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Media Globalization

Media travels in a number of ways, through social networking sites, television, radio, e-mail, and cell phone. The way in which people around the world use and receive media has been revolutionized in the last 100 years. Instead of writing a letter to someone living across the country, which could take weeks—we are able to Skype face to face with them at any given moment. There is no longer a barrier of physical distance but an interconnectedness that has spread around the world, this is known as globalization. This expanding use of media can be seen everyday, even on our trip to South High School.
Not only did our trip to South get us to look at how they used different types of media to spread the word around their campus—it also gave us a good look at cultural imperialism. South is a very diverse campus with kids that represent every part of the world and they all use some sort of media. Even though they are from different backgrounds and culture there is an increasing mix of western media influence on other arts of the world. “There is no denying the overwhelming presence the U.S. culture has in other countries. American television, films, and music are common in most societies across the globe” (333). This influence can also be seen at the kids that attend South High, they are increasingly being influenced and molded to like popular Western culture instead of the culture they were brought up in. A lot of this can be due to the fact that smaller cultures just do not have the means to create a multi billion-dollar industry like the one in America. This in effect causes people to view a very narrow view of the world (through ‘western’ eyes). One of the main fears of this is “that the globalization of media is resulting in the homogenization of culture” (335). There are multiple pros and cons to the globalization of media, another being its effects on politics.
Politics have been around since the dawn of time, however there wasn’t always a way to get politicians messages out to everyone—until now. With media a politician’s views can be read about wherever and whenever. It allows the public to connect with their congress representative whenever they feel the need to. But as a result of this spread of such available media comes the very narrow views that often are shown on the news. Rarely do we see what is going on around the world other than through the 5 big new conglomerates. American news is shadowed and monitored by these conglomerates so that they only show certain views. This is an obviously down fall of media. But like the vast spread of communication between countries also comes the flow of information involving politics. An upside to media comes from the vast available knowledge from sources outside the U.S. like BBC and other various countries news stations. There are both positive and negative effects that come out of the mass globalization of media.

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  1. November 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Excellent reflection, Ali. It sounds like you see mostly negative outcomes from globalization, yet you’re also noting that in the U.S., exposure to differing news sources beyond those from the U.S. could help us to broaden our perspectives (or at least make us aware of our tendency to focus solely on the U.S.). It is interesting to see the influence of American pop culture among the populations who come to South. It seems that an embrace of American culture is also an embrace of commercial culture, which isn’t surprising, but is, as you note, somewhat troubling, as there are so many other cultures that could contribute but get overwhelmed. I hope you enjoyed the time at South!

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