Globalisation is a phenomenon of our time. Somehow it is highly contested and widely accepted at the same time. It relates to almost all aspects of our lives, the economy, politics, culture, society, generally speaking, with everything we deal with in our everyday lives. This process effects everyone and change everything.
And the mass media did not escape the impact of this unpredictable henomenon. From the beginning it would be necessary to clarify what mass media is? The mass media can be simply defined as the means of communication that reach large numbers of people in a short time, such as television, newspapers, magazines, radio and the internet. In terms of reach, mass media can easily be accessible to people internationally and even across continents. In the past before cable TV, satellite and even before general TV people generated and accumulated their own culture. Later, also under the influence of globalization, with the development of television culture and news were generated within countries for the consumption by the local population. Nowadays the mass media giants are getting larger and taking over the smaller stations.
The media industry as an inevitable and important pert of our life now worldwide is in the grip of globalisation. All media firms are responding to a general market situation caused by unstable globalization, that is compelling them to move toward being much superior, globally and vertically integrated conglomerates. This media convergence is without any doubt a result of neo-liberal policies of globalisation that were implemented worldwide, where the state has withdrawn from the responsibility to manage any public resources.
In this paper it would be of use to study the dynamics in the media industry and the role of the digital and satellite technologies in television broadcasts. Not the last is the role of the Internet within the media dimension and especially the web in the media industry. And the burning question is to decide whether there are any gains from globalization of the media industry.
As for the dynamics of the media industry we may state that the very advent of globalisation has completely changed the media scene. As an example we see that western media dominance has given way to multiple actors. Flows of numerous media products from the north to the south and vice versa. More and more south states have begun producing and exporting media materials including film and television programmes that may signify the dawn of age of many third world media producers and the somehow localization of some media production. These third world producers have also developed into international exporters of cultural products, a process which is supposed to have altered any one-way flow of western material, and have created stronge competition. So interdependence has increased.
New models of considering media effects have also emerged for several past years bringing diverse audience outline and sets of meaning to media texts, and bringing forward third world countries to the international media scene. This has gone along way in addressing the imbalanced flow of media products from news (Curran J. and Gurevitch M., 2000) to films. In some third world or developing countries globalisation has produced the adoption of new technologies of information and communication that are vital in maintaining the dynamism of development.
In other aspects globalisation has had negative impact on media industries. Considering the influence of satellite systems in Africa it was notified that contrary to predictions that the new technologies would bring about fundamental changes in economic, political, social and cultural relations through information revolutions, they have in reality precipitated a rapid increase of misinformation (Tnussu D.K. 1999). Cultural integrity of weak societies, i.e. cultural integrity of developing countries is at stake. He says that their national, regional, local or tribal heritages are sure to be menaced with extinction first of all by the expansion of modern electronic technologies of communications (Herman E.S. and McChessney R.W. 1977).
Accordingly, we may see the contradictory nature of globalization producing merit and malice at the same time.
We may also outline that changes in Television broadcasting could be the clearest proof of globalisation in the media field. In the end of XX century national media systems were characterized by nationally owned radio and television systems, as well as newspaper industry. Though newspaper publishing still remains of national control the essence of television has changed a lot, almost beyond recognition under the impact of globalization. But changes were not qualitative. Despite the proliferation of TV channels, sources of news remain old. TV audience is still watching the same video, films or news from the same resources. The producers of basic material for international television news and the owners of local and global television have become increasingly standardized and diversity of ideas diminished. And we may found out that one little fact was ignored in this strengthening speed in international TV newscasts, the interests of wide audience.
Globalisation has since compelled them to change strategy and tactics to survive in this extremely competitive atmosphere.
Nowadays along with globalization the internet is strengthen its positions within the media world. We may see that the internet is becoming a major contributor to the globalisation of the media. Media firms use the web to advertise their products and increase their earnings. So, let’s investigate how the internet has enhanced profitability of the media industry.
The Internet, that is almost communication network is in some ways the defining feature and is already an inevitable element of the emerging global economic order. In the 90s of XX century almost all media giants have turned into joint ventures or strategic alliances with large telecom and software. The media giants have enormous advantages over other Internet content providers. These include their abilities to use the existing programming to promote their websites on their traditional media and draw in major advertisers.
But along with providing wide range of information the Internet might the Internet might information and communication inequality, mostly it may happen in the developing world, if not everywhere (Katz E. and Wedell G. 1997). The third world nations will bear the burden of instability related to exploitation of information industry technologies and markets. Having not sufficient experience definitely they will be destroyed.
Why are media technologies so important within the global development? It is not only the high speed in which information passes throughout the globe that grants them excessive importance. Media can at the same moment construct and destroy communities through the projection of their images and stories. Along with communities they also construct our memories, everyone can remember for how many times have we spoken with our friends about a movie that was on the television the night before. This creation of memories grants them the power to manipulate and reconstruct culture.
But also again we may outline some weak points of globalization. The negative impact is that withdevelopment of modern media technologies sometimes sovereignty of nations is involved in this ongoing process. In other words the free flow of information has gone too far. Regulation and strict control are measures that has to be considered in a global setting.
Summarize we may say that major challenge of globalization is the internationalisation of the media in the countries of the south. Strong dependence of the countries of the south on foreign companies’ media products is evident in the way that the important division of the basis of national decision making concerning media industries is done from outside the country. To renovate this situation and the restoration of reliance on national resources and infrastructures of the countries of the south, some Latin American and Middle Eastern countries have managed to develop their media infrastructure, and provide regional neighbouring countries with their national TV programmes.
Furthermore the complex globalisation process is facing different individual, cultural and national reactions. These challenges are based on the question of the balance between laws for economic development and the communication integration and cultural independence and the changing face of national governments and politics.
Media is not only a result of but also a process in globalisation. As entertainment or media organisations get larger and more powerful, culture is turned to a commodity that can be bought, sold or rearranged. Instead of generating and cultivating our own culture we become passive observers and turn into consumers of a media.
This question of globalization is still controversial. For the western world, it creates a great threat. And at the same time it has great potential to destroy cultures internationally, in general these countries are very weak ones. Globalization gives rise tone part and diminish the role of others. Many countries may cease creating their own media for national public and simply because American medi, it may become sufficient only the presence of one particular conglomerate within the media space to meet the needs of audience. The US can easily afford to do so, as their outlets will have made enough profit in the motherland media space. This means people will not fully have their native freedom of speech or viewpoints.
In conclusion, it would be necessary to point out that in spite of numerous flaws and imperfections of the globalization process there are more gains from globalisation of the media industry. Though some may associate globalisation with cultural hegemony of the West over the developing world. The phenomenon has opened more space and more opportunities in broadcasting and indeed expanded the horizons of the audience. Events happening in any corner of the world are immediately beamed across the globe with ease and within few seconds, reducing the world to a global village. The protester and non-commercial voices of globalisation will exist largely on the margins but they will hardly challenge the weight of the corporate communication giants.
List of References
Curran J. and Gurevitch M., (2000), Mass Media and society, 3rd ed. London: Arnold
Herman E.S. and McChessney R.W., (1977), The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism, London: Cassell.
Katz E. and Wedell G., (1997), Broadcasting in the Third World-Promise and Performance. London and Basingtoke: Macmillan
Tnussu D.K. (1999), Electronic Empires London: Arnold