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Blog: Media in a Changing Global Culture

Our interaction at South High relates to trends in globalization in a couple of ways. Globalization relates to the “growing interconnectedness and intensification of connections” as well as the “changing role of geography and physical distance” (326). At South High, we were able to connect with a different, more diverse community of kids. Although we did not share our technology from overseas, we did see communication through kids living nearby. We were able to view new ideas and were able to see different cultures through South High. As globalization describes, “culture becomes more accessible to larger numbers of people.” For example, I believe one of the students from South High was from somewhere in Africa. It was interesting to see and hear his point of view of our media presentations. South High enabled us to interact and view a variety of new content and cultures through media.

I learned a lot about cultural imperialism, the “global village”, and local cultures. First off, I had never really thought about cultural imperialism until I read this chapter. I didn’t realize how much American movies and U.S. productions impacted other countries. I knew “U.S. projects tend to have substantial budgets” (333), however, I did not realize that other countries don’t spend this kind of money on movies, etc. I also thought it was interesting how other countries chose to buy U.S. media products because it is cheaper than their own. I would have thought it would be the other way around – since America spends so much money on movies and television shows, wouldn’t those products cost more? Next, I thought the idea of a “global village” was interesting. McLuhan believes that “the airing of voices and knowledge can promote greater understanding between different nations and cultures” (329). I agree and disagree with this idea. I think it is important that everyone’s voice is heard. As McLuhan states, this would “extend the range of publicly available knowledge about many different areas and aspects of the world” (328). I somewhat disagree that these voices would lead to greater understanding. I think that a “global village” could lead to greater understanding at some point, however, I think it would create many arguments and misunderstandings too. And as of right now, the only voices that are really heard are those of the large media corporations. Last, I learned that local cultures is a strategy corporations use “by exporting the U.S. model while adapting it to local conditions” (338). I thought this was interesting, as I had never thought about this before either. Companies like MTV are able to reach more people in different countries through creating multiple parts such as “MTV Africa” and “MTV Asia” (338). This causes more people to tune into MTV because they can relate to this channel more than other Western oriented shows.

I also learned a lot about politics of information and global media regulation. I think that politics of information is an important aspect of media. I thought it was interesting how “the idea that information should flow freely across national boundaries sounds benign to Western ears, many developing countries came to understand it as privileging the ‘First World’s’ market-driven perspective of information flow” (340). I do think the government should have some say in the media, however, the extent of their involvement may vary. I think under-developed countries want more of a balance between Western news and their local news. Also, global media regulation is an important aspect of the media. I never realized how difficult it must be to regulate “media ownership and programming extending beyond national borders” (344). How do you decide who regulates the media when the media becomes global? I did not find it surprising that “national governments and international organizations are feeling increased pressure from global media conglomerates and transnational private capital” (344). The conglomerates want to have global media regulation to increase their influence and power in the media industry. I also thought it was interesting how some people are “advocating for a more democratic media and creating their own independent media” (345). I believe the issue of global media regulation can relate to several other topics we have learned about in class.

My experience at South High does not make me want to change my video essay. My group and I made a video essay about the active audience theory and discussed how a variety of factors such as background, age, culture, etc. can influence how people interpret certain media. I think we demonstrated this in our video and the kids at South High helped advocate how several people may have different interpretations about the media.

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  1. Kathleen
    November 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Nice post, Nicole and great tie-ins from the reading and our actual experience at South. Good job.

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