Media and Politics in Pacific Asia

Media and Politics in Pacific Asia

Media and Politics in Pacific Asia

Media and Politics in Pacific Asia

Synopsis

This book is the first to provide a detailed account of the political influence exerted by both domestic and international media in the Asia Pacific region.

Excerpt

Radio Veritas was widely credited with helping to bring down the Marcos regime. The banning of Tempo and two other weeklies in 1994 marked the beginning of the end for Indonesia's New Order. Changing styles of television news led by TV Asahi contributed to a re-shaping of Japanese politics in the 1990s. The de facto sacking of a South China Morning Post China-watcher rekindled a long-running debate about self-censorship in Hong Kong. Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra lost much of his international credibility following a wounding spat with the Far Eastern Economic Review. Unpacking the often inept interactions between media and politics is an essential task for all who seek to understand Pacific Asia.

This book begins with several (deliberately provocative) observations. Those who study politics generally have a limited understanding of media, and political scientists are mainly interested in 'political communication' issues such as election coverage and campaigning-what Cook (1998) calls 'the voter persuasion paradigm'. Those who study media generally have a weak understanding of politics, often espousing far-fetched and overly sympathetic interpretations of media. Most analyses of politics and media are based upon Western countries, and are of limited relevance to non-Western societies. The media specialist's over-riding preoccupation with outputs, typically studied through content analysis, often obscures the important processes that generate those outputs. Many arguments advanced about media and politics have limited value for developing countries, especially perhaps Asian ones (see Curran and Park 2000).

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