At South High, a school that is very culturally aware and diverse, our presentations, with some exceptions, were given by primarily white, American students. Although we spoke about global issues such as minority representation in the media and horizontal integration, the majority of our perspectives are from a primarily white, privileged background.
Our time spent at South High, however, also highlighted how electronic media can be used as a tool for globalization, bringing global awareness across great distances through use of the Internet and of YouTube. For example, many of our video essays used clips from You Tube and information from Facebook and Twitter to support global ideas of media conglomeration. The ability to see a clip from Sri Lanka or the Arab Spring would have been impossible in the past, and this advancement in electronic media has changed how people can view the world.
Cultural imperialism encompasses the argument that media products flow primarily from “the West,” or America, influencing Eastern culture with little input from other, less wealthy nations. The term seems to highlight the possibility of “domination,” and suggests that the media industry in wealthy nations has such a large influence over the rest of the world that topics are being skewed and ideas misrepresented and misinterpreted (a very definite possibility).
I found the ideas of the “global village” very intriguing as well – the possibility that the media holds to unite nations shows great possibility for peacemaking and global understanding. However, as the reality of the “global village” is considered, it is seen that this promise is largely unrealistic – the largest and most influential media organizations are born from wealthy, powerful countries – giving little voice and making little difference for smaller, poorer nations of the world. This reality has led to a “homogenization of culture,” and a loss of local cultural awareness. As long as the wealthiest nations hold them most power in the media world, a true “global village” will never be realized.
The League of Nations’ view on globalization as a tool to increase peace and understanding is an excellent way to guide future thoughts and decisions regarding globalized media. While underrepresentation of underdeveloped countries is still an issue, the politics of information flow has the possibility to unite countries in the future. Global media regulation could aid in this process – while media corporations undoubtedly hold huge influence over government protocol, organizations such as Free Press are setting good examples for the future of fair and diverse media.
After reading this chapter and showing my video at South High, I would like to include more perspectives in my video essay, if possible. I think it would be beneficial to focus on the prevalence and use of media in underdeveloped countries as well, instead of only focusing on how media is influencing activism in the United States.