What do we understand by media globalisation? Make an assessment of the arguments for and against globalisation processes.
Globalisation can be defined according to (Lodge cited in Ali, 2000:6) as “the process whereby the world’s people are becoming increasingly interconnected in all facets of their lives- cultural, economic, political, technological, and environmental”. Since (Dominick,2002:513) noted that “information is being produced at a rate that is four times faster than the consumption of information”. And media globalisation has contributed to increasing media production and consumption, this essay will outline the different views about the advantages and dis advantages of global television (TV).
There is a general tendency to believe that most of the traditional definitions of globalisation focus primarily on economics issues,however, (Giddens, 2003,10) refuted that saying “[to see] the phenomena almost solely in economic terms… is a mistake. Globalisation is political, technological, and cultural, as well as economic”. However, he was not straight in articulating the relation between globalisation and media, he rather described it as “the intensification of world-wide social relations, which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa” (Giddens,1990:64). Even though he does not directly refer to media globalisation but it can be understood from the context. ( Rantanen,2005:6) commented that “although[Giddens] does not mention media and communication, it is obvious that the worldwide social relations are intensified by them”.
Media globalisation includes many means such as internet, television,cinema, radio, and other digital media. Television can considered to be a main medium in life. (Schneider and Wallis,1988:7) claimed that “ television could united the world”. However, television has been affected considerably by globalisation(Sinclair, Elizabeth, and Stuart, 1996:1) stated that a sea-change in television systems around the world began in the late 1970s. An integral element in the various complex phenomena usually captured under the rubric of globalisation.
There has been a highly-charged debate on determining the benefits and drawbacks of global satellite TV. Some scholars say that there are many advantages that come along with global TV, for instance, (Curtin,2005:156) contended that during the satellite era, electronic media can easily transmit images and information from one locale to any given combination of points around the world at relatively the same cost and velocity.
It is noteworthy that, Communication media play a crucial role in the global epoch. Satellite TV, for instance, has enabled viewers worldwide to access diversified information and images. Therefore, it has contributed to widen their knowledge about other cultures in the world. Moreover, the producers of the most closed global TV has changed their policy in order to extend their audience base outside their regions. Arab global television networks producers,for example, convinced, according to(Sinclair,Jacka, and Cunningham, 1996:124), that “satellite services are essential to project Arab culture internationally”.
Further, (kim,2005:449) suggested that “ television stands as the dominant representation of global culture”. To put that in other words, in satellite era, information monopolisation has been eliminated, as a result of that, localisation has been undermined and national people’s culture become available for everyone to look at. That has led, on some occasions, to reduction of some local malpractices (Curtin,2005:157) asserted that national regimes no longer have information monopolies nor can they justify their actions by reference to tradition or to divine cosmologies. Fate no longer governs human existence, as media encourage more active and reflexive citizenries.
Moreover, media globalisation has decreased the differences of ethnicity, religion, gender or literacy between people. As a consequent, their expanded experience and knowledge about others cultures have contributed to encourage them to evolve and modernize themselves. As (Curtin,2005:289) put it:
Satellite television figures prominently in scholarly speculation about globalization, since it has the potential to cross boundaries of class, gender, ethnicity and literacy,in addition to nation. Scholars furthermore suggest that satellite TV moves audiences towards a shared repertoire of images and ideas, thereby encouraging modernization.
Furthermore, reflexivity is considered to be the nucleus of global media, to be more precise, the knowledge that people have been obtained about other cultures would consequently reflex on their lives and enable them to compare and criticize their own lives . It would resulted also in shifting their perceptions about life which has led predominantly, to improve their standard of livings, (Kim,2005:447) manifested that “people have a reflexive and critical engagement with the new global television culture, which involves learning to deal with their life conditions in a new light”.
In addition, satellite TV has given the worldwide audience a broaden chance to choose between a myriad of international satellite channels which cater to the diversity of linguistics regions all over the world.(Sinclair,Jacka, and Cunningham, 1996:3) said that “ new satellite and cable delivery systems permitted the opening up of viable international channels”. Undoubtedly, English is the most dominant language in the world which most of the channels have spoken in. (Kim,2005:455) considered “English, as a language of global modernity”.Therefore, many people have endeavored to learning it. Global television is well-regarded and beneficial medium to acquire and master it. listening to news, drama, entertainment programmes, movies, for example, has introduced a practical way to listening practice. (Kim,2005:455) contended that “ learning English and involving [ourselves] with wider Western culture through travel and global television” is a constructive way to learn it.
Besides, Global television has brought out financially profits to many worldwide media corporations, for instance, (Sinclair, Elizabeth, and Stuart, 1996:5) mentioned that “the existence of sizeable Arab populations outside the Middle East, mainly in Europe, North America, and Asia, opens up new markets for Arab-language programming”.
Media globalisation has provided substantial opportunities for many media companies to rise their profits; even though, the domination of the largest media companies on the world media communication markets, according to(Dennis and Merrill,1996:225)
The main benefits of global media …is that …people are better informed and get a wider range of information and entertainment than ever before. people worry that a few companies will dominate world communication, but many small entrepreneurs are also flourishing, and entry into the communication market is easier than it has ever been in human history.
On the other hand, media globalisation has been criticised by many media communication scholars due to its negative effects on people and countries. It has been postulated that the prevalence of satellite channels has been accused of invading people’s life, customs , traditions or cultures because those channels have shown what do not aligned with some people’s way of living resulting in changing their lifestyle and manner.. In Arab world, serious steps have been taken toward eliminating the harmful effects of some TV programmes which do not suit with the Islamic communities. (Sinclair,Jacka, and Cunningham, 1996:122) claimed that “ most of the programming available from satellite services contains material that is not acceptable in Islamic societies. Sex, nudity, obscenity, and violence are considered offensive by Islamic leaders”.