Media imperialism


Media imperialism

Media imperialism is a theory based upon an over-concentration of mass media from larger nations as a significant variable in negatively affecting smaller nations, in which the national identity of smaller nations is lessened or lost due to media homogeneity inherent in mass media from the larger countries.[1]

History and background

The Media Imperialism debate started in the early 1970s when developing countries began to criticise the control developed countries held over the media. The site for this conflict was UNESCO where the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) movement developed. Supported by the McBride report, "Many Voices, One World", countries such as India, Indonesia, and Egypt argued that the large media companies should have limited access to developing countries. This argument was one of the reasons for the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore leaving UNESCO.

Later during the 1980s and 1990s, as multinational media conglomerates grow larger and more powerful many believe that it will become increasingly difficult for small, local media outlets to survive. A new type of imperialism will thus occur, making many nations subsidiary to the media products of some of the most powerful countries or companies. Significant writers and thinkers in this area include Ben Bagdikian, Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Armand Mattelart and Robert McChesney. However, critics have responded that in most developing countries the most popular television and radio programs are commonly locally produced. Critics such as Anthony Giddens highlight the place of regional producers of media (such as Brazil in Latin America); other critics such as James Curran suggest that State government subsidies have ensured strong local production. In areas such as audience studies, it has been shown that global programs like Dallas do not have a global audience who understand the program the same way (Tamar Liebes and Elihu Katz, The Export of Meaning: Cross-Cultural Readings of 'Dallas'. 2nd ed. Polity Press, 2004).

The United States' corporate media coverage of events has been seen to limit the freedom of the press. Integrity can be lost among media giants. This combined with the control and flow of information reduces the fairness and accuracy of news stories. American news networks like CNN also often have large international staffs, and produce specialized regional programming for many nations.

Media Imperialism is not always an international occurrence, however. When a single company or corporation controls all the media in a country, this too is a form of Media Imperialism. Nations such as Italy and Canada are often accused of possessing an Imperial media structure, based on the fact that much of their media is controlled by one corporation or owner.

A media source which ignores and/or censors important issues and events severely damages freedom of information. Many modern tabloid, twenty-four hour news channels and other mainstream media sources have increasingly been criticized for not conforming to general standards of journalistic integrity.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kalyani Chadha, Anandam Kavoori. "Media imperialism revisited: some findings from the Asian case". Media Culture & Society. http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/22/4/415.abstract. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 

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