Sunday, November 11, 2007

Global News and Information Flow in the Internet Age

. Introduction
A. Internet is universally characterized as a revolutionary medium because it has opened up an altogether new world of information and communication
B. Still barriers (digital divide) but the internet is catching on quicker than any previous communication innovation
II. Origin and Early History of News Agencies
A. Selling their product to multiple papers enable news agencies to supply more news more cheaply than a single newspapers
B. Dominant Western News Agencies
1. Agence France-Presse
2. Associated Press
3. Reuters
4. United Press International
C. Non-Western Large World News Agency
III. International News Agencies Today
A. Associated Press
B. United Press International
D. Agence France-Presse
1. third largest global wire service after AP and Reuters
2. English, Fr , German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic
E. ITAR-TASS and Interfax
1. since 1992, state-owned successor to USSR
2. ITAR-TASS struggles to be credible and mainstream
4. Eng, Fr, German, Spanish and Arabic
IV. Supplemental news agencies
A. Supplemental sources provide more specialized coverage
B. Major U.S. supplemental
-1. New York Times News Service.
2. Los Angeles Times-Washington Post
3. Dow Jones Newswires
V. Broadcast News Services
A. Reuters World News Services
1. breaking news feeds on international news, business, sports,
B. Associated Press Television News, TV and radio
C. TV Broadcasting
1. CNN International
D. Satellite Communicationà More news sources
1. 24 hours news channels with some English programming is available in: Japan, India, China, Egypt, South Korea
2. Al Jazeeraa. fastest growing media network in Arab world and Arabic speaking
3. France is preparing to launch global satellite French news channel in 2006
4. India, soon to be largest English speaking nation in world, will be important player in global media
E. Radio
1. traditionally been seen as propaganda
2. BBC world service and Voice of America
VII. News Flow Patterns: Online and Offline
A. Problems and patterns of traditional media systems:
1. The four main Western news agencies (AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI) control most of the world’s news flow
2. Four Western agencies
3. Next five leading agencies
B. Developing countrie fears:
1. People in the developing world see themselves through Western lens
2. The West determines what is in the public sphere.
3. One-way news flow
4. “Soft” power influences local culture and thought
C. Core and Periphery Problem- Dependency Theory
VIII. The Outlook
A. Growing political and civil liberties à free flow of info
B. Totalitarian and authoritarian govs. still pose obstacles
C. Developing
D. New packaging and new opportunities for need-based online

Communication and Culture


Culture is a way of life
Mass medi are key components in any nation's culture
Culture Industries:

Coined by aAdorno and Horkheimer: They developed a theory called 'Critical Theory'
The Two believed that the real purpose of mass media was to provide ideological justification for the capitalistic soicieties where these industries developed.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 1999, describes culture industries as important national economic resources that allow expressions of creativity to be “copied & boosted by industrial processes and worldwide distribution.”
Business has its own set of cultural characteristics
Any organization has its own culture that keeps people attached to it and allows members to identify with it
We all belong to multiple groups, each with its own characteristics culture, including schools, religious organizations, civic groups, and even neighborhood groups
Transmission of culture:

Geertz: 'culture is an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life'
print capitalism: newspapers
How West Dominate in Production of Culture:

Schiller: Mass Communication and the American Empire
Nordenstreng and Varis: the one way flow was based on historical conditions related to the introduction of TV and eco. resources and dem. characteristics of the exporters and importers of programs
Tunstall: the Media are American
Tomlinsonm: Cultural Imperialism
What Cultures do to defend cultural autonomy?

Countries with large domestic markets for cultural products always have an advantage in films and television production because they are:
able to charge less
able to remain competitive with other exports
Countries with low productions markets employ these strategies:
1- Quotas
2-Subsidies and Grants
3. Regional alliances (co-productions)
4.Adaptations of programs produced in other cultures
5. Resistance measures

Not ALl Pop culture is American

•Despite an international film and television market dominated by the U.S., people still tend to prefer their local cultures and local cultural products
•In India, Japan, Russia, and Brazil, 70-90% of television content is produced domestically
•Bollywood music and movies appeal to larger audiences, Indian and non-Indian alike, throughout the world

Role Of Journalists in Production of CultureIs objectivity an unattainable myth?*

U.S. news formats are adopted by other news organizations. CNN has large influence- sound bites, voiceovers, etc. internationally used
Journalists are suppsed to detach themselves from what they write
Managing Cultural COnflict:

Globalization vs. Fragmentation, Jihad vs. McWorld
Kurdish; not allowed to have their own channel
broadcast from London to preserve a distictive identity
Hybrid Cultures and the Media

Melting Pot, hybridity, creolization or glocalization: Mix of cultural frames for all of us
Amercian Culture
media imperialism: interpreted according to local culture
What we can conclude:

Journalism, American Style, is also exported around the globe in broadcasts and print media

Milestones in Communication and National Developement

I. Post World War II Realities
- increased birth rate and infant mortality rates
-Marshall Plan
apply a similar model to conditions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean
-spheres of influence
ability of powerful states to impose their will on other states through economic, cultural, and military means
-UN has played a major role in development of the field of comm. for development
II. What is Development?
-a complex, integrated, participatory process involving stakeholders and beneficiaries and aimed at improving quality of human life.
- stakeholders include national gov. and politicians, development assistance agencies (USAID), private sector, NGOs, and cultural leaders
-Andrew Moemeka (2000): Comm. for development has two roles
1. support social chance that aims for higher quality of life
2. socialization- an environment which supports positive social change
III.Communication for Development
-most theories emerged out of the modernization paradigm
-Everett Roger's A History of Communication Study (1994)
a. Southeastern Ohio
(I've experienced this first hand; as I live right on the border of Southern Ohio, in WV, which has its own developmental issues!)
-problems with unemployment, obesity, and environmental degradation
-coal mining; logging
-participatory and sustainable
b. The Caribbean Community
-problems with disease (dengue, malaria)
IV. The Modernization Model
-dominant paradigm (modernization model)
-dependency paradigm (dependency critique)
-alternative paradigm (another development, participatory model)
V. The 1980s: Development Support Communication and Project Support Communication
-Childers (1973) "use of communication techniques to elicit voluntary and active participation of people in development planning and action"
a. Dependency Critique
-Wallerstein, Frank, Prebisch
global economic relations are dominated by the global North, therefore contributing to the underdevelopment of the developing world.
-development sabotage communication
VI. Contemporary Strategies in Communication for Development
1. Public Awareness Campaigns
-PSAs (Public Service Announcements)
health, wellness, M.A.D.D
2. Social Marketing
-reproductive health, immunization, and childhood diseases
3. Entertainment Education
-HIV/AIDS prevention
-domestic violence
-New Life, New Hope
4. Advocacy
-stakeholders in development process who promote interventions by reporting on positive experiences and benefits
-Arab Women Speak Out

The Transational Media Corporation and the Economics of Global Competition

. The Transnational Media Corporation

- TNC: a system of organization, focusing on the primary commodity being sold is information and entertainment.

II. The Purpose of a Global Media Strategy
- TNMC tends to operate in preferred markets with a an obvious preference toward its home market.
- TNMC's are NOT monolithic in their approach to business.
-Bertelsmann, for example, reflects the business philosophy and media interests of its founder: interests such as strategic planning and decentralization.

III.The Globalization of Markets
- driven by world wide deregulation and privatization trends, advancements in new technologies, and market integration (such as NAFTA, European Community)

a. The Rules of Free Market Trade
- only system operation in the world today is FREE MARKET CAPITALISM
- attempts to promote as much domestic competition as possible

b. Foreign Direct Investment
- refers to the ownership of a company in a foreign country

i. Propriety and Physical Assets
- ownership of talent or specialized expertise can be considered a type of propriety asset
- SONY, purchase of CBS

ii. Foreign Market Penetration
- purpose of entering a foreign market and serving it from that location
-Bertelsmann AG when purchased Doubleday Publishing

iv. Production and Distribution Efficiencies
- countries which offer significant advantages such as lower labor costs, tax relief, and technology infrastructure
-shooting movies in Canada/Ireland, rather than New York/LA

v. Empire Building
-high premium placed upon successful deal making and new project ventures

c. The Risks Associated with FDI
-problems associated with political instability: wars, revolutions, coups
-country risk assessment

IV. Transnational Media Ownership

a. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Strategic Alliances
-represent different ways that companies can join to achieve increased market share, to diversify product line, and/or create greater efficiency of operation

VI. Media and Global Finance
-today, companies will either use their own money or seek assistance of financial lending institution
-enables companies to issue securities and obtain loans

VII. Role of Global Capital Markets
-brings together those companies and individuals who want to invest money and those who want to borrow it.

a. Capital Market Loans
-either equity loans or debt loans
-equity: made when corporation sells stock to investors

VIII. Business and Planning Strategies
-Core Competency suggests that a successful company is one that possesses a specialized production process, brand recognition, or ownership of talent.
- Time Warner-
-Broadband Communication

IX. Global Competition and the Diffusion of Authority
-What distinguishes TNMC from TNC?
-TNMC actively pursues the use of advanced media and information technology
-TNMC and host nation have shared responsibility to create system that is desirable and sustainable.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Drawing a Bead on Global Communication Theories

Introduction :
A " bead" as the word is used in the title of the chapter, is the small piece of raised metal at the tip of a rifle barrel that enabled accurate targeting before telescopic sights were common

Normative Theories:
A. Four Theories of the Press:
one of the earliest books to shed light on international media. It talks about taxonomy (dividing up all the various versions and aspects of a topic into systematic categories or models: authoritarian, Soviet, liberal, and social responsibility).·
1. Authoritarian : effectively meant dictatorial.
2. Soviet : referred to the communist dictatorships at the time of Russia.
3. Liberal : meant not "left-wing".
4. Social responsability : it meant a different order of reality again : namely , media operating within a capitalist dynamic but simultaneously committed to serving the public's needs.

-News and information played the essential role in media.
- Despite the title of Four theories if the press, the book even effectively sidelined many types of print media like comics, trade magazines, fashion magazines, sports publications...

Deontic or normative theories:
- they did not seek only to explain or contrast comparative media systems but to provide a definition of how those systems ought to operate according to certain guiding principles.
- the social responsability model was simply a series of ethically inspired decisions by owners and editors for the public good.

The development model & the participatory/democratic model.
A. The development model:
- media that addressed issues of health, poverty, education etc. In general topics that concern the development of the nation.
B. The participatory/democratic model:
-local /small scale perspective of the way of organizing media. In general, in a participatory approach, we can talk about local radio, local newspapers and TV channels.

- the liberal model of free capitalist competition spoke to a bygone age, already vanishing by the time the original four theories book was published.

A different Approach I: Comparing and Contrasting Media·
-Soviet media had a strong overlap with media under other dictatorships and with so-called development media.
-Those who belong to economically advanced and political stable countries cannot understand how media function in the rest of the world.
- in the world at large, issues of extrem poverty, economic crisis, political instability even to the point of civil war, turbulent insurgent movements, military or other authoriataria regimes and violent repression of political dissent are the central context of media.
-Four important issues should be taken into consideration: political power, economic crises, dramatic social transitions and small-scale alternative media.Political Power·
Plitical power :
-The relationship between political power and communist media always seemed a “no-brainer”. -The state control over media was very detailed in Soviet Russia.
-The communist Party’s Propaganda Committee established ideological priorities
Economic Crisis
· Economic crisis was a daily experience for the majority of Russians.
- The soviet and post-soviet Russian experience of economic crisis had been reflective, except during the 1970s and early 1980s, when oil revenues shot up on the world market.
- During the 1990s, Russian life expectancy fell. As a result, infant morality increased.
Dramatic Social Transitions
-Russia went through many transitions in the 20th century, beginning with the World WarI.
-Before the revolution, there was an active newspaper, magazine, and book industry.
-The imperial censorship made it risky for anyone to print anything directly critical of the czars.
A different Approach II: Globalization and Media
- the term globalization is often used widely and loosely.
-Globalization: structural economic changes. For example: global rise of government policies on “liberalization”.
-Globalization is applied to cultural and media processes.
A. Hybridity Approach:
- poeple cultural resistance is prooff against cultural invasion, but more commonly, writers of this apporoach use the term hybridization and hybridity to try to capture what they see happening.
- the problem with this approach is that it can become rather woolly and vague, content just to say that what is happening is a blend but not to probe further into what kind of blend it is, or why it is whay it is that kind of blend, or how rooted or unstable is that blend.
A Different Approach III: small-Scale Alternative Media
Samizdat media: hand-circulated pamphlets, poems, essays, plays, short stories and audio- and videocassettes that started to emerge in Soviet Russia and other countries from 1960s .

Monday, September 3, 2007

Outline of the Chapter 1 :Following the Historical Paths of Global Communication

A. Geographical Space: A Barrier to Communication
a. The myth of the concept of physical space.
i. “Geography of space” vs. “geography of experience”
What was once the “geography of space” has become nowadays “geography of experience”;the revolution in mass media has provided the opportunity for people to exchange ideas, discover other civilizations, etc.
ii. Role of communication technologies in transforming human interactions
Technologies are cultural metaphors for prevailing social and cultural conditions”.
b. Conditions for communication over far distances in early cultures.
i. Ancient world was full of mythical images.
The ancient world was full of spirits, animism, etc
ii. The importance of the “age of discovery”
Explorers started discovering the unknown world.
c. Communication strategies used to improve welfare and trade.
i. The raise of innovations such as; the movable metal type and the magnetic compass needle.
ii. Scientific experiments opened the door for social improvement.
B. Geography and the Mythical World
a. Mythical believes in the worldview of ancient cultures.
i. The word mantic in the Greek culture
Mantic: ideas, mythical and supernatural, coming from people from somewhere beyond the immediate world.
ii. The presence of images in old cultures.
b. Geographic myths according to ancient civilizations.
i. The believes in fiction characters that were fought.
ii. The fear from foreign lands and unknown places.
c. Travel myths based on the perception of ancient cultures.
i. Prester John’s tales were repeated in music and poetry throughout Europe.
ii. Prester was seen as a ruler of a land inhabited by men with horns, along with giant creatures.
C. Ancient Encounters of Societies and Cultures
The physical world seen by ancient cultures.
The role of Alexander the Great in stretching the geographical boundaries of the European worldview
The repair of the library of Alexandria.
D. Global Explorers:
Migrants, Holy People, MerchantsMigration in ancient pre-agrarian societies in Europe.
The movement from a nomadic life to a stable one thanks to the improvement of farming techniques.
The European desire to explore the worldE.
Mapmakers in the Medieval WorldMaps as a valuable key to discover the unknown world.
i. Maps were considered as state secrete.
ii. The information on the maps reflected the mapmaker’s background.Maps served many purposes in ancient times.
i. The use of maps in maritime navigation and religious pilgrimages.
ii. The use of maps in military and administrative stuff.
Maps as an intellectual tool of the most educated in ancient Greece and Rome.
i. Travelers and military leaders used maps.
ii. Maps were used among the Greeks as objects for meditation.
Nowadays, google earth used by political activists,terrorists,etc Similarities between the past & the presence regarding the use of maps.
F. Inventors:
Signals and SemaphoresInformation technologies as solutions to immediate problems.
The visual signal system (heliograph) adopted in by Roman rulers.Reliability and speed of delivery through the medieval postal systems were good.
G. The Printing Press, Literacy, and the Knowledge explosion
Clerics as literate people engaged in writing.
i. Drafting legal documents
ii. Drafting letters for official dispatches.
The circulation of religious and diplomatic correspondence as an ancient practice.
i. Change in literature, philosophy and law.
ii. Easy access to printed pressThe appearance of printing presses.
i. People are encouraged to read
ii. The reformation of European institutions.
H. Scientists and International Networks
Technology innovation in travel and the essential role of international science.
The first standardization of a code of science.
The adoption of a global time system.
I. The International Electric Revolution
Steam power increased the speed of travel
The introduction of telegraph
The innovation of telephone as a communication tool.