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Media Imperalism and Development

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Media Imperalism and Development

  1. 1. Media Imperialism Revisited
  2. 2. Agenda • Functions of Media? • Links between Media and Development? • What is “Media Imperialism” and why is it so widely subscribed? • Evidence for and against the MI thesis • What are the alternative frameworks?
  3. 3. Functions of Media?
  4. 4. What are the functions of Media? • • • • • • • Public Service? To inform? To educate? To propagandize? To entertain? Social control? Culture? Media and the Public Sphere
  5. 5. Links between Media and Development?
  6. 6. Paradigms of Development Modernization Dependences – Western societies as a model – emphasis on economic growth World systems perspective – development defined in terms of center and periphery – Causes of underdevelopment inherent in the countries themselves Underdevelopment ascribed to the industrialized capitalist powers of the West – Focus onMass media the nation-state accorded a central – Emphasis on individual freedoms role in the development – Vertical pattern of process communication – from the elite to the people. The mass media reinforce the Information gaps – underdevelopment dominance of the in the periphery is prerequisite to development in the center metropole over its A country in the periphery must strive satellites for self-reliance and liberation from the world system Emphasis on social equality.
  7. 7. Emergence of the Media Imperialism thesis
  8. 8. The McBride Commission Report (1985) • international character of the media, their structures, world-views and markets • One way flow of media • Globalization: concentration of media ownership, monopolization of markets, and a decline in diversity • Emergence of the information society • Self-reliance and cultural identity
  9. 9. Media Imperialism • Key assumptions? • What are the links between globalization, neoliberalism and media imperialism ? • Why is this thesis so dominant in the media and development literature over the last few decades? • Is this popularity justified in terms of its explanatory power and empirical support? • What accounts for the weaning of the thesis' popularity in recent years? • What are the changing perspective on “local” versus “Western” content?
  10. 10. “The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, 1988
  11. 11. • Media Concentration – Global Oligopology – Transnational ownership – Acquisition of local outlets
  12. 12. Why media concentration? • Media Logic and the Free Market Capitalism • Media ownership and funding sources • Government policies and citizens roles
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  15. 15. Key Claims • Reinforcement of Neoliberalism – Consequences – Consumerism, trade policies, labour practices, inequality, etc... • Cultural homogenization – Death of local culture • Erosion of the Public Sphere
  16. 16. Essentialism • Mass media and reception "Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another • Unequal power person, but to make • “The West and the Rest” it the definitive story • Power to “Representation” of that person". – Agencies – Consent Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story chie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html
  17. 17. Evidence in support and against the MI thesis
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  21. 21. Interpretations and Alternatives • Hypodermic needle model of media consumption • Reception Theory • Agency • Self-Identity
  22. 22. Everett Rogers • “development as a widely participatory process of social change in a society, intended to bring about both social and material advancement (including greater equality, freedom, and other valued qualities) for the majority of the people through their gaining greater control over their environment” (Rogers, 1975) Refer to assigned reading
  23. 23. Everett Rogers • Diffusion of Innovations and Development • field experiments and network analysis • communication effects gaps and audience participation • Diffusion is uneven • Local innovation and local problem solving
  24. 24. • “what is really new about communication technology is not the technology per se as much as the social technology of how the new communication devices are organized and used.” (1976: 34) • Importance of interpersonal network in knowledge transmission (not through “opinion leaders”)
  25. 25. • 4 main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: – the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. • Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. • Innovations progress through 5 stages: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementatio n, and confirmation."
  26. 26. Rethinking Media Imperialism • Is the power of the Western mass media overstated? • What are the roles of the state and local organizations? • What are the roles of the “audience”? • What about local cultural contexts?