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Blog #6

The one way in which our interaction at South High related to globalization is that through some of the videos we showed, we are able to view aspects of different cultures that would have been hard to imagine before the advances in media technology. Croteau states that, “With electronic mass media, the ideas, images, and sounds of different cultures are potentially available to vast networks of people outside the culture from which the original message originated” (326). Some videos I remember that vividly displayed other cultures, sounds, ideas, and images were the videos on social media and the video on how news is represented differently between China and the United States.

I learned a great deal about Cultural imperialism after reading this chapter. I was completely amazed that Western media, especially from the United States had such a big impact on other nations. Popular shows and movies in America dominate what is seen in other countries. According to Croteau, he states that, “European Union movie theaters are dominated by American movies, with U.S. productions attracting over 67% of European cinemagoers in 2009” (333).  He also states that U.S. TV series and films account for 60% of series and 55% of films in Europe (333).  I also learned that the reason that U.S. films and television series appeal to other countries is because of the big budgets and amazing effects that these U.S. production companies can put into their products. The final aspect that I found interesting about cultural imperialism is that many countries choose to use U.S. made media products because they are cheaper to buy then if the country was to make their own TV series and movies.

I also found the idea of Marshall Mcluhan’s “global village” absolutely fascinating. His idea is that people of the world would become closer if they made their voices heard (325). What really intrigued me was that this is most certainly not the case. Almost all of the world’s media comes from North America, Japan and Europe. Just like the video that my group and I made that discusses how only a few corporations truly control what we see and hear in the media, this seems to be the case on a worldwide scale. In reality, the only people in the world who really get to let their voices be heard within the media are major media corporations that are in wealthy nations.

I think that the politics of information is very important. I completely agree with the Final Act of the 1948 UN conference that states that, “freedom of information is a fundamental right of the people…” (339).  I found it interesting that the idea that information should flow freely is something that many nations don’t have and that the United States takes for granted. I found it astounding that much of the news that the world receives comes from the Western associated press services such as United Press International or Reuters. I do agree that the government should have involvement with the media in developing countries. Croteau states that, “…in developing nations, government involvement with local media represented the only way to ensure the existence of an alternative to Western media conglomerates. In addition, many developing nations did not want to be simply flooded by the “free flow” of information from the West” (340). Many of these nations want a free and more balanced flow of information instead of information that only comes from Western nations.  These are just a few of the main aspects that I found very interesting and compelling within this chapter.

From my experience at South High school it does not make me want to change my video essay. I thought that our video really captivated our audience with its unique sense of humor and the examples that we used in our video. One of the students from South commented on our video saying that he thought that our use of the Old Spice character and how this can be seen through many mediums was a very funny and clever way of presenting our argument. If even only one student learned from our video about why horizontal integration and the concentration of media ownership is bad and found it to be clever and humorous then I believe our video succeeded in what it was supposed to do and I would not change a thing about it.

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  1. Kathleen
    November 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    You bring up some great points, Matt and it’s clear this is an issue you’ve thought about a lot. In actuality I think there are only about 11 corporations that own the majority of global media. Kind of terrifying, really!

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