computer networks took off in the early 1990s, the world found itself faced with a new generation of communications technology which not only undermined geographical distances but also national borders. Fueled by a wave of communications policy deregulation, changes in the communications industries soon led to the belief that the whole world was now linked by global media which transmit messages in split seconds to audiences everywhere, including those living in the most remote corners of the world. the era of "global" communications thus pronounced itself arrived.

While the expansion of transnational media is quite obvious for us to see, to many, media globalization remains a myth as a concept (Ferguson, 1992). Whether we should be satisfied with the growth of a few transnational as sufficient evidence for globalization has been a question begging for answers.

As researchers are still grappling with the true meaning of globalization, the world television industries, generally perceived to be an important dimension of globalization, seem to have increasingly drifted away from the idea of a singular, united global marketplace, although globalization remains an important competitive strategy in the media business.

One runs the inherent danger of simplifying matters by making such statements. There is no telling whether what one can observe at this stage marks the beginning of, or the temporary transition to, a new era. in fact changes in the world communications industry in recent years have been so rapid and drastic that observing it is like observing a bullet train in motion-we all know it is going very fast, heading somewhere, but that is about all.

However, even bullet trains make stops. in recent years we have come to witness interesting, albeit somewhat puzzling, developments in the world of communications: the transnationalization of national, or even local, television in several parts of the world, local appeal as a success formula for television but not for cinema, and media globalization and localization as concurring phenomena. These developments have painted a communications landscape that is quite different from what we were familiar with. They pointed to new directions for changes and exposed significant inadequacies in the framework of analysis that was employed in the past. It is only with a good look at the industry, the audience and the policies

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